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Verez

Gray's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 707 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Look through the threads in the section for Rise of the Runelords, and a campaign run by a poster "tbug". His group ran goblins through this AP, and I believe he posted extensive notes on how they altered the campaign to fit.


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Cthulhudrew wrote:

Know Direction AP podcast is now up, with some more information.

Thank you for the summary!


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magnuskn wrote:
Gray wrote:

So I just got my copy of the ACG, and I didn't see a discussion on this yet.

Slayer Talents: I see that the Slayer can get some of the Rogue Talents. However, I don't see anything that would allow a Rogue to get Slayer talents. Did I miss something?

Feats: Some of the feat prerequisites seem odd to me. Kick Up, for example, has prerequisites of Dex 12, Acrobatic, Acrobatics 1 rank, Slayer level 1st or swashbuckler level 1st. This is also a combat bonus feat. So if I'm reading this correctly, this is only really available to Slayers and Swashbucklers. Those who wish to pick this as a combat bonus feat, would need to dip a level into one of these two classes. Correct?

Funniest thing about it is that the graphic depicturing the feat shows Seltyiel, who cannot get it.

I saw that too, which also made me think I was missing something. I was hoping one of you was going to write something like "Gray - open your eyes or have another cup of coffee then look on page.."


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Yeah, I'm still reading through it, and while I'm happy with a lot of the content, I'm a little baffled by some of the prereqs on feats. There are some new feats that could be good for the Rogue, but they specifically seem to exclude that class. Silent Kill is an example.


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So I just got my copy of the ACG, and I didn't see a discussion on this yet.

Slayer Talents: I see that the Slayer can get some of the Rogue Talents. However, I don't see anything that would allow a Rogue to get Slayer talents. Did I miss something?

Feats: Some of the feat prerequisites seem odd to me. Kick Up, for example, has prerequisites of Dex 12, Acrobatic, Acrobatics 1 rank, Slayer level 1st or swashbuckler level 1st. This is also a combat bonus feat. So if I'm reading this correctly, this is only really available to Slayers and Swashbucklers. Those who wish to pick this as a combat bonus feat, would need to dip a level into one of these two classes. Correct?


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magnuskn wrote:
has to stop. Either test what you are writing or don't write it.

Is paizo creating a product where faulty design puts someone's life at stake, like a car? Are they putting out a book on a language that has been spoken for hundreds of years such as French?

Or are they trying to be innovative and get some ideas to market like we see with video games, or even beta versions of software? Consumers continue to buy these products with their bugs and the products improve over time.


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Tels wrote:
If it had not been for Mythic, we would not have won that fight.

And the fact that your DM pulled punches with a combination of under challenging minions and not playing the mythic marilith well. That's not really the fault of mythic.


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Tels wrote:
Does that clear anything up?

Yes, and my point as it relates to this thread is I don't think this is a great example of mythic being broken or OP. I'm not trying to be overly critical, but your game was off balance before mythic was applied.


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Let's see. Maybe I'm daft and just missing some big items here. Maybe your just messing with me, but it looks like your balance problems arrive way before mythic was applied. Here's what I see.

1. Your disarm CMD is off the charts for a 12th level PC. I'd never be that generous at that level. (+5 weapon and +14 from stats especially)
2. It appears that the marilith was so mad at you that she decided to not act intelligently. She's a demon at the top of her food chain and she acts like she never tangled with mortals before. First, she brings a bunch of under CR mooks, when she should have better at her beck and call. She dropped multiple Blade Barriers on a monk (we are to believe she's never encountered an enemy with evasion before) when other options were available (grapple, dancing weapons, . . . ) even then, you can't stay in a Blade Barrier and not take damage as you were allowed. With the save, you are allowed to chose what side of the barrier. Did she even use any of her own 1d10 surges (8per day)? Teleport to gain some space from the miraculous disarmer? Heal? So mad that she didn't notice how easily your companions were cutting through the chumps she brought with her?

Sorry, I'm just saying mythic doesn't appear to be the first issue here.


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NobodysHome wrote:

Look upthread a few pages and you'll find helpful lists of the mythic feats and abilities that are considered "broken".

I out-and-out banned Mythic Vital Strike and my fighter's player agreed wholeheartedly.

I think a combination of increasing hitpoints and saves, and surreptitiously reducing the fighter's damage might be enough to keep a higher-CR critter alive.

There are two threads in this AP section all about issues with mythic game balance. It takes a while, but sorting through them was worth my time.

EDIT: The point being, as you get higher and higher my hope is that you don't have to adjust quite so much upward. I'm nowhere near there yet, so I just don't know.

Thanks, again. I've read through this whole thread, and took notes on some items. I may have skipped some posts or series by some posters, but I got the gist. I'll try to avoid some of the feats and abilities, though I'm aware my DM will TPK me if I limit myself too much. We're very good friends though and if something isn't working we'll adjust and be fine.

I know he won't take the time to tweak too many things. His schedule barely permits getting prepped for our game normally. If I can give him a formula for increasing the CRs accordingly, that may be easier for him. It wouldn't be too hard for me to assist on that either, since him telling me the CRs of the next encounters isn't really spoiling too much. At the end of the day we both want a fun game, and that takes both sides.

I've been avoiding your game thread only because it contains too many spoilers. This is the only one I've really dove into.

