Kelly Youngblood wrote:
Congratulations! (Aw, too bad we're not making it to Houston* on our annual Texas pilgrimage this year.)
Huh. For us'ns, we need the 4th star before we can run Exclusives, for some reason.
Or be a Venture Captain. It's one of the perks for volunteering.
(*Austin, Houston--from Seattle, they're pretty much equivalent...) :-)
Christopher Vrysen wrote:
See the FAQs on this topic:
Just out of curiosity, how often does the GM let the players retcon actions based on "well, my character wouldn't have done that..."?
If this is allowed for the players, then it's reasonable for the GM to run the NPCs the same way. If the GM doesn't let the players do it, then he shouldn't do it for NPCs.
I ran a lot of different RPG systems for years where I created NPCs and entire adventures on the fly. But 3.5/Pathfinder is a really, really hard system to run games that way, and I would never try it now. If your GM is more familiar with an open-ended RPG like Hero System or GURPS, it might be that your GM hasn't has that "oh, crap, I can't do this in 3.5" revelation yet.
I've seen some interesting Wand Wielder magus builds. One had a wand of Vanish and used a Rogue dip for sneak attack with a trident: Round 1: Vanish, move into position; Round 2: Sneak Attack, Vanish, 5-foot step. Repeat until dead.
Another used a wand of True Strike in one hand and a whip in the other. Add Weapon Wand to a wand wielder, and you open up a world of options.
Aiming the bow doesn't require finger dexterity: you move your whole arm.
A spiked gauntlet, which completely covers your fingers with, you know, METAL, does not say anything about its interaction with fine dexterity skills, so by RAW, you can perform Disable Device checks and do whatever without penalty.
I think that the intent was that you can't perform fine dexterity tasks at all with gauntlets/spiked gauntlets, while a cestus, being a smaller glove that leaves the upper part of your fingers free, allows you to perform fine dexterity tasks but at a -2 penalty. However, there's nowhere I've found in the rules that actually SAYS that, so it is not RAW.
As a GM and a former SCA archer, I will always allow a cestus-wearer to fire a bow without penalty, as long as the cestus is on the string hand. Finger guards are stiff, clunky pieces of leather or hard plastic, designed to be used on the string: you would not be able to do a Disable Device check at all with a finger guard, so something that causes only a -2 penalty would not interfere with working a bow string.
I have a PFS throwing build. I started with the Lore Warden fighter archetype, high Dex, medium Str. My first few feats were Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and Quick Draw. With a throwing build, you can choose between Two Weapon Fighting or Rapid Shot. I'll probably go Two Weapon Fighting, since my character carries melee/thrown combo weapons.
As soon as she can afford it, she'll get a Blinkback Belt, so her weapons return to her at each round.
If you're going MoMS, what is your other style? If you are only using one style, MoMS might not be your best option.
I don't have any suggestions on dealing extra damage, but there are some fun party support options for this build:
The Archon Style tree lets you deflect attacks made against adjacent allies. (I could totally see this as the drunk Halfling "stumbling" in front of a swing..."Oh, scuse me, pardon me...")
The Cautious Fighter/Blundering Defense tree lets you add half your dodge bonus from fighting defensively to your allies AC as a luck bonus. You're fighting defensively for Crane Style anyway, so why not boost everyone else's AC by 3* just by standing next to them?
*bonus = half of: +2 for fighting defensively, +2 for Cautious Fighter, +1 for Crane Style, +1 for 3 ranks in Acrobatics (6/2 = 3 total)
Now, it is a slightly different story if the players are not having fun. If that's the case, then you might have to mix things up. However, there's a huge balance problem if you take the ONE thing a guy is good at, and effectively nerf it to the ground. If a one-dimensional character is making it harder for people to have fun, then you need to use house-rules or help rebuild the character so it isn't one-dimensional.
If the other players aren't having fun, they could consider not buffing the monk. Just because a particular tactic works doesn't mean the party has to do it every single time. Sure, drop Bull's Strength on the monk, but really, the archer should have first "dibs" on the Cat's Grace. I mean, if the bad guys can't hit him anyway, buffing the monk's AC is a complete waste of time and resources.
