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Same with some student if war(Prestige class) ability
Student of War is also an interesting combination with Lore Warden.
I don't really like how the armor stacking REPLACES Dex though, because in the particular campaign I'm playing I'm likely going to have a racial dex modifier based on my race options.
Some of the other abilities are worth considering and it does have the advantage over the Duelist that I could do more with my weapon besides one-handing a piercing weapon.
Interesting option, I don't like the +5 difficulty on the identify roll though. I'd definitely need a high INT to succeed every time. I kind of like the passive INT bonus to armor that the Duelist or Student of War gives a little more for defensive purposes, but I guess the saving throw bonus is nice.
I do like the swift action.
So I was looking into a recommendation made to me in another thread to make a Lore Warden and then move into Duelist as a prestige class.
I was wondering how else I can exploit Intelligence as a fighter besides using it as a prereq for some nice combat maneuver feats.
Obviously as a Duelist I would have to use a One-handed Piercing weapon, so that precludes feats like Focused Shot.
Are there any other feats or level dips that let me apply intelligence to other things?
Guess I should mention that this is an evil campaign, but that Irori does look pretty good, an interesting blend of Paladin and Monk.
It was kind of hard to find it though. How come it's not on the main Pathfinder SRD site?
New homebrew campaign coming up. Wanted to try something a little different.
Usually play a Wizard, thought about going Barbarian and playing BSF for a change of pace.
But something I haven't really done is look at all of the prestige classes with any serious intent. Thought I might base my new character on some prestige class this time around.
I intend to look through many of them, but where should I start?
A lot of Prestige Classes get flak for not being as good as a base class or combination of base classes. I can definitely see this with the likes of Rage Prophet and of course the Mystic Thuerge. Which one actually gets praise from the optimization sharks of the Internet? Is there one?
What do you think is the best overall Prestige class?
Honestly? Grease and Glitterdust are really, stupidly, silly spells. I never use them, for this reason, because they are so silly. They feel like stage magic of Vegas, of Charlie Chaplin - not of fantasy wizardry. Apparently people who have tried long and hard to optimize have found they are often very useful in practice, but that doesn't change the fact you are conjuring a slippery patch of grease or blowing a cloud of glammy glitter. In my eyes, at least. :)
Heh, yeah, I thought that I as I created the post actually.
But they're really GOOD silly spells :P Maybe I'll keep them anyway.
So I've got a character concept I want to try, and I need your help. I reading that "Spontaneous vs. Prepared Casters" thread, and one of the things that kept coming up is 1. "You don't need to know every spell in the game to be useful." and 2. "Wizards have a lot of spells they haven't cast by the end of the day that they memorized for that special situation."
One of the things I enjoy about Wizards is when you've cast all of your staple spells, you're running out of gas, and all you have left are silly things that you memorize for some reason (Okay maybe that's just me.) But I think the most fun I have as a wizard is jamming that Square Block into the Circular Hole with what makes me feel like creative genius. Suddenly Mad Monkeys has far more applications than just dealing damage and disarming people, or maybe I'm asking the DM about the environment to try and apply Sculpt Stone to the situation.
Now STOP RIGHT THERE! I didn't make this thread to discuss those two points - go to the other thread for that. Read the rest of this post before you hit that reply button!
What I want to make is a Sorcerer who has nothing but silly spells. You won't see Grease or Glitterdust on his list. No Fireball with Daze for him. I want to see if I can still be useful making hilarious applications for spells that might seem like they were made for a specific purpose at first glance.
The question is, are there a lot of spells that are like that? That's what I want to find out.
I've already got Mad Monkeys on there - while that's one of the spells I'd consider top notch anyway it definitely fits the silly bill.
And most of all, I need Strangling Hair and a Handlebar Mustache.
As usual 3rd level is really easy to pick out, what about the rest?
Sorcs get about 4 spells known per spell level (5 at 1st and 2nd, and 3 at 5th - 9th.) Let's see if we can fill the whole list.
Good points. I'll definitely be thinking about Shadow Walk too.
You're right on the mobility thing - it's one of the hangups I have here. The armor is mainly to mitigate melee damage. I've tried to substitute regular mobility with the Dimensional Dervish line of feats (Allowing me to move in and attack more easily) and with the Blade Dash (Which allows me to move 30 feet regardless of what my normal move speed is.)
Plus with Haste (cast on the first round) even with full plate I'm looking at a 50 move. Without haste, Bard's escape puts everyone into flanking position.
The biggest reason for me to flank is to provide a +2 (or higher) bonus to my flanking buddy, not for me to be the main benefactor. But, I definitely should get Outflank, and I am ashamed that I forgot it.
