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Mother of Beasts

KutuluKultist's page

293 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Yeah, that Dragon from the opening scene? That better be the boss of the fifth adventure...

It seems that the changes you have made to the artificiers enables them to cast any spell a full caster of two levels lower could cast at the drop of a hat and without any meaningful expenditure of resources. That seems grossly unbalanced to me.

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Naderi is strangely growing closer to the goddess of undeath, Urgathoa, due to Naderi's belief that love lasts beyond death, a position that Urgathoa can support.

This my new favorite sentence.

Turn it up:

X's Father wants to politically marry X to some Hellknight/Noble/Darkwizard Y. X feels oblige to submit to her father's will and Paladin, faced with the honor in that is torn between his feelings and his sense of duty.

Unbeknownst to all, Y's child/apprentice/something-or-other Z is in love with A and unlike everyone else so far is utterly psycho, willing to abduct A and worse.

Y is none too please with finding out how crazy Z is and presto, Paladin and Y might be forced to make common cause to rescue A. Meanwhile, X grows increasingly certain of their feelings for Paladin.

During the ensuing finale, the outcome is wide open. Paladin may get the chance to get rid of Y without anyone getting wise about it; Y may show supreme cruelty in punishing Z, whom Paladin would have taken to court; Y may save X's and/or A's lives. Anyone may die.

Here's my favorite outcome:
This happens after X and Y are married.
Finale happens, Y turns out to die somewhat heroically.
A, already unstable, suffers a serious case of PTSD (or a curse, or the after effects of charm person gone horribly awry, or gross phyiscal mutilation, maybe Z even infects them with a magical desease).
X, ever mindful of duty must order Z's affairs, but is truly in love with Paladin. Paladin, feeling guilty because A first flirted with Z on rebound from Paladin, and of course because he truly cares, takes it upon himself to care for A during her recuperation.
Thus they part, Z widowed and Paladin dedicated to caring for A.

Even just making the claws permanent will not be problematic. They really should have been to start with.

Thymus Vulgaris wrote:

And how much you can carry, your ability to hold on to something (so you don't fall down during your climb) and pull yourself up (so you actually make progress), your ability to swim, your ability to knock doors down, not being blown about by storm-level winds... tug-o-war, trying to keep a door shut as someone is trying to force it open from the other side, you name it.

"stuff like"

i.e. effects defined and measured within the rules.

There is no rule relating strength with muscle mass, appearance or even weight/height ratio. In fact, the de facto independence of weight/height and ability scores in general implies conceptual irrelevance.

There is a category mistake being made here. The crunch is not there to describe the fluff. "STR 18" is not a description of appearance, nor is a description of past nutrition, training exercise and so on.
What it implies is stuff like +4 to hit and damage in melee.
RPG rules are not theories of nature.

Pick something that is deadly and where the rules encourage avoiding conflict. D20 modern will just create a constant suggestion that you're playing a game of DnD, where players are supposed to win violent conflict basically unharmed.

This is the game:

Players each controlling one character fight monsters controlled by the DM on maps. After 4-6 such fights, the characters level up an fight harder monsters. Equipment is just part of levelling up and not really gear in the common sense sense of the word.

This determines the unavoidable structure of a Pathfinder game, it's very skeleton. Around this structure, a story is told, a piece of fiction, often merely simulating player choice, which is supposed to make all the fighting have some meaning and give some explanation to what's happening.

But this story is bound to follow the basic structure of the game. E.g. you cannot begin with fighting dragons or demons, you being by fighting orcs and goblins [...]. Even the most improvised and artfully told story in Pathfinder will have to follow this blueprint.

And mind you, this blueprint is utterly ridiculous and purely there for abstract reasons of rules and gaming tradition.

It's not that difficult. A druid has such a powerful base that even an unoptimized build can still be strong.

So, a druid gets 4 skill points per level, a human with INT 12 gets 2 more and six should suffice. You could max bluff, diplomacy, intimidate, sense motive, perception and stealth with that.

The Serpent Shaman archetype get access to the Trickery domain, which adds bluff, disguise and stealth to your druid class skills as well as a number of stealthiness spells.

Such spells can also be acquired via the Nagaji specific Naga Aspirant druid archetype.

You can also consider a swashbuckler dip, which will add bluff, diplomacy and intimidate to your class skills while at least not costing you a point of BAB.

Even a level of rogue would not be horrible and 1d6 sneak attack can be a good advantage when you get 5 attacks as a velociraptor.

