Agreed. Reread what I wrote not longer after I posted it and winced a bit. Didn't mean to be prickly - sorry if I came across the wrong way.
Yeah, I've been hearing from a number of people about Google Docs not posting mobile friendly versions.
I'm still trying to figure out how to do it differently. I've been uploading PDFs... maybe I need to upload Docs, or HTML, or some other format - or maybe ditch google docs and find another hosting site?
Anyone have any ideas?
Really? That's your example? You're missing something, then:
"Unless it's a resetting trap."
"Okay. Let's wait around 8 hours while I do a ritual to make a new companion to check it out."
... 8 hours later ...
"Timmy, go check."
And, no, your minion really doesn't level with you. Your Hit Die cap does go up each level, but that definitely doesn't mean the minion is scaling along with you. A level 2 character can get a CR=1 skeleton - a one level difference. A level 9 character? Only a CR=4 skeleton (5 levels difference). A 20th level character? Only a CR=8 skeleton (12 levels difference.)
To drive it home further, let's take that 9th level character, who with the Undead Lord feat, can animate a 9 HD skeleton as a CR=4 minion. Or, they could cast Animate Dead on a Bloody Tyranosaurus Skeleton - which would be a CR=9 minion.
So... on one hand we've got a CR=4 creature that takes 8 freaking hours to animate... or we've got a CR=9 creature that *won't die*. To be honest, even if you found a candidate creature you'd make an Undead Lord minion out of, it'd probably be better to just Animate it, then use the Control Undead spell on it.
And to get this bad ability, you're choosing a substandard domain and outright losing the second.
I definitely stand by the Undead Lord hate.
Point #1 - Treating it like a TV show will lead to DM-as-writer.
I completely disagree. Step back for a second and separate Structure versus Content. You're absolutely right that if you rely on tv plots/adventures as the source of your *content*, you're going to creep into GM-as-writer territory. But that's completely different than using TV's *structure*. Those things that I talk about in the guide have nothing to do with the actual content - it's just the way/order you present them to your players.
Heck, take a look at my prior guide and the specific examples in this one and point to where I'm railroading.
Point #2 - The refreshers/recaps being unnecessary.
Again, I completely disagree. I definitely don't think it's fair to say that if a player doesn't remember the relevant details, they're not engaged in the campaign.
And even if most of the players remember most of the relevant details... isn't it still worth it to get everyone on the same page? Heck, at the very least, it makes sure that people aren't confusing two different NPCs or two different enemies they've run into in sessions past. Clarity is rarely a bad thing when GM'ing.
Point #3 - Neat sessions versus regularly timed sessions.
You've got an assumption you're working off of - it's also one I'd suggest you test out for a campaign or two. Your assumption is that how you're handling adventures is superior to neat/clean sessions of adventure legs.
Our group is in the same boat as you - we've got one semi-timed session per week (starts at a specific time, goes 3-4 hours.) So it's not like what I'm suggesting pertains to a group radically different than yours.
Or maybe this will help: Imagine your television was interactive. You get to control what one of the characters does.
Do you really think the *structure* of the show would be different? You don't think the same tricks would be involved? You don't think the pacing would crescendo into a commercial, but then stall for a bit after the commercial to get you back into the action? You don't think the episode would try to tie the content off in a mostly-complete bow? You don't think the episode would give you teasers as to what you could do next week if you participated again?
... and yet another guide. A second GM guide, this one targeting the structure of a session and how to give your players the most enjoyment out of the same basic content.
The Discussion Page: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2prfy?Brewers-GM-Guide-2-Session-Structure
I've completed the rough draft of a second GM guide, this time concerned with session structure and giving your players the maximum enjoyment with the same basic content.
I've completed the long over-due revising of the Reach Cleric Guide. I want to thank all the people so far that have helped out with it, both in support and in fixes/suggestions/etc. The improvements:
The race section was greatly expanded to include Featured and Unusual Races from the Advanced Race Guide.
Additional Metamagic options were added as qualifiers for Spell Perfection.
Dodge-Mobility added to the feat section.
Erastil added as a deity to consider, with Fur/Feather+Growth subdomains listed as options.