Improved Critical is an expensive line of feats and is best paired with two weapon fighting, I think. That line seems more for the person I'm benefiting and not myself.
CON is an issue, but as far as DEX goes, being an Arcane Duelist I have the option of wearing plate at higher levels - which can knock off any dex bonus I'd have anyway.
My main motivation for raising DEX would be to get initiative.
As I build this bard, I'm not entirely sure we'll have a full arcane caster in the party - hence Phantom Steed. It is a little heavy in the 4th level slot though since I would like Dance of 100 cuts.
And I agree about Dance of 100 cuts - I'd rather have it than 1000 cuts. With that said, I have a hard time choosing my 6th level spells and not because they're hard to choose from. A lot of them require saves and if you haven't been boosting your charisma you're not going to see much use with them.
Virtuoso Performance is to get use out of Bladethirst or other songs that would never see the light of day out thanks to Inspire Courage. It's probably redundant with Shadowbard though.
Echolocation is one I'll definitely consider. 10 minutes per level is actually not too shabby and if I know that we might be encountering illusions of any kind the weighty standard action is a moot point.
Zone of Silence is neat, but expensive for a 4th level slot. That's definitely my reason for agreeing with you on using it through a spell trigger instead.
5th level is really hard if your saves suck. Cure Light Wounds Mass and Joyful Rapture are basically filler spells.
I didn't notice that Deafening Song Bolt had no saving throw. That definitely makes it a better contender for the slot.
And I love the idea of Cloak of Dreams and it's my biggest reason for considering scrapping the whole strength focus thing and boosting Charisma instead (Probably won't do that though since Bards just don't have enough spells per day to be full casters.) Here's the thing though - your first 5th level spells are at level 13. Battlebard, Bard's Escape, and even Bladed Dash are probably better overall options, so you're probably going to be level 15 before you'd see Cloak of Dreams on your spell list. The DC for Cloak of Dreams with a 16 charisma is 18. Average monster at level 15 has a 15 will save (Minimum 8) - this is using Shoelessinsight's bestiary statistics. That means at best I'm looking at a 50% chance of it working, but on average it's going to have a 10% chance of working. These can improve depending on whether I bother with a Charisma Headband, but with that you're looking at about 60% and 25%. You're right, it's not terrible since it'll be a round to round thing...
But here's the other thing. Cloak of Dreams has a ONE ROUND casting time. I'd be hard pressed to cast it with a standard action and the above chances, the full round makes me think it'll never be cast at all.
I actually had Overwhelming Presence on my list, but took it off because of Dance of 1000 Cuts. Here's my reasoning - if I'm the one who is in charge of Haste, my 3rd level slots are going to be extra precious. In regular battles with grunts 1000 cuts is a fine buff to help out. I still don't like my decision because of the standard action though, but 6th level suffers from the same problem as 5th level if you aren't boosting Charisma.
Without a headband, I'm looking at a 20 save DC (23 DC with a headband.) At level 17 the average Will Save is 17 (Minimum 7). Those are crappy odds for Overwhelming Presence and while Irresistible Dance does work for at least one round, I don't think it's worth my standard action to cast it most of the time. Overwhelming Presence does have the advantage of being an small army stopper though, which leaves it still worth considering.
Irresistible Dance would be something I'd consider grabbing if I had an evoker with Dazing Spell in my party though.
Euphoric Tranquility does the enemy lockout thing that Irresistible dance does but does not allow for a saving throw as long as you don't attack the target.
But, you definitely gave me something to think about a little more.
I'm thinking about high level with this list so the lower levels are going to be dump spells. (If I end up playing this bard soon, it's going to be above level 10.)
I definitely didn't like Ear Piercing scream and I didn't notice Saving Finale. Saving Finale definitely goes well with Lingering Performance. I'll definitely swap that out.
Expeditious Retreat is a good one I considered, I really didn't like spending the standard action on the buff though. Fully armored, I'm going to want as much movement increase as I can get though - I just wish the spell lasted longer so I can set it up earlier :P Why can't we get Longstrider! I'll definitely think on this one.
I like vanish for its quick utility - It's not by any means a stealth spell. I see it as an "Oh crap" spell (And it's appropriately named for that purpose.) But Liberating Command (one I totally forgot about) is definitely a better choice overall.
It's really tough for me to give up Alarm, in the games I play in we use it more often than you'd normally predict. Being able to spontaneously cast it is really nice too because you never know when you might need a lookout when you're doing something that someone doesn't want you to be doing. And with a 1 mile mental listen distance you can really set up some crazy stuff with multiple Alarm spells in a dungeon. It can kind of work as a cheap divination for predicting enemy movements. I guess enemy intelligence might be better for my Wizard to deal with, but I do like this spell all the same.
