Danse Macabre

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Organized Play Member. 835 posts (837 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters.


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I think it HAS to be ability drain for it to work. Ability damage doesn't ACTUALLY change your stat.

Is it actually possible to set "Aroden's Spellbane" as one of the spells that Spellbane prevents? There's no reason it won't just turn off your spellbane if you do, is there?

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Kaouse wrote:
Well, it's nice to finally have an answer.
I'm a guy with a job and a life outside of Paizo; nor is anyone playing KF a paying customer, so please cut me some slack on response time.

I know, and I thank you for taking the time out of your life in order to help answer these questions. I'm sorry if I came off as a little too snippity with my last response. I don't want you to sacrifice your job or your health or anything to answer some questions about a homebrew game.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Kaouse wrote:
I guess the only real problem I have is that it means that Kirthfinder doesn't really play nice when attempting to integrate it into games using other systems.

That was never a design goal.

Yeah, this is entirely my fault, since I'm playing a Pathfinder game where my GM has been openly inclusive of a lot of different 3rd party subsystems (even some 3.5 material), and I petitioned him to allow Kirthfinder stuff even though he generally draws the line at homebrew.

Because of this, he didn't really have that much defense against Killing Stroke at the time (since he also didn't allow hero points), so I just decided it would be best to get rid of it.

(Surprisingly enough he was actually fine with it, but he ruled that if I wanted to keep it I would have to lose a bunch of different aspects to my character, since we were sort of building characters on a point-based pseudo Gestalt system).

For what it's worth, the current Savage Tide PBP has a character using Killing Stroke (they just hit 4th level). So fat it's been fun but not ridiculously OP -- the second time he used it, it killed one bad guy, and the rest quickly beat him comatose. We'll see how it works when he hits BAB +11.

It's nice to hear that this is working well with the rest of the Kirthfinder system, and hearing all of those other defenses (namely the hero point one) really set a lot of my fears to rest.

Well, it's nice to finally have an answer.

That said, I guess this means that Defiance / Heroic Defiance become necessary feats in order to survive a world where any level 11+ character can pick up Killing Stroke, Staggering Strike, and Feat Mastery: Killing Stroke in order to one-shot anybody without even needing to study them first.

I guess the only real problem I have is that it means that Kirthfinder doesn't really play nice when attempting to integrate it into games using other systems.

Darius Darkblade aka Legionare wrote:
Kaouse wrote:

He must mean a Mantle of Immortality, not a Mantle of Authority.

Of course in a theorycrafting battle, it's way cheaper to just implant a Nacreous Gray Sphere Ioun Stone.

So that's what we target with a dispel and watch as the weight of his own gear prevents him from breathing and he dies?

Hence why I mentioned the implantation of the Nacreous Gray Sphere Ioun Stone. Implanted stones can't really be targeted by Dispel Magic, or even Mage's Disjunction.

Darius Darkblade aka Legionare wrote:
A 20th level cleric/druid would be about the only thing that could take a 20th level wizard besides another wizard in a theory battle. And even then no one is ever really "getting the drop" on anyone else. It's gonna be what did you prepare today and how can it mess up what I have prepared. Best thing the cleric can do is drop a AMF on the wizard and wade in and beat him up.

I generally agree, though I think Oracles should definitely be added to the list of classes that can beat wizards in a theoretical battle. The amount of BS you can pull off with a Level 20 Oracle is pretty ludicrous.

He must mean a Mantle of Immortality, not a Mantle of Authority.

Of course in a theorycrafting battle, it's way cheaper to just implant a Nacreous Gray Sphere Ioun Stone.

Have you considered the far stronger option of just playing a straight Alchemist? Beastmorph Alchemist can get you natural attacks, and between mutagen and extracts, you'll find yourself hitting more and hitting harder than you were as a simple Shifter.

I guess this now brings up the question of, what type of action is it to use Defiance/Heroic Defiance? I always assumed that you could only do it on your turn (in which case, you're SOL against Killing Stroke) but I guess it's somewhat vague.

Killing Stroke works on any character, not just Rogues. That's the real threat here.

Staggered and Helpless aren't the same thing at level 1, sure, but they can be treated as the same thing if your character spends 3 rounds studying their opponent beforehand. Spend 4 rounds studying and you can Coup de Grace from Stealth against a Flat-Footed opponent.

