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Organized Play Member. 263 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 4 Organized Play characters.


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I get the power issues with having automatic heighten, but I think they aren’t as drastic as the confusion from having a spell but not being able to cast it at all levels. I’m not talking about things like invisibility, that basically have a greater version, but about things like fireball or heal, that just have an “add this many dice when cast at this slot”. It also feels wrong to have heal at level 1, being able to cast it using a level 5 slot, but still getting the level 1 benefit.
The only solution I can think of that doesn’t give too much of a power boost but avoids this confusion is splitting up some of the spells back to regular and greater versions, while leaving the spells that only change the strength of their effects as one spell and giving them auto-heighten.

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First off I’d like to say that I really enjoyed this blog, and most of the others, and am excited and grateful by being able to play PF2 soon. I like the bloodline change in particular.

That being said, the way spontaneous casting deals with heightening is concerning to me. It feels like solving a physics problem (I’m a physicist) and getting a solution that lacks some symmetry or aesthetic property. When that happens it not only feels icky and gives me a headache, it almost always means the solution is wrong. I believe this is the case here.

I understand and agree with all points made against automatically upcasting or downcasting, how they eat up time or may be stronger than prepared casters etc. But, I believe they are an order of magnitude less disrupting than the confusion from not being able to cast spells that you have and get the appropriate effect. A sorcerer with heal can now cast it at 5th level but not get the effect that it says it has at 5th level.

I think the issue with spontaneous casting has to do with how spells behave in general now; with spells being unaffected by caster level, collapsing spell chains into the heightened mechanic that affects both the magnitude and the scope of spells, having opposing effects being resolved through spell level, and so on, spontaneous casting needs to jump through too many hoops.

Maybe you should re-split some of the spells? Keep heightened effects like additional damage/healing and the opposing effects resolution , but re-split things like invisibility where the effect of the spell changes. This means that auto upcasting will involve a lot less bookkeeping (just the number of dice or the rare level comparison), be less confusing, and give what I think is the right sort of flexibility for this type of casting: that of magnitude, not scope.

Another option is to give heightening through spell points, though this doesn’t resolve the confusion of not having a spell you know, and will need to be done on a class by class basis.

As a last note, I’d like to thank you all for being so responsive. These blogs, your continued commenting in them, and of course the various faqs, errata and support in general are a huge part in why PF is my RPG of choice, and the main reason I’ve been excited by PF2 even before any details were announced.

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I like what I see with the structure of the archetypes, though my Spidey sense is tingling as to the power level. Just using the pirate dedication as an example, what if I already have acrobatics as a signature skill and am already trained with those weapon? Both of those seem like things easily gained through class (especially ones chosen for a pirate character) and greatly reduce the appeal of the dedication feat.
I worry issues like this will deter players from going with archetypes, but I withhold judgment until I have the playtest in my hands.

I think it might be more interesting if the draconic heritage is of an evil dragon, that way there’s tension between the characters beliefs and choices and their ancestry.

Note that hurtful takes a swift action to activate, as does arcane strike, so going hurtful and riving strike means you need blooded arcane strike, so another feat.

Toughness is never a bad choice, but you have con to spare, so no priority there. If you like cornugoun smash then I highly recommend you get riving strike, intimidating prowess and a cruel weapon. This way in two attacks you can give a whopping -6 to saves and -4 to attacks, making you an amazing debuffer on top of your damage skills.

Oh, and it seems you wrote improved critical twice.

Dimensional dervish is great, but takes a bunch of feats and a pretty high level spell for a bard. You could probably find something more effective to do with the feats (like more LoH or a combat maneuver), but you might struggle finding anything cooler.

Why the blooded arcane strike? I don’t see anything that needs the swift action in your build. You can take the excellent riving strike instead.

MrCharisma wrote:
ViConstantine wrote:
im reading the feat now and im simply baffled, a feat that you dont NEED TO TAKE TO HAVE. Im not sure if thats the intention, im pretty confused to say the least.

So normally people do have to take the feat(s), but a bunch of the gods have favoured-people who can get the benefit(s) of the feat(s) by giving up a certain aspect of their class instead. You still give something up, so there is an opportunity cost, it just happens that this one is perfect for your character.

I should also note that at the top of the page for DIVINE FIGHTING TECHNIQUE it says:

Special: A cleric, inquisitor, or warpriest who worships a deity can choose to give up either the first power of one of her domains or a minor blessing benefit to gain access to her god’s divine fighting technique without having to meet the technique’s prerequisites (including the Divine Fighting Technique feat). In addition, a warpriest can give up a major blessing to gain the advanced benefit without meeting its prerequisites.

This part gives another optional replacement for the feat, and it specifically says you don't need the feat to begin with.

If you're worried, show it to your GM and see what (s)he thinks.

