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Actually, when I first made Julian, I kind of assumed Pharasma wouldn't like him much. Then someone pointed out a published Paizo article (I forget where) that says that one of her main criteria in judging souls is how well they follow their chosen deity.
Julian is a nearly perfect Norgorber worshiper, in the god's aspect as god of secrets, not his aspects as the gods of murder, poison, and thievery. He lies about his true loyalties, spends all his time collecting secrets that he doesn't share, and never lets anyone know he really works for the Reaper of Reputations.
Also, Julian really is good at his job as Pharasma's inquisitor. He hunts undead. He performs funeral rights. He spreads the gospel of Pharasma accurately. He hears confessions. Ok, that last part isn't really a Pharasman thing to do - he just uses it as an excuse to find out people's secrets.
He may have started out just using her as an undercover excuse, but he really makes a point of being a good Pharasman priest. On some level, I'd say he really does venerate her, even if he's motivated more by fear of what she could do to his soul when he dies, rather than actual devotion.
And yes, he has the infiltrator archetype. So even if he was evil, he'd fool a Detect Evil spell. But he really is true neutral... he's an eccentric worshiper of an evil god, not an evil person.
I actually have a single character who hits both #1 and #3, though in my case, both the deities involved in #3 are legal for PFS.
Julian Lightfoot is an inquisitor of the evil god of secrets (Norgorber) who pretends to be an inquisitor of Pharasma. Norgorber would approve, because Julian is keeping secrets, finding out secrets, etc, and being secretive about his worship is standard operating procedure in that religion. Ironically, Pharasma should also approve, because Julian makes a point of doing his job as one of her priests correctly, even if he isn't devout in his heart. He knows he'll have to meet her some day, and wants to stay on her good side.
As for #5, I have a friend who played a paladin of Aroden (before paladins were required to have a legal source for their divine powers) all the way to level 15. I didn't have a problem with it then, and still wouldn't from a non-divine PC, though it wouldn't work for a paladin any more.
Needless to say, I don't have a problem with 2 or 4, either.
#6 would result in some facepalming, though it could work if played for laughs. If the player expects anyone else at the table to take it seriously, they're going to get into trouble.
pH unbalanced wrote:
Once again, the Society Guild Guide's glossary covers this. The words "worship" and "venerate" are both in there, and explains all this. That was a response to all of the previous threads about this type of stuff here on the forums.
Disney is putting out Cthulhu stuff now? I always knew they were evil. I bet they turn it into a cartoon musical.
*duck* Yes, I know what you meant.
If you want to bring a Cthulhu worshiping PC to the table, you can. What your PC is actually doing, in game terms, is venerating Cthulhu, not worshiping him. But that's minor semantics.
You won't be able to gain any mechanical benefit from Cthulhu. So you can't have any feats, traits, divine class levels, or other mechanical features that require worship of that deity, even though Cthulhu exists in the setting.
Nobody is arguing against this, as far as I know, though I haven't gone back to re-read the whole thread from the beginning, just today's new posts.
If you choose to worship Zon-Kuthon, you CAN get mechanical benefits. You can be a cleric, warpriest, or inquisitor of Zon-Kuthon, or just a fighter who's obsessed with him. And you can get traits, feats, or whatever else from that worship. That's because he's a legal deity for PFS.
On the other hand, if you show up with a Zeus worshiping character, everyone at the table is going to look at you weird, and someone's likely to tell you, "Umm, dude, Zeus isn't part of this setting." Which I think was Nefreet's point about bringing a klingon to a Star Wars game.
The quote I referenced says nothing about divine vs non-divine PCs. I haven't looked at the feat to see if it has such a requirement.
To get any mechanical benefit from a deity, you must be a legal worshiper of a legal deity. Period. There are no opinions here, only facts.
Edit: Wow - quadruple ninja'd responding a 3 minute old post.
The season 8 Pathfinder Society RPG Guild Guide (the document formerly known as
A strength based champion is an effective front liner. You can also probably get away with doing a dex based finesse fighter with the champion's bonus damage. I'd say that the bonus damage on every hit should make them great for two weapon fighting, though you won't have enough feats to be great at it. Archery also requires more feats than the medium gets, but it's a strong enough combat style that a medium can be effective even without all of them.
And from that thread, I got some good recommendations for how to be useful with archetypes. But the other spirits, without any archetypes, are just severely underpowered.
As others have mentioned above, the medium also makes a nice single level dip for any martial PC, always channeling the champion spirit. If your party has lots of other weapon users, you may even consider a second level of it, to share the seance boon and take a taboo for more spirit surges.
And that's about it.