That said, I suppose I misspoke a bit. You can't make a person staggered until Level 6 with a failed save against Staggering Strike, but at Level 11, the opponent is still staggered even if they make their save.

Combine that with 1 round of studying the opponent (or Feat Mastery applied to Killing Stroke), and your level 11 character can perform a Coup de Grace as a standard action against literally anybody within 1 round.

Note that there are remarkably few things that give immunity to the Staggered condition. Immunity to the Flat-Footed condition can be gotten from the Alertness feat. Daze and Stunned conditions can be suppressed with a Padma Blossom. But staggered is a bit harder to get standing immunity to.

Killing Stroke is rather powerful in it's current state, is all I'm saying. Unless there are some coup de grace rules I didn't read?

Staggering Strike, opponents damaged by the attack have to make a Fort save or be flat-footed, upgraded to staggered, then to dazed (for 1 round, then staggered 1d4+1 rounds), then to stunned (for 1 round + 1d4+1 rounds of stagger) as BAB increases. At BAB 11, the opponent is still staggered for 1 round even if they succeed their saving throw.

Its synergy text states: "A rogue using this feat in conjunction with a sneak attack increases the duration of the Staggered condition to 1 round per die of sneak attack damage."

So, does this apply to the staggered effect on a successful save, or does it only apply to the staggered effect on a failed save?

Also, Killing Stroke's synergy reads: "If you have the Staggering Strike feat, apply the results of that feat to the opponent before referencing whether the Killing Stroke applies (this is a specific exception to the general rule of non-stacking of Strike effects). "

Am I correct in stating that these two feats (Staggering Strike + Killing Stroke), both available from level 1, allow literally any character to execute any opponent who isn't immune to either crits or a whole host of conditions?

I strongly suggest just leaving the class features where they lie. As long as they have access to Kirthfinder feats, they're perfectly on par as it is. Doing any more than the bare minimum is just going to be a massive headache on not only you, but all of your players that you are forcing to learn the new rules. The simpler, the better.

You don't need them, you have spherecasting. That should suffice in most cases.

Warriorking9001 wrote:
Kaouse wrote:
Warriorking9001 wrote:
Also not to yabber about something that isn't related to the main KF experience but I have started to work on my own side to convert Spheres some... I would have kept to my own thread about this but that has died. Though I basically wanted to ask how things look so far on them. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rLe0-Wr_nZo90UlJ8EJxFWjkvryvRtsVljyC6zk M3C8/edit?usp=sharing
Is that the proper link for sharing? Google says the file doesn't exist.

Let's Try this again

Transcendence of the Spheres

I guess I'll also say my preliminary worry would be on the Mageknight page, since so far most of what I did was give it a bunch of new options based on its archetypes as a 'specialization'.

Edit: and the other worry is coming up for changes for the other classes to make them worthy.

I don't think you should worry too much about "archetypes" since they don't really exist in Kirthfinder. Instead, I would rather just give the Mageknight some Mystic Combats that allow for easier multiclassing synergy. Like, instead of rebuilding the Dustbringer, just give the Mageknight a Mystic Combat that gives them Strong Synergy (and perhaps full theurgy) with Monks.

This should save you a lot of time and effort, and should result in content that flows much more organically with the greater Kirthfinder project as a whole.

Warriorking9001 wrote:
Also not to yabber about something that isn't related to the main KF experience but I have started to work on my own side to convert Spheres some... I would have kept to my own thread about this but that has died. Though I basically wanted to ask how things look so far on them. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rLe0-Wr_nZo90UlJ8EJxFWjkvryvRtsVljyC6zk M3C8/edit?usp=sharing

Is that the proper link for sharing? Google says the file doesn't exist.

I think I heard word of Paizo using something similar to my idea of splitting up spellcasting components into different actions in Pathfinder 2E. Clearly Paizo frequents this thread for ideas to steal.

I would totally be fine with the Extra Channels/Day...if they weren't also a 9th level spellcaster. Numbers like that should mean that Channeling is ALL you do. Which is fine. I personally like the idea of using Channel Energy to do EVERYTHING.

