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Organized Play Member. 278 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 10 Organized Play characters.


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I had an idea that I wanted to discuss about a class with a different type of resource management. The idea is for a class similar to a Barbarian, but instead of a rage mechanic that last x number of rounds, the idea is a Fury mechanic similar to WoW or Diablo that increases and decreases throughout combat. Class would have good bab, good fort/ref, poor will, D12 hit die and light armor prof. Their main mechanic is:

Fury: Starting at level 1, a Berserker gains a Fury Pool equal to their Con. Mod. (Minimum one) + their level. A Berserker gains a point of Fury every time they hit an enemy with a melee or thrown weapon or whenever they are hit by an enemy. So long as a Berserker has a single point of Fury in their Fury Pool, they receive a +1 Morale bonus to Attack and Damage rolls. This bonus increases to +2 at level X (and so on and so forth). In addition, many of the Berserkers abilities are fueled by Fury. At the end of every round, the Berserker loses 1 point of Fury.

Ironhide: Starting at level 1, So long as the Berserker has a point of Fury in their Fury Pool, the Berserker gains Damage Reduction 1/-. This damage reduction increases by 1 at level 5 and every five levels after (to a max of DR 5/- at level 20).

Fury Powers: starting at level 2 and every even Berserker level afterwards, the Berserker selects a Fury Power. Fury Powers require Fury to use and many require you to spend points out of your Fury Pool.

(I only have a few ideas for Fury powers. Names obviously subject to change)
* Furious Strike - whenever you hit an enemy with a melee or thrown weapon, you may spend a point of Fury to add an additional weapon die to the damage. You may only spend one point per full attack.
** Furious Strike II - when using Furious Strike, you may instead spend one Fury per attack, rather than per full attack.
* Steelskin - your damage reduction from Ironhide increases by 1. You may take this per multiple times. It's effects stack.
**Steelskin II - whenever you are hit, you may spend any number Fury to increase your damage reduction by 2 for each Fury spent that attack.
*Howling Rage - You let out a horrifying scream and prepare yourself for battle. Once per day, as a move action, you gain a number of Fury Points equal to your Constitution modifier.
**Howling Rage II - You gain the Dazzling Display feat. In addition, when you use your Howling Rage power, you may also use your Dazzling Display feat as part of that action. You may use Howling Rage twice per day.
*Devastating Fury - so long as you have a number of Fury equal to or greater than your Constitution modifier, your Morale bonus from Fury are doubled.
**Devastating Fury II - if your Fury Pool is full, your Morale bonuses are instead Tripled.

Just a thought. I thought it would be interesting for a class that had a more interactive resource pool feeling their abilities and the idea came to me. The Berserker is obviously similar to the Barbarian, but I think different enough that they could share the same battlefield without being redundant. And I think that while that Barbarian is stronger (the Berserkers bonus would always be half of the barbarians at the same level) I would think a Berserker could potentially last longer because their power keeps going so long as the Berserker keeps fighting. So yeah, that is my idea.

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Because I cannot wait until August to find out the answers, I wanted to speculate and question the details of the Gap. An undisclosed period of time where the entire universe has amnesia and something went down. While I won't debate what happened (yet), I wonder what the initial events following the Gap were.

For instance, was the Gap a total and complete amnesiac event? Did people forget their spouses, their jobs, even their names? Did entire political landscape have to be rewritten right then and there because no one could remember what it was like before? Is it possible that some person awoke to find themselves Kings because their clothes were the best in the group? Did wizards (technomagi) have to learn spells from scratch, scientist rediscover the laws of the universe and more? Were languages suddenly forgotten?

Or did people still have a vague idea? Maybe they knew how to fly a ship but no knowledge of when they learned. A dozen alien languages rattling in their heads. A connection to the person in the room with them.

Or is it just a loss of history. Full knowledge of their skills, capabilities and relations but a total lack of knowledge how they arrived in their current situation?

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Charismatic Envoy? Is there a diplomat class?! I find that crazy exciting!

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What do I tell my PF player that wants to be a Paladin or a Druid to play that works in the setting more? If they don't find those interesting enough, how hard is it to make a Space Paladin or pick a random tribal species and give them a Space Druid? A.k.a. how much work to switch pathfinder stuff over after the twink player gets bored and wants to drag some of his op builds over?

I can just imagine: "faster than light ships, exotic aliens and laser weapons and you are playing an Archer Paladin?!" "What, Smite Evil still does more damage than anything else!"

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I too was going to recommend a Shadow Caster. If you didn't already have the skill monkey, then an Arcane Trickster is fun (and since you would be skipping all the hard levels, probably infinitely better than most skill monkey builds). Uh... Magic Item Builder? Oh! Oh! Golemancer! A character focused on the building and maintenance of various types of Golems and other magical automatons! That would is a bit out there.

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I know a lot of people dislike prestige classes for different reasons. Either they weren't worth it mechanically or their bonuses didn't compare with going 20 levels in a single class or that archetypes for the most part get rid of needing to wait 7+ levels for the benefits a prestige class might offer. But I still think they are really cool and I'm sad that they haven't had any support in what seems like forever.

Especially if it had some really great flavor behind it, like the Hellknights, Riftwardens or any of the Pathfinder prestige classes, or if they had a really awesome theme, like Dragon Disciple (I do still see a Dragon Disciple on occassion in PFS, although they have mostly been replaced with Bloodragers). It was just kind of fun to me to work towards some kind of goal or to see a player get really invested in an organization and get access to special training. I understand why they are no longer popular (Archetypes are much better in nearly every way) but still.

There is nothing stopping a player from taking a prestige class, but very, very rarely do you see it happen.

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Cyrad wrote:

4) More historically accurate because it wasn't penetration power that made bows obsolete. It was ease of use. An arrow with the right tip could pierce through full plate armor with ease. Plus, I'm not convinced that pre-modern firearms have such significantly more penetration power than a high fantasy hero wielding a bow to warrant changing a fundamental aspect of the game. A longbow wielded by Legolas is as effective as any elephant gun.

Damn, those are actually pretty good.

My research suggests that guns became the default weapon of choice not because it made the Bow or Armor obsolete, but because it was cheaper to field a large number of rifleman than it was to field Bowman (who required a great deal of training) or heavily armored troops (who also required a lot of training and had the additional cost of armor, which was way more expensive than a gun). While eventually, firearm would become a superior weapon, it wasn't instantly, like Pathfinder suggests.

I still might keep a portion of the armor penetration rules, but apply it to a type of ammo. Something like "Ignores X armor, but reduces the damage die to a lower die" or something similar for the purpose of balance. We will see.

Thank you for the suggestion. This does indeed help.