Of course, those kinds of decisions are more about how the players work together than it is about the characters. For example, do any of the players feel bullied into playing a particular role? Are the other players feeling left out or bored? Is it the monk who's stealing the spotlight, or is it the player who's the glory-hog? If the problem is group interaction at the player level, changing out the character won't help.
Also, it sounds like you're letting your party get 2-3 rounds of buffing before combat: closing the gap there should help close the gap, challenge-wise. And don't forget to watch the casting times on those spells.
Your theoretical Halfling can jump 40 feet: he can move twice in one round, so 2x20 = 40.
My Half-Orc Zen Archer got kicked out of the monastery at level 3 for "anger management issues". She carries an extra, higher-strength composite bow with a scowling face above the grip and warns people not to make her take out her "Angry Bow".
I'm strongly tempted to keep the Angry Bow around even after she can afford the Adaptive enchantment...
Most of the Improved X maneuver feats also have a 13 Int requirement, so this alone wouldn't help.
Please drop the penalty on parry for small characters! Either that, or drop this bit from the class description:
Those of smaller races are particularly out to prove that the right mix of discipline and daring is the perfect counter to size and strength. They enjoy nothing more than to take down lumbering brutes and bullies.
That is just mocking the small characters.
I second this advice, with one caveat: There are two "dervish" based Bard archetypes, and it's easy to mix them up.
Dawnflower Dervish, from the Inner Sea Magic book, gets Dervish Dance as a free feat at 1st level and can choose to Inspire Courage normally or use Inspire Courage as a Battle Dance.
Dervish Dancer, from the Ultimate Combat book, does not get the Dervish Dance feat for free and only has Battle Dance in place of Inspire Courage. However, the Dervish Dancer's version of Battle Dance is much more versatile and increases the dancer's movement speed,
They both have their benefits and drawbacks: just make sure you know which one you're looking at.
Personally, I like the combination of the Dawnflower Dervish with Duelist prestige class and/or Kensei Magus. (The Dervish Dancer feat specifically lets you can use the scimitar as a piercing weapon.) Either of those would be a great choice for a high-dex Elf.
My high dex elf is a Monk(Zen Archer/Qinggong) with a dip into Ranger(Freebooter).
I was going for a Legolas-style character, and I liked the high mobility of the monk build. With Point-Blank Master (free at 3rd level), she stands in the middle of melee blasting out 2-4 arrows a round, and she always threatens with the unarmed strike. At 7th level, with High Jump and Shot on the Run, she can leap between 30 feet and 70 feet forward and fire off a shot anywhere along the arc. This also lets her hide behind an 8 ft wall, leap up to shoot over the top, and land in total cover.
I also picked up the trick arrows from the Elves of Golarion book, for extra fun.
Someone suggested dropping the enemy's speed down so low they can't take a 5-foot step. That sounds like a job for Scorpion Style.
To use this feat, you must make a single unarmed attack as a standard action. If this unarmed attack hits, you deal damage normally, and the target's base land speed is reduced to 5 feet for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier unless it makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Wis modifier).
Since Scorpion Style requires Improved Unarmed Strike, you have the added advantage of always threatening adjacent squares when you use a reach weapon.
I'm going to come at this from a different angle:
You might try starting a new game, from first level, with only base character classes until your group gets a better handle on the rules. I'm saying this because at 10th level, no one in your group seems to know which magic items and spells can stack together, and that kind of mistake will completely break the game. It will be especially frustrating to you as the GM because the monsters and NPCs are designed assuming that the players are following those kinds of rules.
Another example of why I make this suggestion:
His feats include something to get -1 attack/+1 AC, power attack for low armor monsters
The "something" sounds like Combat Expertise, which requires a 13 Intelligence and scales up as your BAB increases (for a summoner, it should be -2/+2 at 10th level, -3/+3 at 11th). Power Attack requires a 13 Strength, and it scales the same way that Combat Expertise does (-2/+4 at 10, -3/+6 at 11).
With the stats you posted for the summoner, he can't take either of these feats. Did he take Power Attack on his eidolon? How high does an eidolon's Intelligence need to be to take feats? Does a synthesist's eidolon even get feats? (The synthesist summoner is a brain-meltingly complicated archetype. I don't even understand it well enough to decide whether I think it's broken.)