I love grease, but the reason I didn't take it on this bard is because it'd basically be a 10' square of difficult terrain if you can't make an acrobatics check or a bonus to escape artist. Now those are still some great utilities but I feel like I'd only be getting half the benefit of the spell. At earlier levels when the DCs aren't as detrimental I'd still probably take sleep instead.
As far as having Timely Inspiration and Gallant Inspiration goes - they're both immediate actions and a great way to spend your 1st and 2nd level slots at higher levels. From a "Get the best out of your knowledge slots" perspective, I agree with you, but from a "Actually use those 1st level spells" perspective I'd almost say I'd rather have Timely Inspiration over Gallant Inspiration, because I'll be casting Tactical Acumen all the way to level 20, but I really don't see myself casting a first level spell every combat.
Bah, why didn't I pick up Mirror Image??
Heh, that's definitely an oversight. With that said though I may not even be casting it most combats (I'm also probably going to be wearing full plate armor at higher levels.) I've got way too many party buffing things to do with my standard actions. Definitely should be on my list though.
I'm also a big fan of Glitterdust, but it's only a stealth counter if they make their will save. The aforementioned full plate armor might not get me too much use out of invisibility (Which yes, I now realize that it contradicts my comments about vanish up there, this conversation makes me definitely realize I should drop that), and I think Blur is redundant with Mirror Image.
Oh hey look, Arcane Concordance gives you extend spell too.
I like Arcane Concordance. I wouldn't take it unless I have another powerful caster in my party - so that's on the "Consideration list".
Third level spells aren't going to be hard to spend - Good Hope and Haste both share the slot and are happy contenders for BOTH being cast every combat. Since I'm not boosting my Charisma, I'm probably only going to have 5 or 6 3rd level spells by the end (Or two combats worth of overbuffing.) Gaseous Form is a random utility for when I need it - yes it has fly, but it also has "Get into anything that has cracks" too. I'm not sure I'd ever use it for scouting.
As I mentioned my focus was to deal as much damage as possible I like your recommendation though it adds some versatility.
The reason I got Weapon Focus (I would have ignored it normally) is because I get the Penetrating Strike feats for free.
"Benefit: Your attacks made with weapons selected with Weapon Focus ignore up to 5 points of damage reduction. This feat does not apply to damage reduction without a type (such as DR 10/—)"
Even though as an Arcane Duelist I get the feat without the prerequisites, RAW says that I have to have Weapon Focus to enjoy the benefits.
Granted I don't need to get it so early on, but bonus to hit is a major factor in dealing damage particularly once you get multiple attacks.
Since I still have some feats later on though I can shuffle things around and put weapon focus closer to level 14 and take this suggestion though.
Initiative helps you get your buffs up before the fighter takes his first turn and close range ambushes past level 8 will allow you to dirge their saving throws for the caster to open with a mass debuff.
Playing a Diviner right now. It's going to be super hard for me to get over not having a +13 initiative :P. (Almost doesn't even seem worth it, GOSH!)
But I do love that feat and definitely understand the benefits. That's actually one of the biggest attractions to your quickdraw suggestion.
Initially this build was on a Half-Elf for Role-Playing reasons and I picked up Greatsword with Ancestral Weaponry. With the Fetchling as an option I guess I just really liked the idea of running around with a big sword.
So I'm making a Bard specifically for going into Melee. This strictly a build - I'm not worrying about equipment at this moment.
In serious combat, I plan on spending most of my actions casting buff spells (Priority: Haste -> Good Hope -> Tactical Acumen.) However in basic encounters I'd likely be smashing things with my sword with maybe the occasional spell (While still providing flanks to the more important damage dealers.)
Everything here is very tentative. I haven't done too much comparison - particularly in the realm of spell selection. Please check this out and tell me what you'd do differently.
Stats (25 point buy example):
+2 STR and CHA is from Fetchling
Archetype: Arcane Duelist
Feat Order (Including Arcane Duelist Feats):
16 Dimensional Savant
SPELLS: Not necessarily obtained in this order. I'm trying to avoid anything that allows a saving throw for full effect seeing as I am not boosting my Charisma.
What are your favorite rules misconceptions that you've encountered playing this game?
Here are a couple of mine:
I had a DM who was like, "Oh the Brace feature on a weapon means as a free action you can switch between a 5' reach and a 10' reach with a polearm."
