Actually, in terms of straight up damage the Zen archer falls behind the fighter after level 8, and further behind at 11 when the fighter picks up his improved precise shot. Lack of ability to generate the big bonuses to hit and damage that smite/instant enemy/bane and weapon training can provide pushed the zen archer below the other classes late in the game as well according to the DPR math I came up with.
I will say the zen archer is insanely well rounded and fun, it's possibly the most well rounded non caster.
I'm running an elf magus right now with shocking grasp/elemental spell. It's outrageously good. His skill selection (thanks to extra traits) is awesome, he is great in all phases of the campaign. Saying a magus with shocking grasp focus is a one trick pony is like watching a pony perform one trick and then slamming your eyes shut and declaring yourself right before you can see the second trick.
Any caster has multiple spells, so there are a lot of tricks in that ponys stable. One thing I like about the elf is delaying the elf level ability by 1 to pick up spells like heroism at the earliest possible level (7th) via spellblending.
Craft Wonderous items is practically required. A magus with a bane baldric and a string of pearls of power (1st) the length of his arm is going to wreck encounters, multiple times a day.
IMO a pounce barbarian without dragon style (which resolves the difficult terrain) is kind of wasted. There's ALWAYS a guy in the party with a huge initiative getting in your way, dragon style resolves that too. Finally, a good barbarian is a reach barbarian, but sometimes guys get inside your reach, and you need to teach them that a 1d3+15 attack exists.
It's a bit like posting on a supercar forum asking how to get a supercar without an engine that's still competitive with the others supercars. You're asking folks to remove the most numerically advantageous powers from play and still build a good barbarian. I totally respect your desire to play something fun that fits a concept, but just go pick the powers that seem the most fun.
point out that if they blow feats on upping their poor saves, they won't have problems like this.
This isn't even close to true. Most of the time I'm missing saves it's by a lot more than the two points a feat would have added. Having the feat means almost nothing, yet you've phrased it as a certainty for success here.
What I meant was spellstrike and spell combat. Spell recall is nice for people who don't have a slew of pearls of power to reload after every fight. I make sure my level 1 spells are my main resource because levels 2+ are too expensive to use pearls for.
Spell recall is only used when I've got a haste/fly that really needs to be relearned for the party to continue. High levels spells I don't use as much of but provide critical utility to the group to deal with encounters that would otherwise cost more resources to deal with.
a +2 furious/courageous weapon could really help you later on with your stats too, since it increases all morale bonuses by half its enhancements value (which is +4 while raging). At that point, you should spread your stats out a bit when you rage so you're giving some to dex and str, unless you're not planning on needing the dex at all.
Well I think you're getting less value out of your feats with Toughness. I assume this means you're human? I might look to the players guide for more apt advice:
"Suggested skills include Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge(dungeoneering), and Spellcraft."
Make sure you've got at least something in those skills. At first level I'd probably look at this setup:
1 Combat Casting, Extra Traits
3 Craft Wonderous Item (Pearls of power, level 1)
5 Elemental Spell, Intensified Spell
That's just my opinion though. What sets a magus apart is spell blending, and you need to be able to do that as often as possible (after combat you reload to a full set of level 1 spells again) in as many ways as possible (elemental spells to change damage types for some).
Make sure you skill up Fly as soon as possible. Get Eschew Materials so you can becomes an air elemental around level 11 and still spell blend. I'd recommend piercing spell at 11th also. Any feat will do in your 9th slot. Look to spell blending for your arcanas, there are so many powerful spells you just can't take it enough.
I'm debating jump off points on the zen archer, and what classes to pick up
3rd) You snag the immediate stuff, but unless you're going into a full BAB class you do lose some BAB leaving on this level
Anything after 8th is kind of suspect. You could wait for ki leach (which is excellent) but you're not going to be scoring that until 12th at the earliest (and who would give up abundant step?). Personally I really like 8th as a get off.
