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So you can't do both Kensai and Hexcrafter as they both replace Spell Recall. That puts a bit of a kink in my build. However, this is what I have so far:
1st - Magus 1: Arcane Pool, Cantrips, Spell Combat, Weapon Finesse (1st), EWP Whip (Half-Elf)
That gets everything I wanted except the Rogue (Thug) stuff. I think it makes up for it in spells and Hexes though. Everything is fairly delayed from where I want it to be, though. Waiting until 9th to setup the Shatter Defenses/Enforcer abuse is kinda sucky. I kinda need the whip feats where they are at though to decrease the suckyness of using a whip for a weapon and actually making it viable. I guess I could switch around Shatter Defenses and Improved Trip.
I would love to do Rime Spell at first level but there is honestly no room without delaying Weapon Finesse and that just seems bad with a low Str high Dex build. Likewise I will have to get Whip Mastery as early as possible so I can actually damage anything. Cant get that til I get Weapon Focus so I have to wait til 3rd.
Also I have never played a Magus. Not sure all of what kinda tricky stuff I can do with the spells yet. I haven't looked into it much.
I dunno. I feel like it could use some improvement. What do you think?
Ok, just found the Whip Mastery line of feats. How did I miss these before? Oh yeah... its cause they do not appear on this list. God, all of these seem good for this build. If I go this route I could use a Whip rather than a Scorpion Whip and still be effective. It would also free up a trait from Blade of Mercy.
...its just more feats though. UGH!
I'm kinda just mulling over an idea here. I'm thinking of a warlock type character (Hexcrafter Magus) that uses a Whip and Spiked Gauntlet in one hand (for threat area so he threatens adjacent at least) and casts with the other. I'm going for a melee striker/debuffer here.
For race it would probably be Half-Elf for the free Exotic Weapon Proficiency and other elfy goodness. Maybe even going with Drow Blooded and Drow Magic for Stealthy stuffs.
I was actually also considering combining it with Kensai and pumping Int and Dex and forgoing Strength completely. This would work especially well if I get Combat Reflexes ... the only problem is the Whip doesn't threaten.
Actually, the Whip as a whole is a problem. I wanted to combine it with Enforcer to give the Shaken Condition. The problem is that with things with armor I will have trouble even damaging them. So... that is pretty terrible. Maybe if I take the Blade of Mercy trait? Then I could use the Scorpion Whip, right? Its slashing. Still doesn't solve the issue with not being able to threaten with a Whip.
I honestly considered a Small sized Flying Blade... but that is just silly and I don't want to eat the potential -4 to hit (goes to +0 on AoOs though!).
I was also going to go with the Rime Spell + Wayang Spellhunter + Frostbite + Enforcer to give them Entangled, Fatigued and Shaken. Possibly even doing this from first level depending on what I select for a first level feat.
As for the rest of the melee side I was also going to go with some tripping feats later on. Obviously I would need Weapon Finesse if I'm going to forgo Strength. I would also need Combat Expertise to even go into any of the Trip feats. So then there is Improved Trip, Fury's Fall, Greater Trip, maybe even Fury's Snare. There was also the afore mentioned Combat Reflexes. Since I was going for the Striker/Debuffer thing I would also really love to fit in Shatter Defenses which requires Weapon Focus and Dazzling Display. That also will make Deadly Stroke look pretty tasty later on too.
So... how the hell am I going to get all those feats? Welp... if I go with Kensai/Hexcrafter the Kensai side would give me Weapon Focus. There is honestly no way that I am going to put a dent in those feats without some Fighter levels. Lore Warden seems in theme both mechanically and fluffy. For 2 levels I would get 3 feats. The lack of Armor Proficiencies wouldn't hurt with being a Kensai and all. 3 levels would get me a +2 on all CMB and CMD. Hell, if I'm going for 3 I might as well stick around for 4 to get another bonus feat. 4 feats in 4 levels and a +2 to CMB and CMD doesn't seem too shabby.