And that same guy was a player in my campaign and was like "HEY! He can't do that! He's fatigued! That means that he can either move or attack, but not both!"
Oh, it definitely happens today.
I had a DM who was like, "Oh the Brace feature on a weapon means as a free action you can switch between a 5' reach and a 10' reach with a polearm."
And that same guy was a player in my campaign and was like "HEY! He can't do that! He's fatigued! That means that he can either move or attack, but not both!"
Well, I guess this was technically false, but the extent to which they could keep loot was well below the normal adventurer standard. Here's the exact wording:
1. They may never retain more than ten magic items; these may
2. They will never retain wealth, keeping only sufficient
Here are a couple of parties I'd like to try out someday. Each one is based around 4 members with a supplementary 5th added :
1. The Mosh Pit
Fighter - Dual Wielding. I originally had the Barbarian here (You know, because this is a Mosh Pit), but with all the potential to-hit bonuses going on with this party, dual wielding is just too good. At higher levels you can also pick up crit feats to really mess things up.
Bard - Backbone of the party. Give him Arcane Duelist or Diva and put him on the front lines so he can give flanks to his other buddies. First three rounds: Haste, Good Hope, and Tactical Acumen. +8 to hit when you're flanking at level 8 (with Inspire Courage of course.) 13th level gets you Bard's Escape to get everyone into those flanking positions.
Cleric - Provides Divine to-hit bonuses to supplement the bard's buffs. Obligatory healing support too (Since you're all in Melee, you'll need it.) Besides that he's a heavily armored Melee support who will provide a flank to the second star of the team.
Rogue (Or Ninja) - The Fighter is the loudmouth, and the Rogue is the one elbowing you in the kidneys. When you're basing a party around Tactical Acumen and Flanking Bonuses, you NEED a rogue.
Obviously the Mosh Pit is missing some of the utility that a full Arcane Caster can provide (like Fly and stuff) but with the right domains the Cleric can kind of fill that role.
And for the 5th:
2. Save or Die. Or just die.
Barbarian - You really need a meat shield, and this particular meat shield should definitely be maxing Intimidate (Shaken condition gives -2 to saving throw rolls). Grab Intimidating Prowess for best results.
Wizard - For Void Specialist. Reveal weakness one of the best ways to lower an enemy's saving throws. You can't resist it and it has an extremely high number (-5 to saving throws at level 10. ) The standard action and 1 round duration makes it so the Wizard needs a rod or a feat to enjoy it himself, but this party is all about teamwork.
Cleric - The Curse Domain gives a penalty, but only the Cleric can enjoy it. It's not bad, but the real fun one is the Madness Domain's Vision of Madness. Give them a bonus to skill checks and a penalty to attack rolls and saving throws. The penalty is as good as the Reveal Weakness power the Void Specialist gets, but it has the restriction of being a Melee Touch Attack. Good thing the Cleric can wear plate armor. I'd take both Luck (Curse) and Madness.
Witch - Because of Evil Eye. With Cackle this basically allows for no saving throw either. It's not as potent as Vision of Madness or Reveal Weakness past level 6, but it also has no major restrictions either. Besides Evil Eye, the Witch gets the Slumber Hex - a very usable save or lose spell with no limit on castings per day - and of course the Witch gets a good number of Save-or-Lose spells on her spell list as well.
And the 5th:
Sorcerer - I don't know all the bloodlines, but I do know the Arcane Bloodline gives you a +2 to your saving throw DCs and I know a lot of other bloodlines do similar things. I would build the Sorcerer to be the clean up after the Cleric, Witch, and Wizard all lower the saving throw DCs. His list would include numerous save or die options with all the appropriate spell specializations. Technically you could be replacing the Barbarian with this guy, and it might work out a little better especially if you're all winning initiative, but like I said - it's really good to have some kind of Meat Shield.
What are some other ideas for groups that synergize well with each other?
Prepared with Spontaneous Casting feats (Preferred Spell and Greater Spell Specialization.)
And honestly the biggest reason for this above all else is because prepared casters advance their spell levels one level earlier than spontaneous casters.
In the case of Oracle vs. Cleric, you're giving up the Cleric's AMAZING trait of knowing their ENTIRE SPELL LIST, which really puts the Oracle on the lowest of the bottom tiers for me.
This is also a problem between Sorcerer and Wizard, but with the cost of scrolls it's a little less of an issue in the comparison.
Deidre Tiriel wrote:
For Leadership, it is not assumed that the PC has all those followers all the time. Usually they take the cohort with them on adventurers, and use the followers as resources, for contacts/crafting (usually with a little cost)/armies.
