Yes, I'm serious. Have you read the entire Core Rulebook from cover to cover?
I tried to read it when I first started playing, then quickly realized that I needed to just jump around to the parts I needed at any given time.
Now that I spend 40-45 minutes per day commuting by train, I've had more free time for reading. So I've been trying to read it, but I keep getting sidetracked, either reading stuff for my job or reading adventures that I'm going to GM soon instead. So far, I'm up to the equipment chapter. At my current rate, it'll be at least a few months before I finish.
Just thought this would be an interesting question to ask the most die hard fans of the game who frequent these forums.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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).
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.
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?
So I introduced my nephews and their mother (my sister) to Pathfinder through the Beginner Box. I GMed them through the Black Fang adventure and some of the Beginner Box Bash stuff. My 12 year old nephew has gotten really into it, but his older brother and mother aren't as enthusiastic.
So I'd like to find a way to keep playing with the one kid who's really into it, but it's really designed to be a group activity, so I know it'll be tough to play with just one player and one GM. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to handle this?
I usually play Pathfinder Society at public venues, which I'd like to bring him to. But my usual Monday evening group runs too late to bring him. There's also a Saturday afternoon group, but it's farther away. I may look into taking him to that one occasionally, but I doubt if it'll be convenient to bring him more than about once per month.
Two questions for a PFS character of mine. I know the first could go in the advice forum, but I want advice as to how it will play out in Society specifically. And the second could go in the rules forum, but then I'd get a bunch of house rule opinions, when I need a RAW answer for PFS. So since they're both about the same PC, I'm just gonna combine them and throw them in the Society forum.
1. What level should I get a magic weapon? I just realized my roguish front line PC is 1 xp away from 5th level, and still using a masterwork scimitar as his primary weapon (dervish dance). I just picked up enough money for a +2 dex belt, which does everything a magic weapon would do and then some, but should I be worrying about DR vs magic, or do you think I can wait one more adventure (level 5!) and hope for the best?
2. I'm pretty sure you can't use two ioun stones of the same type, because they won't stack unless they specifically say so. But what about one cracked and one regular of the same type? As a rogue, Qassir wants to catch people flat footed for sneak attacks, so 500 gp for the cracked dusty rose ioun stone that gives +1 initiative sounds like a good deal. And he's going Halfling Opportunist prestige class at level 6, which relies heavily on combat maneuvers, so I'll eventually want to spend the 5000 gp for a regular dusty rose ioun stone to put in a Wayfinder, which will give me +1 AC, +2 CMB, and +2 CMD. Can I have both a regular and cracked dusty rose stones active at the same time?
So I'm (probably) giving up on my idea of creating a ninja/cleric of Besmara pirate. The more I look at the multi-class, the more I don't think it'll work.
So now I'm just looking at just a straight kitsune ninja. I may still go pirate for personality, even though I'm also still thinking of doing the cleric of Besmara. Bear in mind this is for PFS, so it's all RAW. And yes, I have the race boon that allows me to make a kitsune PC in Society play.
I'm thinking these stats:
Str 10 (2) (-2 racial)
Or maybe 13 Con and 16 Cha, for the ki point. Haven't decided for sure yet. But I'll probably go with the stats above and just boost cha to 16 at level 4, then focus on dex at levels 8 and 12. I briefly considered dumping int to 8 to start with 16 cha, but I've got over a dozen skills I'll want to train, with a couple of them needing to stay maxed out, so I'll need every one of my 8 skill ranks, and maybe the occasional favored class bonus. All the more reason to stick to 14 con for the HP.
Needless to say, I'll need Weapon Finesse immediately. The fact that it works with the kitsune bite attack is just an extra bonus. I'll probably do the stereotypical ninja thing and go with wakizashi as my main weapon. It's light, finessable and has an 18-20 crit range, which is nice.
Just to make sure I'm clear on the bite attack: It's just an extra attack at BAB -5 with 1/2 the strength bonus on damage. It doesn't affect my weapon attacks the way two weapon fighting would, or get affected by weapon attacks. Right?
Which brings me to my next question: Two weapon fighting or not two weapon fighting?
My main concern is that at 3/4 BAB, I may have trouble hitting, so do I really want the -2 on each attack? Granted, I'll have a good dex bonus, and hopefully be flanking most of the time. And more attack rolls means more chances to maybe hit and do sneak attack damage. I'm just worried that I won't be able to hit at mid-high levels when BBEG AC scores may improve faster than my 3/4 BAB. But a pair of wakizashi would be lots of crit chances, and would only require one Weapon Focus feat to get the +1 on both hits.
Or I could just take Extra Ki a few times and use the ninja ki pool to get an extra attack without the -2 to hit. But I'm leaning towards the two weapon fighting - it's just one feat, and I don't have to use the second attack against things that have high AC, if I'm afraid I'll keep missing. Extra Ki is still a definite possibility, though. Quick question on that: If I use a ki point to get an extra attack at max BAB and also use TWF to attack with two weapons in that round, does the extra attack from the ki also get the -2 from Two Weapon Fighting?
Which brings me to my next point: Feat and ninja trick choices, and what order to take them in.
I'll probably skip 1st level on GM credits, so I don't necessarily need Weapon Finesse at 1st level. I could take Finesse Rogue as my first ninja trick at level 2, if I wanted Two Weapon Fighting at 1st level, so I'd have them both that early. But Vanishing Trick is such a fun, ninja thing to take, so I'd like to get it early. Which leaves me thinking Weapon Finesse at 1, Vanishing Trick at 2, Two Weapon Fighting at 3.
So then what?
Other feats I'm looking at include Weapon Focus (Wakizashi), Extra Ki, Improved Initiative, Combat Reflexes, and eventually Improved Two Weapon Fighting and Improved Critical (Wakizashi). I thought about Dazzling Display and Shatter Defenses to make enemies flatfooted, but that's a lot of feats to invest. I'm hoping flanks and Vanishing Trick will be my keys to getting enough sneak attacks. I also thought about Dodge and Two Weapon Defense for AC.