Also, both Combat Expertise and Power Attack are "on or off" in Pathfinder. Once he hits BAB 4, your summoner can't take a smaller penalty in exchange for the smaller benefit: it's always -2/+2. If your synthesist is using both Combat Expertise and Power Attack on the same round, he's taking a net -4 to hit.
For the AC issue, as others have pointed out, you get around this by targeting touch AC and catching him flatfooted.
AC 40 (10 +3 dex, +2 deflection, +4 mage armor, +14 natural, +4 barkskin, +1 dodge, +2 shield)
His touch AC is only 16 (18, depending on the source of the shield bonus). Most spells go against touch AC, so this guy should be getting hit by most casters you throw at him.
If you catch him flat-footed with no buffs, his "walking around" AC is only 26.
This isn't "singling him out", either: this is how casters and ambush monsters are designed to work. Sure, casters usually target the tank first because he can do the most damage, but they also do it because they can ignore all that armor he's wearing.
Also, can you tell us where the shield bonus comes from? You didn't call out a shield in his equipment, and I don't know of any spells that give a +2 shield bonus. (The "Shield" spell is +4, with a short duration. "Shield of X" spells are actually deflection bonuses, and they do not stack with the--I'm assuming--ring of protection +2.)
I have two questions on the brawler's flurry:
A brawler applies her full Strength bonus to her damage rolls for all successful attacks made with brawler’s flurry, whether the attacks are made with an off-hand or with a weapon wielded in both hands.
1) Does the brawler apply 1.5 times the Strength bonus on two-handed weapons? I read this as "no", but I can imagine people making the argument ("But my full Strength bonus on two handed weapons is 1.5 times!"). Adding "only" in front of "full Strength bonus" might help clarify that, if you don't have room for an extra sentence.
2) How does this affect feats like Power Attack and Piranha Strike, which have different damage bonuses on primary hand and off-hand attacks?
I'm loving this class so far.
I usually put Dragon Style at least 3rd down the list unless you are specifically doing a charge build. (Actually, I discovered that you can't do a charge build without it.)
For my go-to style feats, Crane Style* (reduce penalties for fighting defensively) and Monkey Style (no penalties for fighting prone) are about equal. If you don't plan to fight defensively very often, go for Monkey Style, and just hang out on the floor all day long.
*Crane Style works with a 2-handed weapon; it's just Crane Wing that requires one hand free.
Seth Gipson wrote:
My husband and I both use initiative cards. We usually carry loaner sets, and we're gradually converting most of our local group to them.
We laminated ours and have players fill in their information in wet erase marker. Throughout the game, we track GM notes in dry erase marker. You can lightly wipe off the dry erase marker without messing up the text in wet erase.
When I was picking an app project for my XAML studies, I wanted to build a combat manager. Every design I came up with still fell short of the initiative cards. I couldn't match that system--not even in wishful thinking. Sometimes low tech is the best solution. :-)
Also, make sure that your off-hand weapon (#2) is light.
There have been a couple of bugs in Hero Lab in TWF corner cases (I haven't checked the current version to see if these have been resolved):
1) A sawtooth sabre in your off hand still applied the "non-light weapon" penalties, even if you have the Exotic Weapon Proficiency, used the Ancestral Arms trait, or had it as your deity's Favored Weapon class feature.
2) Monks using weapons for flurry showed half their Strength bonus and half the Power Attack damage on their off hand. (This was changed in a recent FAQ; Hero Lab will eventually catch up.)
If you're going to use Hero Lab for a lot of complicated characters or have a lot of home rules, I strongly recommend checking out the Hero Lab Community Repository. In particular, Shadow Chemosh's adjustment files (ShadowChemoshAdjustments_v2.5.hl) are really handy. It lets you tweak just about every possible thing about your character.
The custom character sheets on that page are also really nice if you don't use Hero Lab itself at the table.
Bearded Ben wrote:
The Tekko-Kagi which "can be used ... defensively like a buckler" is another case.
Does the Tekko-Kagi have the "blocking" quality? I don't see it in the table in Ultimate Equipment, but that description sure sounds like it should be blocking.
("Blocking: When you use this weapon to fight defensively, you gain a +1 shield bonus to AC.")