With the Druid the exact wording is "Above all other druids is a lone figure, The Great Druid. The supreme druid is always attended by nine Initiates of the 9th Circle."
9th circle being 11th level druids (I said level 9. I guess it's much better than that.)
But yeah, other classes require a stronghold and it isn't as heavily suggested that you're taking your army along with you.
So I started table top role playing with 1st edition.
It's been a long time since I'd looked at the books. Recently I go a hold of them again and besides making me kind of want to play a 1st ed game, a lot of fun differences stick out to me.
Here are just a few:
1. Leadership wasn't a feat or an option, it's just how it was! (A level 14 druid apparently has nine 11th level druids following him around all the time.)
2. Paladins had MANY more restrictions, including things like "Can't keep loot." and "Pay 10% of your gold to your church."
3. A round was a minute long.
4. For many classes, the best part of leveling up was hitpoints in your cup.
5. Perhaps my favorite item of all: The original Unearthed Arcana includes a 7th stat: Comeliness.
Oh, if it's available, definitely.
My favorite Bard is a Diva that spends all his time casting buffs.
First round: Haste
Inspire Courage first round. Before level 7, do it the second round.
Get into flank position with your BSF. Diva's armor bonus allows you to do this without much worry if you're keeping your armor up to snuff.
8th Level bard (When you can learn both Haste and Good Hope)
Inspire Courage +2 to-hit (+2 damage)
Total bonus: +8 to hit, +4 damage. You and your BSF naturally have a second attack at this point - and now it's three better than your unbuffed first attack.
I would equip a big 2-handed sword (Via feat or Exotic Weapon Proficiency) and start bashing on your enemies starting on the 4th round - make sure you keep that flank for the Tactical Acumen bonus.
13th Level Bard is when this build really shines, because you get Bard's Escape if you're having a hard time getting that flank (And your total bonuses are +10 at this point - which makes your third attacks as good as your unbuffed first attacks.)
With a Duo party (Just you and a BSF) this is incredible for damage output already. With a melee Cleric and a Rogue, this is 100% killer, because now they're enjoying their own time as flanking buddies.
(For best results, everyone should pick up the Outflank feat for an additional +2 when flanking. Everyone should also definitely have Power Attack - and if you have a tendency to get to that 4th round attack off - aka the monster isn't dead - then Cornugan Smash isn't a bad idea either.)
Now obviously you couldn't do this every combat since you'll run out of spells likely after the first combat you do this, but it's pretty amazing when you can pull it off.
In either case, I like being a Melee Bard because every melee adventurer likes a flanking buddy and Bards are all about buffing your party. Diva just helps you stay alive as you level up and can use heavier armor.
Arcane Duelist is probably overall better than Diva at higher levels, but in most campaigns I play in, that level 13 I mentioned is about when things are wrapping up.
And Yeah, I'd never give up Inspire Courage. It's an amazing bonus that stacks with everything.
I can't give you 10, but I can certainly give you my favorite spell. Blistering Invective. It's a useful spell and it has cool flavor. I yell at people so hard they light on fire.
I actually have a party member who based his build around that spell for a short amount of time. It was amusing while it lasted.
Hmm.. I wasn't familiar with Blood Money before you mentioned it (Or maybe I just forgot about it.)
As soon as I see it, just like everyone else, I have to ask "What strength do you need to cast a wish spell".
The answer is 50.
Maybe make a bunch of scrolls and befriend a benevolent Great Wyrm gold dragon? (Have to buff his strength just a little higher even still though.)
I mean, it doesn't say that someone else can't use the component and it makes it very clear that the component is separate from the individual (It actually creates an object.)
This would obviously never happen, but the thought is pretty humorous.
Spellbane is pretty awesome too.
*compares Magic Missile to Meteor Swarm*
I actually can't imagine it. Most of the level 9 damage spells kind of
I think you'd really just be looking at an extreme increase of missiles though. Would 20 missiles be too little or too much?
But it IS a boring answer. So boring in fact that I'm glad I'm currently playing with a Sorcerer so he gets to spend his action instead of me setting it up for every combat.
My best recommendation is to buy a wand and make the Familiar do it, but my current DM won't let familiars use wands (Some crazy guy wrote a guide that made him think it was too overpowered.)
It really is tough to find a better buff spell than haste though.
What are your top 10 spells?
I'm not asking for the top 10 optimized spells. I'm not asking for the top 10 BEST spells. I'm asking for your favorites. They could be total crap as far as the mechanics are concerned, but if you have a good memory of it, put it on there, I'm interested.