Other Ninja tricks and Rogue Talents I'm looking at include Flurry of Stars, Wall Climber, Shadow Clone, Bleeding Attack, Ki Charge, Resiliency, Befuddling Strike, and Forgotten Trick. I thought about Acrobatics Master, but I think my high dex, race bonus, and skill ranks should make it unnecessary, especially after picking up the Elven Boots or whatever they're called that give +5 Acrobatics. The Underhanded rogue talent from UC looks great, but I'm a little confused about the action economy of drawing and attacking with a concealed weapon in a surprise round. How does that work? Also, Weapon Training and Combat Trick can be used to get some of the above feats earlier, and also leave room to pick up more feats by picking up feats as talents.
Obviously, Evasion and Invisible Blade are the first two master tricks to pick up at levels 10 and 12 for pretty much any ninja. It's just a matter of which order to get them in, which will likely be decided by how he plays up to that point.
For traits, I was thinking Dirty Fighter, since I'm going to be flanking a lot. The Lantern Lodge Meridian Strike trait would let me reroll the 1s in my damage rolls after getting a crit once per day, which should be useful regularly with an 18-20 crit weapon and all those extra attacks and extra damage dice from sneak attacking. There's also the Amanander Militia trait to get a +1 on hit rolls when flanking, which again, I should be doing a lot. Reactionary is always an obvious possibility, especially since I'll get sneak attacks for catching people flat footed, but I can't take it with Dirty Fighter. Besides, I'm thinking invisibility might give me the extra edge to get sneak attacks, so I won't have to work so hard to get people flat footed.
What do you all think?
Posting in the PFS forum, even though it's a rules question, because this trait comes from the Guide to Organized Play as a Lantern Lodge trait, so it's a PFS specific rule.
So I know Lantern Lodge is going away. But PCs who are in the faction before then will be able to keep any LL trait after changing factions. I'm making a PC using a kitsune race boon, and I'm leaning towards doing a ninja. For obvious reasons, he's probably from Tian Xia (haven't narrowed down the specifics yet), so putting him in the Lantern Lodge in the short term is an obvious choice.
I know there's too many obvious stereotypes in there - I'll have to come up with some personality quirks to make this guy stand out. I was already thinking of making him a sociable, talkative character to take advantage of the good charisma instead of a stereotypical quiet, stealthy ninja.
Anyway, I was looking at this Lantern Lodge trait from the Guide to Organized Play:
I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this, but I thought I'd ask to be certain. Does it only apply to the weapon damage dice that get doubled on the crit, or to all dice you're rolling as part of your damage? Since it just says "when you roll damage", not specifically "weapon damage", I'd say it applies to all dice rolled during a crit damage roll, including the sneak attack dice for a ninja/rogue, along with any other bonus dice you get from other sources. Is that correct?
Since my ninja is likely to go two weapon fighting with wakizashi (another stereotype, I know), which have an 18-20 crit range, I'm likely to get a lot of crits in his career. Between 2d6 weapon damage on a crit and more sneak attack dice every two levels, this could mean rolling a lot of dice for damage. So being able to reroll a couple of them when I get multiple 1s on a crit against the BBEG each scenario could be useful.
So I like the trait and would seriously consider taking it, but only if I know for sure it'll apply to sneak attack dice as well as the weapon damage dice.
So I have a nagaji PC and planning to make a kitsune PC, and I'm looking for appropriate minis.
For the nagaji, he wears heavy armor, with a sword and shield, so I've just been using generic human minis with the right equipment so far. I just got the Reaper Bones Kickstarter, and the dragonman warrior looks like it has potential, though it's not quite exactly what I had in mind.
No ideas for the kitsune in fox form. My PC will probably end up being lightly armored with a rapier, based on my current idea, but that could change by the time I actually get around to creating it.
So I have a boon that lets me make a kitsune PC in Pathfinder Society. I have so many PFS characters already, because I keep coming up with ideas and making new ones, that I'd kinda backed off making more for a bit. But yesterday, I GMed a First Steps adventure which is level 1 only, and all of my previous PCs are already level 2+, so I need a new level 1 character to apply the GM credit to. So this prompted me to start thinking about what to do with that kitsune boon.
I like the flavor of kitsune as an unusual shapeshifting race. But mechanically, they're very similar to halflings. Since I already have a couple of halfling characters, I want to try and avoid redundancy, which is why I didn't already have an idea in mind for what to do with the kitsune boon.
So looking at what I could do with a kitsune, the most obvious choice seems to be ninja. I already have a dex based halfling rogue, but ninjas are a little different. The cha bonus would be good for the ki pool and ninja stuff based on it. So that's an idea.
Another idea which kind of appeals to me is to do a cleric of Besmara, the CN pirate goddess. I noticed I could get the Trickery and War (Tactics) domains with that one, which is a great combination. But again, I already have a couple of clerics, so what would make this one unique?
Then it occurred to me - negative channel! Use the high kitsune dex with weapon finesse and Besmara's favored weapon (rapier), and the high kitsune charisma to get lots of channels for channel smite. That's only two feats, so I could get there by level 3. There's no way this can keep up with dedicated melee builds, but at least it's creative and not completely ineffective. As a backup weapon when I run out of channels or want to save them for large bursts, I'd be spontaneously casting inflicts against touch AC. The down side is that putting points in dex and cha won't leave me enough points for a really good wisdom, so the spell casting could suffer.
Then the really, really weird idea occurred to me. What if I multi-class to be both a ninja and a cleric of Besmara? Would it be a ninja with a one level dip in cleric for those awesome first level domain powers and a couple of spells? A cleric with a two level dip in ninja for some sneak attack damage, extra skill ranks, ki pool, and vanishing trick? I don't think going half and half would work out that great, because the spellcasting would be lacking on the cleric side and the sneak attacks would be lacking on the ninja side.