As far as what classes to pick up, IMO there's only two worth considering, but cleric is another contender if you have two domains/inquisitions you'd rather have:
1) Inquisitor with conversion domain. This is ungodly synergistic. Stack your Wisdom for really insane bonuses, ID your own monsters, become a social mecca and get a huge boost to initiative. The only bad part is the loss of a BAB or two. Jump off after 2 (wisdom to social skills & initiative), 3 (Teamwork feat, solo tactics), 4 (BAB/saves, 2 judgements) or 5 (Bane).
2) Weapon Master Fighter. Purely for the Weapon Training at level 3 and the bonus feats. If you want to snag improved snapshot at the same time then this will give you the feats you need to do it.
I have another question. My friend and I are likely running a couple of dwarven brothers (Inquisitor and Monk) with Silver Crusade. Are we going to have a hard time with Silver Crusade due to lack of diplomacy/charisma? What skills are we missing that we absolutely need (Monk will have disable device). Is there a better faction for monks? Inquisitors?
I've found my local lodge (http://warhorn.net/boston-pfs/) and I'm looking at signing up for the sessions on the 19th in NH (and I will likely bring a friend or two).
We're experienced gamers, we know pathfinder, but none of us have ever played society. How do we go about this?
1) Do you need physical printed materials for your characters? We will likely only be using core/APG/UC/UM but everything I own is on PDF. Do I really need to have physical print outs?
2) Does my character need to be on paper? I typically run my character on a spreadsheet and it updates my numbers as I go. I kind of assume using a laptop at the table is forbidden, but I have no idea.
3) I assume we should read the entire PF guide to organized play, but what other general advice do you have?
I think the deathless initiate half orc build is the most survivable at all levels. From 1-3 because of HPs... beyond that because of sick DR and the ability to fight on at negatives.
I didn't conceive of this build, it was posted in another thread, but I played with it since the original had a couple feats in there that just seemed to go too far to the side of survival (raging vitality when you already have die hard and half orc)
Sadly, in my campaigns we typically get a bonus feat at level 1, so you'll need to trim one feat off this somewhere and shuffle the rest down. Endurance is free for half orcs who take that alternate racial trait.
1 Barbarian1: Power Attack, Endurance, Die Hard (Auto stabilize but staggard)
I'd get rid of Tenacious Survivor and move all the feats down one (except Stalwart) to accommodate a regular campaign rule set.
First off, a ranger can select improved precise shot with his 6th level ranger feat. A +4 to hit will almost always work out to mean more damage than deadly aim, or any other feat you can stick in that 6th level slot.
Secondly, Deadly Aim is a great feat. Anyone nay-saying it either hasn't used the DPR calculator or plays in a homebrew campaign against a lot of high ACs. Remember that math wins on this discussion every time.
You should know when it's appropriate to use it though, so run some DPR calculations each level to figure out when it's OK to use it (typically anything with an extremely high AC it's better not to use it, find that number each level).
Here is a DPR calculator: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgTxYrw61edAdGNxbnNWSXJUWUlGOG E4N0JUSVVZeHc&hl=en#gid=4
Just use the file tab to save a new copy and you can keep all the formatting.
The problem is that you're using, at best, a one-handed weapon when using Crane Style. You're not going to hold anything's attention as well with your bare hands, compared to a big two-handed weapon, especially one with reach.
No, you do not need to use a one handed weapon to benefit from the first feat in this chain, which is the only feat in the chain we care about.
With Combat Expertise:
With Crane Style:
Also after you achieve 11BAB you can get improved stalwart, which doubles your DR from dodge bonus (Cap 10).
My take on this is that one level of unarmed fighter would give you IUS and crane style (for the reduced fighting defensively penalty) for the least investment with no BAB lost. This is better than combat expertise IMO.
Priority 1 is get Stalwart ASAP, especially when you're using Fighting Defensively for a quick +4 DR (assuming 3 ranks in acrobatics for the bonus).
With those stats, though, you could run a zen archer monk very effectively. Unfortunately if someone locks you into a set of stats they have locked your character choices down pretty severely.
Grizzly the Archer wrote:
Come again? I've bolded the items that made absolutely no sense given the context. I assume autocorrect nabbed your post but I'd love to see what you were talking about.