Thanks again, and good luck with your game.


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NobodysHome wrote:
Gray wrote:

How would it change the dynamic if the PC tiers were treated as class levels and encounters were adjusted accordingly?

Say for example, you have 4 PCs who are Level 17 / Tier 6, so their APL is 20. We now want to treat them as APL 23.

You then have an encounter that was CR 22 consisting of 1 CR 20 and 3 CR 17. We now want to increase that to a CR25. So we’ll double the encounter (CR 20 x 2, CR 17 x 3 and add in a CR 21).

This would increase the enemy’s action economy and the overall challenge to the party.

As a side, I’m playing this sometime in the future. I’ve been avoiding spoilers, but this thread caught my attention. I know the DM pretty well, and I don’t see him adjusting stats. However, increasing or adding in some opponents to match the party may be a simple solution for us. I’m just wondering if this may be going too far.

I'm hoping this is the one you wanted; there's a LOT to sort through around here.

Personally, I still haven't had a TON of trouble; it's just beginning to rear its ugly head on the horizon as I start Book 3.

I think your idea is excellent -- the major issue I'm seeing with Mythic right now is that the fighting classes run about one-shotting things. Adding more enemies helps immensely, and gives other PCs something to do and something to worry about.

It takes more bookkeeping, but I'd also either maximize the enemy hit points and then let spells and anyone lacking Mythic Power Attack do double damage (so those non-fighting-types can feel useful) or cut fighter damage in half.

My party tends to be extremely tactics-oriented, but now that they've learned that the rules of Mythic are, "Buff the fighter and drop him on the bad guy's head" that's what they're doing. Adding enough bad guys that this would be unhealthy for the fighter and the rest of the team would make them re-think their tactics in interesting ways, and I think would definitely lead to more satisfying combats.

In other words, a long-winded way of saying,...

Yes, that was it. Thank you.

In a way, I wish I had access to the books to play around with increasing the CRs on the encounters. I can imagine that the last books would be especially problematic. I may be wrong, but I believe the PCs end up at level 20 with 10 tiers for an APL of 25. If I treat tiers to equal class levels, that is then an APL of 30. It gets harder to add difficulty, if say the bad guy isn’t close to an appropriate CR.


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NobodysHome wrote:

Just upping hit points isn't a reasonable solution because it eliminates the effectiveness of the other party members (blaster caster, fighting/buffing cleric). Do I just tell them, "Sorry, but the fighter does so much damage I'm afraid I have to make you even more ineffective than you already feel."

It's far more complex than just hit points. I liked Eusteryiax because his incorporeality reduced the fighter's damage by half, but didn't affect the blaster's mythic magic missiles. It ended up being a balanced fight where party members did roughly equivalent damage.

That's the kind of solution I'm looking into; more of a, "How do I make sure everyone can contribute?", rather than, "How do I make monsters so tough the fighter can't one-shot 'em, and everyone else should be focusing on battlefield control 'cause they're not going to get in enough damage anyway..."

I agree that increasing HP doesn't sound like a solution. I'd love your thoughts on what I proposed above without giving too many spoilers.

If the challenges are a better match, I think it would work for us, but your opinions thus far have been pretty reasonable and well thought out.

Otherwise, I'm about done following this thread entirely.


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@ Raltus - your points seem good. I just can't comment as I don't have access to the AP. I'm more interested so I can give advice to my DM, who does not alter APs and doesn't read these boards.

@ Tels - I'm not trying to derail the topic by over analyzing your scenarios. However, if I can apply a formula of Tier = class level (approximately) then I may have a solution that will work for our group. It appears possible with some of your examples, but your APL 14 vs EL 22 is out there, even if it was a tough fight.

Another solution may be to do this in addition to the enhanced stat sheets mentioned earlier in the thread.


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Tels wrote:
Gray wrote:
Tels wrote:

the encounter with the Mariliths we were level 12/MT 2,

This one is harder to reconcile. If I were to consider the group APL at 14, that's still too much of a disparity.

It was an interesting fight as we could both only just hurt each other. She took personal affront to the fact I disarmed her of all her weapons, and so it became a slug fest between the two of us.

How exactly, did the monk disarm the mythic marilith? Her CMD is 47 to be disarmed. At 12th level, what is his CMB to disarm? Even disarmed, she can use Greater Infuse Weapons as an immediate action to apply the Dancing ability to her weapons. The monk should have been attacked all those rounds by dancing weapons as well as the mythic marilith’s slam attacks.

I can’t help but think I’m missing something here. At 12/tier 2, your group basically took on a CR 22 encounter. (Epic Marilith = CR 21, 2 Mariliths, 10 Vrocks, and 10 Succubi). I can’t think that mythic is that unbalanced.


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Thanks, Tels

Tels wrote:
the encounter with the Tarn Linnorm we were level 13/MT 3.

If I were to consider the group as 16th level, I could live with this, kinda.

Tels wrote:

the encounter with the Mariliths we were level 12/MT 2,

This one is harder to reconcile. If I were to consider the group APL at 14, that's still too much of a disparity.


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Sorry, I was just trying to get a grasp of the party level vs the encounters. My high level games tend to be crazy without mythic. I wouldn’t be shocked by a 17th level party dropping a Tarn Linnorn (CR 20) in one round of full attacks. If you were playing PCs who were 11th/ tier 1 at that point, then yes, I'm with you.

