I would say nothing is banned per se. I strongly discourage players that summon or rely primarily on companions not necessarily because of their power but more because they are time consuming. They bank action economy and horde action for themselves usually at the detriment of the other players.
Speak with Animals?
Veil specifically would not hide auras. Veil changes the look, feel and smell of the targets. It does not change the alignment. A paladin senses the alignment of the targets.
This is a bad ruling for Veil. I think it's bad that a level 6 spell could be so easily foiled by a level 1 spell but it is what it is. However, were this deception devised by a creature with sufficient Knowledge Religion he should know that his aura is still exposed and it is reasonable to suspect he would add Undetectable Alignment to his ruse.
It makes sense within the game's spell paradigm. Alignments, Detecting Alignments and hiding Alignments are in the purview of know religion and divine spells. Illusions are arcane, so by virtue of that fact it makes more sense that Detect Alignment can bypass and reveal aspect of Veiled creatures.
My follow up question would be this: if a lich glamoured himself via an illusion spell to look like a nonundead creature does he still ping undead when detect undead is cast?
Core Bard. It's awesome with 5 PC's, great out of the box no specialty type required. All knowledges basically covered here. Take stealth.
Big Cat Druid. Control caster, some support. Take stealth.
Ranger archer. Hunter bond preferred to share favored bonus, apply fav enemy to campaign if dm drops hints. Take stealth.
Wizard, conjurer. Splurge for an amazing Improved Familiar (Imp, Fae Dragon or the Azata). More control, summons. Dump enchantment and let the Bard cover that and other Cha activities. Out of class stealth and get invis and levitate/fly. Elf or gnome.
Dex Paladin. Half elf is good. Weapon bond your Agile one hand wep that you use. Buff, healing. Your damage comes from smite. Take stealth.
Wouldn't this only work in performance combat, ie in front of a crowd? Wait, nevermind :)
+1 on thread
I was just looking into a build like this. Nice lead on Strong Impression, I missed that one. Follow up question: can a raging barbarian/rogue sneak attack or does rage prevent the precision damage?
This really comes down to an understanding with your DM about what is realistic in combat.
If you're fighting mindless creatures, then getting "aggro" just means being in front. Against anything more intelligent then it's simply a matter of party tactics vs. enemy tactics. This isn't an MMO, and it's completely fair for an enemy to take a shot at the squishies if they're open.
Only a Rogue (or archetype with trapfinding) can detect a magical trap. Garbage.
Assumes all magic traps have some magical permanent means of not giving off a magical aura. Gives rogues some supernatural sense to detect these that cannot be rationally be explained. ie, why can't a highly perceptive elven sorcerer using detect magic have at least a chance to find a magic trap?
I feel this abilities overrated utility and inability to be duplicated through other class features (save very poor options like Find Traps) has done massive damage to the rogue class; this is the core feature that has lead to the rogues imbalance in my mind.
Ugh... as little as possible! It's the easily the most needlessly overused skill.
Very quickly you will get an understanding of which PC's are perceptive and how much. If you want to give out flavor details just accredit them to the PC's you know are most perceptive. If it's inconsequential I say no roll.
If it is to perceive an ambush or a PC actively makes a perception check as a move equivalent action then that's appropriate enough. But even then you have to make sure they're not overdoing it. Over the top paranoid trapfinding will grind games down to sheer monotony.
To answer the OP's question, it's a three feat progression that (when fighting defensively with a free hand) gives you +3 attack, +1 dodge, the ability to deflect melee attacks and a very good potential for an attack of opportunity each round.
Obviously that's a strong advantage for three feats - especially against the "average" feat. The high AC of your build (with the added boon of access to barkskin) makes it even better.
Your narrative, particularly your character's performance compared to the other members of your party, suggests at your gaming table it was unbalanced and I believe your DM was right to call its balance into question relative to the scenario.
Per the Universal Monster Rules an Incorporal Creature... "cannot take any physical action that would move or manipulate an opponent or its equipment, nor are they subject to such actions".
So, no, you could not use Crane Wing to deflect its attack. Nor could it Crane Wing you if it was an incorporal monk :)
Explain please? Crane Style lasts until the beginning of your next turn - how would it apply to a movement based AoO (if appropriately triggered) assuming you need to take a move action to reach the creature?