Need to heal hp? Channel Energy (Positive).
Need to deal damage? Channel Energy (Negative).
Need to exploit elemental vulnerabilities? Channel Energy (Elemental)
Need to buff the party? Channel Energy (Buff)
Need to debuff enemies? Channel Energy (Debuff)
Need a bonus on skills? Channel Energy (Skills)
Need to clear enemy debuffs? Channel Energy (Restoration)

The possibilities are endless. I suggest taking a look at some of the Channel Energy feats in Spheres of Power. They're pretty sweet for a channel focused character, IMHO.

Do you have room for traits? Lessons of Chaldira / Second Chance may be useful.

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The fighter kills things with a big stick
The rogue deals with non combat challenges such as traps, social scenarios, and locked doors.
The Cleric keeps everyone alive via condition removal, healing, and buffs.

The Wizard does everything else.

And that "else" is only there because you assumed no overlap of niches.

You're probably going to want to trade out Barbarian for Bloodrager, so you can make better use of the Mad Magic feat.

The slight bit of Charisma you need for Bloodrager spells is more than paid for by the ability to actually make use of your swift actions (unlike with Moment of Clarity).

Play a Wizard.
Grab Dazing Spell Metamagic.
Use a Dazing Ball Lightning Spell.

He now has to make something like 4 reflex saves or be dazed for 4 rounds. He then has to make these saves every round, where a single failed save means an extension on the Dazing effect.

Defensively, the moment he so much as looks in your direction, you can just cast Emergency Force Sphere. Since you can control your Ball Lightning from within the sphere, there's not much he can really do to you.

Alternatively, just hit him with an Icy Prison spell. If he fails his reflex save, he's basically dead. He'll take your caster level in cold damage every round for 1 minute per caster level. That's a total damage of 10 * CL * CL = 2250 damage at Caster level 15.

Chess Pwn wrote:
Heather 540 wrote:
I did a double archetype Inquisitor - Ravener Hunter and Sanctified Slayer. She's a half-orc, which allows her to use an Orc Hornbow as a Martial weapon.
So while true that you treat it as a martial weapon that doesn't help you at all. Inquisitors don't get martial weapon proficiency, so you're still just as non-proficient as if it was exotic still. Though being half-orc does help if you grab the Skill at Arms revelation instead since that would let you have proficiency with the bow as a martial weapon.

Alternatively, invest in an Opalescent White Pyramid Ioun Stone.

Evangelist Cleric for 9th level casting + Channel Energy Feats + Domains (Heroism especially) + Inspire Courage is probably the best at boosting summons, bar none.

Barring that, I'd go with the Skald, all the way. This is mainly because a ton of your summoned monster DCs are going to be either STR or CON based, so Inspire Rage not only improves your beatsticks, it also makes them harder to resist. Plus you can grant your summons a ton of useful rage powers that real teammates may not fully appreciate, like Reckless Abandon. Skalds can also improve the STR & CON bonus they give their summons by being a Half Orc, taking the Battle Song of the People's Revolt Masterpiece, and using it to share the effect of the Amplified Rage Teamwork Feat. Between Amplified Rage and Reckless Abandon, it's entirely possible to get numbers that exceed those of the Evangelist Cleric.

As for which summoner to go for, consider asking your GM to allow a third party Summoner archetype called the "Celestial Commander." It gets rid of the Eidolon to focus entirely on boosting their Summon Monster SLA. That + Skald has served me incredibly well in the past. If it's not allowed though, then Inquisitor + Evangelist Cleric is still really good.

Sorcerer with Shadow Bloodline gets Shadow Well at level 9, effectively a better version of Hide in Plain Sight. Just have them cast one death spell of your choice. Instant assassin.

Or you could just be a God Wizard. Scry your opponent. Cast Greater Invisibility. Teleport to their location. Annihilate them with high level spells.

Honestly, 9th level spells make such a thing easy to do. The only issue is deciding which 9th level spellcaster to go with and which high level spell to cast. This would be a lot more challenging if you wanted to make an assassin who targets full-casters, rather than a full caster moonlighting as an assassin.

mardaddy wrote:

Never said "wrong."

At this point, I am allowing it (basically) RAW.

Just going to need to do some DM-fu to balance it with an oath, that's all.

Why don't you just tell him to take a different curse that's not Legalistic? If you tell him straight up that you don't want to have to deal with the extra work that Legalistic places upon you, then just ask him nicely to take another curse.

