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I'm not OP, but I can answer most of this:
It would be nice if you gave a few more details on the Azata version of the Aasimir since that information isn't in the Advanced Race Guide. Allow someone to know what they gain if they pick up Blood of Angels.
It's well known that this exists. Because PF is open source it's perfectly legal to just go read that stuff. Maybe a link would be nice, but it's hardly worth mentioning when anyone can just look it up themselves.
You may want to point out that you can bond to a bow and that there is nothing preventing you from smiting with a bow. You only can do this a limited number of times, but since smite against evil bypasses all DR it is worth going into the details on that.
Just remember it costs you an action to do this, so unless you get the drop on an an encounter and can prebuff, it is usually not worth giving up a full attack action.
Some words about melee would be appropriate. You aren't always going to be able to just shoot everything.
When does this happen? Aside from the fact you can 5'step out of most AOO situations, I'd take the AOO for shooting in melee before I tossed my bow and picked up a melee weapon. You literally have no room for melee feats anyway, it would be a tremendous amount of lost damage to swap into melee for a paladin archer, especially considering you can just swift heal yourself every round for any damage you take.
Is it Wise to Prohibit / Restrict Consumable Magic Items (wands, scrolls, potions, etc.)? In a Dungeon Delve?
If you limit magic items, casters reign as supreme because of the 5 minute adventuring day. It encourages players to go into the dungeon, do three encounters blowing all castable resources to stay alive, then to go rest.
It's absolutely ridiculous to punish the 100HP barbarian with 2-3 days resting to just get healed up because the party cleric can't load enough healing to recover all of that. It also forces every party to have a cleric no matter what, and everyone hated playing the healbot in the first place.
I'd personally rather play no pathfinder at all than play like this. Far better to have four players playing what they like then four players gaming their characters to survive overly strict magic item rules.
Your comment about a wand of fireballs seemed out of place. I've never seen an offensive wand user succeed. Fireball on a wand is 5d6 save for half at a terrible reflex roll. This means you're likely seeing 75%+ of the monsters save, and the cost is 225 (!!!) gp per cast averaging only 21 damage (based on 75% save rate) some of which might have hit your melee which will cost you healing.
That's completely ludicrous. Any player in their right mind would just sell the wand, stock up on alchemists fire and spend the profit on items that will actually have some return value.
The road you're headed down is one I've played through before. I'd never willingly opt to return there.
Manyshot should be blue, it allows you to further maximize your smite (which is the only thing setting you apart from any other full BAB archer).
Clustered shot is not blue, it's green at best. Smite already bypasses DR, which is a lot to begin with. Secondly, archers are the best damage in the game for bypassing DR since you can carry whatever arrows you like.
Between those two things I can't really think of a reason to take clustered shots before many shot, or even take it at all since you have so many mandatory archery feats already filled in. Remember that PBS, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim, Manyshot and Improved Precise Shot completely fill any non human paladin through level 11. Human Paladins only have one feat to play with until 13th level. That's not including the Divine Hunter option, which IMO gives up too much for too little return.
I think the Samurai makes for a great survivor type, but as far as focusing on the deathless line or negative hitpoint play I don't think it's productive. The Samurai has his resolve to play with and when that runs low he just needs to play less aggressively. I've seen it in play, however, and it was pretty good.
One bonus for the Samurai is that he can use his resolve right away for more than just damage, he also mitigates missed saves which is an option these guys don't get (without feat investments which are hard to justify).
I would say the barbarian build will destroy the samurai in late levels for going and standing in the worst possible place taking massive damage. The Samurai will be better than all builds in the first 5 levels and shouldn't need to invest feats in survivability, relying on his resolve to keep him around.
the trick for a deathless barbarian is to look at what feats you really need. Only Deathless Initiate is worth taking in the deathless line. While the fighter is focusing on having a huge negative health pool to play in, the barbarian has a somewhat more narrow pool mitigated by massive DR, and then that massive DR again x2 via guarded life for every single hit. I can't understand your fighter at 16 having a roughly -60hp health pool when your barbarian can have -30ish at level 16 but also 17 points of DR.