A level of Inquisitor is probably your best choice, though. It gives you all the skills mentioned as class skills, a few 1st level spells per day as well as access to the Conversion inquisition, which keys social skills off wisdom instead of charisma. Taking the Sacred Huntsman archetype will stack with your druid animal companion while Sanctified Slayer will get you the studied strike ability, which is better than a 1/d judgement.

Finally, there are always traits and the Extra Traits feat, which can make most any skill a class skill.

In this kind of economic situation one wonders what the common people do.

Principle of Charity, the.

Always interpret any text in such a way as make it as rational, strong and consistent as possible.

Reach/Strength is complimented by a lot of the extracts, even at low level (long arm & enlarge person) and strength works better with the powerful polymorph extracts at higher levels, since the better forms are larger and hence give strength bonuses.

A Dwarf Ranger with a one level dip into Living Monolith using a reach weapon.

Set Up:
1 Combat Reflexes, Fav. Enemy Orc
2 Combat Style: Power Attack
3 Endurance, Iron Will
5 Lunge, Favored Enemy Giants +4
6 Dipping Living Monolith

And you're set.

Jodokai wrote:
ryric wrote:
You can be LG and still be intimidating. A lot of it can come from the implication of force - actual torture isn't really effective at getting information anyway.

Don't believe everything you see on TV. It's extremely effective.

Funny, in almost all the movies and TV shows I've seen, when it comes up it's shown to be really effective, while every serious article I've read about it tells me that it's really ineffective and unreliable.

There are two economies in pathfinder that have nothing at all to do with each other:
One is the everyday, normal economy, where craftspeople craft, farmers farm traders trade and so on. In this economy, one's wealth is measured by one's social status and it will most likely never change very much over one's life.

The other one consists of objects of personal empowerment won by killing things and taking their objects of personal empowerment with a little dash of crafting your own objects of personal empowerment or buying them from some source of OPEs. Every single magic spell is part of this economy. In this economy, one's wealth (appearing as OPEs) is not really economical value but just one aspect of the strange property called level. And as one's level changes (it only ever rises and it typically rises very fast, it can go from 1 to 20 in a year or so) one's wealth changes geometrically.

Do not succumb to the illusion fostered by both kinds of wealth being measured in "gold pieces". These two economies must never be allowed to interact! Even small, seemingly inconspicuous interactions can cause disaster if anyone should make the mistake of applying logic and reasoning to it.
A kings vast fortune is part of the first economy. He is rich in normal things, objects or art and the service of able people. He is not rich in OPE because he is not of high level.


Lawfulness doesn't really figure into it, unless there are laws prohibiting or prescribing intimidation (hard to imagine in a general case, but a government could outfit its military or police force to appear intimidating e.g.). It is ime purely a matter of good vs evil. And thus, a neutral or chaotic good character might have more issues with it, since they would not by equally inclined to excuse their actions by recourse to laws.

Imagine e.g. a lawful good torturer in a generally good country where the law prescribes torture as punishment for some crimes.

Intimidation, that is causing fear in others, is in general not a good action. Fear is typically less bad than physical harm, but it is an evil. Also keep in mind that torture is 90% intimidation.

There will be situations where intimidation is the lesser evil, but speaking in a general manner, intimidating someone is causing them to suffer an evil and is such at the very least not a good action.

On the other hand, 99% of all essentially good outsiders are combat monsters, which kind of suggests that good and evil on Golarion are less moral categories but rather just sides of the lower/upper planes distinction. Angels and Demons all kill, torture, maim and intimidate, it's only their justifications that differ.

Or you can adopt an imperial ethos: everything I do is good, because I do it and I am the good guy.

13 INT is enough to make Arcane Enlightenment work with a Belt at high levels. Until then, just drink a potion of fox's cunning when you need higher INT.

The definite article refers to a singular object.

"the house" does not refer to all houses.
"the listed ability" does not refer to all listed abilities.

Though at times, we may be bewitched by the illusions of our language, this is not one of those.

a) "Living" is not a rules term. It has no crunch meaning.
b) A homunculus has a bite attack with poison, fly speed and so on.
c) Since it's not acquired via the improved familiar feat and there is no other reason to assume it doesn't, it gets the speak with animals of its kind ability, though it technically does nothing. I suppose it could be argued that it can talk to other constructs (violation of "animals") or to animals of the type that the homunculus has the shape of (violation of "type") though.

Crunch: It's a homunculus
Fluff: in the shape of an animal or vermin

The swarms summoned by Creeping Doom have neither strength nor constitution, hence cannot benefit from Augment Summoning as far as I can see.