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I wonder if you're thinking of the Mount class feature here rather than "a critter that a character rides around"? If you can acquire a critter, get a saddle for it, and somehow get it to carry you, you have a mount. It's only if the critter advances as you level up and gives you special abilities that it counts as a Mount.
But you are correct to say that Mounts are restricted to certain types of allowable critters. A plain old riding critter is only restricted by your GM's mood and your character's pocketbook.
That's part of my point. It sounded like some of the players had fallen into a "Oh, the big fighter guy will handle it" rut, and you can't do that in PFS. Because there might not be a big fighter guy in the party this time around. You learn to adapt, or you die.
Taku Ooka Nin,
If there's a Pathfinder Society game day nearby, your group might benefit from playing some sessions there. Based on your story, it sounds like you might have some inexperienced players, players who don't see how their character contributes, players who are bored with their characters, and/or players who are stuck in a rut.
In PFS, coordinators put together parties on the fly and every scenario can have a different mix of characters. This helps players learn to be more adaptable and come up with ways each character can contribute. Groups are limited to 6, so you don't have as big a problem with people getting bored waiting for their turn or feeling like they don't contribute anything. Getting a chance to work with players outside the group might help the inexperienced players get a better handle on the game mechanics.
PFS scenarios are episodic, so you can change out characters each night. It give players a chance to try out new classes and character builds, and it definitely keeps them from getting stuck in a rut.
The main downside is that PFS is restricted to a subset of the rules, so you can't do the werewolf builds. But it's a great place to get some practice playing the game and some exposure to other play and GM styles. Best of all, it would give you a chance to move some of the "life lesson" moments out of the group dynamics, so your group doesn't end up resenting each other while you're trying to get the kinks worked out.
You shouldn't have to do a ride check to make the mount act in combat even though it isn't actually combat trained, because the mount isn't actually an animal. You might be required by your GM to make the Ride check to guide the mount in combat, but that would be slightly silly.
Handle Animal checks and "pushing" rolls wouldn't apply, but I would absolutely make the rider make most Ride checks. To me, in-combat Ride checks are equally about keeping your ass in the saddle, staying balanced, getting your body positioned to make an attack, etc. as they are about making the mount do what you want it to.
After all, a paladin still has to make ride checks even if his mount has a 12+ Int--and even in those all-too-common cases where the mount is more intelligent than the rider.
Nathan Hartshorn wrote:
Another possibility:The default settings for the Windows 8.1 mail program create a "Newsletters" folder and place email from some orgs and companies there. You can turn that off from the app settings on the charms menu.
Also, my copy arrived a day or so after my husband's did, just to make me sad, I guess. (Oh, Internet, you're soooooo funny!)
Just out of curiosity, has anyone actually polled the community to see if there are any CSM/survey people around? There are a lot of pitfalls in setting up ratings or feedback systems, and someone with experience in the field would be able to point those out and help work around them. I had some limited experience at a satisfaction measurement firm some decades ago, just enough for me recognize how much I don't know.
The main thing I did learn is that you need to understand what you want to find out and what you want to do with that information. I've had a lot of managers set up content surveys where they just start writing questions without taking the time to decide what they are actually trying to learn. It's really very easy to write a good question with a clear rating scale. It's much harder to write the exact question that provides the specific information you need.
If you're lucky, someone on these boards has enough experience in PSAT/CSAT surveys to work out the issues for you. If you're not lucky enough to find someone who knows what they're doing, you might re-consider instituting a ratings system. (Just for clarity, I don't qualify as "someone who knows what she's doing" in this area. I'm only someone who knows that she doesn't know what she's doing.)
Ok, so the Kensai magus cannot select a simple weapon as the "chosen weapon"...
...but here you seem to be saying that a magus can select a simple weapon as the "chosen weapon".
Is there a cut/paste error or other editing artifact in there (like when you start writing a sentence one way, then go back and change it but some parts of the original phrasing sneaks through)? Because those two statements seem to contradict each other.
What you'll probably find Ms. Smith, is that most game designers probably don't have the precise grammatical command of the language that you do.
You'll also find that most writers don't have the precise command of mechanics that game designers do. There's a reason those are different professions. :-)
And often, you have to trim down completely clear explanations just to make the text fit into the darn columns. Then there's the fact that even the best writers lose sight of what the reader may not know in any given context.