The first 17 HP of any melee hit are gone via DR17/-, if the attack brings your health total under 0 (and any negative number is below 0, so it applies on all hits under 0) then you convert 34 of the damage after DR to non lethal, and because you have 17DR that applies *2 vs non lethal you just made it so a hit would have to do more than 51 damage (for melee/physical) or 34 damage (non physical) just to make you look at using something like ferocious tenacity. The math also lines up so you never actually get any non lethal damage like this.
Now remember that next 34 damage from guarded life will apply to anything, even stuff DR wouldnt normally cover, that's worth as much on every single attack under 0 as the whole additional fighter health pool.
In the event of a damage overload, the barbarian can resort to Ferocious Tenacity to knock off damage and continue this style of play well past anything the fighter could manage.
Your fighter is focused on staying alive under 0, and he can't even outperform the barbarian for one hit in this mechanic.
corrosive is a waste of money seeing as the deliquescent gloves give it to you at a reduced cost after a certain point. Seeking is largely marginalized, but I'd keep a spare bow with that on it.
Ghost salted arrows are far cheaper than the enchant in any event, I'd use those instead of ghost touch.
Holy is excellent for most campaigns, I'd recommend this.
Buying your weapon is more about how little you can get away with spending than how much. Greater magic weapon is fine, I'd probably buy several pearls of power for my wizard and ask for Heroism/Greater Magic Weapon/Flame Arrow/Abundant Ammunition/Named Bullet on demand. This ends up being FAR more cost efficient.
If you take clustered shots and ghost salt your arrows you effectively remove the need for some expensive enchantments. There is SO MUCH more expensive equipment you can use outside of your weapon. Getting dependable see invisibility, stat items, defensive stuff, greater hat of disguise for stats/darkvision and pheromone arrow synergy, about 5 great ioun stones, luckstone, wayfinder cheese and bracers of falcons aim.
The bottom line is that you can do it, but it's just not as good as a bow. It's like showing up to a gun fight but you brought a gun that jams. You'll be able to participate, but you'll always wonder if the extra shots you were missing out on (via manyshot) could have saved your life.
I think the inquisitor is fine, you'll be able to participate more fully in the campaign that way (because skill points make characters more fun IMO). You will be working for the feats for a very long time.
However, flavorwise, a archery focused monk who is also a crow just appeals to me in ways I can't explain.
I think the idea of a tengu drawing his bow and hitting his own beak with the bow string is entertaining. Then he has to decide if he is going to turn his head to the right and side-eye his aim, or if he is going to look down the side of this bow unable to get his eye lined up for the shot, and the whole thing looks super awkward. Once he has the funds raised he immediately gets a nose job with his local transmuter and a polymorph.
Man, I could lose whole rounds of combat just describing to the party how he's trying to get his stuff together and shoot but he can't aim. This actually seems like a rather hilarious character.
The paladin is not really a viable candidate for a crossbow either due to loss of manyshot damage from smite. I mean a paladin COULD do it, but he's losing a free attack at his highest BAB on every smite, and that hurts.
I'd say you would need to build an eldritch knight and take advantage of the swift cast on crit mechanic via the crossbows wider threat range. This would cause the EK to need to pump his int relatively high for saves though.
1) Dwarf2) Dwarf
It's the Dwarf.
Also, by switch hitting I assume you mean switching your bow to the other hand and firing from the other side? An archery stranger if you will. There is just about no reason for the Zen Archer to waste feats on melee when he already threatens with his bow from an early level.
"This is how you play the game" authorities stepping in like this and seeking to punish others for playing the game wrong is half of what this forum is used for these days. Without posters like scarletrose I'd have no idea what was acceptable to do in this game other than reading the rulebook, and where would we be if we only played by what was written down?
Taking your own opinions and forcing others to live by them is the stuff religion is made of, but now it's stock and trade with pathfinder and the supremacist population policing for "badwrongfun".
