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Vedavrex Misraria

Lune's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 2,747 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 8 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Aw... no suggestions?


So I may have painted myself into a bit of a corner here. A while ago in a home game that I run I introduced a tower that group of mercenaries called the Shadow Clan discovered. It is said that in times past that this tower served as a training ground and test of skill. Those who passed the tests were deemed worthy of becoming one of the renowned Shadow Masters (title only, not really a Prestige Class or anything).

The problem is that I brought this up back when the party was only level 6 or so. I had plans on what I was going to use for the tower. I was going to be running a modified Jacob's Tower and am still strongly considering purchasing it for other future uses. My party decided against pursuing that particular path at the time but ever since then has shown a deep desire in every one of them to go back and pursue that tower. The problem is that they have since long outgrown it. They will likely be 12th or 13th level before they have a chance to pursue other goals than the adventure they are currently on. That outright eliminates Jacob's Tower as an option.

I am also at a point in DMing where I am coming up with several original options for them at once to avoid railroading and am busy on the other paths they might take. I want something predesigned to use and modify for this tower and am coming up empty handed. I was hoping that some of the good experienced DMs of this board might be willing to offer some suggestions.

Here are my requirements:

1. When I say "tower" that is misleading. I want it to either be a barried tower that they have to go down into, or a series of sub-basements. There is another reason for this. The end of this campaign will lead them into the Underdark of my homebrew world and have them face some threats there. There are other important reasons as well like the fact that the party now has easy access to flight and there would seem to be no reason to not start at the top of the tower if it were above ground. Even with it being underground I suspect they are clever enough to burrow but that at least offers some difficulties to most of the party. I can wiggle around some of this and modify existing works to match this requirement well enough, I'm sure.

2. It needs to be big. Probably nothing close to mega-dungeon size. A full module would be nice though. Even a large one.

3. It needs to appeal to the rogueish types. Obstacle courses, labyrinths, traps, skulking, puzzles, etc are all valuable to this kind of thing. If the purpose of the place is to test the skills of a band of shadowy assassins then this seems important. The whole thing doesn't need to be this way. Maybe just some of the earlier levels.

4. Easily modifiable to fit the aforementioned points. Well, I would likely settle for modifiable.

Also, a little background on the campaign:

Spoiler:

This campaign follows a group of adventurers who came under hire from a man that was later revealed to be a Steel Dragon. He brought them under his tutelage due to the rising dragon related activities in the area. The first part of the campaign started out with a modified version of Dragon's Demand. Many of the foes were made more dragony and the impetus of the BBEG's academic interests were not on the Dark Tapestry but rather on the Underdark. This was forshadowing but was never deeply pursued. At the end of this arch their former sensei revealed himself as the Steel Dragon he is during the destruction of Belhaim (modified from the original work) and this set off a chain of adventures revolving around the dealings of dragons as the movers and shakers of events happening around them.

They have also visited a modified Menagerie from Dragon's Unleashed. They explored a gnomish mine named Castengrove (original work of mine) that had been massacred by one of the Swarmlords. They very nearly stopped the sale of an ancient evil relic that is actually the egg of a Phoenix/White Dragon amalgam and sacred to a band of Ice Trolls known as the Stormborn. Sadly, the leader of this band escaped with this relic in hand. They have freed a swampland of a magical Blight, slain the Swarmlords and at least one of their masters and an evil Unseelie Fey Blighted Black Dragon. They have restored a World Tree in this same region and built a new Druid Caern that can be used as a teleportation circle linked to several other Caerns on this world. They have brought with them survivors from many of their past adventures (including survivors from Belhaim) and established a base of operations in Castengrove.

Their current adventure has them pursuing the Stormborn in the Frozen North and the relic/egg containing their deity. They have some other avenues they are likely to pursue after this. One of them is the tower I have mentioned. Another is a siege upon their base of operations while they are away that I plan on handling a lot like True Dragons of Absalom. The others I will be working on with original works. It is this tower that I need help with.


The above spoiler is really the long way of saying that this is a largely Dragon-based campaign where Dragons are the movers and shakers of their adventures. This will probably represent one way I would be modifying whatever module I decide to use.


How are you failing your Will saves on Glitterdust? Your saves should be immense. You should have 7 base, +1 Wis, +2 Cha. That is 10 without considering items that give resistance bonus or pluses to Wis and Cha.

Or do you just mean the non-save effects from it. It can't be happening all that much and you should be pretty effective at toe to toe combat without the need to hide. You are halfway through the Cornugon Smash/Shatter Defenses combo. If you are worried about applying your Sneak Attack I would suggest swapping out some feats to pick up Shatter Defenses. My suggestion would be your last 3 feats. If you take my advice on this then I would also suggest the Thug Rogue Archetype. Oh... and a Cruel weapon. It doesn't stack with Thug but is in concept and helps with survivability.

You didn't list your items so it is hard to tell how to increase your effectiveness or survivability of your Shadow. I assume you have Gloves of Dueling? That will significantly upgrade your hit and damage bonuses. Anything that ups your HP ups your Shadow's HP. The first obvious suggestion is a Con belt. The Toughness feat and Favored Class options also help.

I'm actually not a fan of Rogue as an entry to Shadowdancer. I know it seems synergistic but I feel it is a trap. It also hampers the HP on the Shadow by having lower Hit Dice. I am going to second swapping the Rogue levels for levels of Slayer. It drops Evasion so it is not duplicated (the only Rogue Archetypes that swap it out are Smuggler and Underground Chemist neither of which seems thematic), retains your bonus feats/talents, keeps your sneak attack and gives Studied Target and Track as well as providing another point of BAB and more HP for you and your Shadow. I understand that your concept is for a Dex to damage build but when you take back your Weapon Finesse Feat and take Weapon Specialization and keep most of the rest of the build intact and calculate your damage I bet it comes out to about the same if not higher.

I also hope you have some ranks in Use Magic Device as there are a lot of great wand options that can help both you and your Shadow. How about Ablative Barrier? It helps you but helps your Shadow more. Undead are not subject to nonlethal damage so it basically gives them DR 5/- for as long as it lasts. Mirror Image could help a lot if you are concerned with melee attacks. You should have a wand of Inflict Light Wounds. Its too bad your Paladin levels do not allow for use of Infernal Healing as I would suggest that as well.

