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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?
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?
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.
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!"
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?
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.
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.)
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?
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.
I am getting that itch. I am trying to decide if I want to expand treantmonk's druid guide or his bard guide.
In either case I will probably only go over the spells primarily, of course I say that now and look what happened with the Wizard Guide :p
In the case of the Druid Guide, Shoelessinsight has indicated that he might do everything but the spells, so it would likely be a collaboration.
My questions are: is there any interest? And which one should I (we) do [first]? Bard or Druid?
I really like this alternate race feature, it has a lot of possibilities. If you max out your casting stat, you get 6 spells from other spell lists to choose from.
Specifically for the Wizard, what are some good spells to grab from other Arcane Caster's spell lists?
Here's what I have so far:
Now the Cure Spells aren't exactly an optimal pick when you only get six spells, but I wanted to mention them anyway because I expect someone else to if I don't.
If you don't know what Alternate Race feature I'm talking about, here it is in this spoiler:
Samsaran Mystic Past Life:
Mystic Past Life (Su) You can add spells from another spellcasting class to the spell list of your current spellcasting class. You add a number of spells equal to 1 + your spellcasting class's key ability score bonus (Wisdom for clerics, and so on). The spells must be the same type (arcane or divine) as the spellcasting class you're adding them to. For example, you could add divine power to your druid class spell list, but not to your wizard class spell list because divine power is a divine spell. These spells do not have to be spells you can cast as a 1st-level character. The number of spells granted by this ability is set at 1st level. Changes to your ability score do not change the number of spells gained. This racial trait replaces shards of the past.
The PDF version is for general viewing. It has bookmarks for easy navigation and it will load faster than the Google Docs version. Please download the PDF and use Adobe PDF Reader or a similar program to enjoy all of the features of the guide.
Google Docs version will take a long time to load, so beware. Both versions will be open for comments but the Google Docs version might be the easiest to comment on since you can select the specific text.
Included in this version:
So the Summon takes effect at the beginning of your next turn. My question is, do you choose the location of the summon when you start casting, or do you choose when the spell completes?
Aka, if you want to summon something next to a creature, and they move during the 1 round casting time, can you choose to summon the creature next to them anyway?
Personally my favorite thing about roleplaying is the social experience - getting together with your friends and imagining fun and interesting situations together.
That said, I could easily be playing something else. I play Pathfinder because it's familiar, and most people in my group know the rules because it's based on one of the oldest and most popular RPGs.
What keeps you coming back to Pathfinder instead of one of the MANY table top RPG experiences available?
So you got Ranger and Paladin which are full BAB classes with spells. Both are divine magic.
Why do you think they haven't done a Full BAB class that similarly uses Arcane magic yet?
Do you think it's just because Arcane is considered to be more powerful (Apparently)?
How would you make a full BAB class that has Arcane Spells similar to the Paladin or Ranger?
I went over the core aspects of the Wizard and compiled everything into the same guide here. I made it a point NOT to look at Treantmonk's Guide as I did this so that you could have my undefiled opinion to set against his.
Things I have not done but will do when I get around to it:
1. Edit the guide. I have read my guide a couple of times on mediums that would not let me edit it, and I am aware that there are some very bad grammatical errors existing throughout. Feel free to point them out to me, as it will make it easier for me to find them.
2. Builds. I know people like this, and I may a post a few later. For now there is an open document for people to post their own builds if they so desire. Please be respectful of other people's postings and edits. I will close the document to open editing if it is abused.
And of course, I will have missed things or misinterpreted things, and I always appreciate feedback that will help improve the guide for everyone.
Rating the summon monster spells was a roller coaster ride. Through the mid-levels the new monsters were surprising and effective, peaking out at level 7 with the amazing Tyrannosaurus, and then nose-diving through SMVIII and SMIX.
While I still agree with Treantmonk on his points about why summoning works, SMVIII and SMIX seem to be best spent summoning multiple creatures from SMVII's list.
Maybe I'm being a little harsh to SMIX, but comparing it to the Bestiary Statistics provided by Shoelessinsight, the monsters just don't seem that great, especially when some SMVII options sport similar statistics with the ability to smite evil.