If I were in a game where a GM went after charisma dumping with this sort of witch hunt shenanigan I'd totally make a 7 charisma (no wait, 5 charisma dwarf!) party face (conversion inquisition) and continuously remind the GM of it on every social interaction roll.
This is ridiculous thread necro, it's been four years man so no one from the original thread will likely see this. To answer Tristan27 (necrOP) you take PBS because archery is superior to melee once you're already blowing several feats on it, and paladins in particular have no room to do both melee and archery. There will not always be unengaged targets, and a -4 to hit is on top of the +4 to AC cover provides. Do some reading on archery and you will understand why.
I'd only recommend an oath of vengeance paladin. The Divine hunter gives up a ton of stuff for essentially one bonus feat. I can do less damage to the build by simply taking a level of fighter.
all arrows should be durable cold iron arrows, except for your durable blunt cold iron arrows.
You can get adamantine blanch, or real adamantine arrows depending on how spendy you feel. Ghost salt blanch is also good.
If you invest in a proper array of arrows clustered shots becomes extremely optional, and if you have more money than feats available then swarmbane/golembane scarabs can eliminate the need for the feat almost entirely.
You're a monk though, so you may find yourself with a lot of extra feats.
Oath of Vengeance is clearly superior in my eyes based on the additional smite, once he catches up on feats.
In light of litany of righteousness I'd recommend a couple of feats later on devoted to spell penetration, or a metamagic trait like wayang spellhunter and the spell peircing metamagic feat. Typically everything you'd want to LOR badly enough to blow a second level spell will have SR, and paladins are going to be behind on caster level checks.
So you can clarify a spell that doesn't say it's a ray and doesn't require a roll to hit isn't a ray? Are you even remotely serious about this? Would you then move on to suggesting fireball and lightning bolt are also rays by the same logic?
If they need to clarify further on that for you, then they would need a six inch thick additional errata to assure you frogs don't count as dragons, and bows are not two handed swords.
Why dragoon? It appears to give you very little relative to what other fighter types give. What level will your campaign carry on until? AA is usually really late entry.
Also, I would recommend against any mounted archery feats, they're completely wasted. I explain why in my guide to rangers, but you've got EVEN LESS reason to take them. You will eventually wan to be flying or greater invisible during fights. The mounted feats are essentially just thrown away.
If you wanted prestige classes to feel prestigious, you probably should have made them viable to take. There is a reason you almost never see any prestige classes in play and it's because they're pretty terrible and have requirements usually based around taking awful feats.
I can only think of one prestige class build (EK archer) that actually performs well enough to even play one. I can think of another that might be okay to play (MT) in certain campaigns.
So I'm in the throes of self doubt on this wizard for ROTRL. After many iterations of our party we're basically hashed out, we have solid support everywhere but arcane/dedicated caster.
I'm a bit opposed to the usual conjurer route as wasting whole rounds summoning nearly irrelevant meat shields is both uninteresting and slows down play for few good reasons.
I've come up with an enchantment focused diviner opposed to evocation & necromancy (getting necromancy back at 9th). I'm a little worried that late in the adventure path there will be too many mind control immune baddies to really take advantage of my dominate person ability. On the other hand I know there will be giants just by reading the players guide and I know dominate person lasts for some time, so it's a pretty good bet to count on having one or two around.
I've always got the option to take a level of cross blooded tattooed fey/serpentine sorcerer if I feel it will help me at any point along this path, but since I've been told the AP goes to 17 any one level dip will cost me 9th level spells. That seems insane to lose.
So far I'm built as follows (we get an extra feat at 1st level):
Wizard1 Spell Focus(Ench), Greater Spell Focus (Ench), Improved Initative, Familiar: Compy (valet)
I'm looking for thoughts and pointers on this. Keep in mind my familiar will be a faerie dragon who shares allied spell caster with me, so that's as good (or better) than Spell Penetration.
There is no way to run him as written in the books, because there is no witchcraft equal in PF. You will either end up playing a class where you won't be happy because it has too much direct magic (any caster type) or not enough (any melee type). Nothing will make you happy here.