Anyone have any thoughts?
So I was just looking at the Pathfinder Society Additional Resources page, and I had a thought. Given the long list of products on that page that have PFS-usable material in them, it would be a lot easier for people to find and buy those products if every product name on the page was a link to the related product page.
So I'm joining a campaign, and trying to decide what to play. I'm the last to join and haven't had a chance to talk out details with the group, so I'm designing my PC with relatively minimal info. We're starting at level 4, and doing 25 point build, so I should have no problem coming up with good stats for just about anything.
The other four players are doing a fighter, barbarian, charismatic cleric, and shape shifting druid. So apparently, we've got DPR, front line combat, diplomacy, and divine casting covered, presumably including healing, though I'm still waiting for an email response on whether the cleric channels positive or negative energy.
That leaves arcane magic and skills as the big holes in our group's abilities. Bards are one of my favorite classes, so I'm leaning in that direction. I'm also considering skipping the arcane magic and just going ranger or rogue for skill potential. Or maybe going all out on the arcane magic as a wizard with lots of skill ranks from intelligence, despite the lack of class skills.
One possibility I've considered is making another gnome prankster bard like the one I recently created for Pathfinder Society. It seems like a very fun build, and I'm not sure how much I'll get to actually play my PFS version, so this will let me play something like that more often.
I'm also looking at the archivist bard archetype. The archetype would let me disarm magic traps like a rogue, although ironically, I'd need to take a trait to get disable device as a class skill. I'd prioritize int and dex over cha, for the sake of skills, and just stick to buff spells that don't need a good charisma for a high save DC. I'd probably use the good dex to stick to ranged combat. I was thinking maybe elf for the int and dex bonuses, and free longbow proficiency. Since we're starting at level 4, I can start with Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot.
Actually, I was considering elf or half-elf for almost any build, just because I haven't played those races before, so I'd like the variety.
Any other thoughts or suggestions?
I'll admit it: I browse these forums from work. I work in front of a computer, and my job frequently has me running computer programs and waiting a couple of minutes for a response, so I log in and chat about Pathfinder. More than once, I've found myself participating in an "in character" conversation where I've wanted to roll a d20 for something, but don't have one with me.
So I created one.
I primarly work with Microsoft SQL Server, and you'd think it would be easy to get a random integer out of it, but it's tougher than I expected. The built in random number generator gives random numbers between 0 and 1, out to about 16 decimal places. So you need to convert it to an integer to be useful, making sure you have an even distribution of the numbers you want.
So I googled it, figuring someone else must have done this at some point. Much to my surprise, a normally reliable SQL blog actually got it wrong. I wrote a quick program to loop their version 1000 times, and realized that it was coming up on 1 and 20 only about half as often as the other numbers. That's because he was rounding, which is a mistake. By converting the result to an integer using cast, you get a more even distribution of numbers.
So if anyone wants to roll a d20 in MS SQL Server, here's the command you need:
select cast(((20 * rand()) + 1) as int)
Obviously, change the 20 to whatever number you need if you want to roll d8, d10, d12, d100, d27, etc.
And here's my script to prove that it provides a relatively even distribution of random results after "rolling" 20,000 times:
Declare @N int
select top 0 @N as D20
While @N < 20000
select @N = @N + 1
select D20, count(*)
So it's a bit of a cliche that Sarenrae is the most commonly worshipped goddess among Pathfinders, just because so many people play pregen Kyra in PFS play. Iomedae is popular with paladins, Irori is popular with monks, and Desna is popular with clerics just because she offers such useful domains.
But I was thinking about it, and there are certain major gods that I very rarely see worshiped by adventurers in Society play.
Obviously, with no evil PCs allowed, we don't get many who worship evil gods. But Asmodeus is still somewhat popular among LN characters from Cheliax. Coming up with an excuse why the worshiper of any other evil god would be a Pathfinder is a bit of a stretch, though apparently we have a group of local players who all have Rovagug worshiping PCs.
Nethys and Gozreh don't get much attention, but it wouldn't surprise me if some spellcasters worshiped Nethys without talking about him much, and the same with druids and rangers with Gozreh.
I think Shelyn is the only good aligned major deity who I've never seen worshiped by a Society PC, which kinda surprises me. She offers some nice domains for clerics, a nice reach weapon as her favored weapon, and I'd consider making a cleric to her myself, so I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone beat me to it. Like Nethys and Gozreh, it's possible she has some worshipers (bards, most likely) who just don't talk about her much.
Others that I'm surprised I haven't seen more among Society PCs are Calistria and Cayden Cailean. I've seen CC worshipers, but not as many as I'd expect, and I don't think I've ever seen a Calistria worshiper, which surprises me. I would think whip + negative channel + channel smite would be a nice cleric combo, and it's all right there in the Core Rulebook.
Do shoes on Golarion have shoelaces?
My gnome prankster bard for Pathfinder Society really wants to know, so he can use his gnomish +4 stealth bonus to sneak under the Venture-Captain's desk during mission briefings and tie his shoelaces together. Or just tell people, "Your shoelaces are untied" when they aren't, just to follow up with "Made you look!"
Also, what other types of joke-related props can he walk around with? I haven't looked, but I'm assuming there are no whoopee cushions in Ultimate Equipment. I took the Collector trait for a +2 bonus on Perform (Comedy), and I figure a collection of small gag-related items is appropriate. Bear in mind that this is for Pathfinder Society, so I need RAW-only answers. I'm definitely expecting to walk into table variation on a regular basis with this one, but it's mostly just fluff and shouldn't affect anything mechanically, so I can probably get away with plenty of improvisation.
What languages are worth learning because they come up a lot?
Tien is an obvious choice for season 3 adventures. I'm guessing Varisian would show up a lot in season 4, though I haven't played enough of those yet to know for sure.
And goblin is always good to know, because they tend to show up a lot, while I've never actually seen an orc in a Society scenario.