I realize it slows down spell progression but Magus isn't really a full caster anyway. I also realize that I would be giving up some effectiveness to fit theme, but I'm ok with that so long as it doesn't completely gimp the character.
Now for the caster side of things...
First of all I would love to fit in a Familiar but only if I could get Improved Familiar (Faerie Dragon so good!!) and with everything else going on with the build I just don't think it is in the cards. I just don't think I have enough room to fit it in. So, I'm just going to skip that for now.
The Hexes that I am looking at primarily are Evil Eye (to start the debuffing madness), Misfortune (to make it worse) and Cackle (to continue it). I do not want to go with Prehensile Hair. I dislike it for this concept and it can become nearly game breakingly powerful. Same with Slumber, that is just boring. Pass. Flight is good but I don't know if I will be able to fit it in before it loses its luster. Accursed Strike is definitely going to happen.
For Magus Arcana Arcane Accuracy is going to start looking REALLY good towards mid level. It will also help with landing those trips. Disruptive could be great if I could manage to threaten with a Whip. Same with Spellbreaker. Honestly, I just haven't played with enough of this stuff to know what would be good for this type of build.
I may not get a lot of room for Major Hexes in the build and if I go with more than 2 levels in anything other than Magus then I'll never get a Grand Hex. I'm not overly broken hearted about that. None of them really seem great for the build anyway.
As for Metamagic I definitely want Rime Spell. Not interested at all in Dazing Spell cheese. Merciful Spell might open up some possibilities with Enforcer. Persistant Spell could be good later on. Sickening Spell is good to lay on the debuffs. I will likely have to rely on Metamagic Rods for many of these though. I do not tend to play primary casters often so advice here would likely be helpful.
You are going to hate me for this... but it would also be sweet to throw in a few levels of the Thug rogue Archetype. Hear me out on this, though. Frightening extends shaken and can potentially Frighten my opponent. Frighten is an one of the best debuffs in the game (especially if I can find a way to threaten with the Whip... GR!). Sticking around for 2 levels nets me a Rogue Talent. There are so many good ones to choose from. Befuddling Strike or Offensive Defense are both good for the debuffing schtick. I could also just pick up Finesse Rogue or Combat trick to shore up my need for all these feats. Taking Ninja Trick to gain Pressure Points or Style Master (Crane Style) seems good. Staying for 3 levels gives me Brutal Beating to apply Sickened.
The problem is I don't think I can fit this all into a build.
It falls short of a 16 BAB though, which is unfortunate. I could shave off a Rogue or Fighter level, I guess. I would also get rewarded with Iajutsu Focus if I did so.
I dunno. I got a lot going on here. What do you think of where this all falls together as a concept?
I would, however, like to make some clarifications.
1. Making the Full Plate Barding out of Mithril adds 9K gold and doesn't add anything to AC. For the sake of just an AC based build you could safely remove that. ACP isn't going to be much of a negative to an Ankylosaurus anyway. Heck, you could make it out of adamantine if you'd prefer and the cost is only 6K more. That would give you 3/- DR for the whole layered defense approach. Or just have it made of steel and save the 9K to apply elsewhere.
2. I never made any claim that miss chance wasn't good. It is. This does not invalidate AC being good as well.
3. Getting mirror image on your Animal Companion seems to be more difficult than you think. If you are a druid it isn't on your spell list. As was pointed out potions of it do not exist. Wands exist but you need UMD for it as it can't be cast via share spells by anyone but the druid. If this is something that you are doing frequently then it is still an investment. It is an investment in something that isn't perminant, requires skill points to perform and likely has to be reapplied several times per day. In fact, due to the short duration of the spell you are likely using a combat round doing this when you could be doing something more effective. Personally, all things considered, I prefer a defense that is always on or at least has a long duration.