The other encounters don’t seem good challenges either. In an encounter with an epic marilith (CR 21), 10 vrocks and 10 succubi are basically just taking up space no matter if mythic is involved or not. The only other threats were the two other mariliths. Again, depends on what level you were at that time.

Against level 11/ tier 1 PCs, bodaks aren’t a big threat either at CR 8. The banshee is in range. Regular minotaurs are speed bumps, and even a mythic minotaur is still not close to a challenge for 11th level PCs.


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Tels wrote:

Between the Barbarian 2-handing a greataxe, the Fighter 2-handing a Falchion, and the Fighter with Mythic Power Attack and Mythic Improved Crit, and the Wizard with ultimate versatility (and Dazing Fireballs), combat became a joke.

Like at one point we fought, in one encounter, a Mythic Marilith, 2 normal Mariliths, 10 Vrock (who attempted to summon then danced) and 10 succubi (who summoned then charm bombed). The Mariliths all attempted to summon another Marilith with 1 success. Anyway, my Wizard threw out a Dazing Wall of Fire which forced a number of creatures were then dazed for 4 rounds. Every round after if they took damage they had to save again or reset the daze duration.

Another time, we had got into an encounter with 10 Nelfeshnee, 10 Vrcok, 10 Succubi, and 10 of another demon I can't remember. We were running around slaughtering them when mid fight, a CR 20 Tarn Linnorm burst it's way through the wall 300 odd feet across the room.

What were the PC class and tier levels on these encounters?


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How would it change the dynamic if the PC tiers were treated as class levels and encounters were adjusted accordingly?
Say for example, you have 4 PCs who are Level 17 / Tier 6, so their APL is 20. We now want to treat them as APL 23.

You then have an encounter that was CR 22 consisting of 1 CR 20 and 3 CR 17. We now want to increase that to a CR25. So we’ll double the encounter (CR 20 x 2, CR 17 x 3 and add in a CR 21).

This would increase the enemy’s action economy and the overall challenge to the party.

As a side, I’m playing this sometime in the future. I’ve been avoiding spoilers, but this thread caught my attention. I know the DM pretty well, and I don’t see him adjusting stats. However, increasing or adding in some opponents to match the party may be a simple solution for us. I’m just wondering if this may be going too far.


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Seldriss wrote:

So I consider looking for official Pathfinder or third party.

But I don't want a homebrewed one, I prefer something from a published source, for reference.

Have you considered the Sibeccai from Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed?


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My players don’t tend to enjoy real sandbox style play. Unless there is a clear goal, I tend to get a lot of “what am I doing? Why am I even here?” Being “adventurers” and just “adventuring” has never made much sense. So my style of railroading has been to make sure the PCs are part of some larger society or organization.

In my favorite longest running homebrew, the PCs were members of a human empire’s legion. They were part of a special unit that was sent on special missions. At low levels this meant reconnaissance, special guard duties, etc. As they gained power, they became more involved in politics, were given more freedom, and eventually led factions of their own against enemies of the empire.

Other groups have been free-mercenary units (like the Black Company), exploration and study teams sent to explore strange lands (Stargate-ish), or scholars from a university (Congo). While this may not seem like a railroad, having everyone start with the idea of being part of a larger goal or organization will make your plot hooks more attractive (if they would be of interest to that group). A rebellion has erupted in a frontier town? The special military unit probably wouldn’t need to be asked to investigate. The paid for hire mercenaries might decide to sit back. The scholars would most likely leave that to others to handle.

Once I know the type of group I’m working with then I plan a rough outline of the campaign, but I don’t plan details much further than 2 or 3 levels above where they are at. I’ve still been thrown by some of the groups decisions. For example, I thought the group would join a movement to lead a section of the empires citizens to safety and kinda had a big arc planned on how they would do it. Instead, they decided they’d rather die than give up territory to the enemy. That may sound minor but it was like rewriting 12 encounters.


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Marthkus wrote:
Mammoth thread with builds throughout it

A lot of the builds are summarized in a doc by the OP near the end of the thread.


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I forgot to add; so Thank you, TM.


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For what it is worth, I'm playing a dwarven bard in CoT. I took some hints from TM's guide, knowing I wasn't going to have an "optimized" character. However, I wanted to play an eccentric dwarven story-teller who likes to wade into battle belting out drinking songs. So, he's primarily a buffer, but I've invested feats into trip and the whip. When a cleric, wizard, or some other enemy who I know may have a low CMD shows up, I pull out the whip. We're 9th right now, so we'll see if it still remains to be effective. However, there've been a few encounters where I've shut down the primary BBEG with trips. I think it's perfect to bring it out only in certain situations. If it was as effective all the time, I'd just be ticking off the DM.


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James Jacobs wrote:
FallenDabus wrote:
Does the cover have to change? Because its pretty ballin' as it is.
It does. And trust me, it's better.

I'm looking forward to seeing that. Should be soon, I hope.


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I like the preview art for the Strategy Guide. Well, I'm assuming that is the final cover art.


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I know the task is just delay it for a few minutes, but 4 PCs with vials of holy water should get rid of it in well under three rounds.


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BillyGoat wrote:
Gray wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
John John wrote:


If the party hasn't prepared with resist elements acid they could suffer an unfair TPK.