Ring of Counterspells, Eyes of the Eagle, Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier, and Dusty Rose Ioun Stone added to the suggested items.
Grace added in the spells section.
Stand Still feat fixed.
Rules issue with multiple-AoO fixed.
Int Score recommendations fixed.
Fixed a rules issue with the Liberation domain's ability.
Modified the wording on Combat Reflexes after more field testing.
Some additional items that I looked over and didn't include:
Big Game Hunter: I couldn't find a reference to this as a Cleric Option. The only thing I found with this was an option for Barbarians.
Rice Runner Trait: I didn't end up expanding the guide to include traits. Maybe in the next version.
Guided Property on a weapon: I couldn't find any reference to it.
Spiked Gauntlets. I know a few commenters went through the trouble of figuring out how to threaten the 5-foot range as well as the spear's 10-foot range. The thing is, I don't think it's terribly relevant. What circumstances have to occur in battle before you get the 5-foot AoO? About the only thing I can think of is Casting + moving right next to an enemy archer/caster (if you're going to attack them, wouldn't you attack 10-foot away so you can use your superior weapon?) It seems to me that anything that'd be within 5 foot of you wouldn't be doing something that would provoke AoO.
Sheyln as a Deity: Sorry, but this deity is Neutral Good. That gives up all the benefits of Sacred Summons.
Anyway, again, thanks to everyone that has helped me improve the Reach Cleric Guide - and I hope it's been a good contribution to the Pathfinder Community! :-)
Oh, by the way, this one is starting out a bit more rough-draft than my other guides; I did a lot less proof-reading and verification on it.
If anyone sees any improvements, clarifications, or rules issues, please bring them up.
Anyway, time to start going back and getting the other guides back up to date...
Broken Zenith wrote:
Flooding the field. Here's another guide, intended for those wanting to bolster their party with some undead.
The Discussion Thread: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pqof?Brewers-Guide-to-Undeath-A-Necromancers
I've got a new mini-guide for those casters that are wanting to have some undead minions.
Yeah, the "no multiples" bit does kind of suck, but I think it's peanuts compared to getting that standard action summon (the paranoid part in me wants the GM to have almost no opportunity to make me roll a concentration check.)
Plus, if you're playing in a campaign high-enough level where summoning multiples is a lot better than just 1-of the highest, you're probably pretty close to just using the Abyssal bloodline to destroy things.
(As a side note... are you thinking of 3.5 summoning? I didn't think Vulpinals were summonable in pathfinder.)
Maybe I do need to go back and chart it out past the 6th level. I didn't do it original because I don't have as much experience as I should with the high level magic and the game changes quite a bit at those higher levels.
I'll take some time to think about it.
The reason the bloodline spells (and all those exceptions listed for the various classes in the W.o.P. section is pretty simple: there's no way of translating the bonus to the Words of Power system. Unless Paizo was going to try to go back to every single bloodline and say, okay, the Serpentine bloodline gets these effect words at these levels, they basically have to just let the sorcerer get those regular spells.
The reason I think the Words of Power translates to the favored class bonus is how the two texts interact:
From the W.o.P. section:
From the Alternate Favored Class bonus section:
... basically, when a sorcerer gains spells, they gain them from the effect words.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to twist rules. If your GM rules the opposite, that the favored class bonus gives you regular spells, it is LOADS more powerful. Suddenly, you get the best of both worlds - the best effect words and the best regular spells. In fact, I think that'd be busted in half. Can you imagine? All the flexibility in those higher slots compared to getting the cream of the crop of the God Wizard spells?
As for Servitor 2, I think you missed something. Putting "Boost" on the Selected word increases the level of all the effect words by 3. Servitor 2 to summon 1d4+1 creatures takes a fifth level slot (this is what I meant about Servitor not being suitable to summon multiple lower level summons - it's an extra level behind the regular version's 1d4+1 summon, and it even takes a meta word to use.)
I didn't know falling damage was capped at 20d6. Shoot, that makes the spell a lot less funny. Shoot, back to red territory that spell goes after all...
Another one for the list:
Brewer's GM Guide to Campaign Design
I started a new guide: a GM Guide to Campaign Design.
