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Is this for PFS or a home game?
If its for a home game, I wrote a 3PP product called the Kitsune Compendium that might be able to help you out.
In it, there's a racial trait that makes taking the Magical Tail feat a little bit easier, plus three dedicated archetypes designed to help you gain your nine tails more efficiently. They are the jiuweihu (shaman), the nine-tailed mystic for kitsune oracles and sorcerers, and the kyuubi visionary for monks.
My answer is "No." You're already taking a rather serious stat penalty for being young, why do you need to be restricted to NPC classes?
That's even before mentioning that ALL of the characters mentioned in the Young Characters chapter's heading most certainly have levels in PC levels. Harry Potter is an arcanist, not an adept. Arya Stark is a rogue, not an expert. Aang is a Qinggong Monk, not a warrior/adept multiclass thing.
Why does a FANTASY game have to adhere to what children can do in the real world? It most certainly doesn't adhere to what adults can do in the real world.
It seemed a bit off to me that I've had my own publishing venue for almost four months and to date, I haven't done ANYTHING Pact Magic related. So, what the heck? Here's roughly two dozen new binder secrets for you!
This product requires Pact Magic Unbound, Vol 1 & 2. In addition to adding new general secrets, it also adds new alteration secrets as well as a new category of binder secret: aspect secrets! Now if you're an occultist who doesn't like his constellation's aspect, you can trade it away for a new ability with a nifty aspect secret!
Now that I've opened Pandora's box on doing additional supplemental support for Pact Magic stuff, I'm all ears about what else fans of Pact Magic Unbound want to see next. I can't do anything involving PMU Product Identity (for example, the atlan race), but if you ask, I'll try to deliver!
There are a bunch of reasons that I like Paizo. I like how they've embraced the OGL and made it extremely accessible to new talent. I wouldn't have become a writer if they had made it extraordinary restrictive, and over the past two years being a writer has become a core part of my personal identity. I love the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and I love how the company communicates with its fans. (My favorite thread so far is the 'You may be a Paizo veteran if ...." threat even though I'm too green to remember ANY of those things.)
But the real reason I like Paizo is a bit more personal. For the past few years, I want to say past two years or so, I have had a secret. There is someone in the Paizo Warehouse who notices me. I don't know how this person does it, but virtually every time I order something from Paizo (which is quite frequently, as I'm now a Player Companion subscriber and a Core Rulebook subscriber), this person leaves me a small note on my order invoice. Its never anything big: it is usually a large smiley face across my address with a short one or two word greeting off to the side somewhere. Something small like "Hi!" or "Hai there!" Its the equivalent of a Facebook poke on my invoice and I absolutely love getting them.
It isn't a huge effort on Paizo's part (they're not taking development time from Occult Adventures to write silly messages to me) and its clearly not a corporate policy; My parents have ordered stuff from Paizo before (usually for my birthday or because they want a copy of one of my print products or whatever) and they haven't gotten the little messages. This is just one person in the warehouse who recognizes me from the messageboards or has handled a product with my name on it or something that is doing something nice. And that's why I love Paizo. From the top of the totem pole with Lisa and Vic all the way down to the very bottom with its interns, I truly believe that Paizo is made up of some of the nicest people that you'll ever find. People who are willing to give up their own time to come on the forums and answer questions or goof around with fans. People who are willing to take an extra second out of their day's work to write a silly little message on some random bloke's invoice form that they might never meet.
To this mystery person, if I was able to send you back little invoice "Hi's," I totally would. Thank you very much for taking the time to validate my existence as a customer and a person.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Personally, it depends on what I'm looking to build and what level I was planning on starting at. If I'm going out of my way to build a character with options that I'm already somewhat familiar with, I could have a 1st-level build mentally figured out in 10 minutes, with maybe another 20 or 30 to actually write it down on paper.
If I'm working with options I'm not familiar with or specifically trying to build something new or weird, then it would easily take me two or three hours to get stuff together.
But then again, I like building characters and because of the Guidance blog, I regularly build the outline for one new 20-level build a week. The more you work with the rules, the faster you get.
We've only had one Kitsune player (Runelords campaign) and we ran her as if she didn't know what she was, orphaned or abandoned from birth and had learned to hide her heritage lest she fall victim to abuse in the slums where she grew up (Realistic Likeness was her first feat). She never met another of her kind in the entire campaign.
My first kitsune was like that too. He was adopted by elves and was raised like a weird cross between an adopted son, a trophy (look at this rare and exotic kid I have!), and a conversation starter for social gatherings and the like.