An ancient black dragon is CR 16.

Any CR 16 encounter should be quite badass; any party that can expect to casually encounter a CR 16 foe should be able to handle quite a bit.

Frankly, I'd be more concerned about the possibility of encountering a horned devil, which is not only CR 16, but also has the greater teleport ability so it can essentially appear right in front of you and go to town with a +1 unholy spiked chain +26/+21/+16 (2d6+11 plus stun). At least black dragons tend to give you some warning.

Sorry for the tangent here, but am I missing something on this? Greater teleport is a standard action. At best the devil teleports and gets one attack in the same round.

Surprise round - Greater Teleport.

Assuming good init on horned devil, full attack in first real round against flat-footed foes.

Got it. Thanks. I was wondering if I missed a "quickened" or something that would make the teleport faster.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
John John wrote:


If the party hasn't prepared with resist elements acid they could suffer an unfair TPK.

An ancient black dragon is CR 16.

Any CR 16 encounter should be quite badass; any party that can expect to casually encounter a CR 16 foe should be able to handle quite a bit.

Frankly, I'd be more concerned about the possibility of encountering a horned devil, which is not only CR 16, but also has the greater teleport ability so it can essentially appear right in front of you and go to town with a +1 unholy spiked chain +26/+21/+16 (2d6+11 plus stun). At least black dragons tend to give you some warning.

Sorry for the tangent here, but am I missing something on this? Greater teleport is a standard action. At best the devil teleports and gets one attack in the same round.


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Or a separate product line? "The Slow Path": additional encounters and such that can be purchased to tack onto an existing AP. Probably something that covers all 6 APs with one products (if it really wouldn't be that many encounters).


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Khrysaor wrote:
The three words you added in bold would invalidate the following sentence of "in addition". It would become redundant wording and would get removed. Instead they left it like that so you know it's in addition to YOUR next attacks. The argument is that it doesn't say anywhere that the opponent is losing his dex to anyone other than you. This is why there's an argument.

While I disagree with you on this part, I appreciate you're points below.

Khrysaor wrote:


The Paizo staff have said repeatedly that not all feats are made equal. Not all feats are designed to be optimal. Many feats are designed for flavor. The feat still provides you with a flat footed target vs any future attacks until your next turn.

This includes things like:

AoOs from moving
AoOs from using a ranged attack in melee
AoOs from casting
Step up and strike
snake fang
crane riposte
opportunist advanced talent
A full attack from having feint as a swift action
A pathfinder chronicler...

Thanks for pointing out how the Opportunist talent combines nicely with GF. While I'm aware not all feats are created equal, I just can't see how this is worth the feat investment to get here (under this interpretation of the feat).


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Marthkus wrote:
Question wrote:

Wow, 33 pages...this is way too much to read through...

So did anyone manage to come up with a rogue only build that is decent in combat?

I think so... Depends on what you mean by decent.

** spoiler omitted ** but a strength build would be better and has been posted by others. There are even better dex builds.

I think this is a decent build. You're feints should be effective against any creature that can be feinted against, including those with an intelligence blow 3, and non-humanoids.

I'm curious though what you would be doing with Minor and Major Magic. I know that gives you Arcane Strike, but I'm not really sure if any other use is worth it. What am I missing?


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Khrysaor wrote:

Benefit: Whenever you use feint to cause an opponent to lose his Dexterity bonus, he loses that bonus until the beginning of your next turn, in addition to losing his Dexterity bonus against your next attack.

Normal: A creature you feint loses its Dexterity bonus against your next attack.

The bold parts explain what is being modified. The rest of the greater feint feat lists the duration for which it is being altered. This does not say the target is denied dex to everyone as the rules of feinting are what govern this. It alters the duration that feint affects your attacks.

Just to play devil's advocate, I'd expect the rules to state the following if the opponent's dex penalty only applies to the rogue who feinted.

"Benefit: Whenever you use feint to cause an opponent to lose his Dexterity bonus, he loses that bonus to your attacks until the beginning of your next turn, in addition to losing his Dexterity bonus against your next attack."

I can see everyone's point, but it is just a really pointless feat if it doesn't help the rogue's allies.


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Kaleb the Opportunist wrote:


How to use:
Before fight (you scouted first, right) Shield wand, Enlarge person wand to increase reach to 15’ if large group
Surprise round: buff or charge, your choice
Round 1: Choose: buff yourself (while keeping the fighter’s charge lane clear), delay for the fighter, move in to attack (single opponent), or use dazzling display (multiple opponents).
Round 2: Get into position where you can reach multiple opponents if you haven't already. Back to back with the fighter works exceptionally well.
At this point your opponents are shaken, sickened and unable to move even a 5’ step without drawing an AoO that deals SA damage. -2 Strength, -4 to all d20 rolls -3 damage and your AC goes up +6 for a total of +11AC. Keep moving to force them to move. Laugh maniacally as you and your besty the fighter mop them up.
On the rare occasion that your opponent goes first, they still have to get past your reach. As they charge in, use your AoO’s to make them shaken and set up for sneak attacks.

Thanks, Kaleb,

I think my eyes had glazed over while trying to keep up with this thread. For some reason, I thought you were tripping opponents and found a way to raise your CMB. I'd like a rogue that can adequately pull off Dirty Trick or Tripping, but can't seem to find the right combo.