This is all fairly tertiary to the main issue that I had here. Its something that happens too often on these boards. I believe I gave good advice in that one good method of improving animal companions was to take armor proficiency feats to up their AC. I said this because AC is not a useless stat. Now, anyone can feel free to disagree, thats fine. Thats what message boards are for: sharing opinions.
But that isn't how it happened. My opinion was attacked calling it out as "a trap", a "double trap" and a "triple trap". Worse still to emphasize the point a blanket statement was made saying that AC itself is useless. Honestly, I don't think that was meant. I think it was simply something that was said out of frustration to drive a point home. But it was said. I think it also had to do with the thought that one person's opinion was more valid than another's probably based on the assumption that I was a neophyte and new to the system or the boards for making such a suggestion. I can assure you that neither are true. You could easily check up on this if you'd like but I don't feel like flashing my creds to validate my opinions as I don't feel that it is relavent to a constructive discussion.
By posting the question here I didn't take the statement out of context as the context was included in the statement itself. It was stated that AC is useless for PCs and animal companions. It appears that the popular opinion is that this is not true, that AC is a important part of the multi-layered defense particularly for a front-liner. I feel sufficiently validated.
How about this?
Level 10 Ankylosaurus Animal Companion:
Thats 43. This would be considered good for that level. Right? I mean you could easily bump that up by a few more points. Most casters of this level would likely have a strand of prayer beads to cast their daily buffs with so that would rase the Barkskin to it's full +5. This also isn't counting any deflection or insite bonus to AC which are fairly easy to obtain cheaply. No shield bonus which could be gained via a potion if need be. I could see easily getting that to 50 at level 10 for a minor investment.
That is a good point, Mort. FYI - I have been around this board and several others before it and am no Neophite. I haven't really looked at it from that specific perspective but it is true. Typically monsters have lower to hit than something swinging a weapon of equal CR but they dont have to worry about iterives missing.
And I would agree that it is about equal to combat maneuvers... however, a grapple focused character will typically have no problem meeting those CMDs.
It is as I suspected. Most people are agreeing that a multi-layered defense is best. No one believes that AC is useless but that it is one of the stats that is important to defense.
For front line sluggers it is more important than those who typically stay in the back row, that is just logical. But it is never "useless".
Personally, not getting hit seems like a good thing to me. As AC is largely what determines that it seems like a fairly important stat to me.
I am not discounting other methods of protect, mind you. Saves are important as well and displacement and concealment type effects definitely have their uses. However, with the number of threads I have seen here with a DM coming to these forums with a character with an unhittable AC causing balance issues I don't think that it is trivial either. It is true that there are other ways of dealing with high AC like attacking the character's saves or using spells or effects that don't target the character at all but rather their surroundings. But to me that doesn't make it "useless". It is still a very important defensive stat. For some builds more than others.
That is my opinion. I am more interested in yours.
A poster in another thread stated the following:
Armor Class is useless to players and animal companions. Armor class is the worst Mitigation in game.
He apparently believes that AC is useless. While it is entirely within the realm of possibility that I am woefully misinformed I don't believe that is true. However, as I try to stay open minded to other ideas I would prefer to allow myself to be convinced.
So what of it? Do you believe that AC is as useless as this person thought? If so why? If not, why not?
Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
Armor Class is useless to players and animal companions. Armor class is the worst Mitigation in game.
This is false. Not getting hit is good. Look at the number of threads on this message board alone where DMs run into problems with a player with an unhittable AC that is causing balance issues for encounters. Anyway, I do not really feel the need to defend my point. I feel like you would further need to prove yours when you make such broad statements that AC is a useless stat.
Hm... so PFSRD has info on horseshoes not fitting non-hooved animals, etc. I was incorrect on that. However, DMs that I have played with in the past have allowed for bangles of the zephyr and similar items to be created. While I suppose that technically it requires DMs to allow it as it uses the item creation rules I doubt there are many DMs who would not allow it. It follows the same pricing and abilities of the other items so I do not see why it wouldn't be allowable. If anyone has a reason why it shouldn't be then I'm all ears.
