|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
GM says: *after a Perception check* You notice nothing.
Those exact words are possibly the most paranoia-inducing phrase you can drop on a group of players... or maybe it's just legendary among my group, after "you notice nothing" turned out to mean "an invisible pixie with a penchant for mind games and amnesia arrows noticed you and is going to haunt you for the rest of the campaign, including masquerading as a PC as one point".
To this day no one is allowed to play a character named "Tina". >.>
I... I might have to borrow this. My Kingmaker group is getting ready to go after a vampire.
From experience: When the vampire turns out to be a mimic, your players will groan. When they realize the mimic is a vampire, they will hate you for ever and for always. :)
For extra bonus points, put a couple of the coffin mimics from book 5 of carrion crown guarding the mimic vampire's actual coffin, so the party has no way of knowing which of the three coffins is the real target.
James Jacobs wrote:
Hmmm... that's an error on the nanite hypogun part. It should use canisters.
I figured that might be an error. I assumed it was canisters at first, and then did a double-take when I noticed that the capacity was "10" instead of "1 nanite canister". Considering the price difference between batteries and canisters, it makes the hypoguns a fair bit cheaper to use than they should be, too.
I think this is possibly the single meanest encounter I have ever thrown at my PCs.
What the PCs see: A twenty foot by twenty foot stone room, its floor ten feet below the floor of the hallway leading in. In the center lies an ornate coffin with no lid. The interior of the coffin is lined with silk. A frail, emaciated man wearing expensive finery lies in the coffin with his arms crossed over his chest. A ring on his finger is set with a large, glowing gemstone. A wooden stake protrudes from the man's heart. The room is otherwise empty.
What is actually going on: The entire setup - coffin, man, ring, stake, everything - is a dread vampire failed-apotheosis mimic. The gemstone on the ring is actually the mimic's eye, so anyone who studies it too closely is targeted by a dominate. As soon as someone does something stupid, the mimic unleashes its horrific appearance, then casts deeper darkness as a surprise round. Anyone the mimic hits with a slam (or who touched the mimic) is grappled with no escape, making it easy for the mimic to pin and blood drain to death. For bonus points, the entrance to this room is not at ground level, making it very hard to find your way out in the dark.
I threw two separate parties at this encounter - both fled with half the party dead, bricked up the entrance to the room, and swore never to return. In both cases the party paladin was the first to die - one tried to behead the vampire to finish killing it (and of course got their sword stuck to the mimic) and the other got grappled right off and only carried a two handed weapon...
Well, my PCs have had a couple more sessions and managed not to break anything. They've slowed down the breakneck pace they were moving at, which is convenient - otherwise I'd have finished book 1 before book 2 comes out, which would be annoying. :)
Since they were already betrayed by the Technic League once, I decided not to have Sanvill be a member of the league. Or rather, to have him be a double agent, actually spying on the league for one of the major governments (namely New Thassilon - long story). I also had Garmen be a spy for one of the River Kingdoms, playing nicely into the meta-politics going on in my campaign continuity (The River Kingdoms are currently the main thing keeping New Thassilon's power in check, thanks largely to a certain kingdom in the Stolen Lands...). So my PCs had a nice little choice of which spy to side with.
In the end they ran Garmen out of town, half-naked, unconscious, and tied to a mule. Sanvil is probably going to end up joining them as a cohort, but for now he is identifying tech for them for free
Anyway, looks like they will finish it up next session. Looking forward to how they handle Meyanda.
The sniper is such an archetypical character concept that it's weird that it's so hard to build one in Pathfinder. I'm running into this for a campaign I'm writing right now - one of my PCs once to be a sniper-type character.
I would definitely suggest slayer over rogue. Studied target is awesome and has no range limit. At low levels you are basically going to be a standard ranged rogue - i.e. sucking pretty hard. However, once you can save up the money for a pair of sniper goggles things start to look better. You will also want endless ammunition on your crossbow - expensive, but you are basically paying for style points. Yes, bows are stronger, but heavy crossbows are cooler. Plus you can fire a crossbow while prone, and you just aren't a sniper if you aren't firing prone.
I would also suggest a dip in shadowdancer for hide in plain sight, although slayer camouflage works just as well if you are willing to wait until 10th.
Is this an outdoorsy campaign? Because here's the thing - like any good sniper, you will need a lot of preparation. You need to be willing to split yourself from the party. Ideally, you need to find a vantage point where you can see the party, but are at least 150-200 feet away from combat. At that distance, with your high Stealth (your stealth is high, right?), the penalty on monster perception checks should be enough to keep you from being spotted. Don't forget to ask your GM for situational stealth bonuses because a) you are prone and b) you half buried yourself in dirt and leaves.