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Tomorrow, my core group of players and I are gathering to discuss a new campaign and I was going to propose a setting that I have been working on for a while that I can only describe as Victorian Fantasy. Not to be confused with Steampunk, which gets a lot of its themes and motifs from the Victorian era, but a setting that I imagine as 'if Lord of the Rings continued for a few hundred more years'. I have been working on it for a bit and several of the players I have mentioned it to seem to like the idea.

This would almost certainly be a 'Firearms Everywhere' setting and while Paizo did an awesome job, I just generally dislike the rules for Firearms. I even posted a few weeks back asking for alternative rules and while I got a few suggestions, I wasn't that pleased and decided to go about making something else. I wanted to post them here and get some opinions on them and tweak them, should this campaign come to pass.

Penetration
While it would change the dynamic of the game, Firearms completely negating an entire aspect of your AC in combat (armor) seems kind of silly. It also annoys me that a derringer could blow through the armor of a dragon just as well as an elephant gun. So I thought of a simple mechanic called Penetration. It is an additional stat on all guns that reduces a targets Armor (either natural or crafted) by its Penetration. Certain high power guns and/or bullets have higher penetration, making them useful for hunting down heavily armored monsters and the like.

I could have sworn there was an armor enchantment that protected against bullets, but I can not locate it. If there really isn't, then I would add an armor enchantment that either either gives the armor a minimum armor bonus (As in, even if a character is using an elephant gun with armor piercing rounds, this armor can not be reduced below X) and/or an armor that can not be reduced at all.

(Note: I am still researching generally era appropriate firearms, so the examples used are just generic 'Old west' weapons. Also, the numbers are going to change as I do more research and find out how powerful these weapons were. For instance, the Penetration of the Colt .45 is based entirely on that one scene in a Fistful of Dollars where the badguy can't shoot through Clint Eastwood's breastplate. Although, in retrospect, I can't remember what gun the badguy used.)
Examples:
Derringer - Penetration (1)
Winchester Rifle - Penetration (6)
Colt .45 - Penetration (4)
Elephant Gun - Penetration (9)

If Character 1 is wearing a Breastplate and Character 2 shoots him with a Colt .45, Character 1 only gets a +2 to his AC rather than the normal +6. If a moment later, Character 3 shows up wearing only studded leather (a duster, of course), he loses the +3 bonus to his AC, but no more since the Penetration can not reduce armor below 0.

Reload
I dislike the base reload rules because it assumes that in a period of six seconds (1 round), you can reach into your pocket, pull out six bullets and slide them into the chamber of a revolver with ease while bullets, magic and other threats happen around you. If you have rapid reload, you can even do this and then fire back. This one might be a bit nickpicky, but I wanted to spice it up and make it different. So it now takes a Full Round Action that provokes to reload a firearm (of any type). You can load a number of bullets equal to your Wisdom mod (minimum 1) (keeping your cool), up to a weapons max capacity. Rapid Reload lets you use Dex. mod instead. It just shakes things up and I think it can help create those classic scenes from movies where a character has to take cover so that they can reload in the middle of a gun fight or a scene where a character who is an excellent shot must face a melee combatant because he can't just reload nonstop. (Pathfinder has a lot of power fantasy, but this isn't a John Woo movie) Also, as far as I can tell, weapon cartridges hadn't been invented yet, but they could be something invented by an NPC or PC during the campaign. This is something I am still looking at. If they are, then I would allow a PC to reload with a cartridge as a Move action.

Gunslinger
Gunslinger needs only a mild tweak. While anyone can use a firearm in a 'Guns Everywhere' setting (they are simple weapons), Gunslingers would still be the 'best' when it comes to be a badass with a gun. The tweaks are just to reflect the above changes.

Deadeye (Ex): At 1st level, the gunslinger can resolve an attack against touch AC instead of normal AC. Performing this deed costs 1 grit point per range increment beyond the first. The gunslinger still takes the –2 penalty on attack rolls for each range increment beyond the first when she performs this deed. (Because firearms no longer completely negate armor, the Gunslinger can spend a grit to complete ignore an enemies armor for one attack.)

Lightning Reload (Ex): At 11th level, as long as the gunslinger has at least 1 grit point, she can reload a single firearm as a move action once per round. If she is using a cartridge, she can reload a single firearm of the weapon as a swift action each round instead. Furthermore, using this deed does not provoke attacks of opportunity. (Because I wanted to keep reloading as a Full Action, the Gunslinger would be the only class that could reload faster than a full round.)

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If that title doesn't grab your attention, I don't know what will. Yeah, but no, this thread will be discussing very sensitive topics such as race and racism in gaming. I hope that we can all be mature adults and have a discussion about this topic without without it devolving into a cesspool.

I am happy to say that in terms of pathfinder, I believe there is little in the ways of racism. Elves and Dwarves share pints at taverns, Tieflings join crusaders alongside Aasimar and no one bats an eye when a Linnorn Kingdom Viking ends up in Tian Xia. This might be my own view, having run a large number of pathfinder society adventures and adventure paths, but the circumstances of your birth are rarely, if ever, a factor. And on the rare occasion when it is, the character being openly racist is always the villain. I haven't read every PFS adventure or adventure path, but this has been my general experience.

But this has not always been the case. In classical fantasy, the races usually dislike each other at best, openly hate each other at worst. The Elves and Dwarves always have an ancient feud, halflings are distrustful of the big folk and humans and orcs both seem to think "they aren't us, so they are bad." In some fantasies, the races might get together for the greater good (Lord of the Rings is a great example, where working together led to the defeat of Sauron and a new golden age) while in others, even in the face of almost assured destruction, they will fight each other (Warhammer seems like this, although, I know they sometimes team up).

So, my question is this: which is better? Of course, a significant part of that relies on your table and their own maturity about such things. But assuming all is equal, which table would you prefer to play at? The table where racial equality is a thing might seem like they obvious choice, but it might seem silly and contrived. After all, people in the real world often find minor reasons to hate others, such as supporting the wrong local team or being born on the wrong side of what is basically an imaginary line that we have invented. If those people are also longer lived, were magically inclined or one of the other many fantastical reasons to be jealous of, then it might seem strange that everyone gets along.

As compared to the alternative, it certainly seems better. But at the same time, it is a conflict that players can not overcome with weapons and spells. Conflict is what can create interesting stories and players and even educate people about prejudice. I have even seen this in one game, where a white player created an African American character during a world war 2 campaign. Both the GM and another player helped emphasize the mistreatment of African Americans during this period and while the player later admitted that he learned a lot, he stopped playing that character because the situation made him uncomfortable and frequently upset.