If you do not have Use Magic Device you could get the feat Improve Share Spells and just get potions. It halves the durations between you and your Shadow and will be twice as expensive (or up to 4 times if you consider that the halving of durations may mean multiple uses) so I wouldn't suggest it. If you are having trouble activating items a Circlet of Persuasion is a great buy and it stacks with the Cha Headband that I hope you have (it improves all your saves by 1... you better have one!).

As for more permanent solutions Cuup I think was on to something with his armor suggestion but I would avoid armor with a check penalty. A +1 Ghost Touch Mithral Chain Shirt would give it +5 armor bonus to AC and cost 18K. That should be affordable at your level and is almost half the cost of the Adamantine suggestion.

As far as giving your Shadow Spring Attack, good luck. I don't know of a way. Your DM does seem fairly flexible if he is allowing 3.x feats. Perhaps try to convince him that your Shadow is equivalent to a Familiar and anything that works for a Familiar aught to work for it. If you can do that then it opens up some possibilities. A level of Beast Bonded Witch would help you quite a bit. It would allow you to give one of your character feats to your Familiar Shadow thus allowing it to get Spring Attack. It would also allow you to take the Ward Hex which would give your Shadow +2 deflection bonus to AC and a +2 resistance bonus on saving throws. That is a fair amount of advantages for a single level dip. Also if he allows for this then it opens up the door to using Eldritch Guardian Fighter archetype which allows you to share your teamwork feats with your Shadow.

Good luck and hopefully something I said helps or at least inspires you. Also, can we hear more about your character's items? It would help us to give more valued advice. Also, I wanted to say that I really like the character concept. :)


Where you going? Get back in here and post your build so we can tell you how much it sucks and correct everything that is wrong with it!


A spare minotaur.

Yes... they will fit. You just have to stone to flesh it first and then shrink it.


Oh, wow. Just checked back on this thread. That is a good build, Ferious Thune. Thank you for posting it. I think your build is more powerful than mine but I like the Alchemist for flavor reasons. You do have a point about pushing back the Juggler levels, though. At least from a mechanics standpoint. Your build's damage should be crazy high.


Heh. I have one I want to play but it is better for non-PFS. I have a friend running a game and I was going to play it in that until he told me his home brew world had no Halflings. You can imagine my shock!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Halflings also get the favored class bonus and IMO make great Paladins. Size bonus to AC, racial bonus to saves and size bonus to hit are all nice things.


Greater Mercy + Bracers of the Merciful Knight = +3d6 healing.

Other items of note:
Merciful Baldric
Crystal of Healing Hands
Fey Foundling

If you are going with a Lay on Hands build I might also suggest going with an Oath of Vengeance archetype. You may also want to check out Fast Healer and Ultimate Mercy.


I thought that too and it is a valid question. And their spells are worse for the circumstances. You would think if anything that the class feature would be MORE forgiving.


Good to see the Herolabs folks are reading my threads still. *waves*


avr: I think you are right about the classes. Going 3/3/x is spreading it too thin. I dislike the Occultist (and in fact, all occult classes except Spiritualist, really) and don't think it is right for the build. However, here is an alternate idea:

Ectoplasmatist 1, Bladebound/Kensai 3, all the rest Ectoplasmatist. I could still get Dex to damage all the time via Slashing Grace except when using Spell Combat. I would still get it when using Spiritual Combat, though. I could always cast before attacking with spells like Chill Touch that last for more than a single attack. The only thing this wouldn't give me is Two-Weapon Fighting. I could take Two-Weapon Fighting but couldn't use it with Slashing Grace so it is a loss to do so. I just don't see anyway to fit it all in without the 3/3/x.


Secret Wizard: I credited you in my original post and linked your thread. :)

You don't do TWF or Blackblade though.


FYI - I got an answer on this question over here.

Brandon Hodge (the designer) wrote:
I don't know if you've resolved the initial question of hand use with the lashes, but as the designer of the archetype, I can share that in both intent and execution (I thought the latter was clear, anyway), the ectoplasmatist's hands are indeed taken up when wielding the lashes.


Ayy!!! Alright! Always happy to get an answer so that I can make the build work the way it was intended. :) Thank you so much for posting about intent, Brandon. I really appreciate it. Also congrats on making one of the few things I liked out of the Occult adventures. Most of the classes don't seem to play well with others for the rest of Pathfinder. The Spiritualist is my diamond in the rough and I particularly like the Ectoplasmatist.

I think that leaves the only lingering question is if they take up the metaphysical hand (aka "hand worth of effort) or if they take up the actual hand. In other words whether you are able to hold something in those hands but not use it and whether Deliquescent Gloves work with Lashes or not.


Hey, avr, thanx for posting. :) I hope I don't know more than most about Occult classes. I don't own the book, mostly dislike the classes from it (with the exception of Spiritualist, really) and haven't put much thought into anything from it until now. I wonder if there is anyone out there that has ever played an Ectoplasmatist who could lend advice.

Ah, yeah. Good catch on the Int.

I was looking at Rogue archetypes but none really appealed to me. I don't so much care about trap sense or danger sense in this build either but then again what I can switch them out for wasn't all that appealing either. *shrug* I dunno, I guess Darkvision is alright.

I have been thinking about the build more. I wonder how bad it would be to switch out the Rogue levels for Kensai/Bladebound. The idea of having the Lash be my Black Blade is really appealing.

Slashing Grace doesn't work well with Magus anymore, I am aware. However, you still get Dex to hit, just not to damage when using Spell Combat. The up side is that you can still prebuff with a touch spell from the Magus list and you can still use Spiritual Combat and Slashing Grace works just fine. I wouldn't be able to use TWF with Slashing Grace though.