Definitely pre-12th. Much like the other posters, I think 12th is probably too high. Around 7th-8th level for me is when the game still holds a balance between power and playability. Agree with Yora.
My biggest concern with the game at higher levels is simply the sheer number of hours of combat between rests I have to put my gaming group through before I can even threaten to run their resources low. That, and spells start becoming game breaking (or game breaking spells of lower level become problematic due to high spells per day). At 7th or 8th, a short but tough fight can wear the PC's down. At 12th+, to start wearing down smart PC's just takes dozens of rounds and usually takes careful DM planning against go to spells that seek shelter.
It's also really nice in lower levels where magic items themselves are unique and interesting in and of themselves and PC's are looking for utility and not necessarily the next numeric increase for their gear.
IMHO, the race options as currently written have sufficient power/skill diversity. I think the race options are clearly significant enough for a min/maxer to scale rate or declare any race optimal for a set build or even class. Some race abilities are taken for granted when they are actually quite nice and very differentiating. Darkvision, for example.
Additionally, i think the expanded race options as developed are robust and offer a variety of effectual tweaking. Even some of the race feats are pretty solid. I for one think some of them, like Steel Soul, are really strong.
Ultimately, this is a roleplaying game so if you want your race to have meaningful impact the onus is on the player and the DM to make the race selection feel significant.
A good twist should leave the characters feeling blindsided! If the twist has no real clues given to them before the event takes place, the players may feel like it was cheap if they're especially critical, but typically I've found players fond of intrigue. I agree it does work when there are especially vague clues that could not have ultimately determined the twist but portent some danger in the way.
With foreshadowing, it's more a literary device than a clue. Let's say a main characters brother is about to betray him. A night before some tavern wench could be complaining about how her brother in-law stole her inheritance and that you can't trust anyone - not even family. You should be prepping the player to encounter the common theme in an uncanny way, but it's not an outright clue.
I'd say use a bit of both, an indeterminable clue and good thematic foreshadowing, if this is to be a true twist with the intention of blindsiding the players. And I will say that's ok if you setup a twist with no means of avoidance.
As for your sandbox NPC - I would say chunk the %'s altogether and determine if the story would be better driven with the mysterious stranger there are not. %'s are nice when you're drawing adventures for others to be used, or if you're trying trying to determine which PC's ultimately find and interact with this NPC, but you should value your planning time enough such that if you draft a sidequest you're not bound by random numbers which determine it's inclusion. The final test of a sidequest's inclusion should be the opinion of the players upon finding its hook.
How I plan - I usually use two notebooks. One book I keep in my brainstorming sessions, metaplot notes, important events, etc, and I use the other notebook (graph book) to design dungeons, encounters, etc. The best thing you can do as a DM relating to planning is just take good notes during the session to ensure you're creating a plot that follows the players intentions. If they're not clear - just ask them at the end of the session: what is your character's motivation, what's his sense of adventure, what's he yearning for, what does he plan to do with his time, etc.
So now we are going on intent of the rules and not the rules themselves, where as before that was not applicable? I am sorry, please be consistent. Please show me in the text where it says swallow whole, as initiated by grab (for instance), removes the grapple requirement of a standard action each round to maintain the grapple.
If losing the grapple condition now, by intent of the rules as you stated, somehow releases us of the requirement to maintain the grapple let us apply 'intent of the rules' logic to grab in similar fashion which with the -20 CMB check also grants the similar scenario of the grappler not gaining the grappled condition. We can reasonably conclude it makes sense for a colossal kraken to hold more than one person in its tentacles each round without this nonsensical notion that every 6 seconds he mystically is compelled to drop all but one of his victims.
It is not conducting a normal grapple. It is using the 'grab and hold' option of the Grab special attack. The mechanic of the grab and hold option of the Grab special attack is to make a single check at -20 to make and maintain the grapple, and not gain the grappled condition. The 'grab and hold' option is not a normal grapple, they are two different options that are available to creatures that use the grab special attack. It states the one check required is to both make and maintain a grapple
Because the -20 CMB check is an optional roll to both make and maintain the grapple. One roll, triggered by the grab ability.
"if it chooses to do the latter (hold), it takes a -20 penalty to its CMB check (singular, one check) to make and maintain the grapple"
A (singular) check to make AND maintain the grapple.