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Midnighter wrote:
This is a benefit for AoOs and if your feint as a swift action. The fact that there is a feat that specifically grants the feint debuff to an ally only supports the argument that Greater Feint is self only.

This isn't exactly true as far as I understand. Greater Feint is not a swift action. The only advantage over Improved Feint is that with Greater Feint, the opponents Dex is lost until the beginning of the Rogues next turn. It doesn't even allow the Rogue to full attack since it is still a Move action.

Thus I thought the "common" interpretation was that the Dex loss was a buff for anyone else in combat with that foe.

Is there anything that would allow Feint as a swift action?


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leo1925 wrote:
Gray wrote:

I also posted about 5 pages ago how I wanted to do a bit of an analysis on how various builds should play out in an AP. I took a snap shot from three APs that I’ve run and have the following. I’ll reference this a bit with my builds below.

** spoiler omitted **

On the traps issue, because i am playing Jade Regent and i am DMing Shattered Star, the number of traps you have listed is misleading.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

I really didn't mean to be pro or con there, or misleading. Just pointing out how many traps were there, which really wasn't a big number.


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Scavion wrote:
Gray wrote:

I'll admit that I wouldn't consider playing a goblin or rogue. I tend to play humans. However, if you wish to play one as a Ranger that's great. They appear to make good Rogues too. Otherwise that is a racial feature rather that a class feature. Weighing the merits or demerits of that would take this discussion even further off course.

Buildwise, wouldn't a dex based Ranger or Bard be able to stealth just as well and in the bard's case better with buffs?

Additionally, the extra umph to stealth you get from Skill Focus(Stealth), is coming from a racial feature =)

True enough. I think either could do that, but they have to focus on it a bit more. And the little experiment made me more aware that you can't just slap some ranks in Stealth and call your self good at scouting. You need to aim more at ranks that are closer to 10 plus your level.


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Scavion wrote:
Gray wrote:
Gray wrote:
That means that if the enemy rolls an average of 10, and you only have a +11 on Stealth, then you're too close to the 50/50 range of success.

By the way, if anyone is wondering where I came up with this statement, it was posted several times that other classes can fill the Rogue's shoes and do it better. I still haven't seen the builds that work better as scouts, and not spend limited resources that can be spent better elsewhere. I could certainly be wrong.

As an experiment, I built one of my favorite Ranger builds (Switch Hitter). At best, I'm sitting with a Stealth score at +11 which is horrible if the group is depending on that for scouting. I could boost that up, but it draws away from other areas that I'd rather have a Ranger excel at. The Rogue however makes this easier.

What level is the ranger? Any goblin or Hobgoblin can start the game with a Stealth upwards of +9.

I'll admit that I wouldn't consider playing a goblin or rogue. I tend to play humans. However, if you wish to play one as a Ranger that's great. They appear to make good Rogues too. Otherwise that is a racial feature rather that a class feature. Weighing the merits or demerits of that would take this discussion even further off course.


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Kaleb the Opportunist wrote:

Battlefield control Rogue: (similar in play style to my 3.5 rogue)

Uses a combination of reach from the whip, combat reflexes, and high dex to increase attacks per round without the -2 penalty from TWF. Usually gets off more attacks per battle than TWF. (Hard to quantify)

How to use:
Before fight (you scouted first, right) Shield wand, Enlarge person wand to increase reach to 15’ if large group
Surprise round: buff or charge, your choice
Round 1: Choose: buff yourself (while keeping the fighter’s charge lane clear), delay for the fighter, move in to attack (single opponent), or use dazzling display (multiple opponents).
Round 2: Get into position where you can reach multiple opponents if you haven't already. Back to back with the fighter works exceptionally well.
At this point your opponents are shaken, sickened and unable to move even a 5’ step without drawing an AoO that deals SA damage. -2 Strength, -4 to all d20 rolls -3 damage and your AC goes up +6 for a total of +11AC. Keep moving to force them to move. Laugh maniacally as you and your besty the fighter mop them up.
On the rare occasion that your opponent goes first, they still have to get past your reach. As they charge in, use your AoO’s to make them shaken and set up for sneak attacks.

Half-Orc (City Raised) Rogue (Scout, Thug) 12
Lawful Neutral Humanoid (Human, Orc); Deity: Torag
STRENGTH 11, DEXTERITY 20/24, CONSTITUTION 14/16, INTELLIGENCE 10, WISDOM 10, CHARISMA 14/16
Fort +7, Reflex +15, WILL +4, AC 28
+1 Agile, Ghost touch Whip S, Disarm, Nonlethal, Reach, Trip, +18/+13, 1d3+8
Acrobatics +21, Bluff +10, Diplomacy +10, Disable Device +23, Disguise +10, Escape Artist +21, Intimidate +23, Perception +15, Stealth +21, Use Magic Device +21
Feats: Combat Reflexes (8 AoO/round), Dazzling Display (Whip), Enforcer, Improved Whip Mastery, Shadow Strike, Shatter Defenses (Whip), Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (Whip), Whip Mastery
Traits: Defensive Strategist (Torag), Armor Expert
Special Abilities: Brutal...