The reason I'm asking now is that I'm making a gnome bard with the Prankster archetype, and I want him to be able to insult people in as many languages as possible. So no dead languages on this PC, like the Ancient Azlanti that one of my PCs with a bookworm personality knows (and has actually used in a scenario).
I already gave him a 14 int for the sake of Bardic Knowledge, so that will get him two bonus languages. And he has the gnome Gift of Tongues racial trait, which gives two languages known for every rank in Linguistics, instead of one. So on top of starting with Common, Gnome, and Sylvan like all gnomes, he's actually going to start with four more languages, and pick up two more every level by keeping Linguistics maxed out.
So I know there are already threads out there for general jokes, "light bulb" (continual flame coin) jokes, and lines that made the whole table laugh.
But I'm looking for "in character" insults. I'm making a gnome Prankster archetype bard from the Advanced Race Guide, and I'm looking for the types of things he'd say when using his Mock bardic performance to insult enemies. I'm not that great at coming up with this stuff on the fly, so I figured I should prepare some in advance.
So what happens to a creature that's flying when they're targeted by this and miss their save? Do they fall out of the sky? If yes, do they land relatively gently, or does it hurt? If not, do they just float there in the sky, laughing?
Can a spellcaster who can cast a spell that isn't normal for their class use magic items of that spell as if they were class spells? For instance, a cleric with a domain spell that isn't normally a cleric spell.
As an obvious example, could a cleric with the fire domain use a wand or scroll of fireball without having to make a UMD check, as if fireball was a cleric spell?
Common sense would dictate that they can, but I just want to double check.
I have a couple of questions about the bard's Versatile Performance class ability.
1. Why isn't it already in the FAQ? Seriously, I just searched the site for the words "Versatile Performance", and it came back with over 2000 threads. The first dozen or so that I looked at were people trying to figure out how it worked, and it seems there are probably dozens, if not hundreds more just like it. That would seem to be the dictionary definition of "frequently asked".
As for my questions right now, I understand the base concept of VP.
As an example, using VP with Perform: Oratory means that the bard no longer uses the Diplomacy or Sense Motive skills at all. If he wants to try and figure out if someone is lying to him, he rolls d20 + the modifier from his Perform skill, which is calculated using his charisma bonus, skill ranks in P:O, +3 class bonus if P:O is trained, and anything else like a Circlet of Persuasion or Skill Focus (P:O) that would improve his P:O skill. But he's not actually performing, he's just using the Perform skill bonus. Even though Sense Motive is normally wisdom based, this means his wisdom modifier and skill ranks in the skill never come into play, and Skill Focus (SM) would be a wasted feat.
So I understand the basics.
2. What about things other than the stat, skill ranks, and class bonus that would modify the replaced skill? In the case of Sense Motive, what if he had a trait that makes him better at Sense Motive? Does that go to waste, because it only modifies the SM skill bonus, which is no longer used? I'm also looking at the gnome Gift of Tongues racial trait that gives bonuses to Diplomacy and Bluff, which would seem to go away if a gnome bard uses Versatile Performance to replace those two skills. Or situational bonuses (or penalties) to using particular skills, like the monk's High Jump bonus to jumping, when Perform: Dance is being substituted for Acrobatics, or the -4 penalty to intimidate someone bigger than yourself when using Perform: Comedy instead of Intimidate? It seems that the answer here is that those bonuses go to waste, since they don't modify the Perform skill, but I just want to be sure, and also find out if it applies the same to penalties.
3. What if the skill being replaced by VP is already replacing another skill? For instance, the Taunt feat lets small PCs use bluff instead of intimidate to demoralize enemies, and avoid the -4 penalty on intimidating someone of larger size. What if a gnome or halfling bard with Taunt then uses Perform: Act instead of Bluff? Can he use Perform: Act to demoralize people, and still avoid the -4 penalty for being smaller than the target?
I'm thinking of building a debuff bard. This would be for Pathfinder Society (20 point buy, Paizo only sources).
I have a few ideas about how to do this. For starters, I don't want to take an archetype that modifies the core bard class too much. I was actually looking at the Prankster archetype for gnomes from Advanced Race Guide. I'm not totally married to the idea of playing a gnome or a Prankster, but it seems like a fun possibility that picks up some entertaining debuff-specific performances in exchange for the usual Fascinate and Suggestion performances.
For stats, unlike a lot of bards built for martial prowess, I'll stick to charisma as my highest stat. This will boost save DCs for my spells and bardic abilities, and give me extra rounds per day of bardic performance. After that, my next highest stats (not necessarily in order) will be con and dex for survival, and the occasional ranged weapon use, along with int for bardic knowledge and generally being a skill monkey. Str may be useful, but I'm not a focused damage dealer, so racial average should be good enough. Wisdom is my dump stat. Low wisdom also seems to go well RP-wise with the immature gnome prankster, if I go that route.
So what will I do in battle?
Demoralizing enemies to leave them shaken is something anyone can do all day long, and I'll certainly have the charisma and skills for it. If I go with a small race, I'd probably want the Taunt feat to be able to demoralize people without the -4 penalty to intimidate enemies for being smaller than them.
There's also the Antagonize feat. I'm not sure if I want to make a target of myself that way, though. I have a friend with a paladin who made great use of this, but her AC and HP were much better than I can get with a bard. I'd have the same issue with the Mock ability of the Prankster archetype, but that isn't quite as extreme about forcing the foes to attack me.
I'm thinking Daze cantrip and Hideous Laughter are obvious choices for initial spells known, trading out Daze at higher levels when it's no longer useful. There are other possible debuff spells, but I'm noticing most of them only work on stuff with minds. Besides, bards don't get enough spells per day to act like full casters.
So what do non-weapon focused bards do in combat against animals, undead, and other enemies that are immune to mind affecting spells and abilities? I suppose a crossbow and alchemist's fire are reasonable backup weapons for such situations, though I won't have the stats, feats, and BAB to be very good with them. That's also why I don't want to take an archetype that gives up the traditional Inspire Courage - it gives me something useful to contribute in any fight.