Claxon wrote:
Well, it wont help you get more spells per day and you don't start out buffed which may or may not be an important consideration. You wont qualify for feats which have a higher score than your normal score because the enhancement is not a permanent effect.

Good point! So this is clearly better for physical abilities.

Slayer, Greatsword.

Throw in a level or two of Fighter (feats) or two levels of Cavalier (intimidation) to get heavy armor proficiency. Alternatively, two levels of Master of Many Styles Monk will get you great saves as well as access to Tiger Pounce, which shifts the PA to hit penalty to AC.

Third option, and my favorite, Mutagenic Brawler with 2 levels of MoMS/MoSM Monk, combine pummeling style & dragon style. Use brawling armor & an AOMF. You can throw in 3 levels of weapon master fighter brawler fighter for further bonuses and (not sure here) access to gloves of dueling.

It is not overly difficult to get a familiar that can reliably use a wand. Invest in UMD, the Evolved Familiar feat or the Figment Familiar archetype to get the Skilled evolution.

A wand of animal's ability costs 4500 GP. That's 500 GP more than a +2 belt or headband, but provides +4 right from the start. It lasts 3 minutes, thus at least one combat and your familiar can cast it on you, preserving your action economy. 50 charges should last you until you can afford a +4 or even +6 item.

Comments? Am I missing anything?

Second the Wand Wielder Arcanum & Magus in general.
Also, check out the River Whip spell. It's entirely compatible with Precise Strike and Slashing Grace. Vive la touch attack!

Standard Figment Familiars can get a tentacle with an evolution point or 2 arms with hands for 2 and as mentioned gains speech as a familiar anyway, so wand monkeying is certainly possible. Also remember the skilled evolution. +8 goes a long way towards guaranteeing success.

Carnivalist & Eldritch Guardian combine nicely.
Share Sneak & Combat Feats (in particular Teamwork Feats).

Outflank, Precise Strike. Paired Opportunists. Combat Reflexes
Evolved Familiar to get reach...

1 Fig1 Outflank, Combat Reflexes
2 Fig2
3 Rog1 Precise Strike
4 Rog2
5 Rog3 Improved Familiar
6 Rog4
7 Fig3 Evolved Familiar
8 Bra1
9 Fig4 Paired Opportunist, Power Attack

I recommend a Pseudodragon for reach and until then a hawk with the mauler archetype.

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Oddly enough, since a Homunculist's homunculus is not technically an improved familiar, it does seem to gain speak with animals of it's kind, opening it up for archetypes. Furthermore, though a homunculus cannot speak, a Homunculist's homunculus gains speak with master, which clearly is a language - though one with only two speakers. It should thus be able to use spell trigger items.

It would be much more fun, if improved familiars, which almost everyone taking a familiar will go for anyway, could take the archetypes.

And while it's not a case of archetype interaction (improved familiars are not archetypes), it seems rather clear that one cannot replace what one does not have.

Therefore abandon the trade paradigm and embrace communism: From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.

Bonus Hit Points.

That is break the silly rule that NPCS need to follow the same rules as PCs.

I suppose a common cat could be a decent mauler.
After a quick check, both Raccoon and Wallaby get a Battle From base strength of 14, while among flying familiars the Hawk seems to come out on top with two attacks and a Battle Form base strength of 10.

In general, it seems that the familiar archetypes are incompatible with improved familiars and thus rather useless. That's the case even for older archetypes such as valet familiars, which thus become kind of useless.

Instead of Wild Child Brawler, consider Snake Striker for almost always on sneak attack. 2 levels of Lore Warden can cover most of your feat needs.

N. Jolly wrote:

Derek the Ferret wrote:
Longarm Bracers are really good for Hyde (gives him more reach) for only 7,200 gp. And if you use it for your claws you don't take a penalty.
I really want to like these more, but I'd like to find out if these apply to all natural weapons (which seems to go against the name and flavor of the weapon) or just the claws. If it's just claws, these don't help enough since all the...

I would rather recommend Long Arm. I've been using that with a natural attack focused Investigator to good effect. Though you only have reach with the claws, it'a still a tremendous tactical advantage and in comparison with using I weapon I find that I prefer having two slightly weaker reach attacks than one stronger in most cases. It's just more flexible.

'tis good to have comrades.

Turns out I was wrong about Seize The Moment, indeed.

Eldritch Guardian is a from Familiar Folio. at 2nd level it shares all combat feats with a familiar within 30 ft.

