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As the first "specialty priest" described in D&D, their weapon selection, armor restriction, spell list and granted powers set them apart from the default cleric (bludgeoning weapons only, metal armor, strong curing/restorative magic, turn undead). The scimitar was a good edged weapon that seemed to fit the theme (curved like a claw or crescent moon) that was being created.
Mark Hoover wrote:
Otherwise known as The B.A. Baracus method. . . ; )
I actually stumbled into chaotic neutral the first time I played it. I hadn't really picked an alignment and focused more on his personality. After a while, I looked back on his decisions and attitudes and realized "Holy Crap! He's chaotic neutral!"
I've since discovered that if I play a lawful good paladin that I will invariably slip into chaotic neutral. It's some weird reaction to the alignment plus the code of conduct. I can play LG knights and monks without problems.
I typically play humans because it's easiest for me to slip into the mindset and how they might interact with the world (can't see in the dark, no SLAs, etc). I also enjoy playing off the non-human characters. Also, no one really bats an eye at whatever class combo a human has. When a non-human character plays against type (elf monk, dwarf bard, etc), I've occasionally gotten push back from GMs (homebrew mostly---anything goes in Golarion).
If AC scaled hand in hand with BAB, fights involving attack rolls would take a lot longer to resolve at higher levels. As others have noted, a layered defense is often beneficial (DR, resistance), particularly anything that adds a flat % (concealment, fortification). Generally, I try to get an AC high enough to withstand a monster's iterative attacks so that my character (or someone else's) can deal wih the threat.
I wouldn't mind if the arcane and divine lists were unified into one list. Depending on how it was implemented, you could get something very cool. Full casters would almost become like channelers from The Wheel of Time. Half casters like rangers and paladins would get a few neat tricks. Not sure how summoners, bards, and magi would be affected (aside from getting more options).
When I played my EK, I took my first level as wizard and (for background reasons) chose Martial Weapon Proficiency (longsword) as one of my first level feats. The GM was kind enough to let me swap that feat for Weapon Focus when I took my first fighter level.
It would've been a tougher sell had I suddenly decided to play an EK after 5 levels of wizard (instead of planning it from character creation). I do understand the temptation though. Ultimate Magic came out after we'd been playing for a bit and the Magus looked really shiny . . .
I'd wager that spontaneous multiclassing is less of an issue for groups running adventure paths than groups playing heavily modded APs or homebrew settings.
You could also borrow Zatanna's schtick and recite the name of the spell or effect backwards:
Cigam Elissim! Magic Missile
Lepsid Cigam! Dispel Magic
Etavacxe eht skcor! Excavate the rocks! (Dig, Passwall)
Knis Otni Eht Dnuorg! Sink into the ground (Transmute Rock to Mud, Imprisonment)
Tel Yadot Eb A Wons Yad! Let today be a snow day! (Control Weather)
Sivle Sah Tfel Eht Gnidliub! Elvis Has Left The Building (Dimension Door, Teleport)
Too funny. For his part, the rogue would deal with anyone but he might not necessarily keep his word. He once promised the same item to different people (which led to an interesting bidding war when they both came to collect it) and he absolutely rebelled against anyone who tried to manipulate him. Needless to say, he burned a lot of bridges. ; )
In the past, I think part of the problem was that some GMs felt that CN characters had zero attention span or were in some way psychologically unstable. The way I played my CN rogue was that he was willing to deal with everyone (LG, LE, N, etc) as long as he got paid. He adventured with his LG monk buddy because the rogue was somewhat smitten with him and was fascinated by his outlook on life.
Second Darkness, Book 3. Two deaths so far. One led to a new character; the other we got back with a Raise Dead scroll. If we count deaths averted by Hero Points and Breath of Life, then the number jumps to seven.
For our group, death is still a pretty big concern even though we now have more tools to mitigate it. Three of the four PCs are original party members, and we're all very attached to our characters (currently 10th level). While we have access to Raise Dead, circumstances don't always make that a viable option (like when you have to conceal your clerical powers in the Darklands. . . .
Edit: added second paragraph.
Depends on the GM, the group, whether or not it slows combat significantly and how many times my character has cast the spell in front of the group. Lately, I've been a fan of reciting short phrases backwards (a la Zatanna) and describing a general effect.