The Love subdomain of the Charm domain replaces the level 1 dazing touch power with adoration:
Adoration (Su): As an immediate action, you can attempt to thwart a melee or ranged attack that targets you. This ability functions as sanctuary, but only against one individual attack. You must use the ability after the attack is declared but before the roll is made. The creature attacking you receives a Will save to negate this effect. If a creature has more than one attack, this ability only affects one of the attacks. You can use the ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier. This is a mind-affecting effect.
What's the DC of that Will save?
"Greetings, fellow citizens of mighty Taldor!" begins a small, grey gnome with brown hair, wearing a brightly colored version of the latest Taldor fashion, but with a hideously large hat.
"Due to my overwhelming success representing Taldor in many adventures for the Pathfinder Society, I've been offered the reward of a noble title by Prince Stavian III himself! I was given my choice of titles, and I was just wondering what the rest of you think would sound better: Lord Garblenarf, Baron Garblenarf, or Viscount Garblenarf? I wonder if I can talk him into letting me be Baron Lord Garblenarf - I think such a large title would be appropriate given my many past accomplishments."
"Any thoughts on which you think would be most appropriate for a gnome of my stature?"
Con is the one stat that nobody who knows what they're doing ever dumps, just because everybody needs HP. Whenever I'm at a public PFS session and see a newbie making a character with a Con score below 10, or even right at 10, I warn them that they'll probably want to bump it up to at least 12, to aid in survivability.
I recently ran into someone who made fun of me for having a non-front line cleric with a Con of "only" 12, and claimed he would never make a PC of any type with a Con score that low.
His rude behavior aside, that got me thinking. What would the rest of you consider the minimum "reasonable" Con score? Does it depend on the class and role? Would you take Toughness and settle for a lower Con score?
Title says it all. What do you consider the main roles that you think should be filled in any Pathfinder party?
I play almost entirely Pathfinder Society, and I have a wide variety of characters, most of them low level. So I frequently sit down at low level tables and ask what everyone else is playing, then decide which character I'll play based on what roles need to be covered. I pretty much always start by asking "Do we have a healer, and do we have enough front liners?"
It just seems to me that having at least one person capable of at least using a wand of cure light wounds is necessary. That, and you need at least one or two meat shields up front to keep the bad guys off the archers and casters. There's a large variety of meat shield types, whether they're armored tanks who focus on AC or heavy hitters who focus on damage output. But having someone up front for the bad guys to trade melee blows with instead of the squishies is essential.
But how often do you wish you had an archer in the group when that role isn't filled? It's a possible role, and they can be handy to have around for the sake of high damage output, but it's not something you really miss when it's not there. After all, the barbarian on the front line might be your heavy hitter for damage output instead, and then you don't need the damage from an archer as badly.
I can maybe see needing an arcane caster. I played a level 8-9 adventure in PFS recently, and we didn't have an arcane caster, despite having 7 players. My level 6 cleric was the only full caster at the table. And there were times when we wished we had more variety of spells, instead of having three rangers and two rogues. But at lower levels, having full casters isn't quite as important, as long as you have someone with detect magic.
And party face is probably important for any adventure that's not a pure dungeon crawl. It's not something I ask about when planning what to play, but we usually have at least some coverage in that area at every PFS table. Although that might also be because a lot of my characters have high charisma (2 clerics, 2 sorcerers, a bard, an oracle, all with at least 14 cha), so I frequently bring that to the table myself without thinking about it.
What do the rest of you think?
I'm making a Lore Warden character with lots of skill ranks. He's going to be a knowledge nerd. Since craft is a class skill, and I have good int, I figured I'd toss a rank in there just for a day job. I also want to keep linguistics maxed out for lots of languages.
So as long as I'm training a craft skill, which ones come up a lot in PFS scenarios? I know I've seen craft (alchemy) before, but are there others that might be handy to know in scenarios?
Same with languages - which ones would be the most useful? And for that matter, most consistent with the personality of an Osirion tomb raider type of guy? Besides Osirioni, I'm thinking ancient, dead languages are appropriate here, but I also want them to be stuff that come up in PFS scenarios.
For knowledges, I know to stick mostly to the stuff used to id monsters, though history and dungeoneering fit the Osirion tomb raider personality, so I'm going with those before any others.
I have some questions about the Whirlwind Attack feat:
So picture a fighter with Whirlwind Attack wielding a pole arm in both hands. He's also wearing a spiked gauntlet. At the start of his turn, he declares that he's whirlwinding with the guisarme, and attacks everyone who is exactly 10 feet away from him. Then, as a free action, he drops the guisarme with his gauntlet hand, but maintains his grip with the other hand. Can he then continue his whirlwind attack with the gauntlet against everyone exactly 5 feet away from him?
Next question, same fighter with a guisarme and whirlwind attack. Let's say he has Improved Trip and Greater Trip. From the way I'm reading it, he should be able to make a trip attack against everyone exactly 10 feet from him with the guisarme, then take an attack of opportunity for damage against everyone he successfully trips, assuming he has Combat Reflexes and a decent dexterity score. Is that correct? A trip is a type of melee attack, so it would seem to qualify for Whirlwind Attack, and I don't see anything that would prevent Greater Trip from getting its normal advantage when you do this, but I just wanted to double check to make sure.
Edit: I knew there was another question I wanted to ask about this.
I know you can take a 5 foot step between normal attacks from high BAB, but can you take a 5 foot step in the middle of Whirlwind Attacking?
I'm making a human archer paladin of Iomedae in the Silver Crusade for Pathfinder Society. Those details are non-negotiable. Now I'm trying to figure out the rest of the build.
I looked at the Divine Hunter archetype, which gives Precise Shot as a bonus feat at level 1, but it gives up too much good stuff, and doesn't get much good stuff other than Precise Shot, so I don't think it's really worth it.