Of course, stuff like Tongues or Haunted aren't particularly harrowing curses, but at the very least you don't have to do any extra work on your part.

I think the easiest way to convert the Equipment Sphere is to just rule that taking a discipline talent upgrades your proficiency with those weapons from Simple proficiency (i.e. the baseline), to Martial proficiency. If you want Expert Proficiency, you'll have to spend the feats for it on every weapon. That way, the Fighter gets to keep some of his niche protection. Everything else that isn't a discipline weapon can probably work the same way.

If Psionics is availabele, you may want to take a look at their new Base class, called the Voyager.

Otherwise, Spheres of Power is currently playtesting both it's Time and Fate Handbooks, so feel free to choose amongst them as well.

The INT headband is probably your highest priority item as a Kensai Magus. If you keep to only a +2 cloak, you should still be able to afford one. And if you get a trait that increases your Will Save by +1, then a +2 cloak is just enough to make your saves green by the guide.

Pearls of Power really aren't that important with the Frostbite build, though. A single cast should get you through any one battle, so it's not too harrowing to just prepare it more than once. As long as you're not the utility caster of the group, you should be fine.

That said, a level 1 pearl of power should still be affordable with a +2 cloak, a +2 headband, and +1 armor.

If you want to get around the Action Economy issues of Kirin Style, it'll help to grab Combat Style Master, allowing you to enter styles as a free action. This allows you to:

Enter Kirin Style (free)
Study w/ Kirin Style (swift)
Use Studied Combat (move)
Buff self (standard)

Bare in mind that Combat Style Master requires that you know at least 2 different styles, so beware. That said, this works even better if Combat Stamina is allowed, since that will just give you your INT to damage immediately after you study them with Kirin Style, so long as you have Kirin Strike.

Are you planning on using Crane Style? There's no real need to boost your AC that high, I would think.

You already have an AC of 20, and can just as easily buy a Haramaki or Silken Ceremonial Robes to enchant as armor. They both have 0 Arcane Spell Failure as well as 0 Armor Check Penalty, meaning anybody can wear them for free, with or without proficiency. They also have no Max DEX, so you can boost your DEX all you want without issue.

For a mere 1180 you could have +1 Silken Ceremonial Armor and have a walking AC of 22. Looking at the "Bench Pressince" Guide that denotes what numbers you should aim for by level, 22 AC is in the Green.

So I wouldn't go for the Crane Style Build, IMHO. Instead, it might be a good idea to replace your "Cautious Warrior" trait with a trait that boosts your Will saves, since you are tanking them so hard. Your current saves are 7/6/4, so I would definitely also consider buying a +2 cloak of resistance. Maybe even a +3 cloak, since you'd just about have the money if the only other thing you purchased was the +1 armor. Course, that requires that the GM doesn't limit you on how much a single item can cost.

Even though the most unbalanced things in all of Pathfinder are found in the Core Rulebook (like the Simulacrum spell).

Skald can get Greater Skald's Vigor, giving Fast Healing to the entire party. They can also get Lesser Celestial Totem for everyone, boosting any magical healing they provide to a group. Get everyone to stand on a Path of Glory, use the Battle Song of the People's Revolt to give everyone Amplified Rage.

That gives everyone 21 health per round (1 for Path of Glory, 12 for Lesser Celestial Totem, 8 Fast healing from Inspired Rage + Amplified Rage + Greater Skald's Vigor), for 12 rounds, or a total of 252 hp over the course of the spell. If you boost it to Greater Path of Glory, then your team instead heals 25 hp per round, for a total of 300 hp each over the course of the spell.

All the while, they also have +8 STR & +8 CON. And at least 3 other rage powers (Reckless Abandon is a pretty potent attack steroid that gives a further +4 to attack rolls, Come and Get Me lets them retaliate vs enemy attacks). So Buffing and Healing is definitely down.

While it's not a Debuff so much as another buff, you could also grab Discordant Voice to add 1d6 sonic damage to each of your teammate's attacks. That said, you'd need to retrain a feat to fit both it and Greater Skald's Vigor into your build before level 13.