The problem here is that there are only 5 ways that I know of to get Dex to damage:
1. Agile - It doesn't work here as there is no way to apply it to the Lash.
2. Fencing Grace - The Lash isn't a Rapier.
3. Dervish Dance - The Lash also isn't a Scimitar.
4. Slashing Grace - It works! ...but you can't TWF or use Spell Combat with it but you can use Spiritual Combat with it.
5. 3 levels of Unchained Rogue - It also works! ... but it is 3 levels of a class that adds nothing else to the build (except feats, I guess)

I have even been thinking of going 1 Ectoplasmatist, 3 Kensai/Bladebound, 3 URogue then the rest Ectoplasmatist. The up side is it gives me everything I want to do: TWF, Dex to damage with all attacks, full use of both Spell Combat and Spiritual Combat, an intelligent Black Blade Lash. The down side... well, it is severe. By 7th level I would only have a crippling 4 BAB. This is only partially made better with a high Dex, free Weapon Focus and Arcane Pool boost.


FYI - Effortless Lace is not PFS legal.

I really think that 1-2 Monk levels is worth it. It isn't a mild bump to your saves. +2/+3 is big. It also accelerates your feat progression which IMO is more important than the temporary benefits your focused rage would give you.

BadBird has a decent suggestion with the Bloodrager dip. I think the Monk lends itself better to the build, but his idea is good too. It is at least better than the Barbarian dip.


Aw, c'mon. I was really hoping for some feedback on this. Any feedback. Hell, I'd even take a "You suck and your ideas are stupid." at this point. :(


Hm. Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong. Maybe I should make a Bladebound/Kensai Magus instead and take a single level of Ectoplasmatist just to get the Lash as a weapon. One level is a pretty strong dip for getting a weapon that can never be disarmed, stolen, destroyed, dispelled or used against you. I mean, the RP alone is worth it. Hell, the saves, spells and knacks alone nearly make it worth it.

The real question on that build concept is where to drop off at. A second level of Ectoplasmatist is desirable to get the +1 enhancement bonus early. It isn't really worth it for 2 levels, but 3... well, then you get Spiritual Combat with your Spiritualist spells and that can be handy. And if you are going to 3 then 4th is also nice to grab both reach, Ectoplasmic Armor, another BAB, more saves and 2nd level Spiritualist spells. I can't see going more than 4 levels, though. I think it is either 1 level, or 4 levels.

It wouldn't allow me to Two-Weapon Fight, but it would allow for everything else I want to do. It would also allow for the use of Rime Spell. Hm... this is interesting. I'm going to have to think on this.


What do you think of this build:

Spoiler:
Human

Str 8
Dex 17+2
Con 12
Int 12
Wis 13
Cha 12

Rogue is Unchained Rogue
Spiritualist is all Ectoplasmatist

1st
Spiritualist 1
Ectoplasmic Lash, Knacks, Combat Reflexes (1st) , Two Weapon Fighting (human)
2nd
Rogue 1
Finesse Training, Sneak Attack 1d6, Trapfinding
3rd
Rogue 2
Evasion, Rogue Talent: Combat Expertise, Improved Trip (3rd)
4th
Rogue 3
Danger Sense +1, Finesse Training, Sneak Attack 2d6
5th
Spiritualist 2
Lash: +1, Fury's Fall (5th)
6th
Spiritualist 3
Spiritual Combat
7th
Spiritualist 4
Ectoplasmic Armor, Lash: reach +5ft., Weapon Trick: Off-Hand Opportunity (7th)
8th
Spiritualist 5
Detect Undead
9th
Spiritualist 6
Lash: +2 and aligned, Improved Two Weapon Fighting (9th)
10th
Spiritualist 7
Calm Spirit
11th
Spiritualist 8
Lash: Ghost Touch, Greater Trip (11th)
12th
Spiritualist 9
See Invisibility

Other feat ideas:
I considered Cornugon Smash and Shatter Defenses to allow for frequent use of Sneak Attack and debuffing. The problem with this is threefold:
1. It takes up 5 feats (Weapon Focus, Dazzling Display, Shatter Defenses, Power Attack and Cornugon Smash). I have to take Combat Reflexes, Two-Weapon Fighting and Improved Two-Weapon Fighting so that only leaves me with 5 open feats so that puts this schtick coming online at 11th level which is too late to wait for too little benefit.
2. Power Attacking and Two-Weapon Fighting is going to make this character's attack bonus dismal.
3. Power Attack requires 13 Strength and this is a Dex focused build.

I considered a mix of Circling Mongoose and Panther Style feats. There are problems with this as well.
1. Circling Mongoose requires you to be adjacent and doesn't care about reach.
2. It requires way too many feats (Dodge, Mobility, Sprint Attack, Circling Mongoose, Improved Unarmed Strike, Panther Style and at least Panther Claw to get multiple attacks). There is just not enough room for all of that.

I also considered going with Kirin Style. This has flaws as well.
1. While I was planning on getting a positive modifier on Int I wasn't planning on getting it super high.
2. It takes a lot of feats many of which can't be taken until later. It requires the following to be effective: (Improved Unarmed Strike, Kirin Style, Kirin Strike and Combat Style Master). Kirin Style becomes available at 6th level so I could take it at 7th. Kirin Strike becomes available at 9th level but I need that spot for Improved Two-Weapon Fighting. Combat Style Master also becomes available at that level. That is too many feats fighting for my 9th level slot and no way to take the others any sooner.
3. Without Combat Style Master it takes 3 turns to bring Kirin Strike online. That is too late for too little advantage.

I settled on the above build because each feat is beneficial along the way and builds toward a common goal. Prone creatures are easier to hit and you get AoOs when they stand up. With Greater Trip you even get an attack when you trip. A Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone socketed into a Wayfinder will go a long way towards ensuring that the trips land. This build's BAB is a bit low but I feel I have enough ways of shoring up the weak CMB especially with Fury's Fall in the mix. This build is at least serviceable and each feat represents a true advantage being gained rather than just filling prerequisites. Plus if play goes beyond 12th level there are plenty of other in-theme feats to pick up that add to the build. Ki Throw, Tripping Strike and Viscous Stomp to name a few. There are also a bunch of critical feats that would start becoming very helpful after getting Keen via the Ectoplasmatist's 12th level Ectoplasmic Lash ability.

I'm not married to the tripping concept, though. In fact, I would prefer to focus on something that benefits more from the AoOs and reach. I thought of going the Bodygard, Combat Patrol, Swift Aid, etc. route but my son already has a character that focuses a lot on that. Also with going armorless and shieldless it kind of forgoes the Benevolent enchantment that really makes these builds shine. There are also the Stand Still and Steady Engagement line of feats. I didn't dismiss those but believe that simply Tripping is a superior tactic. There is also that whole bother with the word “adjacent” in Stand Still. I still really feel that should say “threatened”.