The archetype I am seriously considering is Oathbound, with an Oath of Vengeance. Giving up channeling for extra smites seems like a worthwhile trade off, and goes well with the character's personality of caring more about smiting evil than the protecting and healing sides of being a paladin.
Being an archer, much of the feat selection is pre-decided:
You'd think Many Shot and Clustered Shot would be obvious choices for those level 7 and 9 feats, but they might not be. The purpose of Clustered Shot is to overcome DR, and I'll usually be smiting anything with enough DR to worry about, so I'll already ignore DR, making that a waste of a feat. There's also Snap Shot, but it requires Weapon Focus as a prerequisite, and paladins just don't get enough feats to bother with all that. As for Many Shot, that has a 17 Dex minimum, which brings up my next dilemma - what to do about attributes.
Which should I consider my primary stat: dexterity or charisma? When it comes to hitting with my bow, dexterity wins, because it applies to everything, not just when I'm smiting. When it comes to AC, charisma wins, because my dex will already be as high as my armor will allow, but the smite bonus to AC goes on top of that. Dexterity has the added bonus of helping initiative. Charisma increases all of a paladin's saving throws starting at level 2, which is huge, and charisma controls uses per day of Lay on Hands, which is also huge, especially if I go Oath of Vengeance and give up uses of Lay on Hands for more Smites per day. So I'm leaning towards charisma being more important than dexterity.
So here's my first thought for a stat array, though I keep moving numbers around:
Str: 14 (5)
But that brings me back to the 17 dex requirement for Many Shot. If I only start with a 14 dex, that means I won't qualify for the feat until I can afford a +4 dex belt. So then I looked at what it would take to have a 15 dex just so a +2 belt would get me to Many Shot:
Str: 14 (5)
Or I could balance them better, and start with 16 or 17 in both dex and cha. I just like the odd starting charisma, because that lets me increase my bonus as soon as I hit level 4 and pump another point in it.
I like the 14 str for damage, and the occasional times that I'll have to wade into melee, but I guess I could lower that to 12 to be able to afford the 15 dex while keeping the 19 cha. I don't want to dump int, because paladins already get only 2 skill ranks, but I'm ok with dumping wisdom. Having her be average intelligence but naive works for me. Not being a front liner and having d10 HP, I'm ok with my con only being in the 10-12 range, though a 12 would be nice to have there.
So I need to decide my stats, and come up with what feats I'll want at levels 7 and 9. Extra Lay on Hands seems like a decent choice for any paladin. I was also looking at the human Defiant Luck feat, which will let me re-roll a natural 1 on a saving throw once per day. Since paladins get such great saves, a natural 1 might be my biggest weakness, and that feat could help with that.
There's also Protector's Strike from Faiths of Purity, which lets me give my Smite Evil AC bonus to someone else instead of myself. If it said "can" or "may" in the feat description, I'd think that's awesome for an archer paladin, since you can boost the AC of your front line allies. But the wording makes it seem non-optional, which means if I take that feat, I'll never get the AC bonus for myself again, because I always have to give it to someone else. I may wait until I actually hit level 7 and re-evaluate how often I rely on that AC bonus for myself to decide if I want that feat.
As for stuff besides archetypes, attributes, and feats, I'm pretty sure I want the "Scholar of the Great Beyond" trait, to get Knowledge (Planes) as a class skill. You'd think that would already be a class skill, since paladins need to recognize their best smite targets, but it isn't.
I was also looking at the Bully or Extremely Fashionable traits to get Intimidate as a class skill. There's also the old standby of Reactionary to get +2 initiative, or the Silver Crusade's Sure Thing trait to get a +2 to hit against an evil target once per day.
I'm building a paladin of Iomedae for Pathfinder Society, and I have two very important questions.
First, I know that her favored weapon is a longsword. Looking in Faiths of Purity, her paladin code even talks about swords specifically. So do all paladins of Iomedae have to use a longsword as their primary weapon? I was thinking of doing an archer paladin, partially because I've been wanting to do an archery focused PC for a while, partially because the optimization guides say it's a good way to go for a paladin, and partially for RP reasons related to the character's back story. I'll definitely carry a longsword for melee situations, but the composite longbow will be my primary weapon, backed up by a bunch of archery feats. Would this be ok, or would Iomedae frown on one of her paladins not volunteering to be the party's front liner with a longsword every time?
Second, and just as importantly, how do you pronounce Iomedae's name?
Now that I'm (mostly) settled into my new home and starting to play regularly again, I think I want to try making a new PC for Pathfinder Society.
I've had some ideas of character types I'd like to try rolling around in the back of my head for a while. Three of them are the Lore Warden fighter archetype, some sort of reach weapon specialist, and some sort of combat maneuver specialist. The recent thread about building an intelligent fighter based on Roy Greenhilt from Order of the Stick (my avatar!) got me thinking of this, and now I think I'd like to try combining those three ideas into a single PFS character.
So what I'm thinking of is a Lore Warden with a guisarme who specializes in tripping, unless someone has suggestions for a better weapon and/or combat maneuver to specialize in. And being a Lore Warden, I want him to be something of a skill/knowledge monkey out of combat, even if it means sacrificing a little bit of combat ability. I don't want to make him useless in a fight, but I'm not going to dump stats that I'll need for skills just to get pure combat optimization.
Here's what I'm thinking of for stats:
Str 17 (7) (+2 racial)
Obviously, strength would be the stat to boost at levels 4, 8, and 12. Int is for skills, dex for Combat Reflexes and AC, since Lore Wardens only get light armor and I'll be on the front line, and Con for survival. Toughness right from level 1 is looking tempting.
I was originally thinking of avoiding dump stats with this guy, thus the stat array above. But I've been having trouble deciding what type of personality to give him, and I don't think I'll have enough skill ranks to make him that good at charisma skills while still focusing on the knowledge stuff that Lore Wardens are supposed to be good at. So now I'm thinking of just dumping charisma and giving him an arrogant know-it-all personality. Lowering charisma to 7 would give me 4 more points to spread around, probably starting with boosting Con to 14.