Spheres < -- > Spell School Conversion

Alteration == Transmutation (Polymorph)
Conjuration == Conjuration (Calling + Summoning)
Creation == Conjuration (Creation)
Dark == Evocation (Darkness)
Death == Necromancy (non-Healing)
Destruction == Evocation
Divination == Divination
Enhancement == Transmutation
Fate == Divination
Illusion == Illusion
Life == Necromancy (Healing) [Previously Conjuration (Healing)]
Light == Evocation (Light)
Mind == Enchantment (Charm + Compulsion + mind-affecting)
Nature == ??? Transmutation ???
Protection == Abjuration
Telekinesis == ??? Transmutation ???
Time == ??? Transmutation ???
War == Enchantment (Morale)
Warp == Conjuration (Teleportation)
Weather == ??? Transmutation ???

Transmutation is quite the varied school it seems. No wonder it requires a wizard who specializes in it to give up more schools.

Dervish Dancing Kensai Magus. Focus heavily on DEX & INT. Both will be added to your AC. For extra benefit, equip a Haramaki (or Silken Ceremonial Armor) and enchant it. While you lose Armor proficiency, those armors have neither Armor Check Penalties nor Arcane Spell Failure chance, so they can be worn without penalty. They also don't have a Max Dex, so boost those scores up as high as you can.

You end up with a character that has high AC, high Touch AC, great initiative, decent-to-great saves (if you go Bladebound, you no longer need to spend money on a weapon, allowing you to boost your Cloak of Resistance as fast as possible) and great damage potential thanks to Dervish Dance (as well as all of the crit benefits that the Kensai gets), meaning that enemies can't just ignore you without serious repercussions.

You really don't need anything further than that, though theoretically, you could also add a Buckler to the mix, since you'll be relying on one-handed damage anyway. But that's only if you want to go crazy on AC.

For the Kensai, I'd highly suggest going for the Frostbite build over the Shocking Grasp build. This allows you to get Enforcer to make enemies Shaken, allowing you to eventually make use of Shatter Defenses to make shaken enemies flat-footed to your attacks. Not only does the Kensai deal extra damage to flat-footed enemies, but if you get Accurate Strike, you can attack flat-footed touch AC. Hard to ignore a guy who can do that with a potentially 15-20/x3 weapon.

Plus, Frostbite lasts longer, which is good since you lack Spell Recall. And debuffing enemies is an awesome way to tank not just for yourself, but for the rest of the team too. To say nothing of the benefits of lowering enemy saves for your wizard/witch/cleric/{insert full caster here} to take advantage of.

I'm already mentally preparing myself for disappointment when PF 2E comes out.

Hopefully by then my suggestions would have been added to KF, and I get to add KF onto my resume (you know, if the world turns upside down and I randomly decide to go into game development or something for no apparent reason).

Natural attacks only take the -5 penalty when they are secondary natural attacks, decreased to -2 with multiattack. Attacking with a manufactured weapon makes all of your subsequent natural attacks into secondary natural attacks, but aside from that corner case, most natural attack users make all of their attacks at full BAB with zero iterative penalties.

A Wereboar Skinwalker can get 3 primary natural attacks from first level (Gore + 2 hooves). Take a class like Barbarian and you can get Bite + 2 Claws added to that in short order. That's 6 natural attacks, all primary unless otherwise stated, and thus all at Full BAB. You could easily get all of that done by Level 4.

Sort of puts it's all in perspective, doesn't it?

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Furious + Dueling Weapon. Even better if you have a flexible Bane. Better still if you have Channel Energy uses to power Greyflame.

+5 Furious Bane Greyflame = potential +10 weapon. With dueling added, you can add a +20 luck bonus to CMB checks for any maneuver that uses the weapon.

In a game where third party materials were allowed, I made a Worldsoul Incarnate Barbarian who is building up to a Furious Greyflame Linked Striking Dueling weapon. Won't be able to buy it till level 15 though (currently level 12).

Anyone know if it's legal to add enhancement bonuses for gauntlets/unarmed strikes to grapple checks?

Fighters getting no iterative penalties seems powerful, until you realize that natural attackers in PF also get no iterative penalties, and generally have more attacks per round.

As for at will teleportation from a skill, are you talking about Planar Sense? Because that generally takes time and levels, and can be quite imprecise since it's basically Planar Travel (unless I'm thinking of something else?). For short range teleportation, Spheres of Power has the Warp Sphere, which is at will (and also allows characters to take Dimensional Agility as early as level 1).