The real issue is that I get all the feats I really need early in this build and have a bunch I'm not sure what to do with. I admit it is a good problem to have and I normally make builds that always have a good way to spend a feat. All this one really needs is Weapon Finesse, Combat Reflexes and the Two-Weapon Fighting line of feats. It has all of those by 2nd level. Then I'm looking for other good ways to spend my feats.

It is too bad that Spiritualists do not have access to Frostbite or Frigid Touch or I would consider Rime Spell.

Any other ideas of how to build this kind of character?


No way. Out all the time. Especially during diplomatic missions. It lets you play the "I'm offended because you are looking at me like a freak so now I hold the moral upper hand." card. (joke) ;)

Well, at least your opinion is now consistant with the gloves thing. I just don't know if that is how it is intended.

The way I see it with your understanding of how the class abilities work I could go 3 URogue to get Dex to damage and TWF and all the feats I need to get it to work for free, I could go Kensai/Bladebound Magus 3 to get my Lashes to be Intelligent Black Blades and get a free Weapon Focus but only get Dex to damage with a one handed Lash attack, or go full Ectoplasmatist and be short on feats and still only get Dex to damage on one handed Lash attacks. Hm. Tough one. I think full Ectoplasmatist is actually the least desirable among them.


Lune in his original post wrote:
Spiritual Combat also is unclear. The ability saying "an ectoplasmatist can make all of her attacks with a single light or one-handed ectoplasmic lash wielded in one hand, and also cast a single spiritualist spell" could be interpreted in two different ways. The first is that it is saying "wielded in one hand" to signify that this ability wont function if you manifest the two-handed bludgeoning Lash, or it could support the concept that it takes a hand to "wield" the lash.

But I get that you believe that it means you actually use your hand to wield it.

There is another option. It could be that it uses your "metaphysical hand" or "a hand worth of effort". But those debates are silly, cause rules conflicts and make my head hurt.

Either way, please hit FAQ.


Mercurial: I don't understand what you do not understand about the "miss by 4 or more" bit. It works as advertised.

I'm not a fan of the Barbarian levels or the Brawler levels. IMO you would get more out of one or two levels of Master of Many Styles Monk. The small benefit that +4 Dex would bring for the limited amount of rounds you can do it for seems a lot less than what 2 style feats, +3 to all saves, Evasion, free Unarmed Strike and the option to go armorless. With your Dex as high as it is going to be and limits on Max Dex for armor, the availability of Wands of Mage Armor (or Bracers of Defense if you are so inclined) and armorless being very Swashbucklery it does make it a desirable option.

Also I would suggest dropping Weapon Specialization. I would take Mobility in its place and go for 4 levels into Duelist. Adding your Int to your AC and to your damage will make up the difference that Weapon Specialization leaves and gets you Combat Reflexes for free. If you already have it then you can retrain your previous feat for something else. IMO 5 levels of Swashbuckler makes for a good jumping off point anyway.


A Bladebound Magus with their Ectoplasmic Lashes being their intelligent Black Blade does sound super awesome. I kinda wanna do it. Plus, I could go with only 3 levels of Kensai/Bladebound and get the Black Blade and pick up Weapon Focus as a bonus feat. It does put off the rest of the Ectoplasmatist stuff though... ugh.


Also, on a separate note, while from a power perspective I know going with 5 levels of Magus would not be very beneficial... having a Bladebound Magus with their Ectoplasmic Lashes being their intelligent Black Blade does sound super awesome. I kinda wanna do it. Plus, I could go with only 3 levels of Kensai/Bladebound and get the Black Blade rather than 5 and pick up Weapon Focus as a bonus feat. It does put off the rest of the Ectoplasmatist stuff though... ugh.


KingOfAnything:
2: If you don't need hands to cast psychic spells then how exactly does their Spiritual Combat work? In other words, shouldn't you be able to use two light or one handed weapons or a two-handed weapon and use it? It seems to specifically mean that you have to have a hand free or why else limit it to only a single light or one handed weapon? I mean, I get the balance perspective of it but is there also a RP reason? I'm thinking that you mean that it is only a balance reason.

I get that opinions are likely going to be that it is either a weapon in your hand or it is more like a separate appendage. Personally, to me, the flavor seems slightly in favor of the latter while the technical crunch seems firmly split and leaves it very unclear. But just knowing how it is treated in the respect of whether it takes up a hand or not would probably answer most of the other questions. Just like your responses seem to make sense if you start from the perspective of it taking up a hand. In fact, the only thing that doesn't really jive is why you believe that Deliquescent Gloves don't work as they say "If the wearer uses that hand to wield a weapon..." which seems to coincide with your opinion of how it works. I mean it sounds like you are opposed to Slashing Grace working because you would be "fighting with two weapons" and "hand is otherwise occupied". But if that is the case then aren't you "using your hand to wield a weapon"? I can't think that neither would work. It seems like a one or the other kind of thing.

Edit: Hm. If we go with your line thinking and that Slashing Grace wouldn't work then the only thing that would work to get Dex to Damage would be what?... You couldn't use the Agile weapon property as there is no way that I know of to apply that to your Lash attacks. Unchained Rogue 3? I guess if I did do Unchained Rogue 3 then I would at least get Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat, wouldn't have to spend a feat on Slashing Grace and could get Combat Trick to gain another feat. That does kinda take care of all of the feat issues. But at the cost of 3 levels of Ectoplasmatist... I'm not sure if that is worth it.


The post for rules question is here if you would like to keep the advice separate from the rules discussions.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I am considering a build for an Ectoplasmatist. Before I dive into my build concept I kinda need some information on how the mechanics of the class works. I would rather not deal with table variation so any input on this would be helpful as I was planning this for PFS play.

That being said I do not know who designed the archetype but some input from that person would likely be helpful. I know there has already been a FAQ for that book so perhaps this could be added to that. I know I am not alone with these questions (please FAQ request this post). Even without a FAQ I have had very positive results from designer's intent posts so even just that would be very helpful. I appreciate anyone taking their time to help. Thank you in advance!

