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Kingmaker has lots of differences to "normal" APs. As others have mentioned. Another one is the amount of down time. It is great for a crafting character. Our party has a wizard who is always making something for someone.
I have a paladin and have not suffered a lack of things to smite. The mount is great as well.
Your party already has a martial charater and a cleric. So depending on builds should be ok in that area, but only has a part time arcane caster. I would look at that area. If you feel the need to add melee ability, possibly a magus or bard. If you don't like that idea, personally I would pick between Paladin and Oracle and not mix. Love paladns in Pathfinder
Basically, without a totally different build you simply need to SA more. Without party support your only real option is feint. To do this usefully you need improved feint, which needs Combat Expertise. So without re-training you are 2 feats away.
Other stuff can help around the edges, but your class is designed to get combat damage from SA.
Playing in Kingmaker I have a half Orc Rogue using a falchion. Highest stat is strength. Uses Improved feint. So far I have been the most consistent damage dealer. Has been a real glass cannon. It is often a race to see who fall over first (something I have lost on numerous occasions)
I like having the skill out of combat. While spells can replace skills they either have to be carried at the right time or resources (i.e. money) spent on scroll/wands/potions. Skills cost nothing.
Agreed with the OP further up. Two weapon fighting is a serious trap. But then it is for most classes apart from fighters.
I believe the idea that you always have something better to do in combat then healing is great in theory, not so true in practice. A selective channel at 3rd level can be healing 4D8+4 to allies. There are lots of occasions when a 3rd level cleric does not have anything more useful to do. This is equally true at other levels.
If your party has a good damage dealer, keeping him/her on her feet can be your best move. You may not be able to keep up with the opponents damage output, but it can still be the best option.
Looking at real life history then several thing become apparent (in no particular order):
I am running this kind of rogue in kingmaker. Half orc with a falchion. Took combat expertise and improved feign, weapon focus and dazzling display (using rogue talents to get some of them) He has been a very effective glass cannon. Deals horrible damage and/or falls over. Orc ferocity has saved him on at least one occasion. I did not spot the scout until afterwards or I probably would have taken that.
The character has been fun to play, which is always more important then what other people think of as sub optimal.
These things vary a lot. Nearly had a TPK at the end of book 3 of Kingmker. I think the DM pulled some punches or it would have been. Obviously I do not know for certain as I am a player.
Book 1 includes a journey of about 2.5 weeks. But not a lot of other time
Ok so I moved Kikonu to U13. The party climb the walls at U3, take the door and move to U8. Now they have a light source as they have characters who cannot see in the dark. Kikonu see the light go down the corridor. He waits for them to go further then follows.
The problem: The party are making a beeline for the crypt. They know that Ameiko's family secret is there. They have no idea what is causing her incapacitation, but based on no evidence feel the answer is in the crypt as well. They see no point in messing with the rest of the inhabitants of the castle. At this stage they are not really strong enough, being a level short.
The situation: The party is in T12 and have found the stairs down. So Kikonu steps out on the balcony U7 whirling "Dancing Wasp"
So Kikonu can generally act mad while the wasp is fighting. Then throw ray of enfeeblement/scourching rays about.
Any ideas about keeping them out of the cellars if Kikonu runs after a few rounds, and in the longer term, after they heal up.
I think the best way is show them the consequences of their actions
A rival team who perform better is a good idea.
Intimidate has a short time scale. Have intimidated NPC come after them/hire others to do likewise, in revenge for their bullying.
Swap in a few good aligned magic items.
Let the realise good characters/NPCs get price discounts at some shops etc
So my players are old and crafty. The party gets to Brimwall early afternoon, they go to the lighthouse, then the graveyard. They talk to Spivy (but do not see her) Spivy tells them about the “bird men” in the castle. So they hid in one of the buildings and observe the castle.
I roll to see if any dire corbys left to hunt to day (they hunt on alternate days) They hunted today. So dusk the hunters return. The party return to the caravan to rest and reassure everyone they are ok. They carry on observing the castle. When the next group of hunter leave they follow and kill them.
I do not agree with leo1925 about the reletive time taken to adapt a AP compared to running a npc. But these are personal opinons. You have four players, which is what the AP is designed for. Make minor changes, and let the chip fall. Maybe next time they will act like a team. If they cannot co-operate to create a party, will they act as a team in the AP?
I think I would go with you initial thought. An Archer Cleric looks a good option. Core rule book contains everything you need, and you will be a useful/powerful character. On top of this he/she could be fun to play. Personally I like clerics and enjoy playing them.