Here's the link: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5kvBvq2DEHjLUs1bHB2UERIcnc/edit
Let me know if anyone has any suggestions or improvements.
Thanks for all the comments so far!
Atarlost: Can you point me to a ruling? I'd be happy to change and correct the parts of the guide if that's the case about Wildblooded/Crossblooded. Also, yeah, it started out as a W.o.P. version of the God Wizard - I thought I had cleaned out all the parts where it applies to Wizards (preparing spells, etc) - can you point to me where I messed up?
VRMH/Buzzard: Okay, you got me. I might have to tweak that section of the guide, though it'll have to be with some big caveats (that GMs will likely put the hammer down on it.) For more info, see this original (unresolved) thread involving the lead designer: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2m8u1
Broken Zenith wrote:
Hm. Didn't see that before.
Well, that's okay - can you put mine under the Sorcerer section anyway - it is a Sorcerer guide (just using the Words of Power system.)
Actually, I might give a shot at rewriting that generic W.o.P. guide. It's currently just a blurb after each word... but it doesn't help you in actually making a character (it doesn't cover which spells your class is allowed, or what spells can be combined with one another.)
I'd like to add a new guide to the list - one that covers something I've never seen covered: Words of Power. The guide covers an optimized Words of Power Sorcerer.
The Discussion Board: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2ppvi?Thus-She-Spoke-A-Words-of-Power-Sorcerere ss
I've finished a new guide to an under-used segment of the Pathfinder System: Words of Power. Suggestions and improvements are welcome; am considering writing a second Words of Power guide for the Oracle.
I guess the way I looked at it, you cast it, and the creature doesn't save, falls prone, and is fatigued. On their turn, they get up and move out of the area. Why would they be in the area after the first turn?
I might be mis-evaluating it, but it seemed to me like it'd just be small damage + Fatigued; admittedly, I've never actually used it in a battle, so I could very easily be wrong.
Red Ramage wrote:
Since this method of casting is very DC dependent, and the shadow spells are so flexible, would you recommend the Spellslinger archetype for use with this? Four opposition schools won't matter so much.
That's an awful lot of work and significant downsides for pretty little reward. I mean, you lose cantrips, gain four opposition schools, and a spell per level (since you don't have a specialty school giving you an extra spell perlevel.) All you get out of it is that the line/ray/cone evocation spells have a higher resist - it doesn't improve the AoE ones or the utility ones (Light/Darkness/Grasping Hand/Telekinetic Charge/etc)
It's a good idea, and a way of improving the DC's that I hadn't thought of, but I think it gives up way too much for too little of reward.
Yeah, I was trying to figure out a way of demonstrating the numbers. The reasoning: There's very little chance of a caster having both Shadow Evocation and Spell Focus: Evocation. If they're dedicated enough for regular Evocation spells that they've taken S.F., they're probably not going to take Shadow Evocation. Likewise, if they've taken Shadow Evocation, they're probably never going to take S.F. Evocation.
As for the Gnome part, I was trying to mimic what most casters will have in terms of a bonus. Most people using Shadow Evocation will have anywhere between +1 and +3 (between being a Gnome, having Spell Focus, and having Greater Spell Focus.) +2 seemed a good estimation point - I could have easily just made it "non-Gnome caster with both S.F. and G.S.F."
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
First, you *don't* have incontrovertible proof that a shadow spell isn't real - because it's not true; Shadow spells are partially real. In fact, you could just as easily take the mindset of "Shadow spells are 100% real unless you go out of your way to dismiss them with your mind" - after all, that just as accurately reflects how the mechanics work (and it accounts for why you can voluntarily fail a Will save to disbelieve.)
Hmmm.... maybe I do need to put the same section that I put in my Shadow Conjuration guide (the Zen Flavoring section.) It's a lot more relevant for Conjuration, but maybe there's enough for Evocation to warrant its inclusion.