Just one rule: The spells have to come from official pathfinder sources. No 3rd party and no 3.5 edition stuff.
10. Bard's Escape: I really think this spell is horribly named, because I use it to enter combat - or rather I use it to place my Paladin on the opposite side of the enemy from my Rogue. (And yes, the party members are mine.) This powerful option is my biggest temptation to play a Samsaran when I play a Wizard.
9. Force Punch: This spell is full of awesome. It just oozes wizardly flavor, and it's especially hilarious if you have your familiar deliver the touch attack
8. Gallant Inspiration: What a great way to use up your second level slots at higher levels. Got a buddy who just missed an attack? Nope! Try again! Depending on which buddy you give this you'll be hard pressed to find a better way to deal damage to a single target with a second level slot (Note that I didn't say second level spell, I said slot.) This is especially true if you're a Bard and not a Samsaran Wizard. (Best part is that you don't even need to waste your standard action doing it.)
7. Prediction of Failure: It's a pain to raise your saving throw DCs, so this spell is lovely against creatures that are susceptible to both Sickened and Shaken (And mind-affecting spells). A quick and dirty -4 to their saving throws will have you smiling. Best part is if it affects them, they can't even resist it.
6. Shrink Item: Because I like fitting things into my pockets that I otherwise would not be able to.
5. Fire Sneeze: Probably not as good as Burning Gaze, but a definitely an entertaining way to make your familiar a team player.
4. Aqueous Orb: I love spells that let me move enemies around, and this tremendously funny Katamari ball is probably one of the most entertaining ways of doing it.
3. Mad Monkeys: This is a pretty good all around spell, but the flavor is just plain hilarious. I once used it as a simple distraction and after I lamented that they didn't do much besides distracting the enemy my DM commented that they certainly had enough time to make a poopy mess of the place.
2. Euphoric Tranquility: This is an amazing spell because there's basically nothing you can do about it if you're not immune to mind-affecting spells. But what makes it awesome is that its effect makes the target into a lovable drunk for its duration. Step aside irresistible dance, I've got a new favorite way of degrading my enemy.
1. Speak with Dead: Probably one of my favorite things about the Oracle I played was being able to shoot first and ask questions later. Very useful especially if you have a loose cannon in your party who disagrees with your "Take hostages plan" (Oh wait, that's usually me.)
Too bad extend spell doesn't make the tentacles longer.
Maybe a little sirocco action might help out getting things down to the Tentacles, but I think that's trying to hard at that point.
Black Tentacles is a good spell for large groups of enemies, even as-is. While you won't catch everyone, any you do catch makes the spell worth casting.
More importantly unlike a spell that functions similarly (catch some but not necessarily all) such as Confusion, Black Tentacles persists for multiple rounds, creating a badzone that even if the enemies are going to easily move through it statistically they're still likely going to try to avoid it when possible.
Like all CMD spells, Black Tentacles is going to shine a lot more in NPC heavy campaigns (As opposed to monster heavy.) Spell Specialization would be a no brainer in that situation because yes, it's one of the few spells that really benefits from the bonus caster levels.
You should also consider Mad Monkeys. Disarm and Steal aren't at all as good as Grapple, but even if they fail at the CMB they'll still have a chance at deafening the targets (Not likely but it's there) and they will always deal damage. Not to mention they can be moved around which makes it slightly more useful against a BBEG. Note that Steal can take magic items equipped on the enemy.
Still, its combat maneuvers are not very useful against actual monsters, moreso than Black Tentacles, but I think they're slightly more versatile. Probably the biggest drawback of the Monkeys is that they can be pretty easily killed unlike the invincible tentacles. But I dunno, I also have a particular fondness for Mad Monkeys.
Another option is to just take Summon Monster and switch it out for the next spell level as you level up and focus on taking advantage of Greater Spell Specialization for the spontaneous cast later on. That said, you could easily go with Mad Monkeys or Black Tentacles NOW and then switch to Summon Monster when you get another feat to spend on Greater Spell Specialization. That's one of the wonderful things about that feat is that it's not a commitment for endgame.
Bah, I had a really big response that was just eaten by the internet!
Anyway, best recommendation I can give you is to remember that when you specialize you ONLY have to memorize spells from your specialization schools in your specialization slots. Basically this means that if you're a diviner, all your other spell memorizations can (And might as well should) be Conjuration or something else.
Pick your school specialization based on the granted powers, not on the specialization slots. This is especially true if your DM lets you replace specialization slots with spontaneous casts from Preferred spell.
Control Wizard is definitely party dependent, but if you have the right party I would easily pick control over blasting any day.