Also, I think people may have missed out on what I was saying about the amount of AC that can be gained with Heavy Armor Proficiency. I can't think of a better way to put it than what I already have. And as I said it isn't for all animal companions. But those with lower Dex that you wish to have high AC ... yeah, still good for them.
Medium Armor proficiency is NOT a waste or a trap. The difference between a Mithril Chain Shirt and an Mithril Breastplate is 2 points of AC. When it is Mithril it counts as armor of one step lighter so it doesn't slow you down either.
There are many Animal Companions who aren't able to benefit from more than 2 points of Dex as well. Like the TRex, Allosaurus, Spinosaurus, Wolf, Bear and more. For some of these getting Heavy Armor Proficiency is great as well. The Ankylosaurus is a great example of when this can work well. Plus the visual of a fully armored (already naturally armored) Ankylosaurus is fairly frightening. 9 points of AC for Full Plate is nothing to sneeze at! And with it being Mithril you still get to keep 2 points of Dex bonus. The real question then becomes how many points of Dex bonus are you going to lose out on and is it going to be enough to make up for the difference between a Breastplate or worse, a Chain Shirt? Let me give you a clue, an Animal Companion doesn't get +6 Dex until level 18. Before then if you are rocking a 14 Dex or lower Full Plate is still better. After that its equal to the bonus only marginally worse as you spent feats to get there. But that is an aweful long time of reaping the rewards of the feat before it begins to equal out.
If you are really worried about the speed that armor could potentially take away then just get horseshoes of the zephyr or another item like this. Even if your animal companion doesn't have hooves wonderous items adjust to fit the wearer. They could turn into bangles or some such thing to fit whatever your animal companion has there.
If you go halfling and take Helpful (halfling) feat and the Helpful trait they are likely meant to stack even though the wording doesn't specifically say that. It would bump your Aid another up to +5.
Pathfinder Chronicler also has a similar ability that, again, while the wording leaves a lot to GM interpretation was likely meant to stack with the other two. It would increase your Aid Another by another +2. It also continues your bardic performance ability. It also allows you to store your bardic performances in something like scroll form with Epic Tales. Beyond that the class is pretty terrible, but does lend itself well to these few abilities for this type of build. Well, it does have 2 good saves and a lot of skill points.
Archivist Bard has a lot to offer as well, especially if you are already going Sensei. You get to keep your bardic performance stuff from that class but also pick up the abilities from Archivist. With Lingering Performance you can stack these. Their Loremaster ability at level 2 is nice too if you want that to be part of your schtick.
If you wanted to include a decent spellcaster class in this (I would highly recommend it) I would suggest the Evangelist Cleric. It would allow you to continue your bardic music advancement still. The loss of armor proficiencies do not hurt. You only get one domain and I would highly recommend Luck. If your group is anything like mine they probably aren't too big on 3rd party resources. However, if you can swing it by them the Fate subdomain is only a slight change but probably more in-theme with what you are going for.
Personally, I would go with a halfling with 6 levels of Sensei/Ki Mystic, 1 level of Archivist Bard and the rest with Evangelist. Kirin style feats would be good for this type of build as well.
EvilPaladin's suggestions are good. I'd through in crossblooded sorcerer as well. With eldritch heritage this will allow you to have Orc, Abyssal and Dragon bloodlines. I would also go with 4 levels of Dragon Deciple.
9th level spells only matter if the character is going to get to 20th level anyway. Even then it comes down to personal preferance like was said. IMO, for a gish type like this (even a gish that is mostly caster) I say screw 9th level spells. They wont really lend themselves to this type of build anyway.
Rory's calculations are lowballing it by a long shot, IMO, if you include those things along with the strength boosts they give.
Weird. XmorsX, whom I normally agree with I find I disagree with here. The highest DPR sneak attack builds all use TWF. His scimitar + dervish dance suggestion goes along with my crane style/duelist suggestion, though.