What is your CMB on this build? Without crunching some numbers, I would think that you'd only be really successful with low CMD creatures. Not that I think it is an issue. I have a dwarf bard who does a similar strategy but only when it is an opponent who is clearly not a high CMD foe.


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Gray wrote:
That means that if the enemy rolls an average of 10, and you only have a +11 on Stealth, then you're too close to the 50/50 range of success.

By the way, if anyone is wondering where I came up with this statement, it was posted several times that other classes can fill the Rogue's shoes and do it better. I still haven't seen the builds that work better as scouts, and not spend limited resources that can be spent better elsewhere. I could certainly be wrong.

As an experiment, I built one of my favorite Ranger builds (Switch Hitter). At best, I'm sitting with a Stealth score at +11 which is horrible if the group is depending on that for scouting. I could boost that up, but it draws away from other areas that I'd rather have a Ranger excel at. The Rogue however makes this easier.


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Marthkus wrote:
1. With >5ft of smoke from a smoke stick between you and an opponent they can't see you. No stealth check required.

True, but that's not the point I was going for. The primary mission for my rogue builds are to collect information on the enemy so the group can prepare. If you take a look at the average Perception skill for 6th level enemies, it is at roughly +8. That means that if the enemy rolls an average of 10, and you only have a +11 on Stealth, then you're too close to the 50/50 range of success. Getting Stealth up is a priority. At +16, you need to roll a 2 on average to be a success for you group.

The second function is to soften up the enemy before anyone can act. The builds I just posted are throwing out over 40 points of damage (over 50% of a CR 6 encounter) before the enemy can act.

Now throw in you're smoke screen idea and we're doing even better in rounds 2 and beyond.

(It's kind of funny that I wanted to play an Ifrit soon. This would work nicely).


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Marthkus wrote:
Gray wrote:
Marthkus wrote:

Goz Mask + Sniper Goggles + Smoke stick = unlimited range full attack of sneak attacks. Just keep 5ft of smoke between you and the enemy.

Can replace Goz Mask by playing an Ifrit with the fire sight feat.

Which is McGuffin dependent. It was roughly 5 pages ago, but some were looking for builds that did not depend on magic items.

The firesight feat is not, and is accessible by humans which you can get through racial heritage human.

Sniper Goggles only increase your range.

Thanks. That's pretty interesting.


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Gray wrote:

I also posted about 5 pages ago how I wanted to do a bit of an analysis on how various builds should play out in an AP. I took a snap shot from three APs that I’ve run and have the following. I’ll reference this a bit with my builds below.

** spoiler omitted **

I forgot to add a bit of commentary on this. Just by this data, this is what is see.

1. If you don't have at a Stealth score at 15 or higher, you're just flipping a coin on whether you are a good scout or not. With a Stealth of 16, you can roll a five and beat the average Perception check (opponent rolls a 10)
2. Going for Combat Maneuvers is a rough road.
3. Feint isn't such a bad path. Yes, it's feat intensive, but take Deceptive and Skill Focus: Bluff and you should be getting SA most times.
4. This little exercise leads me to believe that the designers have kept a balance in the class. If the Rogue was given much more power, we'd be seeing more threads on how the Rogue is ruining APs.


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Here are some builds that I liked more.

The Archer Sneak:
This is a spoiler, such as revealing who really did frame Roger Rabbit

Level 6 Half Elf
Traits: Reactionary, Resiliency
Str: 14
Dex: 18
Cha: 14
Wis: 12
Int: 10
Con: 11

Feats and Talents
1. Point Blank, Shot, Skill Focus Stealth
2. Weapon Focus: Bow
3. Skill Focus: Perception
4. Combat Trick: Deadly Aim
5. Improved Initiative
6. Snap Shot

Gear: MW Composite Longbow (+2 Str), Studded Leather Armor, MW Elven Curveblade

Skills: (9)
Stealth +16
Perception +14
Acrobatics +13
Disable Device +13
Use Magic Device +11
(Pick 4 Others as necessary)

Defenses
AC 19
HP 36
Fort +2, Ref +9, Will +4

Offense
Initiative +10
Ranged Attack = +9 (+4 Base, +4 Dex, +1 MW, +1 PBS, +1 WF)
Average Damage with SA = 22 (4.5 Bow, +2 Str, +1 PBS, 10.4 SA, +4 DA)
.


Again, the primary tactic is to set up a great chance at scouting, and two SAs before anyone else in the fight can act. With a Stealth at +16, he is going to success in most scouting missions, where anything at 11 or lower is closer to a 50/50 chance of success. Snap Shot and a high initiative helps ensure he is getting off two SAs before anyone else acts and those will be at an additional +1 to +2 to hit.

In addition, he has a decent Perception score to help notice ambush creatures such as trappers or executioner hoods.

The Switch Hitting Rogue:

Level 6 Half Elf
Traits: Reactionary,
Str: 14
Dex: 18
Cha: 14
Wis: 12
Int: 10
Con: 11

Feats and Talents
1. Improved Initiative, Skill Focus Stealth
2. Finesse Rogue
3. Power Attack
4. Combat Trick: Furious Focus
5. Skill Focus: Perception
6. Snap Shot

Gear: MW Composite Longbow (+2 Str), Studded Leather Armor, MW Elven Curveblade

Skills: (9)
Stealth +16
Perception +14
Acrobatics +13
Disable Device +13
Use Magic Device +11
(Pick 4 Others as necessary)

Defenses
AC 19
HP 36
Fort +2, Ref +9, Will +4

Offense
Initiative +10
Ranged Attack = +9 (+4 Base, +4 Dex, +1 MW, +1 PBS, +1 WF)
Average Damage with SA = 17 (4.5 Bow, +2 Str, 10.5 SA)
Melee Attack +9 (+4 Base, +4 Dex, +1 MW)
Average Melee Damage with SA = 25 (5.5 Curveblade, +3 Str, +6 PA, +10.5 SA)

.