I'm just assuming human is the way to go here. Since I want to be good at skills, the extra skill rank every level will be good. I'd also consider Focused Study to get Skill Focus at levels 1 and 8 instead of the 1st level human bonus feat, though I'm not sure about that one. And then there's Fast Learner, Improvisation, and Improved Improvisation for even more skill bonuses, along with some extra favored class bonuses to get more HP and skill ranks, though again, I'm not sure if I want to go with those. Given that I want to be a skill jock and fighters get tons of feats, that might work out well, though.
Thinking about factions, I decided to go Osirion, since I don't have an Osirion PC yet, and I think a Lore Warden would fit their theme perfectly. Then I looked at their faction traits and remembered that they get one of the best traits in the game - Tomb Raider, which gives +1 on Perception and Dungeoneering, and lets me get Perception as a class skill. I haven't looked into what my second trait will be yet.
For feats, as I said, Toughness looks good given my relatively low AC for a front liner, and not that great Con. Combat Reflexes is a must to get early. Lore Wardens get Combat Expertise for free at level 2, and that's the prerequisite for Improved Trip, so that will be my level 2 fighter bonus feat, followed by Greater Trip at level 6.
Other than that, I'm looking at those human feats I mentioned earlier, along with the obvious Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, Iron Will, Dodge, and Mobility. And yes, I realize I've only listed feats from the Core Rulebook and Advanced Race Guide. I haven't really gone through all the feats in the Core Rulebook, let alone the other books, looking for stuff that might fit this guy. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Any thoughts, comments, suggestions would be appreciated.
So my first PFS character just "retired", completing the retirement adventures at level 12, and reaching level 13. But with the new modules you can play at levels 13+, this might not be the end for this character. I had plans for feats and rage powers I wanted to take along the way, which I pretty much got, so now I'm not sure what additional stuff to pick up now that he's level 13.
He's an Invulnerable Rager Barbarian, and here's his feats:
1. Power Attack
The only feat I'd be tempted to take for him now is Improved Iron Will. Other than that, I think it's mostly going to be more rage powers and Extra Rage Power on odd levels for even more of them.
I was looking at Fearless Rage for the immunity to fear conditions, and Moment of Clarity so that I can drink a potion or receive a magic heal from a friend in battle without having to make a save against it because of the Superstitious power. Any other thoughts on good rage powers or feats for a barbarian at this level?
I'm not sure if this is a spoiler or not. That's actually the question.
My group just "retired" our level 12 characters by playing through the "Eyes of the Ten" retirement arc. Is the big boon that you can earn at the end a secret? Should we hide that boon from people who haven't played the "Eyes of the Ten" arc and don't know about it yet?
And if it is a secret, then how do you deal with ...
... applying the protege bonus on your next new character? What if a GM wants to audit the new character?
The chronicle for "Eyes of the Ten, part 4" says to put it with the new character that the bonus gets applied to, which would seem to imply that it's not a secret. But now that there's 13th+ level play in PFS, that could screw up the chronicles for the PC who made it that far. It might help to have the protege boon on its own chronicle, so you can keep the original chronicle with the original character.
From the prd for the Advanced Players Guide:
1. What does the bodyguard have to roll for this? Normally, you have to make an attack roll against AC 10 to aid another to hit an enemy. Would that be the same to bodyguard an ally and boost their AC?
2. Also, I'm assuming that this can be used multiple times in the same round with the same ally and enemy, since it's an AoO. ie Bad guy attacks ally 3 times, and bodyguard with high dex and Combat Reflexes gets 3 AoO "aid another" attacks to boost the ally's AC - one for each enemy attack. Is this correct?
3. From the wording, it seems that I don't need to be adjacent to the attacker, just the person I'm bodyguarding. For that matter, it doesn't even specify melee attacks, so this could even be used against ranged attacks. Is that a correct interpretation?
I have a session on my list that's logged against the correct character number and faction, but for some reason, it shows the wrong character name when I look at the session list on the web site. It's event 14089, session 4. I was the GM, and I gave credit to my 8th character (Norowareta Nagagorjo) in the Lantern Lodge, but the name when I display my sessions on the web site shows Azdadellia, which is my 6th character.
The "Come and Get Me" rage power says:
Come and Get Me (Ex): While raging, as a free action the barbarian may leave herself open to attack while preparing devastating counterattacks. Enemies gain a +4 bonus on attack and damage rolls against the barbarian until the beginning of her next turn, but every attack against the barbarian provokes an attack of opportunity from her, which is resolved prior to resolving each enemy attack. A barbarian must be at least 12th level to select this rage power.
The question came up last session as to whether this means that the barbarian can get attacks of opportunity against enemy attacks of opportunity. That just seems weird. What if two barbarians who both had this were fighting each other? Would they both just go back and forth until they ran out of AoOs for the round and then continue the combat as normal?
Also, are there any other errata or anything I should know about? The quote above is copied and pasted directly from the PRD, and I think it exactly matches my hard copy of the APG, but I'm new to 12th level, so I just want to be sure I know what I'm doing.
Subject says it all. If I'm making an oracle character, does he need to be a worshiper of a particular deity?
My PC sees his magic as a curse (he wanted to be a warrior as a kid, not a spellcaster), and is angry at the fates for cursing him to speak the devil's tongue (Infernal) during combat. He's realizing that the magic can be useful and grudgingly embracing the spells that he gains from his curse, but he doesn't know or care what deity is granting him this power.
When I look at the list of characters under https://secure.paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/myAccount, the list doesn't seem to be in any particular order. I know most people don't have enough characters for it to matter, but it would make sense to put them either in alphabetical or numeric order, instead of just random as it is now. In fact, the order just changed for mine when I modified one of my characters, which struck me as weird, too.