Second, I'm not sure Daylight and Darkness fall into the same camp as Wind Wall. Objects/Creatures getting will saves simply affect whether the object/creature believes the effect is 100% real *just for that object/creature*. An arrow making a will save just means that the arrow "knows" the spell isn't 100% real. Same thing for a stone that you cast Shadow Light on. The stone knows the light that it's emitting isn't 100% real... but that doesn't stop someone from seeing the light coming from it as real.
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Actually, I have one staff that I really like to put in a wizard's hands around level 7 or 8. I call it the "Starter Staff"
* If you really don't like enchantment effects, this could just as easily be Glitterdust
... the thing that makes this staff so good? It only costs 8,000 gp.
That's because you're taking advantage of spells that a Bard gets earlier than a Wizard, but without the increased caster level coming into play (since staves have a minimum caster level of 8 anyway.)
From a Wizard's perspective, you're getting a staff with a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level spell on it - all of which are solid staple spells on a very bare-bones price. But when it comes to the actual price (with a bard having made it) :
400 gp x 8 x 3 x 1/4 = 2400 gp
I've typed up another guide, this time for Shadow Evocation.
I'd appreciate comments and suggestions; I don't have the most experience with higher-level evocation spells, so some additional PoV on some of the spells would be nice.
Yeah, see, that's an example of something I wouldn't want to put in the guide, or at least without putting some *heavy* disclaimers on. I can't imagine this with any reasonable GM:
Me: I want to cast Create Demiplane.
... dunno. Maybe it's only a personal hangup of my part.
All right - I added a lot of material to it (including info about Shades and some GM Adjudication material.) And I definitely learned something (didn't know Shades was all Conjuration spells, not just Summoning/Creation.)
I'm hesitant about adding material that exploits a lack of Material Components, a Spell Focus, or a long casting time. As a GM, I would think long and hard about letting the Shadow Conjuration version remove those restrictions, even if it's RAW.
I had originally avoided doing anything with Shadow Evocation, because I thought it was too one-dimensional... but I'm seeing now that it has a few options available (Blasts, Walls, Utility.) It's not nearly as flexible as Conjuration, but it might be worth including.
I love it! I started a discussion on this just last night. Was that the inspiration?
Heh, no. Actually, the sad thing is, I've had this typed up in a less pretty format for about 5 months for my own personal use. Realized that, hey, maybe I should make it available for other people to get use out of as well.
Edit: Whoa, checked out the thread you're talking about, and I can definitely see why you asked. It even includes the same sort of discussion on "Can you purposely fail the will save."
I've just finished a guide for one of the most underused and powerful spells in a Sorcerer/Wizard arsenal: Shadow Conjuration.
It's also a reference manual for the spell, giving a quick one-stop place to see what spells you can translate Shadow Conjuration into.
I agree with the Inelegant words bit.
I really don't agree with the usage of Part you offered. That use of Part is as a noun, a subject. If the Sunder rules said "... opponent as a part of an attack action..." I could buy it. But it's not referring to "a part" or "a part to xxx", it's referring to "part of" - a portion of something. As it is, it looks pretty straight-forward in its writing: some portion of the attack action can be replaced by taking out a melee attack and replacing it with Sunder.
So it really comes down to which you think is more likely:
A) "Part of" is used inelegantly, being added despite being unnecessary and confusing.
B) "Attack Action" not referring to the Standard Action - Attack (method), but an action that is an attack.
Unfortunately, now I can't even make up my own mind. Both seem equally silly and confusing.
If A is the correct, why didn't they simply phrase it like Vital Strike? Why is the Monk's Flurry of Blows ability phrased like it is (or for that matter, why does the Monk get to flurry Sunders while the Fighter's Full Attack can't?) Why add "Part of" to sunder's definition?
If B is correct, why didn't they simply phrase it like Trip? Why is Attack Action used as a definitive phrase in Jason's post on Vital Strike, and why is Vital Strike use the same phrasing with "The attack action" instead of "an attack action".
Bah. I'm going to bed. And clicking FAQ'ing. And hoping the issue doesn't come up in any games.
Proposal for you. Not trying to be snarky - legitimately offering a possible way of thinking about this:
Jason's usage of the term "Attack Action" isn't an exact match of the term "Attack Action" in the Sunder Rules.