I personally think it's much more fun to Me-Doken my party BSF into the enemy using Telekinetic Charge than it is to cast disintegrate on a single creature. I also think it's more fun to cut out sections of the enemy party while my party wipes the floor with the remaining pieces etc.
Without a decent party though... I still wouldn't play a Blaster Wizard, I'd play something else. But eh, I guess I'm agreeing with what Atarlost said - to each their own.
Mechanical Pear wrote:
Wait...that litany has a duration of instant. With no saving throw. That means it's like, what, a permanent curse? That's pretty wicked. And I knew that Holy Sword was flippin' beast. Just, I wanna focus more on spell damage, and maybe some summoning. Just this one's flavor.
That's pretty crazy actually. I mean, obviously if you're casting it on someone you intend to kill them, and being a swift action there's nothing really stopping you from casting it on the same target if they DID get away. But if it is a recurring villain I guess you've saved yourself a 4th level spell slot on the next encounter.
One of my questions is, what do you think would be the best base class to start with? Druid or Cleric? That is if your goal was general versatility?
Best recommendation I can give: My guide is a guide.
If it makes more sense for you to have a Raven, take a Raven. Role-playing trumps Optimization any day. If you were going for the optimized choice obviously the Scorpion is the better option. But think of how much fun a Raven could be as far as actually playing goes because it has the ability to speak?
This is just a personal choice, but if I were to make a Necromancer, I'd probably keep Enchantment and dump something else - maybe Divination or Evocation? The reason I say that is I think Enchantment nicely compliments Necromancy - you have one to affect a good number of Mind-Affecting immune through Undead and the other to cover just about everything else (With conjuration to back you up against Constructs and Oozes.) Plus it also kind of fits the bill of a wizard dabbling in black magic, don't you think?
The hardest part about that choice would of course be the opposition school though. I wouldn't dump Illusion if you're dumping Abjuration because you're basically selling out all of your protection spells if you did that (Mirror Image and Invisibility are life-savers.)
Also, I'm really not a fan of Skeletal Summoner. I just don't think it has the value of most other feats.
Combat casting isn't a bad idea, but I'd stretch for Reach Spell metamagic as soon as you can afford to use it.
Phew, a lot of responses here.
So I'll only throw in my two cents:
1. Emphasize role-playing. It's far more difficult to munchkin that.
2. Diversify your obstacles to make sure every character weak or strong can play a major part. A munchkin can't be everywhere right?
Fluidity, improvisation, and Role Playing are what set table top games apart from Video Games. If you focus on the characters and not the "challenges" themselves you'll find it's easier to deal with munchkins because their powers mean basically nothing in the face of the role-playing environment.
"Challenges" being in quotes because in the end the raw mechanical challenges of this game are just random chance. We're really all here for the adventure.
Thought I'd throw this question at you to see what you think before I find myself spinning out of control and going over every divine spell in the game.
I've never really paid attention to Divine Casters, but playing with a Caster Druid in my party they're becoming a little more attractive to me, and I might try one in the future.
My question is, if you were to play a Samsaran divine caster with no intention of getting early access spells - only spells not normally available on your list - which class would you use as your base and what spells would you choose?
I'm thinking, for my purposes, the Druid is probably the best since they get a lot of great spells the Arcane casters get, but with Domains the Cleric may be the better choice to get more utility than what is available to the Druid (Such as teleport.)Not to mention the all powerful Miracle spell (Though that would probably be my first choice as a Samsaran capture.)
What do you think?
A question to the author of the guide: did you use the preferred spell for your "universal" diviner build, as greater specialization applies only to one specialized spell? In case greater specialization would apply to all spells having the feat "spell specialization", would you still prefer the preferred spell feat?
Hmm... This is actually something I hadn't considered.
You're right, as written you might take Greater Spell specialization as applying to all of the spells that you specialize in without having to take a Greater Specialization feat for each of them.
The great advantage of Spell Specialization is that you can change which spells you can cast each time you get new spells - which I think makes it superior for doing something like applying it to Summon Monster spells.
The great disadvantage of Spell Specialization (With Greater Spell Specialization) is that it increases the casting time of your favored spell to a full round cast when you use Metamagic on them. This makes Preferred spell a much better option for taking spells you'll be casting all the time for your entire career and may want to spontaneously add metamagic to - like adding Dazing Spell to your favorite Evocation Spell.
Taking that into account, I think it's a little expensive to get both Spell Specialization AND Preferred Spell since they both take two feats to allow spontaneous casting. As far as my Diviner build goes, the fact that I put "Your choice" on those feats kind of leaves open the question of which is best.