That's also why there's a difference between "as written" and "as intended".
And why there are FAQs.
Grammatically, the term "chosen weapon" is not defined. The fluff text comes closest with "focusing his training and meditation into a rapturous perfection of the use of a single weapon, which is usually but not always a sword." I hear people say that we're supposed to "ignore" the fluff text, but if we do, there is no conceptual introduction to the term "chosen weapon" at all.
The weapon proficiencies section uses a form of the verb "to choose", and it is a reasonable inference* that "a single martial or exotic melee weapon of his choice" was intended to be the "chosen weapon". However, those items are discussed under two different topic headings at equal outline levels, and it's technically incorrect to assume they are the same item. (Honestly, this would be a classic trick question on a critical reading skills test.)
From a game mechanics perspective, that particular reading means that the Kensai cannot use a simple weapon (say, a dagger) as his chosen weapon. If this is the intent, why would a Kensai even be proficient simple weapons?
Full disclosure: I'm not a game designer, just a technical writer and editor with years of experience, including some legal and contract editing. It's possible that "Game Designer English" follows a different set of rules than the dialects of English I'm familiar with.
*An equally reasonable inference is that "a single weapon" means exactly one sword, and if that particular sword is ever destroyed, all the Kensai's abilities go away. However, since the BladeBound magus has that feature, I am guessing this is not the case.
A couple of reasons:Strength bonus:
If you have any Strength bonus, you can add your Strength bonus to thrown weapons without additional cost. Composite shortbows are 100gp per strength bonus, and if your Strength dips below the composite bow's rating, you take penalties on the attack roll. Also, if you get a Strength boost, the composite bow won't add additional damage.
Cost, size and weight:
Halfings also have a string of sling-specific feats that are pretty sweet. Arc Slinger lets you add Point Blank damage up to the full 50 ft. Sling flail lets you use the sling as a melee weapon. And others.
Granted, the sling staff is a much better option, but that's the difference between an exotic and a normal weapon.
(I apologize if this has already been answered: I didn't find it on a search, but I didn't try all the possible search terms.)
We had a question come up about dumping stats that have a racial bonus. The applicable section of the PFS character creation rules reads as follows:
The way I read that, if a player has a Halfling who wants to dump Charisma, the player could buy down the stat to 7, then the racial bonus puts it back up to 9. So a character could never start play with a racially-boosted stat below 9.
Is this the standard interpretation?
We had a player who wanted to start with their Halfling's Charisma score at 8, and wanted to know what the bonus be (since the ability score table stops at 7). The GM said it had to be 9, and I agreed with that. I want to verify the decision before I post a notice on our regional message boards.
Could i get some critique for my archery based lantern bearer character for Wrath of the Righteous please?
I wouldn't go with medium armor for a high dex character unless you get armor training. You might be better off dropping Weapon Master archetype if you want to go with medium armor.
Also, I think you have a couple of errors in your build:
Dex 20 (17 points +2 race)
Composite Long Bow (100)
Long feat chains isn't bad idea in and of itself. It only becomes a problem when the feats in the chain are not inherently useful or have little to do with the rest of the chain.
It's also not just a problem with combat feats. A healing-based cleric has to take Improved Channel (increase DC against undead) before Quick Channel. Those two uses of channel don't have anything to do with each other.
Isn't Benevolent only for Aid Another to Attack Rolls?
Benevolent on armor aids AC; Benevolent on weapons aids attack.
And the Archon Style Tree is nice, but it would be a net -7 since I'm losing the +1 FD from Crane Style, and I'm wasting my standard action to give a +2 dodge versus Aiding Another to give a +8 to AC. +8 > +2
Actually, I was looking at the Master of Many Styles, which lets you use both styles at the same time.
Archon Style is +2 to all adjacent allies (vs. a single opponent) instead of +4 to a single ally, so there's some flexibility there, too.
Later on, with Archon Diversion (BAB 4), you can use a move action to aid; you can also divert an attack on an adjacent ally, and the attack goes against your AC. Best of all, the ally you diverted the attack from gets an attack of opportunity whether or not the attack hits you.
I don't think you can Aid twice for the same thing. Aids from multiple people stack, but I don't think multiple aids from the same person stack.