I took some inspiration from the guide on Rangers. This Rogue still scouts well, gets off a Snap Shot in the surprise round, the draws his curveblade to engage melee first in the round.


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Marthkus wrote:

Goz Mask + Sniper Goggles + Smoke stick = unlimited range full attack of sneak attacks. Just keep 5ft of smoke between you and the enemy.

Can replace Goz Mask by playing an Ifrit with the fire sight feat.

Which is McGuffin dependent. It was roughly 5 pages ago, but some were looking for builds that did not depend on magic items.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I also posted about 5 pages ago how I wanted to do a bit of an analysis on how various builds should play out in an AP. I took a snap shot from three APs that I’ve run and have the following. I’ll reference this a bit with my builds below.

Spoilers for Shattered Star, Jade Regent, and Serpent’s Skull:
AP Comparisons

Shattered Star

Encounter: Initiative, Perception, AC, HP, Dex, CMD, Feint DC
Boggards: -1 +4, 14, 22, -1 13 12
Daghop: +1 +10 17 53 +1 20 15
Will O Wisp:+13 +15 25 40 +9 24 23
Solifugids: +1 +4 17 45 +1 18 NA
C. Columns -1 +0 14 36 -1 18 NA
Elementals +2 +9 18 68 +2 27 22
Golem -1 +0 21 96 -1 27 NA
Gnaeus +2 +10 17 79 +2 24 16
Sentinels +7 +6 20 43 +3 23 20
Incubus +2 +13 18 76 +2 25 23
Daemons +4 +7 16 19 +0 12 18
Ooze -5 -5 NA
Seugathi +9 +15 19 67 +5 25 23

3 Traps

Jade Regent

Encounter Init Perception AC HP Dex CMD Feint DC
E. Hoods +1 +8 16 11 +1 10 16
Trolls +2 +8 16 63 +2 22 14
Monks +6 +10 16 29 +2 22 16
Omoyani +4 +10 22 59 +4 27 18
Goti +2 +8 21 76 +2 21 15
Zombies +0 +0 12 12 0 14 NA
Statues +1 +0 16 47 +1 21 NA
Ninja +7 +5 15 20 +3 17 12
Kimandatsu +7 +14 24 104 +3 30 24

1 Trap

Serpents Skull

Encounter Init Perception AC HP Dex CMD Feint DC
Charuka +1 +2 14 19 +1 14 13
Giant Snake +3 +12 15 19 +1 18 17
Raogru +2 +3 20 82 +2 20 19
Decapus +1 +7 15 26 +1 20 17
Giant Wasp +1 +9 19 34 +1 19 NA
Queen Wasp +3 +11 19 84 +3 26 NA
Issilar +6 +17 25 92 +6 28 22

3 Traps
.


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Scavion wrote:
Gray wrote:
One more thing, can we agree on a point build? Is 20 good?
20 is a great baseline being PFS and standard 4d6 average. Heres a level 6 Inquisitor without magic items. His Spells Known is very free to pick, Divine Favor is the only one he absolutely needs.

Thank you for posting that. I may steal that for when I play an Inquisitor someday. At first glance, the Inquisitor is putting up an impressive 45 DPR, when buffed.

However, it has been mentioned on this thread that SA is situational (not you necessarily). If we are going to call Sneak Attack damage “situational”, I’d like to point out the reliance on this buffed damage is situational as well. It is easy to gloss over the fact that the strengths of the Inquisitor are limited. Bane lasts 6 rounds per day. Judgement can be used twice per day. Divine Favor is a standard action to cast, and lasts one minute (1 combat). In an average day of adventuring, with at least 4 encounters, and say 3 rounds of combat each, the Inquisitor is doing 22 points of damage per round with +6/+6 to hit, when he’s used up his tricks. Or he's waiting till round two to cast Divine Favor (unless someone is doing some good scouting for him).

In addition, he’s limited on how quickly he can get these buffs up in place. I could be wrong, but it is very misleading to state that a PC is going to be easily getting these buffs up in 1 to 2 rounds. When combat starts, I’d guess 90% of the time, the PCs do not have time to buff without significant scouting or research. That means PCs who depend on buffs on themselves are wasting rounds buffing rather than contributing to combat. In other words, in the first round the Inquisitor would be casting Divine Favor and activating Judgement as a swift action, no attacks. In round 2, the Inquisitor is going nova, Bane is triggered as a swift action, and he is at +13/+13 to hit and does an average of 46 DPR. However, be comfortable with the fact that you didn’t contribute until round 2, and you will only contribute at full power for 1 combat, and partial for roughly 2, maybe three combats.

Also, I think if we are doing a DPR race, we are ignoring some of the best parts of the rogue. The strength of the Rogue above is that
1. His damage does not rely on resources that are limited by uses per day.
2. His resources do not waste action economy to implement.