If the creature so chooses, it may make a normal grapple check on a grab that imposes normal grapple rules, such as the normal rule to take a standard action each round to maintain.
Yes, I am saying that if it succeeded in holding a creature it starts and maintains the grapple and deals constict damage as well.
We are not discussing normal grapple checks, we are discussing the grab special ability which, if successful on its single optional -20 check to start and maintain the grapple, deals only constrict damage after the initial hit that triggered grab. It has the option to make a grapple check in future rounds to deal normal attack damage and constrict if it has it. Otherwise, hold deals no damage, the creature grabbed is grappled, and the grabbing creature is not grappled.
No, not saying that. I am saying if the creature makes it's -20 CMB check option, it starts the grapple, that grapple is considered maintained for future rounds, and it deals constrict damage only (as the rule states). In future rounds, the grapple is considered maintained because the creature chose to hold it. It can full attack and the creature it grabbed, if it didn't escape, is still grappled and will only take constrict damage unless it uses its standard to deal damage to the grappled creature.
Ok, just want to chime in with our groups interpretation. We have argued this exhaustively.
The 'hold' attempt described, per the rules, both makes and maintains the grapple. The creature 'takes a -20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain a grapple'. In other words, if a creature opts to Hold you, it gets a Hold check as a free action at -20 and if it makes that check 1) it makes the grapple, 2) it maintains the grapple, 3) it does not gain the grappled condition.
Further proof: please note the phrase 'on it's CMD check' is singular, thus implying that with only one Hold attempt it is obtaining all three benefits: starts grapple, maintains grapple, no grapple condition.
In future rounds, it does no damage unless it has constrict or it makes a grapple check to deal damage.
yeah... my question is why was this item created?
For your surly dwarvern companion that likes to go out using the armor as evening-wear, get tanked, and bust some heads for good fun.
Or you want mimic any number of Final Fantasy-esque fist-fighters that don't match the Monk archetype (Snow, for ex)
Seems like a perfectly reasonable piece of quirky armor to me...
Not sure I really understand the problem here... Fighters fight - that's what they do. If you specialize a Fighter to fight in a particular style, he can push out the DPR because that's what they're built for... Unarmed attacks are just a feature of the overall Monk class which is not necessarily built to be a pure melee combatant like a Fighter. You don't even have to fight unarmed - it's just an option.
I'm not saying that Monks are at the power-level they need to be, but they certainly shouldn't be on par melee combat-wise with a Fighter that specializes in melee combat regardless of his chosen style.
Just my opinion.
Not sure i caught it if you mentioned it, but this is a style decision that is adopted by the gaming group and typically implemented by the GM. If you are a party member, keep it in character and roleplay your human emotions. If you are the GM, and this campaign has been going for some time, it may be too late to change the paradigm now.
If you want to try a more realistic game, use wound points rules (I think they're in APG), limit casting classes to one per two character levels, severly limit magic item availability, cap chars and most npcs to 13th level at campaign conclusion, and plan on giving your PCs an encounter about once out of every five or so that they need to run from (hint: give good context clues that it is too much for the PCs)
You can do it with the Pathfinder rules, just know that when PCs get fly, restoration/regeneration, raise dead/ressurrection, amazing cures, teleportation, bags of holding/portable holes, etc... yeah they pretty well are super and almost immortal. In fact, at level 20 there are several immortality options in the rules.
IMHO, a chaotic diety purposefully ignores or condemns laws or strict rules, in this case particularly if it furthers the good (which in fantasy alignments, killing evil does). I say 3, although i do like the idea of having the character later come upon a good goblin family or a holy orphanage devoted to reforming goblin children.
It's really up to you, but i would think most CG dieties ok with this, or at least not being anyway offended by it. The species is evil, so encouraging their destruction favors their alignment, and i would suggest a chaotic diety wold have no qualms over the method.
If all your players really want to be optimal and shine in combat the best thing to do is allow the suboptimal chars to adjust their builds with your guidance or help from the optimal players. When everyone is eqully munchkiny then just boost the challenges appropriately.
Btw, did you point buy? If this is a rolled stat inequality problem then you may have to do some stat adjusting
Iif i was going to suggest banning one archery feat or ability it would be clustered shots. Maybe not even ban, but double BAB requirement.