The only real issue I've had with Kirthfinder isn't so much the new abilities, but rather that it's much easier to get really high numbers across the board. The skill floor is much, MUCH higher than regular PF. That said, the fact that all bonuses are typed means that the skill ceiling and optimization ceiling is actually lower than in PF.

I will note though, that KF characters will always be more difficult to take down than PF characters. Sphere-users are also more difficult to take down than their PF counterparts, so if you combine the two be ready to pull out all of the stops if you even want to challenge characters using both.

Spheres of Power support isn't too difficult. Just turning Spell Capacity into caster level and handing out the requisite number of magic talents is generally enough to grease the gears. Then there's some transition between certain spheres and PF/KF spell schools, like how Necromancy (Healing) is now the Life Sphere while all other aspects of Necromancy is under the Death Sphere.

It might also be a good idea to rule that every character who wants to take a reserved feat must first have the "Prepared Caster" General Drawback. This way, said reserve feats only work so long as you have a number of spell points dedicated to that Sphere equal to the level of the reserve spell needed.

Spheres of Might support is a bit more iffy. A lot of things in Spheres of Might were built on the PF framework for how certain skills and feats worked. Switching them over to their KF counterpart will likely result in a non-insignificant power increase, and as you've already mentioned, such an increase in the power discrepancy between PF and KF isn't something you're after.

That said, I'm probably overblowing the power increase, since KF is already stronger than most of what SoM has to offer, so it's not like the power discrepancy will be that much greater, if at all. SOM characters with access to Kirthfinder will certainly be way stronger. But Kirthfinder characters with access to Spheres of Might material will be...roughly at the same level, with marginal boosts at most.

Aside from power concerns, SoM integration into KF is pretty simple, I think. Just note that all SoM characters only start with a simple level of proficiency in weapons, and must use the Equipment Sphere to gain Martial Proficiency in any weapons of their choosing. You could allow them to take a talent twice for Exotic Proficiency, but I think it's probably more balanced if they take the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat instead.

If bringing SoP/SoM classes into the Kirthfinder system, do note that you'll need to make a judgement call on whether or not any particular class gets a good Intuition save, or has to trade out their good Will save for a good Intuition save instead.

JKalts wrote:

That's a strong possibility. And a good reason to try and not rely on these alone, as a party member or BBEG if you can help it.

Or, you could hide/bury the jars, since Magic Jar doesn't need traditional line of sight--"lifesense" out to 100+10*CL is a nice line of effect range with some pre-planning.

Pretty sure lifesense works like blindsight, and blindsight requires conventional line of effect (i.e. is blocked by walls and ground).

Also, Kirth, if you're still on the fence about the action economy changes to spellcasting based on spell components, note that this means that spellcasters have to put a bit more thought into which spells they cast, as certain spells will come with an inherent advantage of less components, and therefore less actions required to cast the spell.

This also helps differentiate spells with costly material components, since they wouldn't be applicable for use with Still Spell (nor, by extension, Quicken Spell), and thus such spells will always have a substantial opportunity cost.

It also makes Still Spell useful for Divine casters, where previously it's only real benefit was allowing you to cast in armor without arcane spell failure (which really shouldn't exist anymore, IMHO).

In fact, specific build choices matter more now for mages of all calibers. You can't just take Quicken Spell and be done with it. You have to build up into it. It now takes up a substantial portion of a caster's build.

Speaking of which, it also serves as a rite of passage for casters that helps to differentiate high level casters from low level casters. What a high level mage can pull off with an immediate action (Quickened Spell) and a partial action (Silent + Still Spell) would require lower level mages two full turns to accomplish. And while the lower level casters required ancient gestures and ominous latin chanting, the higher level caster did both with but a thought.

If you remain unconvinced, by all means let me know exactly what issues remain for you so that I may be better equipped in subsequent attempts to persuade you.

Horn Bow is for a ranged build. This guy asked for a melee build, specifically.

Course, there's no reason not to have a backup weapon. And Inquisitors are one of the few classes that can switch hit rather effectively, since their attack steroids are rarely specific to melee or ranged attacks.

Play an Inquisitor. For better skills and out of combat use, make it a Sanctified Slayer Inquisitor. Studied Target increases both your skills and your offensives, and is available at will, unlike regular Judgement. But there's much more an Inquisitor can do.