Another situation, I had three of my regular players (all female) turn down joining a campaign set in the 1920s because they felt bring female characters in this time period would be terrible. A situation that I never thought about while designing a game with zoot suits and magical mobsters. In fact, the entirety of this thread could replace race with gender, but "fun with gender slurs" didn't have the same catchy title.

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Just my 2 GP, but in my experience, the Alchemist can do awesome damage with their bombs, especially if you are smart with it.

My fiance loves this class and plays them all the time. In one campaign, the players were searching for some goblins and the guy playing the BSF did the BSF thing and tried to single handedly take on the entire goblin village by himself, Leeroy Jenkins style. When he went down after one round, the cleric dragged the BSF into a building and it was my fiance's alchemist who was able to use bombs to wipe out the goblins over a couple rounds (there was a monk there too, but he really just kind of flailed around while trying not to be murdered by goblins). You might say "Well yeah, those are goblins! Of course her bombs killed those! They are weak and don't count." To which I respond "yeah... they are goblins... thats what you fight at level 1." At higher levels, everyone's damage scales appropriately. If your GM is throwing a bunch of guys who can't be killed in one or two attacks, he is throwing too much at you. Probably because you have at least one player who twinked out and does 120 damage at level 1 and threw off the power curve... sorry, bit of a tangent.
Edit: I use a level 1 example because the OP said the damage wasn't good until higher levels. Other examples of both home game and PFS Alchemist awesome could be substituted for higher levels, but not enough time or space. :D

Basically, you shouldn't base your classes usefulness off of another players ability to break the game and instead base it off of your own ability to play smart and useful. Also, a good GM who designs a game to the players strengths helps too. (You know, the whole "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree" thing)

If you fight against large groups of enemies, Alchemist rocks. If you are fighting just one really powerful enemy, bombs are less useful, but you still have all the other alchemists tricks at your disposal. And even then, your bomb is still probably more useful than whatever piece of junk side arm you carry is.

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Wow, this thread gets Necro'd a lot.

560. The Madman's Prophecy
While the earliest editions of this tome are nothing more than incomprehensible ravings, blank, torn or missing pages and nonsensical drawings, the dozens of later editions have slowly become more clear and understandable over time. Written in a multitude of languages and always written in different writing styles, each new edition that has been discovered predicts in increasing clarity the appearance of a being of unknowable, unfathomable power appear in the world and the subsequent carnage their arrival will bring. Certain pages even suggest that the means of bringing forward such an individual are hidden within the book or that the one who discovers the means to do so will actually become said being. The most recent edition was discovered only a year back and it is the most complete edition yet, with less than a handful of pages yet to deciphered.

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So, I did a bit of debating (with myself) and figured that the build would require at least 1 level of Mysterious Avenger Swashbuckler, since Weapon Focus needs BAB +1 and if I wanted to go with Dazzling Display, it would probably be better to start out with that in the beginning. If I went with a pure Mesmerist build, I wasn't sure what to grab off the top of my head for that first level. Combat Expertise? (Eww.) Granted, if I did go trip or disarm, I would need to take it eventually. Or if I went with Vexing Daredevil Mesmerist, I would be able to Dazzling Feint to do either maneuver safely .

I also debated taking a two level dip into Swashbuckler instead of one. My BAB would end up being the same by the end, but I would also grab Charmed Life, which is pretty fancy, but it would reduce the Mesmerist's already slow magic progression.

These are the silly ideas I have for what is probably a terrible idea. :D

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About a few weeks ago, I saw a rather beautiful picture on deviantart and upon seeing it, knew I must create this character for PFS. ( This is the image, in case you too want to be inspired. ) I have been working on a few ideas and the one that I have decided to take a shot at is a Mesmerist who is focused almost exclusively on debuffs. Basically, the first round of combat would be Dazzling Display (followed up with the swift action Hypnotic Stare on whatever looks scariest). Assuming I pass (Intimidate checks aren't really that hard to make, I have discovered), then generally most things have a -2 to most rolls for at least a round, with something scary suffering -4 to a Will save (which hopefully a fellow Pathfinder will use to their advantage, assuming I myself won't be able to take advantage of next round). Following round could be used targeting that scary guy with some Save or Suck, another Dazzling Display or making use of a whip to either disarm or trip. I am a bit uncertain as to which I would want to focus in and I have seen plenty of people claim that both maneuvers are kind of worthless. You can't disarm a lot of threats and after a certain level, a lot of enemies have flight, so tripping becomes a lot less useful. I am also a bit concerned about the 3/4's BAB limiting the usefulness of said maneuvers, (even if a whip grants +2 to disarm checks).

So basically, tl;dr version:
-Does the initial concept seem logical (Mesmerist that focuses almost exclusively on debuffing)
-Does specializing in either trip and/or disarm actually help the PFS party?
-Is the Whip Mastery feat chain worth it?
-Should I multiclass into anything to help grab feats or boost abilities? (Mysterious Avenger Swashbuckler comes to mind and changes the focus of the class from Str to Dex.)
-Are there any feats/traits/equipment that I don't know of or overlooked that really assist this concept?

Thematic stuff that most people won't care about but I do

Spoiler:
I haven't sat down to flesh this out a whole ton, but the basic background is the character was born to the owner of a traveling circus and she has trained with many of the people, including the Ring Master (her father) and the Dire Lion Tamer (the show's main event). She would have a few thematic skills to emphasize her background (Perform: Oratory to get the crowd excited, Handle Animal for making animals do tricks, etc.) and maybe a trait, although I haven't seen one that fits the background yet. Unknown to her or the other performers, her father had obtained some relic that caught the attention of the Aspis Consortium and during a show, the Aspis tampered with the Dire Lion (illusion spell or dominate animal or whatever) and it attacked and injured several people. In the confusion, the Aspis took the artifact. The circus was dismantled and without a home, she wanted revenge on the Aspis. She approached the Pathfinders, known opponents of the Aspis, explained her situation and offered them the artifact if they helped her retrieve it and get justice for her friends.

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When I suggest unique races, I also want to emphasize that I do not only mean something along the lines of "awakened" animals. While the Eagles of LotR or Aslan from Narnia, taking all the humanoids races and replacing them with intelligent animals is not what I meant. I want some new races that are completely unlike anything we have had before.

I was flipping through the bestiaries looking for ideas and while a vast majority of it either Humans with (Blank) or just straight up monsters, a couple did catch my eye. There are two species called Thriae and Formian. Both are insect-like species, although the Thriae pretty much just Humans with (bee like qualities). A while back, when Starcraft 2 had first released, I talked with the other GM in my group about a race based on the Zerg. The Race itself would be composed of a large number of subspecies and most would be slaves to the hive mind. But one of the subspecies would be like Kerrigan, both connected and influenced by the Hive Mind, but free to act on her own free will and capable of influencing the Hive Mind. (I will let you know, I still haven't played Heart of the Swarm or the original Starcraft, so this idea was based entirely off of what I learned from the base Starcraft 2).