But that's just me venting. Here's an introduction!
My latest sleep depriver was a Summon Monster guide for my Complete Wizard guide. It was a good experience for me in putting things into perspective, but I present it to you early because it turns out :GASP: Wizards aren't the only class that can cast this spell. So presenting it as a separate guide could be useful to a lot of people.
As far as work on the complete guide goes, all I have left is the spells and then it's just adjusting the guide according to comments I receive from you guys.
Also, feel free to make arguments for anything you disagree with in this guide, I need to hear them, because I would like to be wrong in some of my assessments.
This is part of a larger guide that I will post when it is finished. I still need to finish the Summon Monster analyses and the Core Spells.
It is the preliminary equipment section containing what I've come up with so far in my mulling through the items available.
I present it to you for further recommendations.
The guide itself has its comments section open, so if you are a forum lurker, you can comment there as well instead of needing a Paizo account.
There isn't anything that says it does, but has anything been said about this possibility?
The scenario that brought this up was the idea of having your improved familiar use a wand of Mirror Image to buff the Wizard. With a range of "self" generally the wand user gets the benefit, but could the Familiar share it with his master?
So I am working on a more complete wizard guide right now, and I would like some recommendations on any and all gear that a wizard would want aside from the usual pearls of power, INT gear, and so forth.
I have my own ideas, but I want to hear from you guys because I am bound to miss something.
I will be including a section on pimping out your familiar, and best use for your item Bond.
Okay, so my DM is doing a campaign where I'm not allowed to know my other party member's stats.
I'm looking to do the most damage that I can while still being able to take a hit and without MAD - mostly to take as much CON as I can.
So here are my rules for my "Most Damage" build. I appreciate any suggestions and pointers.
1. Core, APG, UC, and UM only. So I can't do Dervish Dance with a Magus.
2. Reasonably sustainable. I like Paladins, but one or two Smite Evils a day means that I'm only a boss killer.
3. ONE primary stat so I can focus on defensive stats as secondary (Mainly Constitution.)
4. Does NOT depend on magic items to complete his build. I don't trust this DM to give me anything or to make anything available. The most damage that Shoelessinsight has given me is a TWF fighter build, but the requirement for a 19 Dex along with maxed strength makes me wary. I don't want to have to hope for a DEX item to fill me out.
Anyone have any suggestions here?
I'm specifically looking for ways to add Charisma to your to-hit and even your damage besides using Smite Evil.
But I'm interested in other ways to make Charisma more than just a social stat that gives you little else.
What options are there and what classes are they available to?
What are some ways that you can get these items if you are not the classes listed (Besides multiclassing of course)?
Here's what I know about so far:
Noble Scion: (Any class) Adds your Charisma to your Initiative.
Smite Evil: (Paladin, Half-Celestial, Chevalier Prestige Class) Adds your Charisma to your To-Hit against targeted creature. Adds Charisma to AC as a deflection bonus against target.
Divine Grace: (Paladin) Adds Charisma to all of your saving throws.
Sidestep Secret: (Lore Revelation Oracle) Adds Charisma to your AC and Reflex.
Lorekeeper: (Lore Revelation Oracle) Add your Charisma to all Knowledge Checks.
I'm looking at Bard Options right now, and I'm considering the Melee Bard as the best choice in many campaigns mostly because it adds just that much more versatility as the ultimate support character. You are the Flanking Buddy. With Tactical Acumen, at level 10 you're able to add an extra +2 to your flanking buddy's to-hit. Any TWF friend would kill for that.
Through positioning yourself on the battlefield plus inspire courage, at level 11 you are able to grant allies up to a +7 to their to-hit, and with Discordant Voice you're adding +3+1d6 damage to your friend's damage.
I'm not sure the Archer Bard would be able to perform such benefits as easily since he'd be dependent on other allies actually getting in to provide the flank instead, though in the right party I'd say the Archer Bard is still a fine choice.
Anyway, while trying to optimize for Melee damage as something to do while not providing support, I keep looking at the Arcane Duelist, and I keep wondering what people see in this archetype.
Arcane Strike is totally necessary after the first round for damage, but you can just pick up the feat, you don't need to give up bardic knowledge for it.