So without further ado, here are the questions:

1. While I'm fairly certain there is no issue with taking Weapon Focus for weapon-like spells and bombs where does that leave Lash? Judging from this FAQ it seems like it is all allowable. Bombs are (Su) and so is Lash so ... I'm good. Right?

2. The Lashes don't actually take up hands... or do they? The fluff seems to indicate that they do not with "ectoplasm tethered to her by wispy, ectoplasmic tendrils" but then it also says "she can wield them both as light melee weapons". I can't tell whether they mean that they sorta just come out of her like a tentacle as a separate appendage or if that while they are tethered that they still have to be held to be swung like a weapon.

I am assuming that you need Two-Weapon Fighting to use two Lashes effectively because it says that they are wielded like weapons. But whether they take up an actual hand or not seems fuzzy. The level 4 ability allowing them to manipulate objects at a distance could either mean that they are separate autonomous appendages or that you still have to hold them to use them in this way. Spiritual Combat also is unclear. The ability saying "an ectoplasmatist can make all of her attacks with a single light or one-handed ectoplasmic lash wielded in one hand, and also cast a single spiritualist spell" could be interpreted in two different ways. The first is that it is saying "wielded in one hand" to signify that this ability wont function if you manifest the two-handed bludgeoning Lash, or it could support the concept that it takes a hand to "wield" the lash.

We could go with the fluff of the archetype concept in that basically it replaces a Phantom with with Ectoplasmic Lash in a sense that they harbor this mentally. But if we are likening it to a Phantom they are interchangeably described as an extension of the character's own consciousness and as a separate creature. Mostly, though, when the Phantom isn't manifested it is treated as part of the character. But where does that leave Ectoplasmic Lash? Manifested, partially manifested, "harbored" or somewhere in between? Its certainly not a separate being, but separate appendage?

This is important for several reasons. IE: How do Deliquescent Gloves work with these attacks (or do they at all)? Can I use a shield while using both Lashes? How about a buckler? Does it even allow for the use of Slashing Grace or any of the feats that require a free hand (Crane Style, etc.)?

3. How would one improve these attacks? I get that an Amulet of Mighty Fists wouldn't work as it isn't a natural attack. It is, however, still a "weapon". ...or is it? It is wielded as a weapon. But is it treated as a weapon for other things? What about Greater Magic Weapon? We covered whether it can be treated as a weapon for feats (I think they can) but what about other effects? Say you were some funky combination of Paladin and Ectoplasmatist: could you use your Divine Bond on your Lashes? Likewise what about a Magus using his Arcane Pool to enhance his weapon? Hell... for that matter could a Bladebound Magus make his Lashes an intelligent Black Blade? It could certainly make for an interesting concept!


I am considering building an Ectoplasmatist and am looking at what tools I want to put in my toolbox here.

So first of all I am considering going with Slashing Grace so it is going to be feat tight at the early levels. I am thinking of dipping to pick up Weapon Focus and Weapon Finesse early but am open to suggestions about the best dip to grab theses. With the best thing for Ectoplasmatist being more Ectoplasmatist I don't really want to go more than a level deep to get it.

I also wanted to go with Two Weapon Fighting and Combat Reflexes as these are light reach weapons. These feats are so good for the build that I am really looking for a way to get them in earlier, hence why I am looking for a way to pick up some of these feats earlier.

For reference Secret Wizard has a very similar build here. It didn't inspire my concept but it is pretty close to what I am thinking about.

The build poses some challenges and some questions though. Here are some of them:

1. While I'm fairly certain there is no issue with taking Weapon Focus for weapon-like spells and bombs where does that leave Lash? Judging from this FAQ it seems like it is all allowable. Bombs are (Su) and so is Lash so ... I'm good. Right?

2. The Lashes don't actually take up hands... or do they? The fluff seems to indicate that they do not with "ectoplasm tethered to her by wispy, ectoplasmic tendrils" but then it also says "she can wield them both as light melee weapons". I can't tell whether they mean that they sorta just come out of her like a tentacle as a separate appendage or if that while they are tethered that they still have to be held to be swung like a weapon.

I am assuming that you need Two-Weapon Fighting to use two Lashes effectively because it says that they are wielded like weapons. But whether they take up an actual hand or not seems fuzzy. The level 4 ability allowing them to manipulate objects at a distance could either mean that they are separate autonomous appendages or that you still have to hold them to use them in this way. Spiritual Combat also is unclear. The ability saying "an ectoplasmatist can make all of her attacks with a single light or one-handed ectoplasmic lash wielded in one hand, and also cast a single spiritualist spell" could be interpreted in two different ways. The first is that it is saying "wielded in one hand" to signify that this ability wont function if you manifest the two-handed bludgeoning Lash, or it could support the concept that it takes a hand to "wield" the lash.

We could go with the fluff of the archetype concept in that basically it replaces a Phantom with with Ectoplasmic Lash in a sense that they harbor this mentally. But if we are likening it to a Phantom they are interchangeably described as an extension of the character's own consciousness and as a separate creature. Mostly, though, when the Phantom isn't manifested it is treated as part of the character. But where does that leave Ectoplasmic Lash? Manifested, partially manifested, "harbored" or somewhere in between? Its certainly not a separate being, but separate appendage?

This is important for several reasons. IE: How do Deliquescent Gloves work with these attacks (or do they at all)? Can I use a shield while using both Lashes? How about a buckler? Does it even allow for the use of Slashing Grace or any of the feats that require a free hand (Crane Style, etc.)?

3. How would one improve these attacks? I get that an Amulet of Mighty Fists wouldn't work as it isn't a natural attack. It is, however, still a "weapon". ...or is it? It is wielded as a weapon. But is it treated as a weapon for other things? What about Greater Magic Weapon? We covered whether it can be treated as a weapon for feats (I think they can) but what about other effects? Say you were some funky combination of Paladin and Ectoplasmatist: could you use your Divine Bond on your Lashes? Likewise what about a Magus using his Arcane Pool to enhance his weapon? Hell... for that matter could a Bladebound Magus make his Lashes an intelligent Black Blade? It could certainly make for an interesting concept!