The benchmark I've seen around the forums a lot is that 15 + level is reasonable AC, and 20 + level is what you should aim for if you're really focusing on AC. Here's a previous thread on the subject. This pretty much applies to all levels, not just PFS. I don't have enough experience playing at various levels to be sure how accurate that is at higher levels, but I'd say it's a pretty good guideline for PFS.
In my Rise of the Runelords group, I've got a pair of front liners (paladin and cavalier) who really wanted to focus on being unhittable. They've got tons of AC equipment, the Shield Wall teamwork feat, etc. At level 15, their ACs are in the low 40s before temporary bonuses from smiting, etc. As the GM, it's frustrating, because I really never hit with any of the monsters, so I feel like I'm not giving them any challenge in fights half the time. Even at that level, the toughest melee enemies are only at somewhere around +22 or +23 to hit, so I need nat 20s to ever hit those two.
I suspect more recent APs might have enemies with more advantages, but in the mean time, I just focus on those two with touch attacks or spells, and try to have the melee beasts go after other party members when it makes sense. But I don't metagame it, so the enemies will start with trying to hit those front liners until they realize how tough it is.
Rise of the Runelords:
But we're up to book 6, and those insane ACs are going to backfire on them when they hit the final area, even before the boss fight. Karzoug has great info gathering (interviewing the souls of his servants that have been killed by the PCs), so everyone in the upper region of Xin Shalast will know their strengths and weaknesses, and be smart enough to use good tactics. That means the two tanks will NEVER be attacked in melee, except maybe to grapple them, and the other party members will suffer for it by taking all the hits.
Todd Reidenbach wrote:
I must have missed that one. The down side of variable missions depending on party, I guess.
That does remind me of one Taldor faction mission from season 1 to push someone into the harbor to humiliate him. Of course, I was playing the only Taldor PC in that one with a strength dumped gnome sorcerer. Luckily, my friend's Chelaxian inquisitor was happy to help.
Come to think of it, a lot of the Taldor faction missions in the early years ended up being funny. Not all, but there were a few. "I do this for Taldor" and the one from part 3 (I think) of Eyes of the Ten are two of the all time most memorable faction missions.
As I mentioned earlier in the thread, a very civilized, refined, urbanite barbarian is one of the ideas that I want to do eventually. I just have too many low level front liners in PFS right now, so I'm not going to make any more for a while. But when I do, that's what it'll be, probably as a bloodrager rather than barbarian, just to try a class I haven't played before.
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Reaping What We Sow is a hilarious time, despite having an option for a darker, more horrific theme to it. Just play up the hilarity of the enemies and how ineffective they are, and you'll have a grand time.
Yeah, it's kinda sad that Paizo's first PFS scenario based on Horror Adventures comes off more as The Nightmare Before Christmas than Nightmare on Elm Street. But it was fun, and very thematic for Halloween, when I played it. So I'd actually recommend everyone wait until next October to run it.
Definitely agree with a lot of the recommendations here. My first thought when I saw the thread title was Frostfur Captives, followed by Rise of the Goblin Guild. Goblins are just great NPCs.
The Sanos Abduction has two fun, light hearted NPCs, but turns dark pretty quickly after that.
Chris Rathunde wrote:
You know why the hats worn by redcaps are red, don't you? That actually seems appropriate for the Frostfur clan.
Haven't picked a PC yet. Are there any faction missions on this one?
Based on the lineup, it looks like we should have plenty of skills and ranged damage, but we may be short on front liners and healing. Unless anyone disagrees with that assessment, I'll probably pick a PC based on that.
That probably means either my level 2 shillelagh wielding druid with a wand of Cure Light Wounds or my level 3 buff/heal/support cleric. The cleric isn't really meant to be a front liner, but he should be fine tanking in subtier 1-2. I'll have to look and refresh my memory on my other PCs at this level.
I'll check back in a few hours and post a PC then.
I'll start by saying I haven't looked at the retraining rules much.
The one PC that I intend to use the retraining rules with is a pre-planned thing. My buff/heal witch took the Ward hex at level 1, knowing that it loses its usefulness later because it doesn't stack with cloaks of resistance or rings of protection. My plan is to retrain it at level 5, when the allies I'd use it on should have those items, and that's the level some of the other hexes (flight, tongues) become really good, so I can replace it with one of those. When I looked at the retraining cost, my thought was that it was actually cheaper than I expected, and not that big a deal, both in terms of gold and prestige.
From what you're saying, it sounds like skill points are expensive to retrain. Personally, I would never even consider retraining those, so I wouldn't have looked into the cost. Those are trivial enough to just add a bunch to the skill you want to boost the next time you level up. They're not something I would expect people to retrain frequently, so I can understand intentionally making them prohibitively expensive, to cut down on "gaming the system" by maxing out different skills going into different adventures.