Consider the following.

Scouting
Let’s say the rogue and the inquisitor are part of a unit exploring a dungeon. First, the Inquisitors Stealth is decent, but really only gives him a 50/50 chance of successfully pulling off a scouting mission at 6th level. The typical 6th level encounter has a perception of +8. If the opposition rolls a 10, the inquisitor needs to roll a 9 or better. The rogue needs a 2 or better. Who is the liability when scouting?

Granted it is my experience that good scouting provides the rest of the group the opportunity to buff and prepare for an upcoming encounter. The lack of scouting leads to fewer opportunities to buff.

Surprise
We’ve established that the rogue should have a comfortable time gaining Stealth and thus a surprise round. The Rogue has to determine at this point if the enemy can be taken out, softened, or if he should just retreat to inform the group. If he decides to attack, the Snap Shot talent ensures that I will also act first in the surprise round with a 28. Score 21 pts of damage for our Rogue.

Round 1.
The Rogue needs to make another decision here. If he attacks, he should win initiative. If it looks questionable, he could make one shot and retreat back to the group (He didn’t scout further than 30’ ahead, right?). Or he could make a full retreat before the enemy closes at all. Let’s say he shoots and then moves. Score 21 for the Rogue (total 42).

The Inquisitor also makes a decision. Does he spend a full round casting Divine Favor? Or did the Rogue let him know what was up ahead before making a surprise attack?
Let’s say there wasn’t time. The Inquisitor swift actions Bane, so his attacks are +8/+8 and he does 40 pts of damage. He’s caught up nicely.

Round 2.
Who cares? The real damage dealer in the group (fighter, barbarian, paladin, etc) cleans up the rest of the encounter. The average CR6 encounter is dead. The rogue has done what he needs to do, and he can do it again without expending per day expenditures.


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I’ve been playing around with some more builds. Here are a few to consider. I stuck to the base Rogue class only, no archetypes.

My primary goal with each of these was to accomplish the goal for the Rogue according to the PRD; The rogue is a thief and a scout, an opportunist capable of delivering brutal strikes against unwary foes.

This first one is my least favorite, but thought it was interesting.

The INT Archer:
Level 6 Human 20 pt buy
Traits: Reactionary, Resilient
Str: 14
Int: 18
Dex: 14
Cha: 13
Con: 10
Wis:10

Feats and Talents
1. Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot
2. Focused Shot
3. Stealthy
4. Improved Initiative
5. Skill Focus Stealth
6. Snap Shot

Gear: Masterwork Composite Shortbow (+2 Str), Studded Leather Armor, Various Adventuring Gear.

Skills: 13
Stealth: +16
Acrobatics: +11
Diplomacy: +10
Perception: +9
Escape Artist: +15
Knowledge Local: +13
Knowledge Arcane: +13
Knowledge Geography: +13
Linguistics: +13
Climb: +11
Swim: +11
Disable Device: +11
Use Magic Device: +11

Defenses
AC: 15
HP: 36
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +2

Offense
Initiative +8
Melee Attack = +6
Range Attack = +8 (Base +4, Dex +2, PBS +1, MW +1)
Average Damage without Sneak Attack = 10 (1d6 plus Str +2, PBS +1, FS +4)
Average Damage with Sneak Attack = 21

10th Level Build

To expand this build a little bit, we might consider the following

7th: Unarmed Strike
8th: Ki Rin Style (Ninja Trick, Combat Trick)
9th: Ki Rin Strike
10th: Skill Mastery

So at 10th Level, our range attack is at +11/+6 for an average of 36 per hit (1d6 plus Str +1, PBS +1, FS +4, Ki Rin +8, plus 5d6 SA). His Stealth is now at +25. Potentially, this Rogue is doing 108 pts of damage before anyone acts in around. Say 72 as the iterative attack is less likely to hit. That’s still over 50% of the average CR 10 encounter’s HP.

However this is not my favorite build. I like some of the Dex builds a little better. I also don’t like that fact that his Perception is so low. IMO a good scout also needs a high Perception, and a +9 is falling in that 50/50 success rate again.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One more thing, can we agree on a point build? Is 20 good?


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Scavion wrote:
Are you sure? Because a character with no access to magic is heavily underpowered in comparison to one that does.

I understand what you're saying, but if we say compare a particular rogue build against an alchemist or monk, and none of them have magic items, we then have a nice base to build from. It also avoids arguments like a rogue who is only successful because he has Sniper Goggles or whatever. This especially holds true for PCs that are trying to do what the rogue does.

I was kind of running into that with the rogue/archaeologist comparison. Not that it was a big deal, but it would safe effort and magic items can be slapped on later if someone likes a particular build. Maybe add suggested magic items as an addendum?

By the way, just to be clear, I only meant to keep out magic items, not spells.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Well, finally had time to build a rogue that I think is more than serviceable.

Thanks for the build. I'd like your feedback on what your primary tactics might be. I think I maybe missing something. Don't get me wrong, I think this may be serviceable as you wrote. However, as an example, if you are going to focus on Dazzling Display a lot, would it help to maybe swap out two feats for Persuasive and Skill Focus: Intimidate? That would bring your Intimidate check up to +23, giving you a much higher chance of success.

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