If you want more out of combat skill usage, then you can take the Conversion Inquisition to make all of your face skills (Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate) WIS-based instead of CHA-based. If instead you want more melee offense, grab the Destruction (Rage) domain to give yourself a fairly powerful attack steroid, and eventually gain access to Rage and Rage Powers. Once you have Rage, give your weapon the Furious enchantment and watch enemies melt before you. But that's STILL not all.

Inquisitors also have spells. The Inquisitor has tons of access to skill-boosting spells, like Focused Scrutiny and Hunder's Eye. The Inquisitor also has tons of access to attack boosting spells, like Divine Favor and Wrath. The Inquisitor even has access to the spell that boosts both: Heroism.

You literally cannot go wrong with an Inquisitor.

If the only issue you have is an inflation of the CR system, how about changing the CR system to reflect a monster's increased CR as a result of added spellcasting ability? You could go one step further and apply such things to the characters as well, where stuff like spell capacity, Base Attack Bonus (1/2, 3/4, 1/1), and Hit Dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12) are given certain values that correspond to a set amount of CR.

In the case of spell capacity (which would obviously be worth more that BAB or HD), you could also include a value that corresponds to spell versatility (prepared spells, spells known, preset [i.e. SLAs] spells). This gives GMs additional tools in their disposal to alter existing monsters or set guidelines to curtail strong PCs.

For example:
BAB: 1/1 = CR +0
BAB: 3/4 = CR - 1/2
BAB: 1/2 = CR - 1

HD: d12 = CR +1/2
HD: d10 = CR +0
HD: d8 = CR -1/2
HD: d6 = CR -1
HD: d4 = CR -3/2

Spell Capacity
SC: 20/20 = CR: +5/2
SC: 15/20 = CR: +2
SC: 10/20 = CR: +3/2

Spell Versatility
Prepared = CR +00
Known = CR -1/2
Preset = CR -1

Thus, some examples:
Fighter = CR +0
Wizard = CR +0
Sorcerer = CR +0
Rogue = CR +1/2
Monk = CR +1

Things become a little bit more hairy with stuff like the Rogue's Skill Tricks and the Monk's Ki Powers. To make those guys fit into this paradigm we have to introduce another category: Spell Restrictions

In this case:
Bigger spell list = CR +1/2
Smaller spell list = CR -1/2
Restricted Casting = CR -1/2
Semi-Unrestricted Casting = CR +1/2

The rogue has to deal with a smaller spell list, as well as both restricted casting (cannot use metamagic) and unrestricted casting (infinite casts/day). The monk doesn't really get infinite casts per day in the same way, but does have to deal with the smaller spell list and also cannot make use of metamagic. Thus, both the monk and the Rogue are reduced to CR +0. Note that the specialist wizard deals with both a smaller spell list (due to restricted schools) and a bigger spell list (since they can take specialist spells from any list) so there's no change on their front.

The real problem, of course, is the Cleric. It's at CR +3/2 class normally. If we say that the divine spell list is smaller than our baseline (the wizard spell list) and institute a restriction based on alignment, then it's only reduced to CR +1/2, rather than CR +0. But given the cleric's weaker class features, perhaps that is alright. Plus, the Barbarian is also at CR +1/2 under this system. Though one can argue that it has to deal with it's own restrictions. And if we're being honest, then enemy clerics and enemy barbarians are generally harder to take down than enemy wizards and enemy fighters, at least within the early levels where the CR system is at its best.

At any rate, this system is meant to be a guide, and I think I did a good job with making things fit. What do you think?

Under this system, adding a racial suite of SLAs to a monster increases their CR by 1.5 (+2.5 CR from 20/20 Spell capacity, -1 CR from spells being preset & unchanging). Does that sound about right to you?

I found a new item that should be core on anybody focused on using the Heal Skill. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you all to The Healer's Satchel.

The regular version acts as healer's kit that refreshes once per day, with the extra benefit of adding your WIS mod to all hp healed by treating deadly wounds (2x WIS if you beat the check by 5), as well as increased bonuses towards treating poison and providing first aid.

The specialized version has a host of other benefits, including an ability to expend healer's kit uses to double the effectiveness of long term healing. I'd like to know if/how this works with the Heal Skill unlock.