So I got a race boon at Dice Tower Con that lets me play a nagaji character in Pathfinder Society. I had been curious to look into the oracle class somewhere along the way, and the nagaji stat bonuses seem to go well with it, so I've decided to do a nagaji oracle, focusing on melee combat. I don't know much about oracles, though, so I have some questions and need some suggestions.
I'm looking at either the Battle or Metal mysteries, since they both have the Skill at Arms revelation that gives proficiency with martial weapons and heavy armor, along with other stuff that's good for a front line fighter. I'm thinking of going heavy armor tank with this guy - full plate, buckler (leaving the hand free for casting), racial +1 natural armor, and whatever other magic AC items I can eventually afford. I may even go for Dodge and Mobility, if I can spare the feats.
But I also know I need to balance that against damage dealing. Battle Oracle gets Enlarge Person at level 2, while Metal gets Lead Blades, also at level 2. Cast either of these in the first round of combat, and my medium one handed longsword will do 2d6 damage for the rest of the fight. Throw in a high strength and Power Attack, and maybe I can get by on just a one handed weapon, instead of two handed or two weapon fighting. I won't be the biggest damage dealer in most groups, but that's not the point of playing an oracle. I'll be able to tank, heal, and cast other types of spells occasionally, while still dishing enough damage here and there to be useful on the front line.
Here's what I'm thinking for stats, definitely subject to change:
I went with strength over charisma because I'll be fighting on the front line without full BAB, so I'll need every + I can get. That's also why I want at least a 14 Con - only having d8 HP per level can be painful for a front liner, though I'm hoping my high AC will avoid enough damage to make it ok. I'll still probably put my favored class bonus into HP almost every level, which is why I wanted to boost the low int for skill ranks. Or I might take Toughness, in which case I can probably spare the favored class bonus, at least some of the time.
With heavy armor, I figure dex isn't worth bothering with. Wisdom seems to be the common dump stat for oracles, and I can see why, since will is already their best save. I'll have racial and trait bonuses to perception (which also makes it a class skill), so I'm not overly worried about that.
Depending on what spells I end up looking at, I may even lower the charisma to 14 or 15, since it only matters for spells that get a saving throw. If I'm only buffing and healing with my spells, then I can get away with lower cha.
I'm definitely doing the Tongues curse, and I've already decided that it'll be a major part of the character's back story. I just have to decide if his language for it will be infernal or abyssal. I definitely want it to be an "evil" language, since his back story involves being banished from his village as a child, because the elders caught him speaking an evil language that he was never taught and decided he was possessed and dangerous. I was originally going to put this guy in the Lantern Lodge, since he's Tian (originally from Nagajor), but if I go with infernal as his curse language, it could lead him to Cheliax. I don't have characters in either of those factions yet, so I could go either way with that one.
The real decisions I need to figure out for this guy are mysteries, revelations, feats, and spells.
As I said, I'm looking at Battle or Metal mysteries, almost definitely with Skill at Arms as my level 1 revelation either way.
I'm leaning towards Metal, just because I like all the weapon buff spells that go with it, which aren't normally on the cleric/oracle spell list. Dance of Blades looks pretty nice, too. Iron skin is another good one, but can't be taken until level 11.
I'm a little confused on the wording of the Steel Scarf revelation. I know you can turn a cloth object into a metal weapon as a swift action, but is the attack with it also part of the same swift action? Or do you still need a standard action to attack with the object? If the attack is part of the swift action, then it's just a bonus attack, which is great. Otherwise, not so great.
If I go Battle mystery instead, there's still Skill at Arms at first level and Iron Skin at 11th. Good options in between include Maneuver Mastery, Battlefield Clarity, Combat Healer, Weapon Mastery, and Surprising Charge.
Now that I'm looking at it, I think there are more revelations I like in Battle, but more spells I like in Metal. Anyone have any thoughts either way? Or other mysteries I should consider, bearing in mind that I'd like to get heavy armor to tank?
The next question is spells. What spells are good for this type of oracle? I want this guy to mix it up on the front line, not cast spells at the enemy from a distance. So I think I'm leaning towards buffs and healing above all else, with maybe a couple of other spells along the way. I'm still not that comfortable with the cleric/oracle spell list, though, so I'm very much open to suggestions. But I do know that Shield of Faith is stupidly obvious for an armored tank character. :p
And that brings us to feats. Combat Casting is obviously a must, since I'll frequently be casting on the front line. I'll also have the Focused Mind trait to help with that. I'm considering Toughness, though 14 Con and putting my favored class bonus into HP all the time might be enough, especially if I'm an armored tank. Power Attack is another must have, but probably skippable at first, since hitting is harder at low level, and increasing your damage amount isn't quite as important. So PA can wait for level 5 or so.
Depending on the types of spells I'm casting, I don't know if I'll need any feats related to magic. With mostly buffs and healing, stuff like Spell Focus and Spell Penetration seem unnecessary, and the only metamagic that seems obvious for this character would be Reach, to heal allies from further away.
Other than that, I'm thinking maybe Uncanny Concentration if Combat Casting and Focused Mind aren't enough, Cleave just for kicks, Dodge and Mobility for tanking, or maybe even Blind Fight since darkness and invisibility come up fairly often in PFS. With the Battle mystery, the Extra Revelation feat might be worthwhile, too, since there are a few good ones in there.
Anyone have any suggestions, especially for spells and feats?
"Greetings, fellow Qadirans", says a halfling dressed in typical Qadiran desert clothing, with two scimitars on his belt. "I am Qassir, dervish swordsman of the Qadiran desert." He draws one of his swords and bows with a flourish of the sword in front of him.
"I know that most honorable swordsmen of our native desert are human, but as a loyal citizen of Qadira and servant of the Satrap, I aim to make a name for myself as a loyal warrior, despite my small stature. I have recently completed my first two missions for the Pathfinder Society, in the name of the Satrap, so you haven't read my name in the Pathfinder Chronicles yet. But I promise, my time will come."