Really, I think the main point of making it semi-expensive to retrain is to discourage over-use of it. You're supposed to plan your PC right the first time and not change them. Retraining should be rare.
Like I said, I haven't done it much, but when I did look at the costs, they seemed reasonable. It should mostly be used for major class features, and it should be expensive. The current cost (at least for a witch hex) is a little costly if you're hoarding prestige, but not enough to completely prevent it, which is exactly how it should be, IMHO.
Illusion has some nice defensive stuff that would be good for a melee Occultist. The resonant power gives you an automatic miss chance, and you can get spells like Vanish, Mirror Image and eventually Greater Invisibility. At very high levels, many enemies will likely have True Seeing, so illusions will be useless, but for mid-levels, it's a great school to have.
Also, if it's not too late to add to your build, I highly recommend the Haunt Collector archetype from Horror Adventures. You'll lose the circles and summoning stuff that rarely gets used, in exchange for making your own temporary haunts, which will also rarely get used.
More importantly, starting at level 2, Haunt Collectors can give up resonant powers on implements in order to get the seance bonus from a medium spirit. You aren't going to have enough mental focus to go around to use all of your resonant powers anyway, so you may as well trade one out for the champion spirit bonus that gives +2 on every weapon damage roll you make. Ask your GM if you can add the archetype now, since it just kicks in at level 2.
I actually just made my first occultist for PFS, who is caster focused, and planned out a melee occultist that I want to do later while I was looking at the class. My idea is to go Haunt Collector archetype with Transmutation and Divination at level 1. At level 2, I take Abjuration for the Shield spell, but give up the resonant power for that champion spirit bonus. I can always get a cloak of resistance to make up for that res power, and the other implements will eat all my mental focus, anyway, especially Divination. Then, I was going to do Illusion at level 6. I never really decided on the level 10 implement.
Wow. I totally missed this. And Muser's quote from Ultimate Magic doesn't really help. You need to quote both the Spell Combat and Spellstrike rules to clarify this. One or the other isn't enough.
And to think, I've killed 2 PCs in 3 times GMing [redacted], even though I was denying the BBEG one of his attacks per round, because I was doing this wrong!
Andrew Mullen wrote:
There seemed to be plenty of both for the occult classes in Occult Adventures, so I'm not seeing where they're moving away from them. Not everything for every class, but still plenty of stuff.
It's meant to be a feat for only those classes that share their teamwork feats with their animal companions. In other words, hunters, and archetypes that impersonate them.
There are plenty of feats that are restricted to a specific class, or just those classes that have a particular feature. There's nothing wrong with this being one of them.
I'm actually basing the PC on a TV character, who was a somewhat goofy old lady. Not really senile, which is why I said "borderline senile". So no, she's not mentally deficient. But she does tend to ramble a lot, about things that nobody else knows anything about, which would lead to a lot of "When I was young..." moments.
Thus, the topic of this thread, discussing how Golarion has changed in the last 300 years and what an elf that age would remember.
So the maximum age for a PC in Pathfinder Society is 349 (elf in the old, but not venerable, age category). I'm about to play an elf close to that age for the first time, and I want to play up the borderline senile elder aspect for personality.
When such a character starts rambling about "Back when I was young...", how would that sentence end?
Obviously, Aroden was still around, and most people didn't know who Iomedae was. Naderi is the only deity I can think of who is that young, though I wouldn't be surprised if there are others I don't know about. Some nations have changed, especially around the World Wound and Eye of Abadengo. Much of Tian Xia was ruled by the Lung Wa dynasty, which has since fallen.
You spelled Dalsine wrong.
Those are good for an archer inquisitor who can pretend that all of their allies have the same ones. My archer inquisitor already took Friendly Fire Maneuvers at level 3. But what does an animal companion get out of having them shared? For an inquisitor, that's actually worse for FFM, because the rest of your allies now provide cover, even though the critter doesn't.
And again, this is turning into a discussion about how much control you have over a charmed individual, which isn't really what I was asking. As I said, I just want to use this spell as a substitute for diplomacy, in situations when diplomacy is perfectly normal. But if I can't get away with casting without being seen and attacked, then I'm probably going to skip it and get a different spell instead.
What has been everyone's experience with this spell in PFS play? I haven't really seen it used much at all. I suspect that's because many players, including myself, avoid it for fear of wild table variation in how the judge will let them use it.
I found this thread, where the big debate was whether or not you could use it to convince bad guys to attack their friends. But that's not really what I'm looking for here.