He left home at Level 3 and adventured until Level 6 before meeting his first "fellow" kitsune. My GM wrote them into his world as a mostly enslaved race, so my character decided to set out and build a kingdom where his people could be free. He's had to deal with pirates, raiders, and slavers, all without incurring the wrath of the organizations those people belong to. I've learned that it is VERY hard to be both a hero and a protector simultaneously as a result of this campaign.
I talk a little bit about this in my Kitsune Compendium product (on my phone at work, so no link :-[ ). One of the ideas I toss around I the concept of a kitsune "coming of age" day where young adult kitsune spend the entire day in their true forms. Otherwise, they stay in their true forms most of the time.
This idea is backed by their psychology. Kitsune are shape shifting tricksters who prize loyalty and live in a world where they are often confused for Yokai / Lycanthropes. As a result, kitsune are not likely to hang around in their true forms unless they are with peoe that they know and trust. Otherwise, it would make sense for them to keep to the down-low even in a place they were well accepted.
I'm sure my opinion doesn't matter too much, but I personally think that Slashing Grace as a mechanic is sound. (I've had a homebrew feat that was basically Dex to Damage with one specific type of weapon with Weapon Focus and Weapon Finesse as a prereq for a long time now.) Rather, the implementation is a touch sloppy. ISlashing Grace has set a precedent that Paizo needs a unique feat to allow Dex to Damage with most of the weapons in the game, and the fact that the upcoming Fencing Grace feat allows Dex to Damage with one standard swashbuckler weapon (the rapier) but not all of them (every other light or one-handed piercing weapon) doesn't feel right either to me. (I am biased because I'm playing the flying blade swashbuckler in Pathfinder Society.)
Regardless, the feat would probably have been stronger if it was worded like this:
Graceful Finesse (Combat):
Blah Blah Blah Flavor Text.
Prerequisites: Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, Dex 13.
Benefit: You may use your Dexterity bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls in place of your Strength with any weapon that you have selected with Weapon Focus. When wielding such a weapon in two hands, your Dexterity modifier is not multiplied by 1.5x times. Additionally, you may treat any light or one-handed weapon that you have selected with Weapon Focus as a one-handed piercing weapon for the purposes of feats and class features that require such weapons (such as a swashbuckler's or duelist's precise strike).
This isn't what happened, though, so we need to accept that Swashing Grace's design isn't perfect. Changing Slashing Grace to something like what I posted isn't an errata, it is a flat-out altercation and even if it was something that Paizo gave us before the next printing of the ACG, it would cause a LOT of confusion with people who don't read the message boards, which comprise a majority of Pathfinder players.
Additionally, the argument of whether Dex to Damage is appropriate for the game's realism or not is a moot one. It is in the game. It will soon be in the game again. That's just how it is.
Finally, my personal opinion is that the argument of "this weapon is wielded in this manner," is also a moot one. Nobody blinks twice when the wizard gets a new spell that pushes the boundaries of what magic can do in the game. Why are we (as a community) in such a mindset of forcing realism on martial characters but not spellcasters? Just because you're not using magic doesn't make you any less of a fantasy character, after all. Most of this argument comes down to, "Dumping Strength doesn't make sense for martial characters," and honestly, that's not a bad point to make. In my opinion, the fighter who dumps Intelligence is just as dubious as the swashbuckler who dumps Strength. But again, my opinion.
Mwangi Inquisitor wrote:
So, how long until he takes the Test of the Starstone?
Right after he collects all six Infinity Stones and places them into the gauntlet. Only then will he have the power to ascend into the Temple of the Starstone and take the Seventh Infinity Gem, Aroden's Star, and become God of Gods.
Hence the suggestion that a theoretical child iconic would be very technically within the lowest ranges of adulthood - something like 15 for humans, or the appropriate other-racial equivalent. Old enough to no longer technically be covered by the Child Character ruling of "only NPC classes" (a ruling I personally ignore anyway) but much younger than any of the revealed iconics that already exist, and still within the cultural bracket we currently consider childhood.
Not gonna lie, it would be nice if we had an Iconic that ignored that rule anyway. I've never liked it or enforced it. Seemed silly to cite Harry Potter (an arcanist), Arya Stark (a rogue), and Aang (a qinggong monk) in one paragraph and then say, "NPC classes only!" in the next.
Part of playing a PC is breaking the normal limitations of reality. So why shouldn't young characters get to do that too?