DR is a staple of pathfinder 'Boss fights'. Clustered shots is too powerful too early, and there are more than a few threads that back this up. It is arguable more powerful than penetrating stike which is a 12th lvl fighter feat only. On top of that, it just doesn't make any sense (not that this game doesn't already make us suspend disbelief...). Why again does pinning a single 1/2 inch hole in an iron golem somehow overcome his substantial armor and devestate his entire structure? What is so special about that second arrow that it allows it to harm a demon prince normally only vulnerable to holy power? It's just nonsensicle. If clustering shots is such a potent skill then why does it only have an enhanced affect against creatures with DR? As if something only vulnerable to magic is now mystically vulnerable to nonmagic wood because he got shot in the same place twice. This feat is just bad, and i have no idea how it got through beta.
To be honest, i have been DMing an Archer for a few months now and let me tell you it is a PITA. I have 6 players that all want to solid in combat, but unless i specifically design each encounter to somehow tactically counter the archer he will brilliantly outshine them all by not moving and just rolling a ton of dice doing more damage than the rest of the team regardless of their tactics, coordination and bravado.
Here is the thing about Archer's: basically every disadvantage they have can eventually be countered by feats or gear. You just need to know where in the progression they are becase there are so many feats required they can't have them all.
I have yet to use fickle winds, i don't like the idea of a no save spell that takes a combatant off the field. Here are some options:
Step Up, Missile Shield, Sunder, Deflect Arrows, Trip or anything that sends the archer prone, DR works nice until clustered shots, large monstersmap and/or reach works nice until they ignore AoO - Combat Reflexes (yes, it is one AoO per arrow), Grapple (monsters at even CR's tend to have amazing capacity to grapple), Darkness spells (until improved precise shot), Higher AC's (archers tend to have more atks at slightly lower bonus, but cannot charge/flank). Lastly, quivers hold 20 arrows so after 20 shots they need to reload as at least a move action until they get a magic quiver.
Here is my Archer/Melee philosophy: in early rounds melee has it hard to full attack and archers get it easy. As monsters close in, melee should have it easy to get full attacks and the archer has a hard time. In most combats, archer is priority one not for metagame reasons, but he's usually the far and away biggest threat
Holy stats batman!
If you are letting your players roll stats, then you cannot use monsters/npc's with the standard array - you have to compensate to make the adventure challenging. That's a pain, which is why point buy and avg hp's is so nice. It's not that it helps prevent cheating (it does that too) but it creates a baseline playing field.
If you want to let them keep the stats i think you can handle it, just up the APL and adjust encounters appropriately (i did say it was a pain...). Do NOT give them more xp per encounter b/c the monster cr's are higher: remember, ultimately xp should be given based on the challenge level. If the fights are easy, give them appropriate easy xp for their level. If they are mopping the floor with each encounter, their xp gain should be very low. Rule of thumb: a challenging encounter is where at least one PC is brought close to death and/or the party spends approx 20% of their total resources (per day abilities).
And lastly, most encounters should be with critters at least smart enough to recognize the biggest threat - it is not beyond reason that they will always utilize all their focus to bring down the big threat.
Don't show my GM!!! j/k - never noticed that, thanks! Still a pretty nice spell.
You should be taking Manyshot ASAP b/c it's awesome. You should also include Clustered Shots in your build b/c anything you come across with damage reduction is going to severely limit your DPR.
Why are you taking Mobility? If it's for Shot on the Run I would skip it - you want feats that give you more attacks, not limit you to one. SotR is only half-decent for ranged rogue types. If you're taking Mobility to safe-guard against opponents flanking or rushing in, you're probably better off just putting some skill points in Acrobatics which should be fine enough for you because it's a Monk skill.
Also - why Shortbow not Longbow? Is there a technology limitation in the campaign or is this a decision to intentionally remain suboptimal? I don't understand any advantage you'll obtain going this route.
If you really want to exploit traps to the party's detriment, use them before or during encounters. Make sure, if you really want them to feel the effects, that you're including multiple traps, haunts and encounters between rests. And if you're particularly cruel, drop a nasty trap on them immediately AFTER a harrowing combat before they have a chance to recouperate.
There's nothing wrong with a trap/haunt going off with no effect if the party respects the possible consequences.