While his sap master suggestion is good that kinda pidgeon holes you into a single combat style where you are dependant on non-lethal precision sneak attack damage. All of which have several types of foes who are immune.
Paladin adding Cha to saves is really good. Thematically, though, I can definitely understand not taking it. Also, classically, ninjas were not the disciplined warriors of the time. That was the samurai. Samurai I can much more easily see being a paladin. Espionage, infiltration, assassination, etc. ... these are what ninja specialized in. They don't seem overly paladinlike, IMO. But, all that being said, sap master is one fairly effective way to go and paladin would bring a lot to a high Cha character. *shrug*
By Trait do you mean Feat? Because Weapon Finesse is a Feat, not a Trait.
For sneak attackers to remain viable in mid-late game it is recommended that they go two weapon fighting. This is because there will be several ways - especially with the build options suggested by all those above - to deliver sneak attacks on each and every attack. So, obviously, the more attacks the better. TWF by itself is great. Improved TWF is less so and Greater TWF can likely be left out as you will not likely be hitting with that attack anyway.
I should also mention that with a high Dex build like this that TWF dovetails nicely. Basically Str builds typically go with a two handed weapon and power attack and Dex builds typically go with two weapon fighting.
If you are not considering doing this then another option might be to pick up Crane Style (and improved unarmed strike) and go with one hand free. If you are considering this then dipping a level into Master of Many Styles Monk would be a good way to pick it up. It does lower your BAB by 1 point overall but what you gain in feats, saves and abilities may make up for it. If you go for one level, you may as well go for two. Also, depending on your stat array if you have a decent Int then Duelist may work well for this as well.
From a combat effectiveness standpoint, though, I would recommend either the TWF option or the Crane Style/free hand/Duelist approach.
Aside from the other excellent advice in this thread I would highly recommend taking advantage of the race's alternate favored class bonus of 1/6 for a rogue talent. At level 6 you will be able to get two rogue talents. If you are worried about this cutting into you HP total then you can take the toughness feat. This feat definitely wont go to waste for levels 1-6 and then for all levels after that you are better off with continuing to get rogue talents. 3 extra rogue talents by level 18 is WAY too good to pass up.
If you are ever content with the amount of sneak attack damage that you do and want to add some versatility and flavor I would recommend taking a look at gaining a 3+ levels in Horizon Walker for several interesting options. Forest for +4 stealth, swamp for +4 to perception, underground for blind fight, urban for +4 to diplomacy are all good for this type of character. Astral plane for dimension door 3+Wis mod/day is great. Work with you GM to see if they will let you base it off Charisma instead as Horizon walker when written was intended more for rangers who are wis based and ninja came out after that. This would open up the option of the dimensional agility line of feats as being a great choice.
Horizon Walker offers some other interesting options as well that can add a bunch of flavor. With an investment in Combat Reflexes, Dodge and Mobility (feats that would compliment the build anyway) you could also get into Shadowdancer which has some interesting options for the build as well.
I also would second (third?) the suggestion to go Scout. If you go with Shadowdancer you wont even be giving up uncanny dodge... just delaying it. A lot.
One other suggestion... consider this a strong suggestion if you are going with a weapon finesse build is the Pirahna Strike feat. Its the Dex character's Power Attack.
I would like to point out that this isn't the first time (and likely will not be the last time) that this questions has been asked. It was brought up before.
Multiple people in this thread were also posting in that thread. Also, contrary to what eakratz has said regardless of the number of people who may agree or disagree with me does not make my opinion any less (or more) correct. For that matter what James Jacobs or another Dev has to say on the matter still does not change RAW unless they actually make a change in the rules via errata or at minimum via FAQ. That hasn't been done here so we only have the rules as they are written to go by.
As was stated in the other thread (by ryric nonetheless) the robes by themselves allow you to have an AC higher than your character level. That already happens with ONLY the Robes of Arcane Heritage on a Sylvan Sorcerer. That only, then, leaves the question of whether Boon companion functions as advertised or not.