To play devil's advocate, maybe images like some of the more graphic ones in that thread shouldn't be portrayed in Pathfinder's art at all? Is art like that needed to sell the game? The answer is clearly, "No." because such pieces are, as you said, typically limited to the Monsters Revisited and Monsters Unleashed line.
While I think our culture is definitely too squeamish when it comes to romance (and everything it entails), I also think we rely too much on violence to sell things. Maybe a young iconic could be a good internal reason to dial back on extreme violence and dial forward on more pieces of feel-good artwork. I mean, when was the last time we've seen any of the iconics embracing anyone? Or kissing? Such things may be minor displays of affection, but aren't those emotions just as important to the human experience? Shouldn't we include them if we're going to have successful, well-rounded characters?
The Pathfinder Comic certainly seems to think so.
Mark Seifter wrote:
However, I don't think anyone has promised a totally new system (I may have missed someone other than me promising this, in which case, neat, and please link!), just the same system with a scrappy new advocate working to raise our rate of FAQage.
"Lemme at'em! Lemme at'em!"
"Da-da-da-da-da! Seifter ... power!"
I asked James Jacobs what he thought of a husky iconic and a young iconic back in his thread. His response seemed pro-husky but unsure of a young iconic. American society doesn't take well to children in danger. So here's a thought:
The husky iconic is female. Our culture has a bit of a stigma against larger people and forces preconceived notions of body size on its citizens, but this is more evident for women then it is for men. Show that Golarion is a place where truly anyone can be a hero by having a middle-aged, husky woman as an iconic.
For kicks, let's REALLY confuse people by making the young iconic someone who isn't human. For example, the dwarf "Youth" age category starts at 20 years of age. Make the iconic Youth a dwarf because by our standards, he'd be an adult. Better still, make the iconic youth male so we can get a picture of a male dwarf without a fully-grown beard as an iconic.
Plus interactions between the young iconic and Harsk could be potentially hilarious. Especially if the youth was a Pahmat deserter.
Aw, don't say that! The nashi have been in my home game for about two years now. D:
If the Kitsune Compendium has been a labor of love for me because of its flavor, Age of Electrotech has been a labor of love for me because of its mechanics. I slaved and stretched my brain into non-euclidean shapes creating the technician class, especially its weird, new "casting" system.
Essentially, the technician is a non-magical class that combines alchemist extracts and incarnum together using a power points system (called battery points) to regulate usage. You get an allotment of battery points and need to choose whether you use that energy to empower your jet back for a few uses, build a wand-like device that fires a blast of combustive fire at foes, or build some other fantastic invention.
I talk a LOT about what, exactly, you'll find in this book mechanics-wide here, in our product announcement thread.
I'm often asked how this book compares to the Technology Guide. Simply put, it doesn't. They're compatible with each other because they're very different eras of technology. The Technology Guide assumes that its wears are rare, exotic, and futuristic. That they're from beyond the stars, crashed onto this world by interplanetary travelers. Age of Electrotech assumes that your technology level is squarely placed in the mid-to-late Industrial Revolution and it is set against a Roaring 20s backdrop. You won't find cameras in Age of Electrotech, like you would in the Technology Guide: you'll instead see stats for daguerreotypes.
And yes. We made a Rocket Raccoon race for our technology book. Because we love you almost as much as we knew we'd love Guardians of the Galaxy.
Age of Electrotech: Introduction wrote:
Radiance House is happy to announce Age of Electrotech, a new 98-page supplement for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game! Far more than a simple book with new classes, archetypes, and equipment, Age of Electrotech is about innovation, both in game mechanics and in the campaign setting. The Age of Electrotech is a golden age of new possibilities and new ideas. Set amidst a background of roaring engines and crackling batteries, the Age of Electrotech details a pulp fiction fantasy set between the Industrial Revolution and the Roaring 20s. New technology utilizing the mundane forces of nature has slowly begun to emerge in the world, and its heralds, the electrotechnicians, claimed that it would bury the esoteric arts of magic into the annals of history while ushering in a glorious, new age where anyone could obtain fantastic powers simply by sliding on a cheetah gadget or waving a scorching ray tinker.
Sadly, reality got in the way. Although most homes possess cookers and many people drive electric carriages around their city homes, these devices are simply too expensive to produce in order to truly replace the arcane arts. One could train a dozen wizards and teach them all to cast acid arrow with the amount of gold it would cost to equip one soldier with a state-of-the-art nucleonic rifle. Electrotechnology has been mostly confined to the great urban areas of the world, moaning again city walls, beginning for release into the wild world.