I'd say you run him as a slayer and see if you can get the familiar rogue talent approved by your GM and call it good.
The whole issue with this line of discussion is it's comprised of imaginary lines in the sand via straw man situations. You're citing a mechanic (speed and agility fighters that can't take power attack) that simply does not exist in the game and trying to shame others into obeying your logic. It doesn't work that way.
Plain and simply, no adventurer with a wisdom > 7 would choose to go out in the wild trained in only a single path similar to most of the 'optimized builds' you see thrown about here. A proper character needs to be developed organically, and there needs to be a personal reason why they make their training decisions. If the player's only answer as to why they took a specific feat at level 3 was because by level 15 they'd have this killer combo to be able to nova out an entire battlefield, then there is a problem in the idea of character growth that is deeper than any 'this rule is cheese' argument you might have as a GM.
From the opposing side, only an adventurer with a <8 intelligence will venture out of town with a party comprised of role players who put no thought in their characters combat effectiveness.
You're not holding all parties equally responsible here, do you berate every person who takes power attack? It's arguably the most OP feat based on how many melee take it, yet no one attacks people for taking it. I'm also not clear what your actual beef is here, is it planning a character? I know I've certainly done stuff in real life years in advance preparing myself for a later real world requirement. Are you saying no one should be able to plan their character? Are you saying every decision needs a reason more than "this will help me survive later on"? Reading this thread is a lot like listening to a bunch of Christians agree with each other over how evil that rock and roll music is, and how it's poisoning the community. You guys want everyone to play your way, but your rules aren't consistent and you forget your play style is a choice you made for yourself, not for everyone else.
I guess everyone needs a soap box to stand on to get a better angle to look down on others with.
I disagree with scimitar/kukri since the scimitar does only one more point of damage on average than the kukri, you're better off using two kukri and saving the second weapon focus feat. There are much more powerful choices to make with feats than that.
Also, if I wasnt going weapon/shield, I'd investigate a double weapon so you can 2h it when you're only single attacking, especially for your AOOs.
Personally, if I'm going to do a dual wield ranger, I'm doing kukri+large shield for the late feats that grant free shield attacks when you crit.
You should grab all your TWF feats with your ranger style so you don't need to ever invest in dex. It's much better ability economy that way:
Ranger1 Power Attack, Improved Shield Bash (you said three feats?)
I'd probably go 18(20)/14/14/10/12/7 for stats. You can move combat reflexes around as needed, just have it before you get greater bull rush. You said three feats at first but Im not sure if that included your racial skill focus feat. If you arent going to bull rush I'd chase down the eldritch heritage line for a something you might find helpful.
You're chasing a utopia that doesn't exist. A party of characters all built by you, played exactly as you would play them. Someone is going to take things you don't expect, those players who take the time to choose and understand their stuff will be more powerful. You're not fixing the problem with this stuff.
It's been said, but every one of those other classes can do some damage on winning initiative, wizards completely cripple encounters when they go first. This is a lot like complaining that ants can lift much more than humans, relative to their body weight. The non caster types sure can eek out an initiative win every once in a while and do relatively little with it :-)
Also by RAW the wizard could have a completely legitimate Efreeti at his service granting wishes, so you need to assume +5 to all stats, he can have this via normal binding, via a discovery (true name), or via a Simulacrum. Also, the wizard can have a +4 profane bonus to his main stat and a +2 bonus to his Dex for initiative help via his simulacrum succubus profane gift and the greater named version of the succubus.
The wizard has even more tricks for this you're not including.
He's using a light weapon (Like a kukri) and a heavy shield. The penalty is -2.
greater bull rush will cause the 5' pushback to trigger AOOs from allies, the EK will have 15' threat radius with snapshot and be up near the action (due to mirror image/higher HP)
Also, big game hunter is from 2007, a 3.5 feat not published for PF. It's not technically PF, the same as the enchant that lets you use wisdom to hit with weapons.