Back to Pathfinder, I think a race along these lines would be a bit out there and kind of weird, but it would be totally new and something players haven't really done before. An insectoid species with racial abilities that focus on the unique nature of insects, such as carapace, multiple limbs and a hive mind. While the PC wouldn't necessarily be a Hive Queen, I personally imagine that subspecies as a kind of Nobility among the race. I never worked out how it would all play out mechanically, but I found it at least an interesting idea.

As something a bit less far out there, imagine if Paizo created PC versions of common monsters. A medium sized, less powerful version of the Centaur. I can imagine a Khanate of Centaurs threatening empires and arguing with halflings about being used as a personal mount.

Or young Naga adventurers, long before they are generic CR 8 humans with snake bodies monsters, trying to interact in a world with things like door handles.

I even have a crazy idea about a playable race of Dragons. Not dragonlike Dragonborn or people with the blood of dragons. Give some reason why they start out at the same power of lvl 1 PCs (they are a different species or they are from a plane where dragons are weaker or because I gorram said so) and they can pick up feats or class abilities to further grow into actual, full power dragons.

My point is not to just make a book with a typical Disney line up of characters and make them playable. It is to add either completely new and out there races for people to play or to even go back and take some older, classic monsters and make them playable. Preferably a bit of both.

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SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
LazarX wrote:
The game you want to play, or at least the setting you want to use is Talislanta which after 5 commercial editions is now made free to download by it's creator at talislanta.org.
Talislanta is good for weirdish humanoids, but isn't going to completely satisfy someone asking for playable eagles.

The Eagles were just an example of a race that is not humanoid but could playable.

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I find it interesting that in our hobby, we often craft these vast magical worlds full of fantastical locations, brilliant histories and powerful magics, yet these worlds are always populated by humans. Humans with pointy ears, short humans with beards, humans with horns or a halo, human humans. Of course, many settings have unique historical and cultural differences between Dwarves, Orcs, Tieflings or Halflings, etc., but when you boil it all down, the world is run by humanoids and everything else is just a monster.

For a long while now, I have wanted to run a campaign that, while still having humans as one of the selectable races, would replace the other standard fantasy races with totally unique choices. For example, take Middle Earth. It isn't just populated by Humans, Elves, Dwarves and Orcs. In addition to Ents (which still follows the "Humans with Blank" formula, this being Humans with trees for limbs), Middle Earth is also populated by the Eagles and Spiders. Because of the movies, most people either don't know or have forgotten that the Eagles were a sentient race with their own ruler (Gwaihir the Windlord) and lands where they dwell. They weren't just Summoned Monster VII. They didn't just fly the Fellowship into Mordor because they feared the Mordor archers and siege weapons, just like they feared Gondor's. They weren't mindless beasts, but people.

Now imagine the dynamic shift for a game if one of the players was a sentient eagle as tall as a man. Imagine how that world might have evolved differently if Humans, Eagles and Spiders commingled in such a way as standard fantasy settings might have Humans, Elves and Orcs mingle. The change in mechanics and setting seem very exciting to me. There are already creatures in the various bestiaries that are sentient races, capable of taking class levels if a GM customizes them.

What I would like to see is a book, similar to the Advanced Race Guide, that introduces a series of very non-standard and unique races to the game. While it might have common monster types in it (such as a more balanced Centaur PC race), add other races and options. It would need a section dedicated things like magic item slots or how certain race might interact with certain items (To use the Eagles as an example again, they lack hands and can only grasp with their talons. Many items designed for humans might be totally useless to them and even simple things like a quill and paper might be outside their abilities.)

"But Koujow, why not just use the race creator in the Advanced Race Guide or just post something in the Homebrew section to make them?" Well, mostly because not only am I terrible at building balanced homebrew material but I also don't feel myself terrible original. (See how I used only Eagles as an example for proof of that) Paizo has created a lot of interesting and fun stuff that is more balanced than something I might come up with. I am also uncertain how to approach some of the grander mechanics (see magic item slots or interaction between items not designed for your race).

I also hope that others might see an interest in this as well and give their own opinion or views. If enough people think it is interesting, you never know, in a few years, there might be a new book. (I await your call, Paizo. ;D )

TL;DR -Less humanoid races, please

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It is an interesting idea, although I feel like it might be a bit complicated to pull off. You are basically tearing out a huge chunk of the rule book by eliminating Arcane magic. A lot of play styles can't be reproduced with Divine or Psychic magic, so you are limiting what your players can do. If you had a player who wanted to play that awesomely powerful wizard or sorcerer-like PC (or any arcane concept here), they won't be able to create that experience with a Cleric or a Psychic (or any class here). They can still be great characters and it would be a great experience to try out new things, but it would be limiting a lot.

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Mark Hoover wrote:
Feast of Ravenmoor maybe?

Feast of Ravenmoor Yes!

Feast is all kinds of creepy Halloween stories mixed into one! All of my players thought it was delightfully creepy and one later admitted that it gave him a nightmare that evening. There are a couple of encounters in it that are amazing. Never thought you could do a jump scare in a table top game.

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A player asked me about changing the rules for Bleed effects for a future campaign so that he could make a character that focuses on Bleeds. A lot of people dislike Bleed and don't think it is very good. I can understand their argument (after all, many player builds can often nuke enemies many times their CL in a single round, who cares about 1d6 per round) but my group usually plays more thematically and less optimized than a normal group.

Is it a terrible idea to change the rule to all bleed effects stack? Or even create a simple feat along the lines of "You may choose a number of bleed effects you cause on an enemy equal to your Int. mod. Those effects stack." (worded better, of course) be a better idea? I kind of like the idea of a character who kills people with a thousand paper cuts.

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I generally disagree with the 'magic trumps technology' argument and I don't feel like it explains why technology just stops progressing in the medieval era.

Magic is SUPPOSEDLY suppose to be a rare thing. Mechanically, its not. A majority of the classes have access to spells and spell casting and magical items are available in nearly everywhere. But thematically, people are suppose to be afraid of magic because it is weird and they don't understand and people keep summoning demons and zombies with it. Towns usually only have one or two NPCs that can provide magical services and the townsfolk usually begrudgingly purchase it from them.

Second, magic is expensive. A spell cost Caster level × spell level × 10 gp. Most NPCs are paid in Copper or Silver (assuming they aren't serfs or slaves and are actually paid for their services) and they would have to save up for quite a while before buying a level 1 spell. Magical items aren't even on the table for them. (On a side note, in most towns, I assume a magical item merchant only has to sell one magic item a year to pay their rent). Nobles and (successful) adventurers can afford these services, but the vast majority of people that inhabit most settings can not. It would make sense that lesser folk would look for cheaper alternatives. I'm sure there is a spell that will collect food from a field, but it is probably much cheaper to buy some farm tools and a laborer or two than it is to hire a wizard.
(I am aware that in Golarian, Firearms are stupidly expensive, which restricts their use.)