6 extra feats are cool, but not really better than Versatile Performance for a couple of reasons. Versatile Performance not only saves you skill points, but it allows you to dump DEX while still being able to maintain a decent bonus to your Acrobatics if you have at least a 16 charisma. Besides that, the Spellbreaker feats just aren't that good, and while Penetrating strike could be nice, you don't get it until way late and you could easily just carry a variety of weapons anyway. Bladethirst is also very lackluster. While I don't think you'll ever be using Suggestion or Mass Suggestion which it replaces, enhancement bonuses are bad, it's single target, and the extra powers pale in comparison to just using Inspire Courage with Discordant Voice. You COULD use Shadowbard to maintain it, but I'm not sure it's even worth the standard action and the 4th level spell most of the time.
What I'm looking at is the Savage Skald. If I pick up a Falchion as my Half-Elf ancestral weapon, I'd have a good chance of starting a song with a critical strike with inspiring blow which synergizes pretty well with lingering performance. The Berzerkergang Song is also very good, I think, and totally a better standard action cast with Shadow Bard, especially as it starts to effect more than one creature.
Are there any other good Melee Bard options available? And is there anything that I'm missing about the Arcane Duelist? Because that archetype looks pretty sub-optimal to me...
I'm looking at Oterisk's guide and it seems like the Bard isn't the most optimal choice for DD.
If I end up playing this character, I'll end up being level 8, heading over the hill into the higher levels soon enough.
What do you think the best build would be for a Dragon Disciple in general?
Can a Bard keep up with those?
Information on the campaign::
Party consists of a Healing Paladin, a Barbarian (2-handed invulnerable rager), an Archer, a Sorcerer, and a Rogue.
My character is currently an Oracle, and I'm making this character as a Backup character.
I like the Bard because I could bring back an old character I was playing. I was thinking of going with Savage Skald because I don't want to give up Versatile Performance with Arcane Duelist.
I was looking at builds that incorporated a couple of levels of Barbarian for the beast totem, and that appeals to me, but then I miss out on the 6th spell level of Bard - though I'd probably never reach that point anyway.
It's a pain having multiple Monsters in combat as a DM, but you also have to contend with the action economy when you have only a few monsters at once.
This Wizard solves your problem.
You can pull this off at level 13. You need these five spells:
First round, you want to cast Fire Sneeze on your Familiar, and then use Cold Ice strike as a swift action. If you can, use a Quickened Rod to get your Ball lightning out.
Second round, Ball Lightning (Standard), Cold Ice Strike (Swift), Fire Sneeze (Familiar).
Third Round, Contagious Flame (Standard), Ball Lightning (Move), Cold Ice Strike (Swift), Fire Sneeze (Familiar).
Fourth Round, Fire Ball (Standard), Ball Lightning (Move), Cold Ice Strike (Swift), Fire Sneeze (Familiar), Contagious Flame (Free Action).
As you can see, for the fourth and fifth rounds the Wizard is doing 5 actions on his turn. At that point just pump him full of HP and defense buffs and you have yourself an awesome boss who can still take on a large group of players.
This is especially potent at higher levels when you can apply dazing spell to every single one of these spells you've cast.
Shoelessinsight and I were on the phone talking about Dazing spell, and he made the comment "Well it's a good thing it doesn't work with Summon Monster."
And then we paused and I said "Wait, it doesn't?"
So he looks up the spell and reads the verbatim and makes the argument "Well it says 'when a spell deals damage' so since it's a monster it's more like if a fireball collapsed a ceiling and rocks fell on people, it's not your spell at that point but a result of your spell."
And I'm like "Well, actually, it's a summoned monster as opposed to a called monster, so it actually behaves like a spell in many ways, so you might say it's a spell."
Then we started talking about how powerful it would be if you interpreted it that way - Summon Monster IX with a Dazing Spell rod would be dazing things for 9 rounds turn after turn with their SLAs and so forth.
I personally as a DM would rule it doesn't work with Summon Monster, but do you think it would work with RAW?
Summons a fluffy bunny from the shadow realm. On a successful attack the aether bunny can deposit an egg-like tumor in the target's body which functions as 2 negative levels.