With any class with know all the spells on there spell list I always pick up Scribe scroll at some point. It is possible to just leave slots open and prepare the utility spell you just found you need, but I prefer to make scrolls
Kikonu gave half the key to Nindinzego as a sign of friendship (p49). You could a) state that he did not know of it's significance (but now does) b) Nindinzego took it after Kikonu carelessly let it be seen/had a minion steal it or c) in your campaign Nindinzego got from somewhere else (its your campaign after all)
You have not said if there is another divine caster in the party. If not then you need access to lesser restoration and remove paralysis. The later should be ok for a scroll or two. The first on the campaign. Spectral weapon can help in combat situations without risking your own skin.
I think Nicos and I are saying the same thing, but in different ways. What I was saying is that there are no skill essential to the fighter to function as a class (unlike spellcraft for a wizard) So they can use there 2 skill points in ways which are interesting for the player. I like to use unusual skills with fighters to add depth and help with out of combat roleplaying.
My group has no problem with fighters. There lack of skills mean out of combat can be tricky, but it is not crippling. Fighter do not need any/many skills so the points you have can be put where you think you can have fun.
We have never found the "full casters dominate every thing/other classes are weak/boring" stuff you see a lot of on message boards. Probably playing styles have a lot to do with it. After a "GOD" wizard has sprayed battlefield control spell everywhere, someone still has to put the badies down. Fighter are just as fun to play as anything else if you like them. If you do not then they will suck for you.
So since my earlier post things have been firmed up, but nothing changed substantively
Zarzuket Gnome summoner from Whistledown. Has a quadruped eidolon.
Yazayah Shoanti Barbarian. Orphan taken in by Shalelu. Will be using Thunder and Fang feat from "Varsia: birthplace of Legends". This is looking like a frightening character.
Cathran Half elf oracle of fire. Elven parent from crying leaf. Concentrating on casting, week physical stats
Romulas Half orc Inquisitor of Desna. Uses a great axe.
The party has good melee ability but lacks an arcane full caster which may hurt them later on. In the early adventures the combat encounters are going to fall down quickly
Definitely agree with Peter. I had them investigate the plantation Vanthus was sent to, to see if there were any clues as to what sent him off the rails. Vanthus was using this are for weapon running to savages (lizardmen I think).
I started this in 3.5 and converted to Pathfinder.
A lot of the stuff about Lavinia and her brother has been said.
Like all AP try and tie your characters to the campaign. I had a half elf who's parents had retired to a new colony similar to Farshore which the Crimson fleet destroyed. This information came out in drips throughout the campaign. The sorcerer had a favourate uncle who turned out to be a necromancer. They came across his trail several time before he turned up as a statue at the basilisk lair.
I had recurring encounters with the Scarlet Brotherhood right the way up to IOD (just to spice things up really)
I have never run anything there, but I think the idea of using some Byzantine terms is a good one. They are not terms most players will be familiar with and will add flavour (if not over done)
However I think the developers were just getting the feel of the place over to reader rather then trying to talk about details.
In Varnhold Vanishing
Abigale now Paladin/cleric of Erastil 7/1. Baroness. Main healer and Tank
Kelso. Item creating Wizard 8th. The only subtle one in the party
Jarl: Archery focussed ranger 8th, favoured enemies humans and fey. Really beginning to see this character shine. Was a bit over shadowed by Sven and Abigale (except against the human bandits) But all the archery feats are now meshing for serious damage.
The need for out of combat healing can be satisfied with 2 partial healers like a witch and inquisitor at low to mid levels. Have not tried it at higher levels yet.
Our group do not like relying on consumables, we always have sexier stuff to spend money on. But we do go without a cleric/oracle when we all want to play different classes. Serpents Skull we have an inquisitor, druid, sorcerer and monk. Kingmaker Paladin, rogue, wizard and Ranger. Both are at mid levels with no deaths.
To go back to the party composition. I think it will suffer from mid levels onward. The lack of versatility, battle field control and utility could at some point lead to a TPK. Often in places it will not be obvious to the GM. The AP expect a balanced party.
That said we are having great fun in Kingmaker and Serpents Skull with party's that look a bit dysfunctional. Leaving out arcane utility/control is risky from mid levels upward (they will be awesome in combat though)
I am running this one. Looks like:
They knew the NPCs they would be travelling with, and therefore knew the gaps the NPCs could cover but went with what they were interested in. The best way to play in my book.
Been playing since the 70s and not seen it as problem. Lots of GMs allow 15 minute adventuring days and do not protect their creatures/opponents from scrying.
With proper pacing and monsters/npc acting intelligently wizards, GOD or otherwise are powerful but not dominant.
I have seen every kind of character out shine the rest of the party over the years. Although with the rogue it was only in his own mind (he had a knack of landing the killing blow on powerful creatures and naming himself " giantkiller" dragon killer" etc)