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I did a bit of searching through the suggestion forums and the search function, but I was hoping someone might be able to direct me either to a thread or even a 3PP product that present alternative rules for firearms. I have an idea in my head and I want to research if someone already did the mechanical work for me or if I would need to start from scratch.

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Otherwhere wrote:

You can also run it like a Chase sequence, with the need to squeeze through small spaces (Escape checks), Climb checks, Acrobatics checks, etc., as they clamber through fallen structures, look for survivors, have to jump across opened chasms, and so on.

I ran a small lodging fire rescue with Chase mechanics, with increasing DCs as the fire roared on, and my group really enjoyed it! Most people groan at Chase sequences, but if done right it works quite well! (They had to rescue as many people as possible in ~ 8 rnds before the building collapsed and no further rescue was possible. This was with 5th level character btw.) You need to keep the pressure on if you use a Chase mechanic - there are consequences for stopping!

This was my thought exactly. The Chase scene rules are a bit weird, but can be done very well. Earthquakes are a pretty terrifying deal and can't be replicated with a single round spell or the like. Players should be required to make a series of rolls, such as acrobatics to avoid opening fissures or climb checks to escape over fallen debris. Give them a couple choices like an Easy Acrobatics to vault over a fallen wall or a difficult strength check to help some nearby children over that wall. I say something like that because you were concerned on them being jerks. Give them a bit of obvious, good guy bait to earn them brownie points. Then when the earthquake is over, maybe the mother thanks them profusely and they can't get away to loot.

Looting shouldn't really be a concern on their mind, since the world is literally falling down around them. Maybe after the earthquake, (if they are terrible awful people!) but give them an entire scene of stuff to do rather than "City falls down". Also, to further discourage looting, put one or more of the PCs families in danger. "Bob and Kevin's families both went to the Temple of Sarenrae earlier and you can see in the distance that it is collapsed! Oh no!" They SHOULD be more concerned with their families over looting random junk. Make another scene out of that. An earthquake and the immediate aftermath could easily be an entire session all on its own.

Assassin's Creed: Rogue Spoiler

Spoiler:
There is a scene in AC:R where you are in the epicenter of the 1755 Earthquake that devestated Lisbon, Portugal. Watch the video below for ideas on some things to throw at the players and see how destructive something like this could be from the players perspectives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N12limxrb9E

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Conversation got a bit off track, it seems, but I will still say that even if there racial abilities don't match, NPCs don't minmax like players do. There are Halfling Fighters and Dwarven Bards and every other combination of every class out there. Even the terrible ones. But there are still plenty of NPCs (and adventurous PCs) who do things that are in character. A halfling society can't exist entirely on rogues and bards, despite that being what they are best at.

Even if the Elves don't get some kind of bonus to doing nature stuff doesn't mean they don't actually like nature.

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I was disappointed that there wasn't a Samurai inspired archetype for the Swashbuckler to create an Iaijutsu duelist. I know the Sword Saint is kind of suppose to represent that, but it didn't create the same feel for me. Also, the Sword Saint, while cool, does kind of stink. While it is technically possible to have a Swashbuckler use a Katana, it isn't really a good option and requires a lot of investment.

Edit: I just remembered the Daring Champion, which was a cavalier with some Swashbuckler traits... I guess that is possible to jury rig an Iaijutsu duelist out of it, but I haven't taken too long of a look to figure it out.

While it isn't the Samurai or Ninja, they did add a couple of archetypes in Occult Adventures that are Japanese inspired; The Onmyouji and the Kami Whisperer(?). They are ok.

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Looking into, I see some very decent benefits. I am thinking taking two levels of either Steelhound and keeping my awesome armor class (plus the addition of Shield, as mentioned above) or dropping my AC a bit, going vanilla, and gaining a faster movement speed and uncanny dodge. It would also net me 9 rounds of Rage and I could cure my fatigue if needed with my Mercy (which I originally took to help out other PFS Barbarians! :D ) at the loss of Aura of Justice (which isn't very good), another Mercy (which does stink a bit) and a single spell per day. Honestly, when I need to get up into the monsters face, it seems like I barely ever get the chance to cast many spells, so I don't see it as THAT big of a loss. In fact, it does seem like a lot of gain. Anything afterwards would result in more loss than gain though.

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I have been playing my Aasimar paladin on and off for a long while and she is level six at this point. Tonight during pfs, I discovered that the Bloodrager does not have the alignment restriction that barbarian does and a while back, I thought about multiclassing to help with the Crusader filled with righteous fury concept that I play her as. But I decided that it wasn't worth it. But with Bloodrager, I could better fulfill that concept by taking the celestial bloodline. I would get the ability to rage, boosting my decent damage and a couple decent powers, but I would lose out on future paladin powers and would be stuck with pretty much zero spells my entire career.

Thoughts?

(Because I'm sure it will come up, I've been playing this character since long before they removed Aasimar as a racial option)

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A slight deviation from the main topic but still connected, how would you rate the Sha'irs ability to turn their tiny Jinn into not so tiny Jinn? I think it sounds awesome, but I'm concerned with basically putting the equivalent of your spell book into combat.

I'm terrible at theorycrafting, but I have been watching this thread closely and you folk have been assisting me a lot. I want to build a PFS Occultist in the near future (Either vanilla or Sha'ir). Keep up the good work. :D

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I was uncertain who to contact about this and I figured this would be the best place to start.

Up until recently, I worked for a nationwide book retailer and it always seemed strange to me that the local game store seemed to have Paizo products on their shelves a week or two prior to us. I knew that all new books had dates placed upon them that prevented us from selling them prior to that date. According to my boss, anyone who sold the product prior to was subject to fines and even loss of their contract with the publisher and the rules were there to make sure all retailers had an equal advantage once the books came out.

Even though I changed jobs recently, I still shop at the book retailer because it is 20 minutes closer to my home than the game retailer and I preordered Occult Adventures from them. It was estimated to come in later in August, once the store received all copies. (I believe August 15th?) Later that day, I happen to be in the area and stopped by the game store and they had copies for sale. This was on August 2nd. After speaking to ex-coworkers, they suggested I at least mention it to Paizo.

I know that Paizo was selling copies at GenCon and perhaps gaming retailers receive their inventory earlier, but if not, then I think this is kind of unfair practice by the company and possibly a breach of contract with Paizo (If they follow similar contracts to the larger chain stores).