The aether egg can be extracted with a knife, but it's difficult to find, requiring a DC 20 perception check to locate. If found, the aether egg is actually edible, and will restore 1d6 hp to the consumer.
It's my opinion that, even in the face of the Void school, that these two specialization schools are the best from an optimization standpoint.
But of these two, which is the better?
Obviously Conjuration has the better spells for daily casting, but is the initiative bonus and school powers of the Foresight subschool good enough to make up for this disadvantage?
I'm tired of waiting for Treantmonk to complete his guide, so I went ahead and took on the challenge.
This is an expansion of Treantmonk's Guide including the new material from the APG, UM, and UC. I am not doing any adventure path or blog stuff at this time. If I ever do that, it'll be in a separate additional guide.
As I mention in the guide, I am NOT a replacement for Treantmonk, nor do I claim to be an expert on all things Pathfinder. I respect and appreciate any comments and suggestions you have on how to improve this guide.
At the time of this posting, this is a work in progress. If I haven't evaluated the last level 9 spell, then be patient and wait to let me know if I've missed something. I've got like 200 more spells to go.
Also, I'm not at the point of adding pictures to the guide yet, though there are some leftovers from Treantmonk's Guide. That'll come eventually.
I'm bored and I didn't find anyone who's done this already, so I'm going to do it and then you guys get to tell me how I'm wrong. It'll be a learning experience for us all.
A lot of people call the Skirmisher the "Warrior of the Holy Light" of the Ranger class. I'm not sure where that comes from other than they're both alternatives to casting. I'm sure a lot of people are attracted to this Archetype because none of its abilities rely on your Wisdom Modifier for saving throws, not to mention you don't suffer a -3 caster level penalty for any of these. They're all straight up bonuses and some of them pretty good. It sort of takes a little of the edge off of the Ranger's stat allotment. You could easily take a lower than normal Wisdom by going with this Archetype. This also means that you'll have fewer daily tricks, however. With that in mind I'm going to be rating some of these based on whether they're even worth using the likely 3-4 Hunter's Tricks the Ranger has in a day.
I don't think you can do colors on this forum so I'm just going to rate these out of 4 stars.
Aiding Attack : (**) This is a solid bonus that can give the same attack bonus flank gives to an ally without having to flank the target. I'm not sure if this is worth a use of your precious daily allotment though. If you have a rogue buddy you like to flank with, or a TWF friend of another class, make this 4 stars and take it. You could exponentially increase your party damage in that circumstance.
Bolster Companion : (**)This would be fantastic if it weren't just your Animal companion. That said, it's still super solid. Your Animal Companion isn't likely to have a ton of HP at any given time, and any hit to your companion is an action that could have been spent hitting someone more important. This gives you the opportunity to use your flanking buddy as a tank, if your GM ever attacks the animal that is.
Catfall : (*) This is okay. It's only because it's so circumstantial that I give it such a low rating. If you see yourself jumping off a lot of 20' cliffs, then by all means pick this up.
Chameleon Step : (***) I like this one a lot. Moving twice your speed as a move action is something that when you need it, you NEED it. This will help you get into position a lot better, and it makes a great companion to Spring Attack or Shot on the Run.
Cunning Pantomime : (*) Eh... this really depends on your GM. Most of my GMs don't make language a big deal, but mechanically I could see some GMs totally being a stickler for it. There are times when it's important to be able to communicate with another party. That said you're probably not the party face, and this doesn't help you in that role at all. Leave this to another party member.
Defensive Bow Stance : (*) For a round, don't provoke attacks of opportunity while shooting. I can't think of too many situations where this going to make a huge difference. Most times you can just 5-foot step. For situations like when the enemy has Step-up, you should probably take one of the many feats that aids in this situation. There's another trick below called Surprising Shift that completely outclasses this trick too. In many cases just taking the attack of opportunity is still not going to kill you either.
Deft Stand : (*) Ranger's Ki Stand. My GM doesn't usually bother knocking people prone (Or at least, it's very rare when he does), so I'd never take this, but it's not completely useless.
Distracting Attack : (**) This is kind of like Aiding Attack, but doesn't have a controllable circumstance that could make it better. Against enemies that have a lot of attacks though it'd be worth using.