As an addendum: a valet familiar (via Eldritch Heritage) or two levels of Fighter with the Eldritch Guardian archetpye will grant you yet another "character" which shares your teamwork feats.

Kifaru wrote:
Any critical hits allows both the hunter and animal companion an AoO at +4

To do this, you need the feat Seize The Moment, which requires Improved Critical, which requires a BAB of +8, as well as Combat Reflexes. Pack Flanking on the other hand requires Combat Expertise.

So, reliably generating AoO via crits will only be possible at level 12 for a Hunter.

Here's a set up:

1st Combat Expertise
2nd Outflank
3rd Pack Flanking, Precise Strike
5th Power Attack
6th Shake It Off
7th Spirit's Gift
9th Paired Opportunist, Combat Reflexes
11th Improved Critical
12th Seize The Moment

For the AC:
1st Iron Will
2nd Weapon Focus: Claws
5th Weapon Focus: Bite
8th Power Attack
10th Combat Reflexes

At 13th and 16th add Improved Critical for claws and then bite.

This way, by level 3, you'll always count as flanking when threatening the same target, triggering +4 to hit, +1d6 damage. That to hit bonus will allow you to use Power Attack effectively despite your 3/4 BAB, so that's next. Shake It Off translates into a +2 to saves for you and your companion. Spirit's Gift is probably the best feat to strengthen a companion.
By level 9 you get mildly useful stuff, but you need it to make full use of Seize The Moment at 12th.

Don't dip. Instead, get a mutagen and focus on polymorph extracts to get extra attacks. Together with studied combat, that will provide an OK offensive basis.

Using a mutagen, alter self and studied combat, you'll end up with
three attacks at +9 doing 1d4+6 damage. Not a lot, but certainly a contribution.

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Three words: Spirit Guide Oracle

The ability to switch to a new set of spirit spells as spells known is very powerful. Furthermore, there are rarely more than 2-3 revelations that are actually worth picking in a mystery.

But ultimately, it comes down to whether you prefer spontaneous or prepared casting. I for one vastly prefer spontaneous casting since I hate having had the right option but not having picked it in the morning. And to be honest, when I play prepared casters, I almost always have a standard set of prepared spells anyway.

RumpinRufus wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
I'm totally good with DPSA (damage per standard action) and DPR in the same line.
This is an even better idea than what I was thinking. I was thinking just the sum (DPSA+DPR), but just showing both numbers is the best of both worlds.

Yes. As has been stated, since ease of access to full attacks varies over builds (and scenarios, but that is neither here nor there), it's pretty hard to come up with a composite value that is still representative of something.

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BigDTBone wrote:
"RumpinRufus" "1 standard attack + 1 full attack" instead of just one full attack (except in the case of archers.) [/QUOTE wrote:

It doesn't so that because you break the simplicity of the tool. You can see that even with your simple change you already need a qualifying statement. What about thrown weapon specialist? Should they get two full rounds? Will their numbers look artifically high compared to a melee combatant when in actuality they will pale in comparison? What about vital strike builds? Do they get to chose regular or vital attack? Are you actually giving a full round and a standard action? Or in the case of the archers 2 full round actions? Could I instead use that standard action to cast a self buff that wouldn't be allowed in regular DPR? What about stealth characters? Shouldn't the sneaky guy get 2 full rounds also because he can sneak up on the other guy before combat?

One might include both Damage Per Attack and Damage Per Round if one is interested in the difference. DPA would represent the effect of Vital Strike et al better than DPR. Any measure is valid if it gives you deeper information about the character (and thus the game).

BigDTBone wrote:

The only value DPR places on accuracy is as its function of likeliness to hit on a given attack. You know THE EXACT SAME VALUE IT HAS WHEN YOU ROLL A D20 AT THE TABLE.

This is wrong.

At the table, one rolls many times, each combat is usually a sequence of attack rolls. DPR considers accuracy (and damage) only insofar as it concerns a single isolated, idealized roll.
Probability theory works differently for different questions and for (perfectly interesting) questions like "how probable is it that I never hit at all during a combat" DPR will tell you nothing. Yet, if it seems to me that that counts towards the value of accuracy at the table, if anything does.

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Maybe this is a way to put it that everyone will understand:

Accuracy has effects that are not captured by commonly used DPR calculations. This is precisely what I mean when I say that DPR undervalues accuracy.

This does not make those calculations useless, nor should it motivate a crusade against DPR. It also does not mean that DPR fails to consider accuracy.