So... why wouldn't it? If it is a matter of which happened first then why not just take the Robes off then put them back on after getting the feat? I feel its silly to even have to make that arguement, honestly, but it seems to follow the same logic as the arguement predicating the statement.
To anybody who is disagreeing thinking it should let you add both: How is it that a sorcerer with Robe of Arcane Heritage (who gets a higher effective druid level than a Druid at the same level) should be able to use Boon Companion in a way that a Druid/Nature Oracle/anybody can't?
As I believe has already been pointed out, this can be done.
This is not a stacking issue. Stacking issues apply to typed bonuses. None of the things involved here give typed bonuses.
This may seem like a symantics issue but it is not. The question should not be if they stack as this is not a stacking issue. The question is whether they both apply or not.
ryic: It doesn't matter whether the robes increase your character level or not. This item does not have the "...to a maximum effective druid level equal to your character level." that Boon Companion does.
ChrisLKimball: So for other bloodline powers that increase the number of times per day you can use it or how much damage/healing it does you would not call this an "effect"? I'm sorry, bud. That isn't how it works. Those are all level based effects. So is your effective druid level for the animal companion.
eakratz: I am claiming that it works as written. Thats what RAW is. Rules As Written. I understand what you are claiming but there is nothing in RAW that supports your claim. It doesn't say that, "...by increasing the effective character level to beyond the maximum level of the character, invalidates the feat." That is your opinion, but it is not RAW. In other words, that is not what the rules state.
Also, it doesn't matter if another GM agrees with me on the issue or not. It doesn't matter if the OP's GM agrees with me or not. When you come to an advice forum generally you are looking for a RAW ruling, not a GM's ruling. If you want a GM's ruling... you ask the GM.
Mutagen lasts for 10min/level, not 1min/level.
IMO - take Titan Mauler Barbarian archetype but do not go beyond 3rd level in it. Take an even number of alchemist levels for the extra discovery, probably just 2 levels. Two Handed Fighter is good for this kind of build as well, I would fill in all missing levels with that. For a build that takes advantage of large sized weapons I would forgo a natural attack routine. Take Power Attack and the Vital Strike line of feats. Furious Focus is also good. Critical Feats later on can be helpful as well. Dazzling Display is normally only good if you are going with a Shatter Defenses/Cornugon Smash type build. Unless you are taking more levels in Vivisectionist to take advantage of landing more sneak attacks I wouldn't go with those feats. Especially if you are only using a single weapon rather than Two Weapon Fighting or using Natural Attacks.
ChrisLKimball: That is incorrect, sir. Mostly due to the bit about, "...and their effects." It isn't there just to qualify, it actually adjusts their effects as well.
eakratz: So you are suggesting that one item makes another not work at all? Do you have anything RAW to base this opinion on? Is there any precident for this opinion?
eakratz and Corvino are incorrect. You are correct.
Sylvan starts with "Your effective druid level for this ability is equal to your sorcerer level – 3" then is modified by Boon Companion which states, "...your animal companion or familiar are calculated as though your class were 4 levels higher, to a maximum effective druid level equal to your character level."
That would bring your Animal Companion up to your character level. This works the same way for Rangers who take the Boon Companion feat.
Then donning the Robes of Arcane Heritage state, "The wearer treats her sorcerer level as 4 higher than normal for the purpose of determining what bloodline powers she can use and their effects." There is nothing noting a cap. This would increase the bloodline powers to 4 levels higher than normal. Since you are currently at character level for determining the abilities of your Animal Companion this would increase it to 4 levels higher than your character.
Oh, Broken Zenith: You are welcome. Your collection is good but the one thing that it doesn't do is make it so you can have a playlist going that you dont have to constantly switch between songs for. My plan is to take these songs and put them into individual folders for like "Dungeon", "Fight", etc. and then use Winamp to play each folder as a play list for those locations.