Also, the AoO Aid from Bodyguard is just against that single attack; it wouldn't apply to the whole round like a regular Aid AC would.
I've also gotten tripped up by the different wording in Helpful, Order of the Dragon, and the (now retired) Shadow Lodge trait. Depending on the exact wording, the different Aid boosts might not stack. Basically, if it includes the phrase "instead of the normal +2", it probably won't stack. If it says "increases by 1", then it would stack. (I'll need to double-check the Swift Aid wording.)
Try Master of Many Styles and check out the Archon Style tree. It's better than In Harm's Way, I think.
I have a Halfling cavalier honor guard, and at 4th level she doles out +7 AC on Aid AoOs. With a lance and unarmed strike, she covers 10 feet on all sides. I can't wait until she can afford the Benevolent Armor...
Oh, a couple of other possible issues:
2) The Sniper's Goggles duplicate the effects of the rogue sniper archetype. Drop these and get Goggles of night for darkvision (for 12,000 gp) instead, and have 8L gp to spend on something else.
Combat Style Master says you start combat with one style active, even in the surprise round, so I would say you can switch styles in Round 1.
(If you have the Master of Many Styles archetype, you can use two style at the same time.)
I have a couple of questions:
1) Why is your charisma so high? I don't see any charisma-based feats in your build. You might be better off putting the three 18s in Str (16), Dex (20), and Con. Put the 16 in Charisma for 18, and the 17s in Wisdom and Int. If you do keep the 19 Charisma, you might consider Ninja instead of Rogue for a ki pool and the same amount of sneak attack dice.
2) Do you get a stat boost at 4th and 8th level? If so, where did you put these?
3) Have you looked into Focused Shot, which lets you add your Int to damage on ranged attacks? The downside is that you only get one attack per round, but you'd get at least +3 additional damage. (If you want to do this, you can move the 18 from Con to Int for +4.)
4) Are you allowed to use Darkleaf Cloth armor? You can make leather armor from darkleaf cloth for +2/+8 Dex or studded leather for +3/+7 Dex.
Now a couple of suggestions:
B) Since your armor choices are so limited, you might consider a few levels of monk. You'd get +3 (+4 if you keep the 18 wisdom) to your AC at level 1, fast movement at level 3, and a ki pool for additional attacks and extra AC at level 4.
C) I don't see many occasions where Far Shot will help you. I would take Deadly Aim instead.
If you're interested in any of these suggestions, I can work up a sample build for you.
If she wants to do Ray Mysterio, I would go more for a dex-based monk with High Jump, fast movement, and good Acrobatics and Escape Artist(maybe maneuver master or master of many styles). With this build, you'd want Agile Maneuvers.
Technically, grapple doesn't have a size limitation, so she can use the grapple checks against anybody. (She gets a size penalty to GMD, but there's not a limit to how big a character she can grapple.)
Some cool maneuver feats for small characters are Under and Over and Choke Hold. Also, the Snapping Turtle Style tree gives you a free grapple check when someone misses you.
What do you do when an incorrect player number in a session blocks you from saving the report?*
I've got one session with an unreadable number or incorrectly written number or maybe a new player number that has not yet registered. At any rate, there's something wrong with the session and I can't submit the report from my event. And since it was an event, I don't have any way of contacting the players or even any confidence I will run across them at a weekly games night. (I didn't GM that session, so I don't even know if the players are local.)
So I'll publicly apologize to the players on this session, but until I get through puzzling out which number is broken, that session won't be reported. That process might take longer if I think I have a shot at figuring out what is wrong with the number and getting it corrected. Oh, and if your number is the one that's wrong, I'm sorry about that, too.
In larger events, the odds of getting mistakes like this go way, way up. It's not always a question of "lazy event coordinators who just don't report things"...
*I keep thinking there's got to be some "override and submit it anyway" command, but I haven't found one. Any suggestions?
With the new Monk ruling that monks don't have an off hand, they can actually TWF with a heavy sword in each hand, with full Power Attack damage on each weapon. Temple Sword is 1d8, enlarge person kicks it to 2d6. The slower BAB can be a problem, though.
The other fun build is Sawtooth sabres: a long sword that can be wielded in your off hand without penalty. You still get half damage from Power Attack on the off hand, though.