Nor should anyone draw the conclusion that power attack is a bad feat or that it's never a good idea to push damage. In fact, I intended no hands on advice at all, but to point out some mathematical facts about the combat rule mechanism. My goal is understanding, rather than application. That is not to say that no practical application can be made, just that I am not terribly interested in those practical applications.

Consider a plot not as in a move: a sequence of scenes.
Instead think of a plot as a number of "story locations" that the players can visit by their own choice, with two important caveats: Some locations can be accessed only via other locations that have to be visited first and at some locations stuff happens even if the players are not there.
In addition you can have "must visit" locations.

Having planned scenes vs. improvised scenes:
Planned scenes can be presented much more dramatically, using chosen music, pre-written text, even images, while improvised scenes will have to be presented in a more haphazard & improvised fashion.

I prefer a set-up like this:
a) Very few planned scenes that are mostly independent of player actions to set a frame.
b) lot's of possible scenes to be improvised before a set and planned background.
c) some optional planned scenes that occur or not depending on player actions.
All of which is structured in a network of interconnected layers, such that there are usually several paths (via hints, conversations, combat, exploration,...) to access the "deeper locations".


DPR leaves out the value of accuracy by itself. My considerations are intended to show that accuracy has important effects by itself. They are are not intended to be used in character building to judge the power of a build (though they can be).

Consider what I said not an engineers tool to build characters but a philosopher's argument to establish that focussing on accuracy tends to be a good idea, even if DPR might not show this.

Of course DPR calculations provide useful information, but it leaves certain things out. These include the aspects that I have tried to point this board's attention towards.

Several times people have defended from anecdotal and subjective experience that accuracy is most important. I have shown that there is a mathematical basis to that experience and that, to the degree I have explicated ("all things being equal...") that feeling is justified by the actual probabilities in play.

I have been criticised for using extreme cases. I have justified this by pointing out that the extreme cases are good cases to study because the show clearly what is a general effect also in play in less extreme cases. I have not seen any reply that actually has taken this into account, so I will repeat myself: The effect shown is as real in less extreme cases, even if it is less extreme.

Finally, my considerations are not intended to replace DPR, but to make clear that there are important aspects that DPR does not represent and that yet have an impact on play and the experience of players. So unless you can show that my math is unsound, it would be wise to just accept that there is more to the game than DPR. Again, it's not either/or it's a complementary analysis.

And finally, DPR is calculated under standardized assumptions, abstracting from the diversity of actual play. These same assumptions allow my considerations to be applied to specific stats to see whether under these circumstances e.g. Power Attack or Weapon Focus would be stronger feats. Again, I have chosen simple and extreme numbers to show the principle clearly and distinctly, but there is nothing stopping you from applying the same consideration on more "realistic" cases.

In that spirit, thanks to everyone who offered more than repeating the "it's unrealistic" response.

As an aside, it is really three different considerations:
1) What is the chance that I waste my turn entirely?
2) What is the relationship between the pacing of my damage delivery and the life time of enemies.
3) How much overkill is included in my raw damage?

1) can be roughly evaluated if you have something of a grip on binomial distributions. But in general the advice to draw from that is: if you feel that you are missing too much, increase accuracy even at the cost of raw damage, no matter what DPR tells you. If you hit reliably, you have no issue, of course.

2) is rather difficult to evaluate. And while not super practical "RUD" is still a very realistic representation of the actual effect on damage dealing in combat.

3) is based on the simple observation that any 1 attack damage potential beyond what is needed to eliminate a target possibly represents wasted resources spent to acquire it. Between +1 to hit and +3 to damage vs. an enemy I already kill without the +3 to damage +1 to hit is obviously preferable. And that issue repeats at multiplies of target hit points. The ratio of hit points to raw damage, always rounding up if any fractions remain gives you the minimum number of attacks required to eliminate a target. Any damage bonus that does not yield a lower number of minimum required attacks is practically wasted.

Still, accuracy is limited as well, but the mechanism of iterative attacks almost guarantees that a +1 to hit is rarely wasted.

The pretty clear conclusion, given my math is sound, is that all things being equal, accuracy is always preferable to a corresponding amount of damage.

What happens in actual play is that sometimes you get more in damage than you lose in accuracy and if that is the case you can still come out on top. But given identical DPR, accuracy > raw damage, no matter how extreme the difference.

The real practical question is at what point the HD disadvantages are less relevant than DPR increase. If anyone has a workable analysis on offer, I'd be keen on reading it.

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