Now, it is up to you to unleash the wonders of electrotech into the world! Featuring:
— The technician includes a special subsystem called trades. There are roughly nine trades for technicians to specialize in and master, and each trade grants the technician a unique set of abilities to choose from. Become a craftsman technician and put your building tools to the test or act as a soldier technician, specializing in tinkers of war. From motorist to symbionts to traps, there's a trade for just about everyone!
— Choose from a slew of new archetypes, such as the self-enhancing cyborg, the tricky holomaster, the spirit-dealing esotechician (requires Pact Magic Unbound, Vol 1), or the mutable transmoglomaniac.
— New feats, vehicles, equipment, and items to truly immerse yourself in the Age of Electrotech! This also includes a category of artifact-like machines called Wonders of Madness. You'll need a small army of technicians in order to meet those crafting DCs of 100 or more!
— Two all-new races. Grab your gun and your nearest treant buddy as you play as an inquisitive nashi. These raccoon-like humans are natural aces with electrotechnology and pride themselves on their intellectual pursuits. Or if you're not above a bit of genetic flagellation, give the humans-gone-mutants known as the mutamorphs a go! Using the most illegal of black market symbionts, these former humans have augmented themselves with bestial traits using illegal experimentation on strands of lycanthropy. Whether you're a shark mutamorph, a crocodile mutamorph, or even a wolf mutamorph, hushed whispers and baleful stares are sure to follow your way everywhere you turn!
— Downtime rules including a technician background generator, new rooms and buildings, new kingdom building structures, and even an expanded skill system for use with electrotechnology await you!
All this, and so much more will help you begin your journey into the wondrous world of the Age of Electrotech! Available here at Paizo.com!
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Honestly, defending people when they are most certainly capable of defending themselves calls into question whether the intent of those "defending" isn't really just playing a game of teacher's pet.
"You disagree with my practices, so therefore you must be a suck up" is your best retort?
My "motivation" for defending Paizo is quite simple: I liked when James Jacobs felt like he could be forthright with answering rules questions, but that was ruined. I liked when Jason freely posted on the boards and chatted about game design. Now I can only ever hear his discussions alongside dozens of others at convention seminars.
You can say that the line between being bluntly honest and rude is fine if you'd like, but both responses have the same effect: pivotal community members disengage from the community. If you want to continue to drive people away, by all means do so.
It would have been a perfectly correct thing to say. But the swashbuckler preview mention dex to damage. Where do we stop giving them excuse and just admit that something went wrong in the whole make a new book process? If it was only that, but there's a huge list of errors and balancing problem that just hint that there was poor editing and poor vision on this project.
I can't speak for the design team, but I can tell you this. Good designers hear and react upon criticism, such as this:
"It doesn't same appropriate that the swashbuckler can use her Dexterity modifier on damage rolls with weapons that she can't normally finesse, but she can't use her Dexterity modifier on damage rolls with weapons that she can normally finesse."
But when even the best designers receive insults like this:
"Where do we stop giving them excuses and just admit something went wrong in the whole 'make a book process'?"
"There's a huge list of errors and balancing problems that just hint that there was poor editing and poor vision on this project."
Then two things occur. First, the designers don't feel the need to respond to your criticism because they rightfully assume that they're wasting their breath on such irrationally negative people and that their time is better spent working on new projects. Second, the designers become less willing to share their ideas and thoughts and previews with the public, because they determine that giving the public anything to mentally digest will set their expectations off in ways they can't predict, and therefore will generate a backlash of broken promises and expectations from the people that they wanted to excite with the product that they've been slaving over for anywhere from three to six months.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Then we have Modern benders like Mako who have less flowing styles and more "boxing" styles focused on quantity, swiftness, and mobility. I don't know if you already have some inspiration from this aspect, but talents or style feats to represent the difference might be cool
Depends on the style. All mystics are designed so that you can use your element while making unarmed strikes. That's more Mako's style. Zuko's style focuses on learning lots of powerful techniques and implementing them.
Another contrast, Bolin's fighting style is generally much quicker than other earth benders because of him being a probender. There are talents that work like this, such as the AoE pellet blast attacks. (Which was inspired by the scene in Season 1 where Bolin bends pebbles at pursuers like a tommy gun.)
The return of combustion bending was very welcome.