"Ho ythgim nedyac, tnarg em ruoy rewop!" followed by "a golden aura flashes around the priest, swelling the muscles in his arms and legs". (Divine Favor)
My advice is to be descriptive as long as people are enjoying it. If you cast the same spell repeatedly, just give the name and save the description for new spells you unleash.
You could have your shopkeeper describe +1 weapons as "mage-wrought steel." A +2 weapon could be "Valerian steel---you can see by the way light plays along the blade---only noticeable to someone skilled in spellcraft. A +1 frost sword might be described as "mage-wrought steel but look, the metal is marked by a bleak rune. Feel how cold the blade is." +3 could be "elysian steel---its metal is bane to fae, demons (cold iron-equivalent), devils, and werefolk; and so forth.
GMs who expect some type of rationale for multi-classing may wish to let their players know ahead of time. Players should also consider that GMs may have more reasons than just enforcing their vision/and or stifling their creative impulses.
For example, I played in a homebrew game with an old school GM. I knew early on that my character was going for eldritch knight. The GM originally hadn't incorporated EKs into his campaign so he made a paladin-like order that my character could join (my PC was lawful good and I had described his bonded weapon as once belonging to his grandmother, a famed eldritch knight). The other PCs were asked to speak on my PC's behalf and I got to roleplay through a solemn, sacred induction ceremony when I took my first EK level. It was one of the highlights of the game for me and a milestone in my PC's career.
Communication from both sides of the table is key. GMs might get an element they can use to enrich their world in an unexpected way. Players may get the chance for a cool experience that really makes them part of campaign lore.
AD&D druids fit a narrow mold. Their role was often defined as nature's protector against encroaching civilization. Druids could magically befriend and train animals but using them for trap bait was specifically prohibited. The druid could protect a trained creature somewhat (barkskin, protection from fire) but the druid list didn't offer much at low level. Summoning creatures was not as prevalent (the earliest animal summoning spell was 4th level) and the creatures were drawn from the immediate region (if they did respond). For actual scouting, you were usually better off doing it yourself (shapechange) or shadowing the ranger or rogue. Basically, the druid was there to protect the wild. Nature could help and even fight but you would always be point man.
I like them. I've only seen them a couple of times in play (PC psion and psychic warrior) but they fit in as well as the other classes. There were a couple of powers that raised an eyebrow ("energy missile does how much damage. . .?") but so did color spray the first time it knocked out a group of thugs.
And you can totally make an Aes Sedai or Asha'man style character that actually plays differently from a wizard or sorcerer.
It can be okay, but I've seen it turn ugly. A GM was getting frustrated with one of the PCs: a zen archer monk. It got to the point where we got intel on "death squads" who were hunting us. Their priority targets were 1) archers, 2) casters, 3) everyone else. When a PC dropped, they continued to pump arrows into the corpse (until the end of their round). It was both funny and a touch passive-aggressive.
My GM decided that it requires a certain amount of time to direct a summoned creature each round. For example, giving a command to one creature is a free action; two creatures is a swift action; three creatures is a move action; etc. You can still manage a lot of creatures but it might be all a PC does in a particular round.
Eight gods of chaos suggests there might have been some in-fighting. Trap the soul, imprisonment, flesh to stone, etc. Some could have fled to a different plane but at great personal cost---they have only now regained their power. Maybe one or two aren't the original eight but their descendants, only recently coming into their own, and taking the mantle of the original.
Heh, once you get beyond the Core Four (fighter, rogue, wizard, cleric), many of the later classes (but not all) are some type of hybrid (paladin=fighter/cleric; bard=wizard/rogue; etc). Hybrids aren't exactly new. I *do* like that the newer classes beyond aren't pure mash-ups. Each can be seen as a hybrid but often brings something new to the table (magi with spell combat, witches with hexes, etc). Looking forward to the new book.
Add a darkwood buckler to your inventory. TWF can be fun, but you leave yourself vulnerable for return attacks. Enchant the buckler as needed and enjoy the boost to safety. Basically, it gives you options. Use the buckler normally when fighting tough foes. Forgo its benefit and use TWF to obliterate weaker targets.