Also, carry something you can use to signal the party in a hurry. A wand of fireball with enough UMD or some kind of flare or something. Some way to say "guys, the sniper just got ambushed!"
Vital strike will probably also be your friend if you are going for the whole "one shot, one kill" feel. I would talk to your DM to see if there is any way he will let you get the gunslinger's "dead shot" deed. If he is really, really nice he might house rule that you can combine dead shot with vital strike (only adding vital strike damage once, of course), but don't count on either of those things.
What you can definitely do is pick up the Amateur Gunslinger feat to take the Bolt Ace's "Sharp Shoot" deed - combine that with a distance heavy crossbow and once per day you get to target touch AC from up to 240 feet away.
The other good news is that assassinate doesn't have a built in range limit, so with those sniper goggles you can pull it off from any range.
I recently discovered the anime Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere and am really enjoying it.
I didn't think I was going to at first - the anime has lots of shameless fanservice, and the plot is REALLY confusing at first. It basically starts in media res without ever going back from there, expecting you to play catch up by paying careful attention to everyone's dialog.
That said, it was just interesting enough that I stuck with it, and I'm quite glad I did - if for no other reason than that the main character is simply amazing. He's one of those characters that I keep asking myself "Is he really that dumb, or is he really that smart?!" and I honestly still have no idea.
Basically, if you like over the top anime like Gurren Lagann or Kill la Kill, it will not disappoint. Also: I was completely on the edge of my seat engrossed while two characters were having a debate about global politics.
I don't think that is an experience I will ever have again. :)
10x10x10 is 1000 cubic feet.
To find a size in cubic feet, you find the height, width, and length of an object in feet and multiply them together. This is fairly easy to visualize if you take something like legos. Assume one lego is one cubic foot. To make a block two legos wide, two legos long, and two legos high you need a total of eight legoes. This is also why the weight of a creature increases by a factor of eight when you cast enlarge person on it.
Ironically this is a confusion that comes up a lot - way back in 3.5 I had someone who thought that being able to cast shrink item on a "20 cubic foot object" meant he could shrink a 20x20x20 block of stone and then unshrink it to drop it on people...
Angry Cow wrote:
Speaking of habitat module, did I miss something or is the name of this detached part of Divinity not named anywhere in the book? I am thinking of calling it HM-14(Ka), short for "Habitat Module 14 (Kasath)", if/when the party looks at the holotable on the engineering deck. Judging by the CX-335 designation for Kasath in their notes, I am assuming the Divinity's science-minded crew had a very blunt, bland naming convention.
Are you sure it wouldn't be HM-14(CX-335)? :)
The reactor can be restored with a 4th level spell,...
I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that repairing a technological artefact is beyond the limits of that spell. Technically it works, RAW, but it really shouldn't considering the size and complexity of the device in question. Easy way to explain it: Just say the reactor is so complex that some parts of it themselves count as artefacts, and are destroyed; no magic can repair a destroyed artefact.
Also, digging through the walls without knowing ~exactly~ what you are doing sounds like a great way to blow everything up and/or cause a huge radiation leak. Likely Hellion wouldn't trust this to be done remotely. And without knowing ~exactly~ how the reactor is damaged, it's quite likely that Hellion doesn't know how to fix it - and more importantly, probably doesn't have the tools or resources.
OH! Also, don't forget that reactors in this setting basically run off of Tesla tech - they "beam" power to nearby devices. In many cases, there probably ~aren't~ cables that you can cut.
I think what Orfamay is trying to say is that it's not unreasonable to assume that yes, every single person has or will have or has had some kind of mental disorder - in the same way that basically every single person has or will have or has had some kind of physical injury or disorder at some point in their lives.
As someone who just recently found out that I am classified under what used to be known as Asperger's, this all hits a little close to home for me. I spent most of my life knowing I was different from the vast majority of people I interacted with, and struggling with social interactions for it. The worst part is, our culture is such that most people don't believe you. When I tell someone "my brain doesn't work like yours does", the response I get 95% of the time is "You're just awkward" or "of course you don't have a mental disorder, I'd have noticed if you did", or my favorite, "it's all in your head". Well yes, of course it is.
I can't tell you how frustrating it is to have so many people tell me that they understand my brain better than I do.
I also can't tell you how scary the idea of a "cure" is to me. While I would love to be better at understanding people and be able to carry on a "normal" conversation, I also dearly treasure my uniqueness. The way my brain works may be inconvenient sometimes, but I have no interest in getting "treatment" to become "normal".