If you want to spontaneously cast spells that really don't benefit from any metamagic besides Quicken Spell (which doesn't get a increased casting time) then I think taking multiple Spell Specialization Feats and only applying only one global Greater Spell Specialization feat is the best way to go. Haste and Dimensional Anchor are good examples of good spells. Greater Dispel Magic actually greatly benefits from this approach because it's one of the few spells that improves remarkably from the +2 caster level.
If you want to use ANY kind of metamagic like Persistent Spell, Dazing Spell, Reach Spell, or even the obligatory Heighten Spell, then I think you're better off sticking to Preferred Spell. My spell example of Cold Ice Strike would love to have Rime Spell attached to it, but it's not required. Telekinetic Charge, my other recommendation, greatly benefits from Reach Spell - but again, it's up to you if you think you'd rather have Preferred spell.
TLDR version (AKA, my simple opinion): I think I would prefer Spell Specialization for my Diviner Build if my DM agrees with the interpretation that Greater Spell Specialization has a global effect on all spell specializations.
I was under the impression that Bastion of Good halved all incoming damage, but it states "Attacks" which seems to exclude spells. Looking at Divine Defender, raising all saving throws could potentially have the same effect as halving damage for reflex based spells at least...
Giving up Mercy does remove your ability to address contingent situations though, but you DO get to keep your smite evil for helping the party with damage.
I think I'd still prefer the Sacred Shield.
If you're thinking about fulfilling the role of "Tank" in the MMO sense, that is a character who is supposed to not only soak up damage but also draw in attacks as well, then in my opinion there is only one real option:
A Paladin with a High Charisma, in full plate adamantine armor, with the Sacred Shield Archetype. Throw in the Antagonize feat and you're golden - a nearly perfect Pathfinder Tank.
Definitely stack your elemental resistances in any way that you can, noting that Resist Energy: Communal is on the Paladin's spell list.
So I'm starting a new campaign, and I kind of want to do something a little different from what I've done in the past, so I'm looking for inspiration.
What's you favorite monster race to have as villains? (Aka Orcs, Undead, Lizardfolk, etc.)
If you're specifically trying to address the reason I'm making this thread, then the Spoiler below contains some info about two campaigns I've run fairly recently.
Previous Campaign Info:
I've done two campaigns where the players have generally expressed enjoyment of the game.
These two campaigns mainly used one type of monster as the "Main plot" villains, so the two I've used so far were:
1. Mind Flayers. In this campaign we were playing 3.5 and I pulled all the stops out for character creation. Many of the players were playing level adjusted monster class races. The basic story was that in that area of the world all the Dragons were sealed up by a group of druids into a forest, which if kept healthy imprisoned the Dragons in a Stone Form. The forest was being destroyed gradually by a blight however which was caused by series of artifacts that were used to seal a Mind Flayer God. The party gets a hold of one of these objects and thus caught the attention of a particular Mind Flayer Tribe interested in resurrecting their dark deity.
2. Incorporeal Beings, and eventually Giant Outsiders. In my most recent campaign using pathfinder the main villains were for most of the campaign incorporeal beings bent on corrupting and possessing humans. They animated objects and could only be killed by specific types of magical weapons, or by magic that was channeled through a special item bond. It turned out though that ultimate intention of these "phantoms" was to create a perfect society through this possession so that the world may remain in a state of peace hopefully preventing what the party was ultimately tricked into doing - and that was releasing the Great Old Ones from their tombs. At that point the campaign took a lovecraftian turn where the old ones were exerting their influence on the world from a limbo-like plane, only occasionally manifesting their physical form on the material plane. The party then had to work with the Phantom leader to learn how to make themselves immune to the mind melting influence of the old one and eventually become powerful enough to destroy them one by one.
I'm starting my players at level 10 in my current campaign. I'm leaning toward using more Abominations this time around, but I'm actually very heavily considering the idea of making one of the main villains they have to face be a coalition of evil Wizards adept at crafting constructs.
I'm not a big fan of undead scourges, since it's overused and in my opinion ruined by some poorly told stories. I'm okay with using them heavily in particular adventures though, for instance in the Mind Flayer campaign I had one or two scenarios where I used them pretty heavily.
Yeah, I think the two saves factor sort of balances it out. Kind of sucks, but meh.
Unlike other save-or-suck spells, this one can be tried again a turn later without using a standard action or a spell slot.
As far as the interpretation of Dazing Spell, yeah, I'd rule it so it only applies to first application of damage as a DM. Dazing spell is pretty crazy without being applied EVERY time a more persistent spell deals damage. But then if your DM says it works then by all means exploit away.