Agreed about haste. I find myself in the position of being the party haste bot anyway, especially since I don't have to lose much action economy for it. At 12th you should have 5 3rd level slots, so it's not a bad way to spend it if you have people in your party who can benefit. A lot of these discussion occur in a complete vacuum of common gaming sense in regards to teamwork, stats or super outlandish race/class combinations.
Actually I'm running a dervish right now, it's not that the dervish is stupid powerful, it's weapon finesse. The extra +3 to +5 to damage every hit is kind of menial when you have a dozen pearls of power (1st) to let you get off 3-5 shocking grasps every fight of every day. If I made this magus all over again I'd certainly not use dervish dance, technically I'd bet that craft wonderous items would deliver more DPR than dervish dance with all the extra pearls you could make.
Of course you could obviously have it, it's not hurting you, but the performance increase for dervish will be very negligible after level 5.
Drake Brimstone wrote:
If by trick, you mean RAW.
"Touch Spells in Combat
Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action."
Pretty cut and dried, it is not a trick, it's nothing out of the ordinary or exceptional at all.
Agreed. The DPR calculator I used showed both archer monk builds sliding off after 8th level. They lack the over the top to-hit bonuses other classes can get and unless you're fighting low AC opponents you see their damage fall off.
I'm running an invulnerable/urban barbarian right now. It's awesome and the extra skills from urban allow me to participate in many of the skill challenges.
I think another good build is the half orc invulnerable deathless initiate build posted here. That build may as well go naked as it's going to play better while it is under 0 hitpoints (lol) and pretty much be stuck near 10 AC anyway. Also no real need for raging vitality anymore as Die Hard covers the need and it frees up another feat. I will post my build, but my campaign awards a free feat at level 1, so you'd need to move things around.
1 Barbarian1 Power Attack, Endurance, Die Hard
Tenacious survivor is probably the one I would move, shift all the feats down one slot until there if you want to play this in a normal campaign. This build lacks only slightly on offense but makes up for it in survivability. By level 7 you're basically going to need to be hit by a truck to be killed and you'd need to be all out of rage rounds to spend on reducing the damage from that truck.
I would love to see how they make the phrase "for all purposes" more clear. I mean it's pretty clear if you read words... but they can do better. I recommend this wording:
"With this spell you designate the target as your favored enemy for the remainder of its duration. Select one of your favored enemy types. For the duration of the spell, you treat the target as if it were that type of favored enemy for all purposes... even... you know... THAT ONE SPECIFICALLY."
Is there any chance we can get included in the Guide a FAQ on the using of weapons 2handed and spell combat?
It wouldn't matter if you could. Because you've invoked the TWF rules for spell combat you're stuck with a 1x modifier for power attack and strength on your primary hand weapon. See also the guy who uses a two handed weapon and uses it with armor spikes to get an offhand attack. The two handed weapon reverts to one handed math for damage, and the offhand (armor spikes) gets the half strength treatment.
I'm not seeing how that skirt is superior to the dex belt at all. Are you sure you're naming the right item?
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Agreed, for a two handed ranger the damage gain can be substantial, but for a TWF ranger, and particularly for THIS threads TWF ranger, it's nominal. Also even if you have an orc double axe you're going to lose a standard action casting lead blades and lose another round drinking your potion. In that time you could have gotten up into combat and had a full attack. It's costing you damage unless you get a few rounds to prep at which point it's a no brainer.
"Select one of your favored enemy types. For the duration of the spell, you treat the target as if it were that type of favored enemy for all purposes."
It sets the monster to your selected FE type, which also happens to be the same type of bane you purchased :-)
Lead blades is GARBAGE. Turning a d4 into a d6 (or even a d8 with enlarge, if your DM lets two size effects stack) Is exactly one or two more points of damage.
Instead, get keen edge scabbards and get the mage or cleric to drop greater magic weapon on his two swords. The cheapest method is likely just giving the mage a third level pearl of power or two in exchange for his memorization of the spell. It should last nearly all day and will be a lot better than lead blades (which is again, garbage).