Hateful Attack : (**) Lunge without the penalties. The only reason this isn't 3 stars is because the target has to be a Favored enemy to trigger it.
Heel : (*) Get your animal companion out of a bad situation. I'd almost rather take Bolster Companion and leave him in the bad situation and walk in for a flank.
Hobbling Attack : (****) While it only lasts a fraction of the time, this is like Crippling Critical without a saving throw and without the need to crit. The best part? You use it AFTER you hit - no wasting daily uses for it. Halving an enemy's speed isn't the BEST form of control, but it could save your Wizard's bacon if he did something to tick off your target.
Quick Climb : (*) This ability's usefulness is more circumstantial than the climb skill itself.
Quick Healing : (*) I've read some guides that give abilities like this 4 stars all over the place, as if they're always finding themselves in near-death situations. I don't think the need to heal super fast comes up (and it SHOULDN'T come up) so often to make this a primary pick. However, I'm willing to bet you'll be glad you have this ability if the circumstance ever does come up.
Quick Swim : (*) Um... maybe if you're playing in an aquatic campaign, then I'm sure this is worth 3 stars. As it stands this is worse than quick climb for being circumstantial.
Ranger’s Counsel : (*) This is Aid Another at a range. Do you ever need to use Aid Another at a range? I don't really see when this would be helpful. I suppose this would stack with Aid Another, and it affects all nearby allies. Besides Perception though I'm not sure how the AOE effect would really help, and I can't think of too many situations where an extra +2 for a single round would make a huge difference.
Rattling Strike : (***) Not as good as Hobbling Strike since it must be declared before the attack, but it still doesn't allow a saving throw, and I happen to like Shaken as a condition. (I also normally play casters who LOVE the penalty to saving throws.) Since you probably dumped Charisma you can pretend you're intimidating people with this ability.
Second Chance Strike : (*) Eh... So if you miss an attack you can try again with a -5 penalty? I'm not even sure if this is worth the immediate action much less the daily use of trick. If you're playing a Ranger who attacks with standard actions I could see this not totally sucking, especially if you're using Vital Strike. In a lot of cases though you're probably not going to get much success from this.
Sic 'Em : (*) Trade a swift action (and a daily trick) for an extra attack from your Animal Companion. This would be awesome if the Ranger's Animal Companion actually did any substantial damage. But you might get super lucky and pull off a trip attack with your wolf, so not a total waste. Give this a star or two if you're really into optimizing your animal companion, and if you're in the habit of getting buffs and enhancements for him. Since you gave up casting for this archetype though, someone else needs to cast Magic Fang for you. You COULD give your Animal Companion the Teamwork Feat Precise Strike and take it yourself. You COULD also optimize for Critical Strike and take Outflank with your Flanking Buddy and not spend Hunter's Tricks for the same effect too.
Skill Sage : (**) The only reason I'm not rating this a little higher is because you have to decide before you use the skill. I think someone said that a "take the higher roll" reroll is like a +3.5 to your skill. Unless you're doing something that HAS to succeed, like diffusing a bomb, I doubt you'll even remember to use this very often.
Stag’s Leap : (*) Make a running jump without the run. I can't see myself using this ever.
Surprise Shift : (****) A 5-foot step as a swift action, which you can combine with a 5-foot step. Make that step up guy eat it. Or get a full round of attacks against that guy who was just out of reach. Combine with the Lunge feat for even more awesome results.
Tangling Attack : (***) The wording suggests that you have to declare this before the attack, so it's still not as versatile as Hobbling Attack, but the effect is certainly more potent. I don't like how it only lasts a round though.
Trick Shot : (*) As a standard action, and a use of a daily trick, you can do what the Improved Precise Strike feat gives you. If you took Archery as your combat style, you can get Improved Precise Strike a level after you have access to this. Not a good trick.
Uncanny Senses : (**) Gain a +10 to perception as an immediate action for only 1 round. This is one of those odd abilities that begs the question, "if you know it's there, then why do you need to use this to help you know it's there?". However the GM always asks the players to roll their perception, and there's nothing stopping the Ranger from using this trick in that circumstance - hence the 2 stars. If your GM is a jerk and makes you roll your perception for nothing all the time, then give this 1 star. This would be 3 or 4 stars except even if the GM isn't a jerk, not every perception roll is for an ambush.