The way I read the feat (which you should feel free to disregard with if that’s fine with your GM), is that the exceptions given in each individual style are exceptions to the prerequisites given in the style itself, not to the actual feat, Only clerics, inquisitors and warpriests don’t need the actual feat (as per the general special text).

A big part of your choices is what levels you’re expecting to play at. I mostly play PFS, which gets up to 11, so I don’t take more than 4 levels of DD, since you lose spellcasting and a bab point. But if you get to higher levels advancing your bloodline powers becomes way more important.

Some other points to keep in mind:
It might make sense to take 1 level of sorcerer since their spell progression is faster than bloodrager (and that way the DD levels give you a more potent spell progression);

I wouldn’t advise taking both bloodrager and skald, since their rage abilities don’t work together. Better to pick one or the other;

Everyone in this thread have offered you a lot of great, complicated ideas and options. This is just your second character, in a home game. You probably don’t need to be 100% optimized and preplanned. Feel free to do something simple with just a base class and DD, instead of a 4/5 multiclass monstrosity, and take the advancements one level at a time (or not; I like monstrosities).

Monk can also work, since they fit in with the unarmored, super skilled vibe. The alignment constraint might be an issue, but I’m sure your GM will be willing to waive that for a cool enough build.

The most important thing to remember is that a good DD is (usually) a melee build, so your ability scores, feats, class, and spell choices should all go towards that goal.

The easiest advice I have is to focus on strength (which both bloodrager and DD help with), choose a two handed weapon (great sword is the best damage-wise, but the choice isn’t too important), and take the power attack feat. I would also advise against taking more than 4 levels of DD.

Another good choice for dragon disciple is to add in a few levels of paladin. This takes a higher level of system know how than sorcerer or bloodrager (because now you have to have at least three different classes - paladin, spontaneous caster and DD), but the payoff can be great. It also opens up some nice RP opportunities; I have a friend who built such a character, and its whole deal was the struggle between its evil dragon ancestry and its faith.

Just noting that a paladin still needs to take the Divine Fighting Technique feat, even if they give up a mercy to qualify for its benefits.

Hi Mark, super excited about the second edition! I agree that now is the exact right time to do it, and am excited to see how PF will look with the rigor and expertise that I see in the later products.

Until then, do you have any input about how overrun works as part of a charge? It’s explicitly allowed, but I’ve seen wildly different interpretations of how it works.

It really isn’t clear, at least for me. The additional resources state:

additional resources wrote:
the use of Arinna's Wagon...are not available in Pathfinder Society Organized Play unless they appear on a Chronicle sheet

The way the book is set up I’m not sure whether this includes the tattoo or not, not to mention the additional resources entry only states which items are not legal to buy, and at no point explicitly states that anything can be purchased.

I’d really appreciate it if someone with access to the book could give their take.

I’ve heard of FCT being used on multiclassed cave druid monks for some impressive results.

I’m going to have to say the shaman doesn’t count, due to the slippery slope argument. To my knowledge every prepared caster has some access to spontaneous casting: cure spells, arcane bond, summon nature’s ally. If the shaman counts as a spontaneous caster, then the distinction is moot.
Assuming the separation between prepared and spontaneous is meaningful, we must conclude spirit magic doesn’t give access to dragon disciple.

In addition to the above issues, pummeling style explicitly states that only unarmed strikes can be made at the end of the charge. FCT doesn’t override that.

So in order to change from one benefit to another you just need a standard action and to move to the next minute increment?

This may have been answered before,but my search-fu was too weak.
What action does it take to end a totem transformation (from the various Druid shaman archetypes)? And does it take a different amount of time to change the specific power gained from it?

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Just some options that weren't given above:

Bloatmage Initiate (+1 CL to school)
Irrisen Icemage (+1 CL to cold descriptor, -1 to other elements; 3/day change spell damage to cold)
Flame Heart (+1 CL to fire damage spells)

Secret of the Impossible Kingdom (+1 CL to one spell)

Voidfrost/Shocking/Blazing Robe (+1 CL to cold/electric/fire spells)
Conduit Rod (constant +1 CL to electricity descriptor)
Alchemical Reagents (variety of effects depending on the reagent and spell used, including +1 CL and +1 dmg/CL)

A rod of intensify or intensify spell and blood intensity become more and more crucial the more of these options you choose, so watch out.

Tarondor wrote:
Rory wrote:

Tarondor, read the whole sentence that you partially highlighted:

"While in such a form, you cannot cast any spells that require material components (unless you have the Eschew Materials or Natural Spell feat), and can only cast spells with somatic or verbal components if the form you choose has the capability to make such movements or speak, such as a dragon."

You can cast spells while using Form of the Dragon and Elemental Body. You can't cast material component spells, but you can cast spells.