I don't think I build that into the Fire Path, but I could be wrong. I always pictured it as more of an archetype than an inherent part of the fire path.
Yes. Those two specifically, but also a water technique that allows the water path mystic to gain a climb speed (you know EXACTLY who I am talking about). Although now I'm also pretty sure that when I do an Avatar archetype (assuming Daron didn't do one in the final product), the Avatar will be able to mix and match between talents and techniques. Korra metalbending is what settled me on that one. I'm also thinking about a metal-focused archetype that allows a character to access the all-important metal technique sooner.
I'm actually playing a kitsune sanctified slayer in a party with an elf slayer in Wrath of the Righteous, and you're right. It is pretty obvious who wins this contest.
I win every out-of-combat challenge. I bluff our way through social encounters, I figure out most of the esoteric lore (especially in regards to which monsters we're fighting), and I come up with most of our party's long-term plans. I sneak into everything with my invisibility spells, I help our oracle heal the party (and sometimes save his life), and I rely messages back and forth from our group to our army. I can do this because I have plenty of class features that buff my skill bonuses, a selection of great spells that is mostly designed around social combat, infiltration, and limited self-buff spells, and an awesome domain that enhances my maneuverability.
But our slayer kills everything. Everything. It just dies. Last combat, our party slayer decimated this poor barbarian warlord for 200 damage in a single round. He got off a few excellent crits and most of his bow attacks hit. It was glorious to behold. He can do this because he's got three feats over me, ignores prerequisites on those three feats, and has a base attack bonus that two or three points higher than mine, so he hits more. The only damage-dealing option I have over him is my bane, and with only 10 rounds per day (Level 7 + Extended Bane), I don't always use bane. Especially since using my studied target requires the same action as bane.
In short, we're both pretty invaluable in our own way.
Let me lead you down a dark and narrow road, a road of shadowy deals and forlorn hopes. A road cobbled with good intentions and paved with the skin of the fallen. Let me lead you down a dark and narrow road, a road from which you shall never return.
I accept this reasoning. I will spare your life. For now.
On the plus side, maybe the void left in your soul by Legend of Korra will help you free yourself from worldly attachments and gain mastery over flight and levitation.
I bought the Technology Guide and Occult Mysteries. I let my brother read the Technology Guide first. Now he's lovesick with James Jacobs' (and Russ Taylor's) sick, twisted, futuristic brains. He's spent the past hour reading exerpts from a book to me. A book that I OWN and haven't been able to read because ... he's busy quoting it.
James, with a half dozen new iconics in the not-so-distant future, any chance you could put a bug in someone's ear for an iconic with a non-hunky/toned body type? I'm a touch overweight myself and it's always bothered me that whenever I brought up the issue of overweight people as adventurers, the answer I almost always get is, "Well, overweight people don't adventure because you need to do a lot of physical activity to be an adventure. An overweight adventurer would either die because he's out of shape or loose the weight fast from the activity." Its a bit of a pet peeve of mine.
Along the same lines, an Iconic who is unquestionably in the Youth age category would be nice too. Pathfinder could use its own Araya Stark and with the Kid's Track seemingly getting bigger every year, a child iconic would be appreciated.
Someone, Chris is staring at this thread intently, trying to decide whether or not she should nuke it with her orbital bombardment lasers because A) it has veered so heavily off-course and B) because half the posts are insulting the inconceivable concept of sexy men (as opposed to rugged, bad-ass men) in roleplaying games.
Anyway, back on topic, I wouldn't mind seeing an overweight or barrel-chested iconic either. I wouldn't want his / her RP fluff to constantly be, "Oh, fatty's out of breath again!" or anything, but it would be nice to get some acknowledgement that adventuring isn't just for thin people and just because you're adventuring doesn't mean that you magically "burn off all the fat" or anything. I've always hated that excuse. And traditionally speaking, in Pathfinder fat people are generally portrayed as people that I'm not supposed to like, such as corrupt villains (like the leader of the Shadow Lodge) or annoyances to the party (like Horgus in Wrath of the Righteous). It would be a breath of fresh air to get an iconic with an atypical body shape.
I also liked the idea of a Middle Aged female iconic. It would be great if she was the iconic Medium, but I could also understand getting a male medium to play with people's expectations, since all of the best-known mediums in real-life and in fiction are stereotypically female.