Hear me out. When Jason refers to an "Attack Action" in his post, he's explicitly referring to a Standard Action - Attack (method). But that phrasing doesn't make sense with how the Sunder Rules are written. That'd mean the Sunder rules could have been phrased like:
Sunder: You can attempt to sunder as part of a standard action attack (melee) or standard action attack (unarmed.)
Which begs the question: what part is left? If that's all Sundering is, what part of the standard action is left over? Why did the rules for Sunder say "Part of"?
Seems like, either way of parsing this, something has to give. It makes a lot more sense to me that the phrase simply isn't being used in the exact same way, than it is that the Sunder rules have an extremely misleading phrase thrown in for no apparent reason.
Sunder Rules wrote:
I don't get the misunderstanding on the rules here. The wording that gives it away:
You can attempt to sunder an item held or worn by your opponent as part of an attack action in place of a melee attack.
If Sunder can only be done as a standard action, it can never be "part of" an attack action. It would be the entire attack action.
Therefore, you have to be able to do a Sunder as part of a full attack action, because otherwise, that whole "part of" wording wouldn't make sense.
Another thing to keep in mind is: The rules don't have to be right. This is one thing that hung me up when I started DM'ing.
If nobody knows exactly how the rules work in a situation, don't bother looking it up on the spot. Just dictate something and move on - it keeps the game flowing, and doesn't break the players' experience.
Afterwards, you can look up what the rules should have been, and then before the next session, let your players know what the rules are.
So I've been playing a sylpe magus for a while and decided to try a human sorcerer in another game. We have a cleric, bard, fighter, ranger, and a rogue but no all around magic user. We're level two and I'm having a hard time trying to figure out feats, gear, and spells. I want to be a blaster human sorcerer still debating on draconic or arcane bloodlines.
Just have some fun with it. If your party has five other members, including a Cleric and Bard, a lot of the typical bases you'd need to cover is already addressed.
That said, picking up a few Necromancy debuffs will make everyone feel a lot better. Ray of Enfeeblement, Blindness/Deafness, Bestow Curse, Enervate, etc - that's something you can contribute that probably won't be done very well by other party members (Clerics typically don't have the ultra-high wisdom to really pull off consistent debuff effects.)
Stay away from the Enchantment and Abjuration spells. That way you'll give the Bard and Cleric something to feel happy about with their spellcasting.
Finally... finished spicing up the guide with some pictures.
Will be going over it the next few days with the additions people are requesting: races, alternative reach weapons, Big Game Hunter feat, etc.
Thanks for all the support! I'm glad it's useful and people are getting something out of it.
Set - the problem with those spells is they're low-level save-or-sucks... not the forte of a Reach Cleric. Maybe in the early levels, but it probably wouldn't be very long before hitting a DC=13 Will Save would be too easy.
jlord - I would probably say "no", mostly because most caster clerics usually have low physical stats to support a high wisdom (though I have no idea how your build looks.) Maybe your GM would let you tweak your character to adjust stats and swap out a few feats for Power Attack and Combat Reflexes.
Just a word of warning, though - you might run into tactical obstacles when trying to both heal during battle and still get attacks of opportunity. You'll probably have to put more thought and planning on how you maneuver in battle - and work with your intended heal target (especially if they're another caster.)
Chosen of Desna wrote:
Um, the group looks pretty squishy. Adding a pure support character might be a bad way of handling it. How about a Paladin with a relatively low damage output and good tanking abilities? That way the PCs would usually be the ones delivering the kills, but would be saved from having to be up on the front lines.
I've written a guide to a different style of Cleric that I haven't seen covered before: A Reach Cleric.
Suggestions and Improvements are welcome; I'm hoping it can get added to the "Guide to the Guides".
Wanted to thank everyone that's helped out so far, and I've done a number of revisions/rewriting. The biggest one was Tark's take that, if I'm doing a focused guide specifically for one type of build, I don't want to try to be comprehensive on every possible option - just the good ones.
How do I go about things from here? Do I just start a new thread? Do I post in the stickied "Guide to the Guides" thread?