For posterity, you can even cast spells using Beast Shape, Plant Shape, and Vermin Shape as well, but removing the verbal, somatic, and material components from spells is mostly impractical for the purpose.

Fair enough. I was referring to being able to cast without those restrictions, but you are quite right.

All of the restriction, except for the simatic one, can be sidestepped with the methods I pointed out in one of the previous posts on this thread.

Why brawler and not UC monk? Leg sweep gets you trip without giving up an attack, and elbow smash gives another (none lethal) attack.

The right answer is 2. You get your first +1d6 at level 3, and it's in addition to the regular damage.

Ascalaphus wrote:

"a single spell" and "the spell" suggest that it's a one-time thing.

Since the feat gives you access to multiple tricks for which you qualify, not just this one thing, getting +1 CL to all castings of the spell would be unusually powerful as well, closer to being worth a feat on its own.

Thing is that "single spell" can refer to a single spell casting or to a single spell.

I also think the first interpretation makes more balancing sense, but I think it makes less rhetoric sense.

avr wrote:
'before casting the spell' suggests to me that this is a one-time thing, but I'm not totally sure.

This is exactly the source of the confusion, since it can be read as "you don't need to choose at the beginning of the day, just don't cheese up and choose after you casted".

So one of the benefits of the feat are as follows:

Equipment Trick wrote:
Aura Mastery (Use Magic Device 1 rank): Once per day, you can choose a single school of magic represented by one of your wondrous items’ auras; you treat your caster level as 1 higher when casting a single spell of that school. You can make this choice at any time during the day, but you must choose the item (and school) before casting the spell.

Does this mean that you add the bonus once per day or that you choose the spell that gets the bonus one per day, and get the bonus to all castings?

In general using an ability that emulates a spell effect takes as long as the spell to activate unless otherwise noted. Hexes might be an exception, but I doubt it.

Yeah, seems good. Don't forget to get a Ring of Rat Fangs and Helm of the Mammoth Lord for additional natural attacks. Depending on how many fighter levels you're taking you could even take the Weapon Specialist Advanced Weapon Training and apply Jabbing Style to them too, along with saving feats on Weapon Focus and such.

Secret of the Impossible Kingdom, Precocious Spellcaster and Gifted Adept all raise your caster level by 1 for a spell(s), in addition to the feats discussed Blood Mage works too, and Irresin Icemage would work for Snowball. Using Urea as an Alchemical Power Component is cheap and effective, and when you have the money you can get a Voidfrost Robe\Shocking Robe and a Conduit Rode.
All in all you can get +10 on Snowball and +9 on Shocking Grasp, but not by level 3. If you're human and want to go all in, taking two of the traits as your free traits(+2), Spell Focus (evocation), Spell Specialization (+2), Varisian Tattoo (evocation,+1) and using Urea will net +6. Maybe there's some Magus specific things that can done too, but I'm not that knowledgeable in them. Also let me note that this is all way overboard, since Intensify only raises the cap by 5, so these caster levels will be very useless very fast.

Cool guide. I haven't gone through it all yet, but I did notice you said wood school gives an inherent bonus to an ability score, but it is an enhancement bonus, making it much less valuable.

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I'm surprised no one mentioned Knowledge Is Power yet. With some system mastery you can get your CMB to none dreadful levels (still won't recommend the multiclass though).

James Risner wrote:
Is there a rule require taking all primary natural weapons before secondary natural weapons?

To the extent of my knowledge, and I did do some digging on this in the past, the only rules for order are the ones DtP cited, so no.

Derklord wrote:
You don't take Improved Natural Attack on a Cave Druid when Strong Jaw is already on your spell list. That's 16d6 before Vital Strike.

Ehh, I gave the feat the worst chance.

Derklord wrote:

On my sample DPR calculation, I ended up overhitcapped, thus wasting half the feat's benefit, which made it worse than using the Haste attack instead of Vital Strike.

My calculations show that the median AC is at least 6 higher than the druid BAB for quite the range of CRs, which is all you need to get the full benefit. I don't really mind it not helping with a mook that is dead anyway.

Derklord wrote:
You could compare it to Cleave...

This comparison just doesn't work. Cleave needs a very specific, multiple enemy situation. Being a 5 foot step away from the enemy at the beginning of the turn is the case most turns. The rest is just nitpicking. Power attack is also useless if the enemy's HP is too low, or the AC is too high. It's still a good feat for most build because in a large enough number of situations the benefit is large enough.

Where's the "good" part?

The "good" part is variety, and opening new choices. If you will only be convinced by a list of builds with DPR calculations then you'll need to wait, I don't have the time.

avr wrote:
... it doesn't stack up for a melee druid due to requiring combat expertise and +6 BAB...