I'm not at home now and wont be for the weekend as I'm taking the family on vacation. However, when I get back I will post a link to a great tool that I found that converts youtube videos into audio files and you can download it for free. It is all completely legal to use as far as I can tell. It is also very handy as you can find pretty much anything on youtube.
Many of the songs I have been getting I even go out and search for an instrumental only version as I don't like a lot of loud distracting words in my background music. This can be found in large supply due to the number of people who use youtube for karaoke.
I also haven't clicked on Broken Zenith's link and can't get to it here from work right now to check out what it is. Knowing him it is something that makes all the work that I have already done on my home PC moot and pointless. Obviously I am taking full credit for his work as I am the one who started the thread and came up with the idea to share this kinda thing. Go me!
Flurry of Stars is good but as lemeres pointed out it uses up your swift action, and as you pointed out it is limited to Ki. I'd do both. Also, Flurry of Blows can be used with melee and ranged at the same time. Your first attack could be with your katana and all the rest could be ranged attacks with shuriken.
I would suggest a small race to get the + to hit and one that has a natural caster level for racial spell like abalities. Gnome seems like a good choice. You could also go with a small sized Aasimar or Teifling. Aside from that as Imicatus put, "Flurry of Blows + Rapid Shot + Belt of Mighty Hurling + Weapon Training + Gloves of Dueling + Deadly Aim + Weapon Specialization." with 4 levels of Weapon Master Fighter would be good. In fact, I would go with Weapon Adept Monk as well.
Ok, so I did a bit of searching on these forums and didn't find a thread like this.
Do you use background music in your games? What kind of background music do you find that is good for inspiring creativity and setting a mood while not distracting the players?
If you are giving suggestions, here is what I would like to see:
If you aren't able to follow that and still want to post something you think is good... well, go for it. We would rather have your suggestion whether you want to linkafy it or suggest what it would be good for.
Epica - Burn to a Cinder - Battle... preferably a boss fight involving fire
Nightwish - Ghost Love Score - Dungeon
Alestorm - Captain Morgan's Revenge Full Album - Water based, mostly battle music
Also, for your listening pleasure here are a bunch of songs from the Midnight Syndicate Official Roleplaying Soundtrack that is no longer available. Most of this soundtrack would be great for dungeons.
I will post more in the future. But I wanted to get this started and give others a chance to post some of their favorites first.
Racial heritage ... dunno why I didn't think of that.
Also great suggestions, Reynard. I thought of some stuff like that. I'll have to share these ideas with her.
Tangaroa: I like the build. I have never been a fan of bonding with companions though it would be more effective if multiclassing and/or using a PrC. If she does something like Reynard suggested then I'll definitely give her this suggestion.
I didn't want anyone to think I didn't appreciate the suggestions so just wanted to post again to say thank you.
I have a cousin (a girl cousin) who is new to Pathfinder and pen and paper RPGs in general who is going to be playing in an upcoming dragon based campaign I will be running. She has decided that she would like to play a Half-Elf Ranger and I think that is a good idea for a beginner. The only problem she is having is that she isn't sure how to make the character dragony.
My advice to her was to take Favored Enemy: Dragon as her first favored enemy. She wasn't too hot on the idea because she felt that it would make her opposed to ALL dragons including the good ones. I explained that the ability doesn't do that and she may be reading too much into the mechanics. I explained the bonuses it would give would actually help her with interacting positively with good dragons as well as helping her vanquish evil ones. I think that helped some but not sure if it gave her enough dragon flavor.
Outside of background stuff and character flavor fluffyness the only other thing I could think of mechanically was the shifter ranger. But that is only for a certain number of rounds per day. So... let me just ask this in the most broad way I can think of:
If you were going to make a Half-Elf Ranger for a Dragon campaign like the one linked above how would you build it?
I welcome answers that reflect mechnics and fluffy backgroundy type stuffs.