These questions all really need to be answered before I can effectively make a build. I think I'm going to post the questions separately in the rules forum. But I am also looking for build advice particularly in the following areas:
How to pick up some of these as bonus feats with minimal dippage.
How to enhance the attacks.
Itemization and gear for such a build.


I second all of BadBird's suggestions:
Strongly consider the full Crane Style line of feats. Don't forget that you can still use a Buckler when using this.
I also think that Stylish Riposte is very strong for your build.


Protoman: The part I was taking issue with is that Garbage-Tier Waifu said, "the Maverick archetype for early, condition free access to Gun Twirling" which isn't exactly accurate. It gives Gun Twirl, not Gun Twirling. Sure, it qualifies you for it. But it doesn't give it to you. When I read her post I thought that is what she was saying and it seemed too good to be true. I was not surprised to find out that it was, in fact, too good to be true.

While I can see the alignment angle ..."A monk who becomes nonlawful cannot gain new levels as a monk but retains all monk abilities." I can also see wanting to rush to level 5 for the training.

...the rest of it I don't see. I have yet to find a primary ranged attacker who doesn't care about precise shot ever. Maybe not prioritizing it above other feats but I'm sure negating that -4 is a pretty big deal if ranged attacking is your normal routine. In fact, you had just previously made the point of not being able to fit TWF into a build because you "need to invest feats for PBS, precise shot, and clustered shot".

Also, just because you have the ability to go armorless doesn't mean you you have to take that option. Its kind of like wanting to take levels in Far Strike Monk for the bonus feats due to most Gunslingers feeling feat starved but not doing it due to reasons (some of which you mentioned).

Not trying to be combative here, just making the point that a 1 level dip of Far Strike Monk gives an awful lot to ranged characters. Some would say too much to not at least consider.


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
I think the easiest method to obtain two weapon fighting with a Gunslinger is the Maverick archetype for early, condition free access to Gun Twirling. It also has some cool features and free access to Improved Unarmed Strike, which has some decent uses in of itself. I recommend checking it out here

Maverick gives this:

Maverick wrote:
Gun Twirl (Ex): At 3rd level, as long as the maverick has at least 1 grit point, she can use flashy gunplay to intimidate her opponents. She gains the Dazzling Display feat and can use it with any firearm, even if she doesn't have Weapon Focus in that firearm.

That isn't the same as the Gun Twirling Feat:

Gun Twirling Feat wrote:

Prerequisite(s): Amateur Gunslinger feat or grit class feature, Dazzling Display, Weapon Focus.

Benefit(s): You can spend 1 grit point to make a feint attempt using a one-handed firearm for which you have Weapon Focus (instead of a melee weapon). The target of this feint must be within 30 feet of you and be able to see you.

If you have the Quick Draw feat, you can holster a one-handed firearm as a free action as long as you have at least 1 grit point.

The important part is one lets you holster as a free action, the other doesn't. Either way this doesn't help the Juggler who can do that kind of thing anyway.

Also, I don't know why ANY gunslinger wouldn't want to take 1 level of Far Strike Monk. Getting a free bonus feat (Far Shot, Point-Blank Shot or Precise Shot), Quick Draw, Unarmed Strike (and not just the crappy feat version but the nice, shiny Monk version), +2 to all saves and the option to go armorless without sucking seems too hard to pass up in my humble opinion. Especially as even whilst going armorless you can still wear a Gunman's Duster and keep all your spiffy Monkness intact.


Aw... still nuthin?


Please let me know what you think about my Gun Juggler build:

Spoiler:
Str 9
Dex 16 (+2)
Con 12
Int 14
Wis 12
Cha 12

Gunslinger = normal Gunslinger
Bard = Juggler
Monk = Far Strike Monk
Alchemist = Grenadier

1st
Gunslinger 1
Deeds: Deadeye, Gunslinger's Dodge, Quick Clear, Grit, Gunsmithing, Two-Weapon Fighting (human), Deadly Aim (1st)
2nd
Bard 1
Fast Reactions: Deflect Arrows (bonus), Bardic Performance, Cantrips, Countersong, Distraction, Fascinate, Inspire Courage +1
3rd
Bard 2
Combat Juggling, Evasion, Point-Blank Shot (3rd)
4th
Monk 1
Flurry of Blows, Precise Shot (bonus), Fast Thrower: Quick Draw (bonus), Unarmed Strike (bonus)
5th
Gunslinger 2
Nimble +1, Rapid Shot (5th)
6th
Gunslinger 3
Deeds: Gunslinger's Initiative, Pistol Whip, Utility Shot
7th
Gunslinger 4
Weapon Focus (bonus), Empty Quiver Style (7th)
8th
Gunslinger 5
Gun Training 1
9th
Alchemist 1
Alchemy, Bomb 1d6, Extra Bombs (bonus), Mutagen, Throw Anything, Stabbing Shot (9th)
10th
Alchemist 2
Discovery: Explosive Bomb, Alchemical Weapon, Precise Bombs (bonus)
11th
Monk 2
Evasion, Far Shot (bonus), Empty Quiver Flexibility (11th)
12th
Gunslinger 6
Nimble +2

Important Items:
Handy Haversack
Gunman's Duster

This is for PFS play.

So the idea here is to be able to juggle guns to help with reloading and be able to throw other things when not shooting guns. This would allow him to two weapon fight with guns and still be able to reload. The rest of the build also lends itself well to throwing weapons.

I considered taking out the Alchemist levels and extra Monk level and just going with more Gunslinger. It would still give him the same amount of feats except Precise Bombs and Throw Anything (which would be less important though still good) and more BAB, Deeds and Gun Training 2. Regarding the Far Strike Monk level it is there for efficiency. It gets me 2 feats for one level. It also helps pick up some nice saves, allows me to go unarmored cutting out the cost of armor and making that Gunman's Duster that much more desirable. It also gives me Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat for when I'm out of weapons or cannot bring them with me. Flurry of Throws pretty much goes to waste as it doesn't stack with Two-Weapon Fighting or work with Guns at all. It is honestly hard to imagine why most Gunslingers DON'T go with a level of Far Strike Monk. A second level of Monk adds to saves again and gives another bonus feat while picking up another BAB.