I'm actually making a casting/skill/support occultist, and dumping charisma, so that's the only type of skills she won't be able to do. I was thinking of taking this just as a substitute for diplomacy in asking a bartender for information or talking my way past a guard, but I'd never even consider using it in a combat encounter. That's what more powerful enchantments are for. :P
Bear in mind that as an psychic caster, my spells won't have verbal, somatic, or material components, though she has an implement as a focus (she clutches her necklace when casting enchantment spells), so nobody will know she's casting a spell.
This seems like the type of thing the spell was actually designed for, so I'm hoping not to run into too much table variation from GMs. What do the rest of you think?
Claxon may be right about a non-archetype inquisitor being better, or at least comparable, if you're doing archery, due to the lack of teamwork feats worth sharing with the animal.
I still think Sacred Huntmaster is just slightly better than a Hunter for damage output on a melee pair, just because they get Bane. But because of the spell lists, the Hunter gets more stuff to buff the animal, while the Sacred Huntmaster gets more self buffs, so it really comes down to which you want to focus on more - the animal and nature, or the inquisitor and some non-nature skill stuff.
But there's a teamwork feat that lets you split your spells with the critter, too. So you could cast stuff like Divine Favor on both of you at the same time as the Sacred Huntmaster, which is another point in favor of the one that can self buff better, then share it.
??? While judgments are a nice bonus, they aren't what make inquisitors "viable for damage".
I have an inquisitor who's mostly a skill monkey, but is an archer in combat. He wasn't much of a damage dealer at low level, even with judgements. Then he hit 5th level, and all of a sudden he's a heavy hitter. Yes, it's limited in rounds per day, which is why I considered the Extra Bane feat. Bane is clearly the best class feature of the inquisitor.
But on the topic of this particular archetype, they get an animal companion in exchange for judgments. Which do you think can do more damage per round? A whole attack (or possibly more) by a critter, or that +1 from judgment at level 1? Even at higher levels, when judgement does more damage, the multi-attacks from the critter, with all sorts of teamwork feats to make them even better, is a HUGE boost.
I don't know what you have against this archetype, but it's clearly a viable archetype, even if it takes away your favorite part of being an inquisitor.
I don't understand Claxon's post at all. He seems to be overlooking that the sacred huntmaster archetype gets a companion that's just like a hunter's animal, which is better than the normal druid type you'd get from a domain, AND that sacred huntmaster shares their teamwork feats with their critter the same way that a hunter does.
So if you want to share teamwork feats with the best animal companions in the game, you have exactly two options: hunter or sacred huntmaster. The differences are 1) the spell lists, 2) hunter gets animal focus and other nature themed abilities sooner, 3) huntmaster still gets some of the minor inquisitor abilites, and 4) huntmaster still gets bane, which is HUGE.
So I'd say mechanically, sacred huntmaster is slightly better than hunter, but mostly because it helps the inquisitor be better in combat, while hunter has more stuff to make the animal better and more nature themed stuff. I'd pick more based on fluff than mechanics, personally (and I did, when I went sacred huntmaster so I could do this type of PC worshiping a non-nature themed deity).
On a paladin, you can safely dump wisdom, and it won't hurt at all. You get your charisma added to your saving throws and smite bonuses, along with quantity of lay on hands per day, so pump up that charisma as high as you can.
If you have the Familiar Folio book, take a look at the Chosen One paladin archetype. You get a familiar instead of a mount or bonded weapon, and it can "lay on paws". This uses two of your uses of lay on hands, so you won't use it much, but it lets you heal your ally and attack the enemies in the same round, if things get rough. Again, you'll need high charisma and possibly the Extra Lay on Hands feat for enough uses to pull it off, but it's a really nice archetype. And the familiar gets Guidance at will, which can help with skills and stuff, too.
I'm a big fan of the divination implement, especially on a combat occultist. Put enough points in it, and you get all day darkvision and see invisibility, and you can use those points to give yourself an attack bonus once per turn as a swift action.
Personally, I decided not to go Battlehost on my melee occultist. Really, the main reason to go with that archetype is the bonus feats. If you're just doing a simple combat style like two handed weapon and power attack, you don't need the archetype. You're probably better off not giving up the implements, for more powers and spells.
Angry Wiggles wrote:
My sacred huntmaster is heading that way, but the half-orc is the one doing the tripping, then the deinonychus rips up the target with a full 3 attacks once it's on the floor, with more coming at level 7. I've got the teammwork feats to flank when next to each other, and an extra 1d6 damage per attack when flanking. Not high enough level for Greater Trip yet, but I'll get that as soon as I can.