Speaking of which, shouldn't the level 20 Heal Skill Unlock heal for 240 hp, rather than 180?

26 natural attacks? I'd like to see this build.

Vital Strike build, huh? There's tons of stuff for that.

Be Chaotic Neutral, worship Gorum, take the Divine Fighting Feat for Greatsword Battler. Later on, take Furious Finish.

For more fun, grab Arcane Strike, then grab Blooded Arcane Strike. That should be enough of a feat sink for you.

I'd drop Diehard & Fast Healer though, personally. And I'd keep Intimidating over Shaman's Apprentice. Intimidate is a great skill to have both inside and outside of combat.

Forcing pre-defined aspects does nothing but hurt the versatility of the class, and restricting their Wild Shape to Beast Shape II does nothing but hurt the overall power of the class.

It's not enough to just give the Shifter the full version of Wild Shape. It needs an expanded Wild Shape, BEYOND what the Druid gets. Otherwise, why play this class over a Druid?

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I honestly think they should take all aspects and archetypes and toss them into a fire. A class called "The Shifter" shouldn't be restricted to Beast Shape II.

The Shifter should get an expanded Wild Shape list, rather than a more restricted one. They should get Wild Shape at level 2, starting with Alter Self. From there, they get the same progression as a Druid would, only continuing beyond Level 14, and getting access to all other polymorph spells, like Giant Form and Form of the Dragon.

At Levels 1, 5, 9, 13 & 17, the Shifter gets the ability to add an enhancement bonus to their natural attacks, as well as certain weapon special abilities, similar to the Magus. To give you a bonus while not Wild Shaped, each of these levels also allows you to select 1 natural attack you can add to your base form, with the restriction of not adding new limbs to said base form.

At levels 3, 7, 11, 15 & 19, the Shifter gets access to a "Chimeric Form" ability, where they can choose to become an amalgamation of multiple forms chooseable by their current level of Wild Shape. For the strongest level of Wild Shape, this number will always be 1, but for weaker levels of Wild Shape, the number of creatures you can choose increase linearly. Thus, earlier levels of Wild Shape aren't completely ignored at higher levels. More importantly, this actually allows you to become an actual owlbear, rather than a bear with a stealth bonus.

At level 20, your Wild Shape is constant, and you can change forms at will. You gain your base form's natural attacks in any form, and you learn one "Eldritch Secret" (i.e. cool s%%& that is only situationally useful, like Immortality, or See in Darkness w/ a constant Deeper Darkness effect, or the ability to plane shift/teleport once per day, like Lion from Steven Universe).

Probably the one with access to the Heal spell as a swift action. Can't really beat that once you've got it. Hell, spells are generally stronger than most other things in the game.

That said, Invulnerable Rager Barbarians with Improved Stalwart make rather impressive damage sponges.

And Crossblooded Arcane + Destined Bloodragers with Fate's Favored have rather significant defenses. The ability to cast any Bloodrager spell on yourself as a free action when you rage is rather immense. Specifically because one of the spells you get is Mirror Image, which can neuter physical encounters.

So I'd say that optimized Bloodragers make the better tank until late levels, where the Warpriest can Fervor-cast Heal.

I don't think I've ever seen somebody actually berate another player using the tier list as an excuse. They might suggest a more useful/fitting option, but in my experience, the tone is meant to be helpful as opposed to antagonizing.

Furthermore, I disagree that the Tier system isn't educational or informative; on the contrary, that's all it is. It is a measure of a class's relative power and versatility. That's all.

For example, it's an objective fact that the Core Paladin is superior to the Core Fighter. One has a bonus to a small subset of Will saves, the other has straight up immunity to that subset, as well as a better Will save, and a class feature that directly boosts ALL saves.

However, for the people who refuse to see things from an objective point of view, somebody telling them to play a Paladin instead of a Lawful Good Fighter comes off as a personal attack, rather than a helpful suggestion.

We're just trying to help. A lot of us who ascribe to the tier list do so because we ourselves have been in positions where our characters felt...inadequate. It's not a good feeling at all. That's why it's important to understand the tier list.

Understanding the tier list helps you understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of each class, and once you understand the reasons behind their placement, you can carve out a niche for yourself and never feel useless again.

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