I have to disagree. This is an extreme example, but take a cave druid with a couple of levels of ranger for Improved Natural Weapon (Slam). With Vital Strike this means the Carnivorous Crystal Ooze does 24d6+1.5STR+Stuff. 24d6, that's an average of 84 per hit. Adding a +4 to hit is an additional 20% to hit, which means another 16.8 (just from dice) to your DPS for any enemy you would miss on a 5. That is worth the 13 INT and the two feats by a landslide.

That is one extreme example, but I think it illustrates that while niche, this feat can have a great impact.

David knott 242 wrote:

But which non-sorcerers would even get the arcana for any sorcerer bloodline?

Most Arcanas (in fact I can't think of any exceptions beyond Psychic) give benefits that affect all castings, Sorcerer or not. So any class dipping a level would.

Derklord wrote:
Well, we doubt the "bunch" and the "good".

I think more than enough examples were presented here to justify its existence, just not as a general feat. I could see it applied to touch casters, magi, brawlers (at least as a martial flexibility choice), lore wardens, eldritch knights, melee druid etc. They may not be the most highly optimized specimens of their types, but I think we can all agree the game is much more interesting when you have more than one magus/wizard/whatever build.

Both bloodline feats and bonus spells are separate class features than bloodline powers, so there is no ambiguity there. This also pretty much solves crossblooded: your Arcanist spells and other features are as usual, but you can pick which bloodline power you get.
The psychic issue is weird though.

Looking at this feat I just can't stop thinking of a Vital Strik based Cave Druid. That could be pretty fun. Also, I don't get the negative feedback. I mean sure, it isn't an instant classic, but why are you expecting it to be that? It's good for a bunch of specialized builds.

As long as you're giving up spells taking ranger levels is pretty amazing anyway, thanks to Shapeshifting Hunter. As long as monk isn't your main it's a sure gain.

I just want to note to the op that this subject comes up every now and then, and irregardless of whether a consensus is reached the "it doesn't " base is consistently large and adamant. So for anything but a home game where you can ask your GM what they think, you should assume the conservative view.

I'm reading it as for the purpose of AT only as well. I understand that it can be read otherwise, but usually abilities like this state "for all effects that modify..." if they mean all things. So even if the RAW wasn't, as it is IMO , leaning towards AT only, I think the general context of PF wording makes the RAI clear.

Regardless of the specific no taking 10 UMD rules, you can't take 20 on a roll that has negative consequences if you fail. Since rolling a 1 in UMD has a negative consequence, no take 20. Source.

I'd say they don't stack. This use of Wounding Words is a specific standard action, not an attack action, so vital strike can't modify it.

Thanks guys.

So the Ultimate Equipment errata just happened, and I was wondering if there is some list of all the things changed, or do I need to go through the updated version and compare everything to the last one. Any help?

Just combat?
Level 1:Color Spray, Dazzling Blade.
Level 2: Blur, Invisibility.
Level 3: Mass Dazzling Blade, Displacement, Invisibility Sphere, Loathsome Veil, Phantasmal Affliction, Shadowmind, Vision of Hell, Wall of Nausea (man, level 3 has some gems).
Level 4: Illusion of Treachery, Greater Invisibility, Phantasmal Killer,Shadowform, Shadow Conjuration, Wandering Star Motes.
Level 5: Phantasmal Web, Shadow Evocation.
Level 6: Baleful Shadow Transmutation, Greater Illusion of Treachery, Shadow Transmutation.
You get the point. The name of the game is DCs though, so you should work on that. Some of the best options are gnome sorcerers (arcane is probably best), Illusionist wizard, Arcanist or exploiter wizard.
The obvious feats are spell focus + greater. If you go Arcanist or Exploiter wizard take Potent Magic. My favorite is Exploiter Wizard with spell specialization and verisian tattoo and the Resilient Illusions Discovery. If you want to specialize in Shadow spells there's some wayang fun to be had, and there are quit a bit of gnome specific feats to choose from if you go sorc.

A shape shifting wizard can be fun. Get a mid int, high strength and con, the Knowledge Is Power discovery and take the transmutation shape shifting subschool. For additional fun (and minmaxing) dump wis to make a "all brawn no brain" brute.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Whew, finished! Now I won't have anything else to update for a bit unless someone else follows my game designer page on Facebook and puts me at 100, forcing me to convert a new CRB poison to the Unchained poison rules (as per a vote on what I would do at 100).

Seems my post's ranks in stealth really come in handy ;)


I think after vaporizing one of the enemies a intimidation check can be in order, but not as demoralization attempt. Demoralizing takes a standard action and only affects one target, but if you're trying to convince people to do something for you it could work.
Example: A wizard is trying to convince the enemies to leave him alone, so he shouts "leave, or face the wrath of the mighty warlock Bob!" and then disintegrates one of encroaching baddies. I'd give the wizard an intimidation roll with a plus five for that, and if he succeeds they leave.

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