The black raven wrote:
Thanks for helping out :-)
On here works. While I'm not new to writing, I'm definitely new with writing a guide to Pathfinder - so I want to make the general concept/direction/tone of the thing is worth trying to put among the guides. Last thing I want is to burst into the 'Guide to the Guides' thread, say, "Look at this cool new guide!", and have the general consensus be, "Uh, dude, that character concept sucks"
Bane Wraith wrote:
I don't think it'd be a reroll, because it's not like the *Character* is having another chance to know something. It's not whether they know anything, it's whether that bit of info is in the library, and whether the character can find it.
Instead, I'd do it like one of the following:
Option #1 - Full Fledged
A) Determine, as GM, whether the library has the piece of information in question. Maybe it's by a "Take 20" by a level 8 expert with an INT of 14. In that case, would a Knowledge check of 30 succeed? Then that bit of info is in the library
B) (Optional) Determine whether the char can find it. Maybe an INT check with a DC=5 or DC=10. Depends on how well the library is laid out, and how obscure the info is.
Option #2 - Quick and Easy
Assume the info is in the library. Then, make the char do an INT check, with a DC ten less than the original Knowledge DC. Trying to determine a relatively obscure fact with a Knowledge DC=25? Then it'd take an Int check of DC=15 to manage to find it in the library. Not ideal, but it's a nice quick way of handling it.
A really boring, but incredibly useful, option would be to give them the Dueling enhancement (+4 to initiative, and other misc bonuses) for 14k, and then a +10 skill boost to Perception.
That brings you up to 30k almost exactly:
Dueling Enhancement: 14k
= 29k, plus the cost of a masterwork version of what you're operating on.
... the idea being that wizards win battles if they go first and aren't surprised; they lose battles if they're surprised and have an init roll after the enemies. It's even got a good flavor to it - call them "Mage's Gloves of Preparedness" or such.
My favorite is to bend the fourth wall and actually throw a puzzle in front of the players (not the characters.) It's an easy way to break up a group of optimized characters, because it doesn't matter how well the character is built, if the player can't solve the puzzle, they're hosed.
For instance, I was DM'ing a mini-campaign that was modeled after a Zelda game (temples filled with a mix of puzzles and deadly monsters; with a magic item/spell they acquired midway through that would allow them to finish the temple and level up.)
On one session, they entered a series of ruins that held a crazed wizard that laid traps and puzzles everywhere. When the group entered one room, I pulled back a curtain which had been hiding seven paper cutouts hanging from a string and paperclip. Each cutout was six connected squares, sort of like tetris pieces. I then said,
"An inscription glimmers in the air before you in shimmering green letters:
... the idea being that they have to pluck shapes hanging from the ceiling and try to bend them into a cube. Four of them work; three of them do not. You can choose the amount/style of damage (or, heck, make it actually lethal.)
Another puzzle had them choosing from a set of ropes. Each rope looped around a bit, but both ends were taped to a piece of paper. They had to choose the ropes that, when they pulled on the ends, would result in a knot (some, when pulled, would simply result in a straight taut rope.
Anyway, if you're looking for something that's possibly lethal, this is a great way to do it, and the players will even love you for it. You've got complete control over the difficulty and penalties for failure, so you can easily dip it into lethal territory.
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
... wouldn't Haste just make it quicker? ;-)
The funny thing is, I don't even know if it's the spell layout - it's not a question of Haste vs Something else, or Grease vs Something Else. I get the impression it's the manner he's portraying/RP'ing his char. In my personal experience, I can bring a suboptimal character to the table and still get a good response, as long as I do two things: Make them interesting and get buy-in from the other players over the first few sessions.
And to be honest, the easiest way to get buy-in is to have a humble character. The weakest character I've ever played (Cleric 3 + Druid 3, working towards a homebuild Mystic Theurge for two divine classes) was beloved by the party - simply because she was a genuinely nice person that tried her hardest to do good and protect those around her - and one that was open in her admiration on the other character's acts.
It's awfully tough, as a player, to get pissed at the character who's paying your character sincere compliments. Betcha if that happened - Nives gets his life saved by the other characters and genuinely looks up to them and respects them - that a lot of his playgroup's complaints would vanish.