I am being generally vague about this because if I am totally off base and this is all legitimate, then I don't want to create any kind of negative backlash with either company. If I am correct, however, I will provide the additional information.

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It seems strange, because even when Bruce Wayne/Peter Parker/Insert your favorite hero here is caught in a situation where they are in their secret identity but need to fight bad guys, they still often use at least SOME of their abilities until they can change into costume.

Unless... is that why Ra's Al Ghul beat Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins inside Wayne Manor? Because he wasn't in costume and therefore didn't have all of his class features?!

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A friend of mine recruited me to a new game and I rolled up a Barbarian while another player rolled up a Skald. I got excited, but the GM isn't certain about the interactions between the Skald's Inspire Rage and my own Rage. The exact scenario we discussed and debated is as follows.

Combat starts. The Skald Inspires Rage and my Barbarian goes off to smash. Two rounds later, my Barbarian needs to use one of his activated rage powers, so he must use a round of his own rage to activate it. The Skald continues to Inspire Rage because others in the party still benefit from it. Following that round, does the Barbarian need to continue use his own rounds of Rage to avoid fatigue or can he go back to using the Skald's Inspire Rage, at which point he will become fatigued once the Skald stops.

I argued that the Barbarian is still raging, just from different sources and that it all counts as a single rage (also preventing rage cycling) while he believes that they are separate powers and that if I don't maintain my own rage, I will become fatigued. The campaign hasn't started yet, we were just discuss the mechanics.

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Is Sun Wukong a drunken diety in Pathfinder? I don't remember the real Sun Wukong being a drunk in the stories I have read. Just a silly trickster.

Back on topic, instead of Cleric, you could go Sacred Fist Warpriest. I'm suggesting a multiclass Monk/Warpriest. You don't have to retrain and I think a lot of the abilities would stack? At the very least, the Unarmed Damage would. And you don't lose Monk abilities from changing alignments, just the ability to increase them.

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Renegadeshepherd wrote:
how do you need a charisma 20 to not hurt your allies? is this a six player table?

Pathfinder societies usually had six players at the table. Sometimes seven. Once even eight (although you aren't supposed to do that).

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Keep Calm and Carrion wrote:
Koujow wrote:
All three get their deities favored weapon as a proficiency and no, Pharasma's favored weapon is a dagger. (Because death is always associated with no other weapon than a dagger. Can't think of a single other weapon that better personifies Death.)

Pharasma is the goddess of birth as well as death. Her priests carry sacramental daggers called skanes, used to sever the umbilical cord of newborns and to give mercy to the dying.

I guess you could use a two-handed scythe for those duties, if you don’t mind horrifying onlookers.

Koujow wrote:
Worshippers of Pharasma hate the Undead and hunt down Necromancers and Undead down. They don't command Undead.
Some white necromancers serve Pharasma; they command undead in order to destroy them.

Both of these things are interesting and I didn't know. I am going to factor both into whatever I do end up rolling.

The ideas presented so far are really awesome and have really inspired me.

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All three get their deities favored weapon as a proficiency and no, Pharasma's favored weapon is a dagger. (Because death is always associated with no other weapon than a dagger. Can't think of a single other weapon that better personifies Death.)

For a brief moment, I contemplated a dual wielding, dagger throwing Pharasma Warpriest because it might be the ONLY Warpriest that makes use of the Sacred Weapon bonus damage and Weapon Focus would reduce the pain of dual wielding to pretty much negligible. Oh no, my attacks are at a -1? Whatever shall I do with my double 1d10 that crit on 19-20 (at level 10). But it gave me more of a Rogue-ish vibe and I see this character as a slayer of the Undead.

andreww wrote:
If you wanted both you could take the Bones mystery and be a Spirit Guide and bond to the Life Spirit. Then you can channel positive energy to heal/harm, channel negative energy to command undead, all of your casting runs off charisma so your DC is strong and you have masses of uses of both options.

Pharasma is a Death goddess, not Undeath. Worshippers of Pharasma hate the Undead and hunt down Necromancers and Undead down. They don't command Undead.

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Just realized that a Oracle technically fits the bill too, although not as much thematically. Never played an Oracle either, but maybe Ancestor or Bones would work? IDK

Envoy of Balance is... different, I will give you that. Being able to channel both energies would be interesting. But I almost feel the biggest problem with channel just doubles. Assuming no one has an animal companion or a familiar, you need a Cha of 20 to Selective Channel your allies out of the negative energy. Not hard to get with items/levels, but then if someone does have a pet or you are at a large table, then you might cause some friendly fire. I'm never ok with intentionally harming your allies. (And I curse every Alchemist who doesn't pick up the talent to exclude their allies from their bombs or Caster that throws a fireball into melee.) Depending on the scenario, if you are fighting large numbers of enemies (we got swarmed by 10 low level dudes last week), you might also end up healing the enemy. Take 3d6! Now heal 3d6!

Now that I think about it, what order do they go off? I guess you could theoretically kill an enemy before the healing goes off.

(This is all generally moot anyways, since most of the time, you fight only a few enemies at a time).

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A bunch of friends recently joined PFS and want me to play with them, so I have to make a new character. I want to make something a bit different and I feel like I have never seen anyone in Societies play a priest of Pharasma, so I figured I would give it a try. But I am having some trouble figuring out how to build them. Having several other characters, I know the undead are a pretty common enemy, so a character with a passionate hate for the Undead would be useful. I am just uncertain if I should build him as a Cleric, an Inquisitor or a Warpriest. All three can let me play a very front line fighter with support abilities. Also, the divine casters are in low demand in my area, so I know a lot of tables with benefit from the spells.

Any thoughts on what I could build or which would be more fun to play? I'm not looking for full builds, just ideas or suggestions.

Bonus points to anyone who can help me figure out how to wield a scythe. I had originally planned on using it until I realized Pharasma's favored weapon is actually a dagger. And mostly because it would be kind of awesome, not because it is any good. (Although that x4 crit looks nice...)

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I picked up the Skull and Shackles pawns yesterday and much to my sadness, I realized they didn't come with stands. Because I am silly, I didn't read the back that pointed this out in big, bold letters. So I decided to also pick up a Bestiary Pawn box (because those do come with stands) and I was wondering if there were any suggestions? I am debating between the different the Bestiary Pawn boxes and the NPC Codex Pawn boxes. Either way, the new pawns can be used to diversify or add encounters, so I am kind of wondering which one might be best.