I also considered taking MORE levels of Alchemist. That would give me the ability to get to Explosive Missile and more higher level extracts. Explosive Missile is very thematic and it works well with the build. The down side is that it would give less total feats which I am already short on.

I also also considered going with some levels of Fighter to get more feats and Weapon Training (+Gloves of Dueling).

There are some other feats that are missing here that I would have really have liked to work in. Rapid Reload would have been good to pick up but I can't find where to fit it in at. I understand how good it is but I also figure I could buy multiple guns and juggle them. I also could just throw things when I am finished with the bullets in one gun. I figure with the extra "hand" I will be able to use Pepperboxes without trouble. I think most GMs would allow me to reload two of them at once, even.

Improved Two Weapon Fighting is also something I regret not being able to fit in. Since the whole idea of the build is around firing as many guns as many times as possible it would be great. Sadly, I'm not sure where I would fit it.

Also, there is the third feat in the Empty Quiver line: Empty Quiver Flurry. This could solve the reloading issue. Again, not sure what I could skip to get it in any sooner.

Not sure how to solve these issues but if I could then the build would be perfect. Alas, I cannot have it all.

A couple of questions I had was exactly how far does Empty Quiver Flexibility go? Weapon Focus should apply. What about Gun Training? Deadly Aim should work with it right?


So I have been enchanted with this Prestige Class since I first saw it but due to it being printed in an early Paizo product it is not legal for PFS play. It is too bad too because it is filled with campaign world based flavor and feel that it would add a lot to the PFS community. Also with some of the new books coming out that have bolstered Starknife and thrown weapon builds in general you could actually have an effective character out of the deal too.

Any chance this might get reprinted in a PFS legal source?
...please?


Devilkiller: Yep.

I have been considering which starting feats to swap out for with the Brownie. One idea was to give him Weapon Focus, Weapon Finesse and Slashing or Fencing Grace. This would allow him to take advantage of his high Dex in melee. The downside is that despite the little guy being fairly durable for a Familiar he would still have to provoke by moving into their square to attack and that just doesn't seem safe. Also, I would eventually be able to get him Point Blank Master and he can just use his bow in melee without provoking. Then I also wouldn't have to buy magic swords and bows for him.

The other idea I had was to give him Toughness (I think it still adds to Familiar HPs, right?), Endurance (to sleep in his armor) and Run or Fleet (to help shore up his poor move speed) and/or just get the Extra Item Slot feats. Outside of wrist for Bracers of Archery and foot for Boots of Haste or Striding and Springing I'm not sure what other slots he would actually need.

Ideas on which feats to swap out for the Brownie?


Oh wow. Didn't catch that. That actually helps a lot. Thanx! :D


I do not believe you can trade out Familiar feats that they start with.

I looked at Weapon Training but didn't see much I liked. Any specific suggestions?

The Brownie needs Deadly Aim to be able to do any amount of damage or else I'd agree with the Rapid Shot bit.


Elven Eldritch Guardian

The Build:

Str 12
Dex 16 (+2)
Con 15 (-2)
Int 8 (+2)
Wis 13
Cha 10

Fighter levels are all Eldritch Guardian
Witch is Beast Bonded Witch

1st
Fighter 1
Familiar, Point-blank Shot (1st)
2nd
Fighter 2
Share Training, Steel Will
3rd
Fighter 3
Armor Training, Precise Shot (3rd)
4th
Fighter 4
Deadly Aim (Fighter 4)
5th
Fighter 5
Weapon Training, Improved Familiar (5th)
6th
Fighter 6
Steel Will +2, Weapon Focus: Longbow (Fighter 6)
7th
Fighter 7
Armor Training, Weapon Specialization: Longbow (7th)
8th
Fighter 8
Rapid Shot (Fighter 8)
9th
Fighter 9
Weapon Training, Point Blank Master(9th)
10th
Fighter 10
Steel Will +3, Snap Shot (Fighter 10)
11th
Witch 1
Cantrips, Hex: Ward, Patron Spells, Witch's Familiar, Transfer Feats, Extra Item Slot (11th)
12th
Witch 2
Hex: Feral Speech

This is for PFS play.

The concept is for a very fey/sylvan elf with a brownie familiar who is also very fighty. I was considering making them both switch hitters as I can make them both fairly durable, but I couldn't afford to get the feats for any of the X Grace feats and still be passable at archery. I should be able to hook that Brownie up with some pimp gear. Mithril Chain Shirt will go a long way for the little guy. And with DR 5/Cold Iron and some passable HP due to Fighter HD with a decent Con (improved later with a belt) he should even be able to take a hit (or more likely not get hit).

By 8th level the Brownie will be doing 1d4+6 damage and will be getting 3 attacks per turn. That is before item bonuses or buffs. Most of the build speaks for itself aside from the last couple of levels. I want to be able to give the Brownie some Greater Bracers of Archery and the only way that I can figure to give him a feat is with the Beast Bonded Witch archetype. Its not so bad as by that level I will already have all the BAB that I need. The few spells will be nice. Ward is basically equivalent to Extra Item Slot for a +2 Ring of Protection and +2 Cloak of Resistance. And I get to give him an Item slot for the bracers. Feral Speech is also very in theme.

Suggestions? What traits would you take?


In case anyone is wondering this is the build concept I have in mind:

Spoiler:
Elven Eldritch Guardian

Str 12
Dex 16 (+2)
Con 15 (-2)
Int 8 (+2)
Wis 13
Cha 10

Fighter levels are all Eldritch Guardian
Witch is Beast Bonded Witch

1st
Fighter 1
Familiar, Point-blank Shot (1st)
2nd
Fighter 2
Share Training, Steel Will
3rd
Fighter 3
Armor Training, Precise Shot (3rd)
4th
Fighter 4
Deadly Aim (Fighter 4)
5th
Fighter 5
Weapon Training, Improved Familiar (5th)
6th
Fighter 6
Steel Will +2, Weapon Focus: Longbow (Fighter 6)
7th
Fighter 7
Armor Training, Weapon Specialization: Longbow (7th)
8th
Fighter 8
Rapid Shot (Fighter 8)
9th
Fighter 9
Weapon Training, Point Blank Master(9th)
10th
Fighter 10
Steel Will +3, Snap Shot (Fighter 10)
11th
Witch 1
Cantrips, Hex: Ward, Patron Spells, Witch's Familiar, Transfer Feats, Extra Item Slot (11th)
12th
Witch 2
Hex: Feral Speech

The concept is for a very fey/sylvan elf with a brownie familiar who is also very fighty. I was considering making them both switch hitters as I can make them both fairly durable, but I couldn't afford to get the feats for any of the X Grace feats and still be passable at archery. I should be able to hook that Brownie up with some pimp gear. Mithril Chain Shirt will go a long way for the little guy. And with DR 5/Cold Iron and some passable HP due to Fighter HD with a decent Con (improved later with a belt) he should even be able to take a hit (or more likely not get hit).