Finally, since the kid's track has been growing nicely and psychic powers don't necessarily need physical strength, I'd like to see a young iconic. Not necessarily a child, but someone very clearly in the Youth age category. Paizo's been getting better about including children in their adventures and modules, but the inclusion of a true Youth iconic would help cement that inclusion for younger audiences. Plus it would give them a literal poster child for the kids track.
It'll be up. Ryan and Perram working on it. Apparently their new equipment makes better quality recordings, but those recordings have a higher file size which makes them take longer to upload.
Now that the kitsune are legal in Pathfinder Society
Well, look no further! Everyman Gaming, LLC's got you covered with the all-new Kitsune Compendium. 29 gorgeous pages of information about Pathfinder's very own race of natural shapechangers. Here's a taste of some of the goodies you'll find waiting for you in the Kitsune Compendium:
Alex Smith 908 wrote:
You are correct.
But Dudemeister's grammar joke was funnier than your accurate knowledge of business terms.
Martial Master also stacks with Lore Warden, which makes for an amazing combo.
That said, loosing Weapon Training is actually a big deal for the fighter. Each loss is, on average, a 5% less chance to hit with your favored weapon types, plus less damage. For anyone worried about the slayer outdamaging the fighter, taking Martial Master does NOT help. (Especially because it drops the fighter's kickass capstone.)
I think it is interesting that the two posters above me (Zola and Skeld) basically identify both sides of the "Uses per Day" discussion.
On one hand, having limited availability in a given timeframe allows for resource management, which is a part of any game. All games have resources to be managed, because that's whether the fun lies. When you're playing Minecraft, durability and material availability are your resources. When you're playing Fallout 3, your resources are your encumbrance and ammunition. Pathfinder is a game predominately about conflict and combat, so most of the resource management that you see involves that type of play. For example, there are more combat-driven spells in the game than otherwise.
On the other hand, this type of restriction is often applied in places where it may not make mechanical sense. For instance, why can I only challenge 1 creature to duel per day as a cavalier? The flavor (I am focusing my attention on one specific target) doesn't quite match the mechanic (I can only do this a limited number of times each day).
Now, as for whether or not this is a problem with Paizo's game design. I'm going to argue that no, its not. What may be a problem, however, is the lack of flavor that accompanies most of the Core Line classes. But you don't need to look much farther than the ACG Kneejerk thread to see why the Core Rulebook line works very hard to try to keep flavor statements and mechanics statements separated. I'm referring to Pummeling Style, where the big question at the moment is whether or not that style works with all weapons or just unarmed strikes. The problem is the mixing of a flavor statement and a mechanics statement. There isn't really a good product to talk about the in-world justification for some of the mechanics, though.
As a final point, a good game designer knows that once an initial idea is settled upon the mechanics should come before the flavor. Flavor is malleable (especially when that flavor comes from the Core Rulebook line). Mechanics are not.
100% of swashbucklers are going to be humans or half-elves with a bastard sword or a katana.
The wonderful thing about generalizations is that the moment one person speaks up and contradicts a generalization, its wrong!
I'm a kitsune flying blade swashbuckler in PFS. My character is a tappenyaki (Hibachi) chef that uses his knives to kill his food and then prepare it for the party.
So far, I've have the pleasure of cooking:
John Kretzer wrote:
Luckily you can always buy a copy online and send it with your friend to GenCon next year to get it signed. Unless Jason, Logan, Stephen, and Mark's hands are all mysteriously chopped off at the same time. Which would probably be Cosmo's fault.
My favorite combo involves several archetype combinations: Lore Warden (Fighter) and Martial Master (Fighter).
Lore Warden is best known for giving Combat Expertise and a scaling bonus on combat maneuver checks to the player for free. It does not replace Weapon Training or Weapon Mastery, which Martial Master does.
In effect, you can spend all of your fighter bonuses feats on whatever you want and use your "free feats" from Martial Flexibility in order to pick up whatever Combat Maneuver feats you happen to want. This works for nearly all of the combat maneuvers, with the exception of Bull Rush and Grapple. Grapple is a bit harder, since you'll have to take a feat that no one really wants to take (Improved Unarmed Strike) to use it initially but Improved Bull Rush requires Power Attack, which you were probably going to take anyway.
That way, there's no complaining that Improved / Greater Trip aren't always useful. Now you have them whenever you want them. Never more often.
So basically, if I'm reading this right, a semi-automatic weapon can make one extra attack during a full-round action as if you were using Rapid Shot, and if you actually have Rapid Shot it can instead make two extra attacks, abet at a –6 penalty on all attack rolls made during the round.
Sound about right to anyone?