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Not certain if I should put a stop to the evasion argument because it is off topic or let it keep going because it is an interesting read. XD

As for my opinion, people who argue about realism in games like this need to glance over to the dude in the dress who throws fire or the chick with antlers on her head that turns into a bear and then maybe rethink 'realism'. :D

Anyways, a lot of good points and a few things I hadn't yet considered. I would like to see some more examples people have had in their games, but what I decided to do is to propose the options to the players. See which they think is a better idea and let them decide. I will be like "Guns deal a lot of damage, hit often and look cool. But guess what... bad guys have them too." lol

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I have been debating the pros and cons of running a campaign using the 'Guns common' option. This means guns are common enough that they are considered marital, not exotic, but they are still not advanced guns yet (although such weapons are in design and might become gear at higher levels). Armies are transitioning from traditional soldiers to musketeers, but some nations are still using bulk classic troops. Etc.

What my question is, has anyone run a campaign with either guns common or guns everywhere rules? If so, how did it change your game? Did everyone go the gun route? Or did some martial characters choose other paths?

I am obviously not a member of the 'guns don't belong in fantasy' club. I think a fantasy setting similar to the American Civil War, Victorian England or the Wild West could be fun. But if pathfinder falls apart when these rules are introduced, then I will probably not.

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I apologize. What I meant was the alchemist makes that claim. I misspoke when I said the entire scenario. You guys are right.

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Stolen Heir Spoilers

Spoiler:
At the very least, if you choose the darker option and send the girl with her captives, she gets a 'happy ending'. I don't think it says which one actually happens, but the NPC mentions she might marry a handsome and rich merchant prince or a few other options. It is against her will, but it is a lot better than 'disappearing'. That is, being forced to marry a stranger because you believed in freedom and democracy is a better option...

Also, the scenario makes it clear that supporting the daughter will destabilize the area. Even though (having read the actual scenario), I know that it will not. This scenario actually does have an interesting moral choice.

This might be kind of pushing it, but I don't think that adventures like "Among the Dead" and "The Merchant's Wake" as you being a heroic good guy.

Spoiler:
I picked those two because they were adventures that I have played and remember very well out of some of the ones mentioned above. They are also pretty similar.

In both of these scenarios, you go to a place that is suppose to be calm and quiet. When SUDDENLY ZOMBIES happens and you have to fight to survive. Fighting to not being killed is not heroic, it is basic survival. I made an attempt to help the NPCs and both times, the GM made it very clear that we were unable to assist those NPCs. That was, unless the NPC was named. And what made me rather angry was that (either the GM or scenario) explained in great detail how these people were dying, even though I made it abundantly clear that I wanted to save them. Because I wasn't able (allowed?) to save the nameless background NPCs, I wasn't fighting to save heroic save people. I was just fighting to survive one encounter to the next. That is being a hero.

I'm not saying that if Peter Parker was in a bank when a bunch of criminals show up and start shooting up the place, he is somehow unheroic for stopping them. That is just good luck, right place, right time for Spidey. But if Spidey let the criminals shoot all the hostages except for J. Jonah Jameson because OMG, he has a name, then maybe Spidey really is just a menace.

As for Pathfinder 'Assassination' missions, I can not remember any specific titles off the top of my head, but I have played in a few scenarios that follow this exact formula. "This NPC has a thing. We want that thing. Take care of the NPC through Any. Means. Necessary." In one scenario, the NPC giving us the quest even stated "I don't want to know how, just do what must be done." That is some pretty strong, suggestive language. The NPC might as well make finger on throat hand gestures ("...Why would I want to put my finger on his throat?") when he gives those orders. And sure, sometimes the target is legitimately an evil NPC. But just as often, the NPC is either totally legit or someone the pathfinders have wrong before.

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Dorothy Lindman wrote:

Part of it might be a different interpretation of Indiana Jones.

Even if you ignore the straight-up fortune hunter he was in Temple of Doom, he is not lawful by any sense of the word, and his goodness largely depends on whether you're the guy protecting the artifact he's after. His motivation is the pursuit and preservation of history, not the greater good. Remember, when he had to choose between defeating the Nazis and saving his girlfriend or destroying an artifact, he chose the artifact or both the greater good and his own personal good. His mantra is "It belongs in a museum", not "We should use that power to save the world" or "That's too dangerous to fall into the wrong hands." Also, we never get to see who owns the museum Indy works for or what their motivations are.

I use that phrase to describe the society, with the following description: "You have your normal, daily life, and every now and then your boss knocks on your door and says, "We want you to go get an artifact." (I also describe the Dark Archive as the "top men" that are researching the arc.) In that context, it's a valid comparison, and there aren't many other pop culture "part-time adventurers" to use as a grounding point.

With all that said, I do find it refreshing that there are PFS players who want to play the good guys. More often, I hear players complaining that they can't be evil in PFS.

I am on my phone, so I can only wrote a short response, but the owner is the museum is Marcus. You know, "Marcus? No, the man got lost in his own museum once."

Also, Indy returns the sacred stones to the natives. He doesn't keep them for himself.

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This thread may contain minor spoilers. I am going to be generally vague about my spoilers and not mention any specific scenarios, but others might.

When I first started playing PFS, the guy who introduced me to the game described the Pathfinders as "A Guild of Indiana Joneses". That sounds pretty cool! I like Indiana Jones! Punching Nazis in the face, finding ancient treasures and rescuing villages from evil cults? Sign me up! But after a year and a half of Pathfinering, I feel like if Indiana Jones was in Golarion, we would be the nameless henchmen that he fights. I think the Pathfinder Society are the bad guys of this story.

This isn't "well, it is a matter of perspective" or "The Pathfinders are morally ambiguous". This isn't even me being/playing a Lawful Stupid person. I have a variety of characters that have seen, partaken in or been told about straight up villainous activities. In my PFS career, I have been an accomplice to or at least been told about:

-Kidnapping nobility (on several occasions)
-Selling children into slavery (The players were pretending to be Aspis Consortium agents for the scenario, but it does not change what they did. I was not a part of this scenario, so who knows, maybe they were 'evil' children...)
-Protecting a necromancer
-Broke the Laws of Man...
-...then killed the guards sent to arrest us.
-Breaking and Entering into a dead man's home...
-...and then stealing the guys stuff
-Desecrated tombs (Not loot on an archeological dig, but desecrated)
-Extortion (on several occasions)
-Assassination
-Cut out a guys freaking tongue

I feel like if I go through my chronicle sheets, I could find a dozen more horrible, terrible things that we have done that I am opposed to.

"But Koujow, you could have chosen to not do those things or stopped the players who did!" You would think, if I wasn't being blocked by the players, if not the GM. Take the 'Protecting the Necromancer' scenario above. According to the GM, this Necromancer bought slaves, murdered them, then reanimates them for the purpose of selling undead slaves. I was playing my Paladin at the time, but I find that horrifying as anyone not a sociopath should. So even though the Necromancer had something the Pathfinder Society wanted, I suggested to the party that we terminate his business. At the very least turn the guy in. The players were generally up for it, until the GM said "Oh, well he has to survive the scenario to fulfill the secondary condition. You need to make sure these other guys don't kill him."