By 8th level the Brownie will be doing 1d4+6 damage and will be getting 3 attacks per turn. That is before item bonuses or buffs. Most of the build speaks for itself aside from the last couple of levels. I want to be able to give the Brownie some Greater Bracers of Archery and the only way that I can figure to give him a feat is with the Beast Bonded Witch archetype. Its not so bad as by that level I will already have all the BAB that I need. The few spells will be nice. Ward is basically equivalent to Extra Item Slot for a +2 Ring of Protection and +2 Cloak of Resistance. And I get to give him an Item slot for the bracers. Feral Speech is also very in theme.

Suggestions?


Lorewalker: Those rules were all clearly fabricated. There is no such thing is "Paffifinder". ;)

Yeah, I dig. I think I'm done here because those rules are the same ones I already knew about. They do not outright say that they can wear armor. It says they can wear "Barding" which is different. I don't really care to argue against how I would prefer it to work but I'm sure you can see where that counter argument would go.

So let me just throw it out there: Is there anyone who believes that a Brownie Familiar could not wear armor, use a bow or a shield?


Lorewalker: Look, I agree with you so don't take what I say as me arguing with you. That isn't my intention. The problem with when you say, "The books make it legal..." is that you are not quoting a rule to support your viewpoint. It is the equivalent of saying, "Because reasons."

And when you say, "But an outsider [familiar], specifically one that has hands, can wield any weapon that can fit its hands." you aren't backing that up with facts. I understand that it isn't explicitly forbidden. It might not even be implicitly forbidden. But it is not explicitly allowed.

As I said, Pathfinder is a permissive system. You have a list of rules telling you what you CAN do. Unless there is a rule allowing for something you are likely to run up against a brick wall of a DM who says you can't and then have nothing to show to prove your point. In fact, the only thing you will have is "Well, there is nothing saying I can't..."

I don't want to go in with that weak ass argument. I don't want to design a character on shaky ground.

So, to repeat:

Me, earlier... wrote:

I need something saying that I CAN do something, not the lack of something saying that I cannot.

That being said, are there rules somewhere that I am not aware of stating that Familiars CAN wield manufactured weapons?

Is there a rule somewhere that states that Familiars CAN wear armor? (I know they get a Barding slot but technically that is different than armor.)

What about a Shield?... where does that fall?

What about slotless, non-activated magic items? (I know about Ioun Stones but what about other similar items?)


Lorewalker: Yeah, I read that entire thread back in the day. It is about as clear as mud. Questions pop up on the vagueness that is the current ruling constantly so I know I am not alone. I appreciate the fact that a ruling was made but it is very out of date and unclear.

Posts like Aram Zey's, while exciting if true, only add to the confusion. I also saw your post here that shows there is some confusion about whether or not Familiars are even allowed to use manufactured weapons at all.

The opinion shared stating they cannot use manufactured weapons.:
Jessex wrote:
Sometimes there are going to be rules that just are. This is one of those times. Familiars and AC's cannot use weapons. Familiars do not require Handle Animal. That is simply the way it is.

I don't want to spread mistruth and honestly I do not know where he came to that conclusion from. I think it is possible he got the information on Animal Companions mixed up with that of Familiars.

The point is that I would like to be able to make a character that has a Brownie as an Improved Familiar and is fully armed the way a character would be without getting a crosswise glance from a DM. I would like to be able to backup that this is doable with facts from a FAQ or the equivalent. Pathfinder is a permissive system. I need something saying that I CAN do something, not the lack of something saying that I cannot.

That being said, are there rules somewhere that I am not aware of stating that Familiars CAN wield manufactured weapons?

Is there a rule somewhere that states that Familiars CAN wear armor? (I know they get a Barding slot but technically that is different than armor.)

What about a Shield?... where does that fall?

What about slotless, non-activated magic items? (I know about Ioun Stones but what about other similar items?)


Lorewalker: Um, that is Aram Zey. Does it get more official? ;) What if we got Marcos Farabellus in here?


Lorewalker: So you believe that it is an accident that they were only referring to Animal Companions there and that they meant to include that whole section for Familiars rather than the sections where they specify Familiars? You know I can't just take your word on that... ;)


GM Aram Zey: Hm... Brownies sadly do not come with a bow. Thank you for the idea, though.


Lorewalker: But I swear it used to actually be in the FAQ. Perhaps I am just remembering incorrectly.


Ferious Thune: I swear it was there but when I re-read it... did they remove it?!


Ah, thank you for that bit of wisdom, Lorewalker! :)

Where are you getting that a familiar has only two body slots? Please provide me with a quote and/or link. The part that you quoted says what part of the chart that they use. It does not say that familiars only have a barding and neck slot. Are you perhaps confusing the part where it talks about Animal Companions?

I hadn't thought about the actual pricing of Tiny sized items. I guess I would have to go with a resizing bow if I wanted the guy to get a Tiny sized bow.


So lets say I have a character that has Eldritch Guardian levels and gets Improved Familiar to obtain an Brownie Familiar.* What kind of gear could this Familiar use?

*I understand it is a point of contention whether an Eldritch Guardian qualifies or not...:
For the sake of argument lets just say that this character is able to meet the requirements through whatever means necessary. If he has to take a number of Wizard levels to qualify for Improved Familiar that doesn't prevent him from also having Eldritch Guardian levels.

Could he use a bow and arrows? (using all the combat feats the character has thanks to Eldritch Guardian)
Armor?
Wonderous Items?

I found this but it doesn't really answer the question.

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