Upending Strike : (***) What I like about this is that it's a Trip Attack that deals damage. I'm also pretty sure that this wouldn't provoke attacks of opportunity since it's trying to be like your animal companion's trip, so you don't need to get improved trip. What I don't like about this is that without improved trip and any associated feats you can get a hold of, your odds of tripping the opponent are pretty slim in most cases and this will end up being a wasted trick a lot of the time.
Vengeance Strike : (**) I read this as "Enemy provokes attacks of opportunity if they hit one of your allies, except it doesn't use up your attack of opportunity." It instead uses up a trick. This is probably a circumstantial thing, but you can control the circumstance pretty easily, so I really think it's a great pick. I'd give it more stars if they didn't actually have to brain your friend for it to be usable.
Besides that Confounding Blades is confusingly an advanced talent.
It's like two writers had the same idea, and one was more wordy than the other and overestimated the power of the ability...
They're also both sneak attack talents, so it's not that one can be combined with other sneak attack talents...
What's the difference?
Is the straight up Treantmonk Wizard the best way to go if you have an Evil Eye spamming Witch in your party (Who is lowering saves)?
Or would there be a better Specialization School besides Conjuration?
Enchantment is out btw, because there's a good chance we'll be fighting a lot of undead (In which case the witch will be cackling Misfortune instead.)
In a few months I'm playing in a game where one person is playing a Bard (Probably Arcane Duelist) and the other person is playing a Hedge Witch (Going to be the party healer out of combat and Debuffer in combat)
I have a Ki Throw monk all set out, but since I have a few months I thought it would be fun to play with a few other builds. That and I'm wondering if I ONLY had these other two people if there wasn't a more optimized choice.
What do you think the most optimized choice would be with these two party members?
We're playing Jade Regent: Brinwall Legacy or another one that has more Undead and maybe Werewolves.
So I just noticed the Void Specialist Wizard.
That's an amazing specialization, I gotta say. I think of all the specialist schools it's the only one that impresses me as much as the Conjuratist.
The only downside to the active power is that it's a standard action, meaning that you usually wouldn't be able to take advantage of it yourself. With a good quicken rod though you could totally do it.
So my question is, would the Void Specialist be the best Save-or-Die Class option, or would something else be better?
Like for instance, would a Witch with her Evil Eye be just better? Or maybe there's a Cleric or Oracle build I'm not thinking of?
What I'm looking for is a class that has the best odds for save-or-die spells to be effective.
In other words, I'm looking to increase the save DC as high as I can, or lower the enemy's saving throw as much as I can - preferably in a manner that doesn't allow them to resist it.
What are some spells that aren't necessarily optimal for too many situations, but tend to work better than advertised?
I'd like to start off by mentioning "Speak with Dead". I took this with my oracle for flavor purposes and Ive been casting it almost every day.
There's nothing better than an interrogation spell that doesn't require the prisoner to be alive when you use it. Kill first, ask questions later.
The best part is is that RAW suggests you can use it on the same corpse a week later. So if you don't get all your questions answered you can put Murray's skull in your haversack and check him out the next weekend.
Love this spell.
Now I'm just theorizing here, trying to make optimal builds that are a little... shall we say... Unconventional.
I'm sure someone has tried this before though, hence the reason I'm posting here to see if I can get any recommendations on this.
But the Summoner's main feature is his Eidolon. He can cast, sure, but he's more like a bard in this way, and plenty of Treantmonks out there suggest putting casting as a secondary feature for the Bard while focusing on something else...
And I suppose I could just take the Melee Bard from his guide and apply that to the Summoner, but could there be more to what a Summoner could do as a Melee Summoner?
Obviously I'd have to take a hit to Charisma and focus on buff spells (Get Enlarge Person, Haste, etc.) Probably go with a 14 or lower CHA and leave it there for Tomes to make up the rest. Make the highest stat be STR, maybe dump Wisdom and even Intelligence...
What are your thoughts on this? Specifically are there any feats you would especially recommend for the Melee Summoner?