Afterwards, I told the GM that I needed to spend my prestige on an atonement spell because I had obviously done something that opposes both my characters and my beliefs and the GM brushed it off and told me not to worry about it.

I wanted to play PFS because I wanted to be a hero. I don't necessarily mean I wanted to be Superman and the bad guy is a mustache twirling psychopath. But for every village I saved from bandits in Tian Xia, I have committed a dozen other crimes. Funnily enough, when I wrote that last sentence, I had to stop and think for several minutes about good things that I actually have done. And the only reason we helped the peasants in Tian Xia was, surprise! They had a magic artifact that we needed. Not because it was right or because it is something a group of heroic people should do. Because it benefited the Pathfinders. (And one player in the group still suggested we just force the peasants to do it and leave).

I joked with some friends that when I go to Ohayocon and play Shadowrun Missions, a game about being shady criminals who do questionable things for money, I feel like more a hero than I do when I play Pathfinder. In Shadowrun, I have rescued people from murderous gangs, gave children medicine and took a bullet for a man who was legitimately trying to help people. And the worst thing I have done in my (admittedly limited) Shadowrun career? I took down the internet. In an empty waste land. For 10 minutes. But in six Shadowrun scenarios, I have done more good than I have in 50+ Pathfinder scenarios.

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If you are tanky: Get in front of the people in dresses.
If you are squishy: Get behind the dude in a walking castle.

For serious, if you are being ambushed in some way, I prefer taking up a defensible position as my first action.

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Wait a minute! You can't hijack my thread for your questions! *shakes fist at!*

You have equally assisted me! Thank you

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I recently brought my Paladin out of my 'retirement' (It has been about six months since I played her last) and I would really like to find a way to give her angelic wings. She is a level 6 Aasimar (Yes, this was pre-restriction of Aasimars) and so far, as far as I am aware, the only two things I have seen are Wings of Flight (which I will not have the fame to purchase until far after the normal limits of PFS) or to take Angelic Blood/Angel Wings (which will give me wings at level 11 for the final level of normal societies.

Is there anything I may have missed that can help complete that angelic image?

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First thought, might want to start with levels in fighter first. Gets you more starting HP and your armor/weapon prof. without having to wait 5 levels on your current plan.

Second, you seem to be trying to wear a lot of hats. You cast spells, hammer things, shield bash. Maybe try to trim it down some. You are basically dual wielding with the BAB of almost a Wizard. At lvl 12, your BAB will be +9, 3 lower than a full Fighter (which translates into hitting ~15% less often.) Dual wielding reduces it to +7, which means you hit ~25% less often than a typical Fighter. You can pick up a shield and use it for defense, but I don't recommend using it offensively with this type of character.

rorek55 wrote:
I would actually suggest having your Int be you 16 stat. Why TWF? take advantage of reach 2handed weapons.

Build the equivalent of a Reach Cleric, but as an Eldritch Knight? That would be kind of cool. Use your normal actions to cast spells and use the weapons reach and Combat Reflexes to AoO people who get close. It could be interesting.

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Imbicatus wrote:
Koujow wrote:


As far as I am aware, there is no way to meet the requirements for Slashing Grace with a Katana at level 1.

There are two ways: Human Warpriest or Kensai Magus.

Warpriest of Shizuru gains Weapon proficiency in Katana via favored weapon, Free Weapon Focus in a weapon, Weapon Finesse for the level one feat, and Slashing Grace for the bonus.

Kensai Magus can choose Katana as the weapon of choice, allowing proficiency and free Weapon Focus. Again, your first feat and human bonus go to Finesse and Slashing Grace.

Well, you are right, BUT... it doesn't work. Being proficient with a Katana lets you use it as a one handed weapon. Weapon Finesse lets you finesse Light weapons (and a list of non-light weapons). The only way to finesse a Katana is to get Slashing Grace, which lets you treat your one handed slashing katana as a one handed piercing katana for the purpose of Swashbuckler's Finesse, which lets you use one handed weapons.

But those options would let you do it by level 2, rather than level 3. That is a huge boon.

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I spent a lot of time trying to build myself a Kakita Duelist (Being a fan of L5R, you got it, but for everyone else, think Jin from Samurai Champloo) and I eventually made a build that technically worked, but just left me feeling very disappointed. I am still a bit upset that Paizo didn't release a Swashbuckler archetype focused on Iaijutsu. There is a 3rd party publisher that did, but of course, not society legal.

As far as I am aware, there is no way to meet the requirements for Slashing Grace with a Katana at level 1. In another thread, a player suggested using a scimitar (Close damage and crit range) and just 'reflavoring' it as a Katana, just like you mentioned doing with the class, but ugh... just doesn't feel the same.

If you were interested, the idea for my build was to start out as a Human Sword Saint Samurai with Str 14 and Dex 16, then use my Human feat for Weapon Focus. (The Str was there to help with Attacks and Damage for the first few levels) I used my other feat for dodge because hey, AC is nice and because there was no reason to take Weapon Finesse until level 3, when I would have taken a level in Swashbuckler and gained it for free. I also take Slashing Grace and boom, I'm a quick drawing Samurai. After that, I wasn't entirely certain. I could either hop back over to Samurai for a boost to Iaijutsu damage and Terrifying Iaijutsu (I think that is the ability gained) or just stick with Swashbuckler to gain other abilities faster. I did some crunching and mixed different combinations of the two classes.

In the end, I compared the minimum and maximum damage of the class to various other builds. I do not have the page anymore, but I do remember that the build could do incredible damage... once. Essentially, if he pulled off the Iaijutsu strike, he could maybe out damage the raging barbarian or the blasty Sorceror, but after that, his damage plummetted to a generally 'meh' area. Not bad, per say, but nowhere near the area of other characters.

Now, I will admit, I am completely crap at min-maxing and I am sure that some twink could come along and tell me what to do fix my damage (probably starting with 'Dont play a Samurai/Swashbuckler'), but I had done what I set out to do and was sadly disappointed with my results.

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I rolled up a Ninja for PFS tonight and if I enjoy him, I might play him for a while and I was contemplating building him towards Shadowdancer. I played a pregen Ninja a handful of times in other PFS scenarios, so I have a general grasp on the class and its abilities.

I kind of like the Shadowdancer prestige class and it's abilities, but I am also concerned with the feat/skill tax required to get there, although I actually kind of like Mobility. (I have used it in other games to intentionally provoke AoO's so that other characters and casters would be free to do their thing)

Do you think it is worth it?

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