I believe that if you are so irregular that you can't make a rational decision, especially if you are a danger to others, yes it is right for someone to step in and show you what your options are. But I would say that as long as you do not become a danger to others by doing so, you should always have to right to refuse any treatment.
EDIT: Actually, let me take that a step farther. I am a strong believer in people being able to make free choices, as long as they are willing to face the consequences. So I guess I believe that even if you are a danger to others, you have the right to refuse treatment. However, you also then have to face the consequence of spending your life in a padded cell, or otherwise being forcibly prevented from harming those around you.
My understanding is that rerouting the power from the reactor is beyond Meyanda's capabilities. She has a device that let's her steal power from it, but she doesn't actually know how to operate it. Also, if the reactor is still trying to send power to sections of the ship that don't exist anymore, it's apparently not very smart - it would probably also continue to send power to the power nodes even if they were destroyed.
On that note, I am totally taking suggestions on what psychic class Audrey should have.
Psion (telepath) seems the obvious choice, but seeing as my PCs don't have access to full caster classes, it could be a bit unfair to give a cohort a full manifester class.
Cerebric fungi have high Wisdom, so psychic warrior is another consideration... I'm also thinking dread could be an appropriate pick.
I'm not nearly as familiar with the psionic rules as I am with the core rules - anyone out there who has more experience want to suggest a clever build that seems appropriate for a telepathic, blood-drinking brain-plant-monster? :)
Well, my PCs have now mostly explored the science deck, and surprises abound.
First, a surprise for my players - the aforementioned treachery happened. The Technic League member stole the thing he was looking for (a generic MacGuffin, basically, that I'll be working into the plot later) and incidentally woke up the android PC, who has joined the party. The villain managed to escape (leaving his eidolon behind to slow the party down) and cruelly sabotaged the elevator to further delay the PCs (in my version it was fully functional at first).
Secondly, a surprise for me. They... totally befriended the cerebric fungus. Once they realized it wanted blood, they had the clever idea of summoning a pony and letting it drink the summoned creature's blood (little questionable if that works, but hey, why not? It's clever). With it's hunger sated for the moment, they struck up a dialog with it... and had the further clever idea of letting it read their thoughts and learn everything they knew about the world, including things like "ethics". Being a mostly good-aligned party, this resulted in the fungus acquiring a good alignment, since it didn't know any better. Currently, they have named it Audrey the Third and set it to cleaning up the bloodstained hallway while it digests all of the information it absorbed.
Needless to say this all caught me rather off guard. I think if the party decides to keep Audrey around it will become a cohort, probably taking levels in some psionic class.
Aw, you guys are gonna make me blush. :p
I'm expecting Meyanda to survive in my version, also. I actually rewrote her as a Warpriest, although this was more out of necessity - One of my groups personal rules is that all of our Golarion campaigns take place in the same timeline, and the timeline has gotten a bit weird because of this. Short version is, there are no full casters anymore so I need to rewrite all of the wizards/clerics/druids as other classes.
Anyway, the main reason I expect her to survive is because I tweaked her backstory a bit after reading the android ecology. One of my PCs, in her backstory, was close friends with an android - and she doesn't know how the android lifespan works. Well, her android friend disappeared a decade or so ago, and she's going to be very surprised to learn that
Meyanda is her old friend, post-renewal.
This is going to be very confusing for Meyanda, also, because the idea of an organic and an android being close friends doesn't really jive with her world view... not to mention the fact that her previous incarnation was very NG and would not be happy with her current life choices...
If you are limiting the spellcasting pretty hard, giving them limited wild shape at 1st level and at-will wild-shape at 4th is probably not broken, especially if you use some kind of mechanic to punish them for staying in animal form too long (which is a cool idea, btw).
I also like Dudemeister's idea of "shifter talents" that allow them to pick up abilities a normal polymorph spell wouldn't - at that point you are probably getting into the territory of a new class rather than an archetype, though.
I also think that if you grant at-will wild shape, you don't need to do much more to encourage the kind of espionage/escape/combat stuff you are talking about. Maybe put in a note that the shifter gains the racial skill modifiers of whatever creature it turns into, but wild shape already covers doing basically all those things. I ran a campaign with one of my PCs playing my shifter archetype, and she did those kinds of things all the time, even with her shapeshifting just working like the regular polymorph spells.
Oh, and this thread has reminded me that I need to work tree shape into my shifter writeup's bag of tricks somehow...
Still a spoiler!:
It was planned from the beginning, and it was the PC's idea. Basically, they wanted to play an android that had only just woken up - a sort of "blank slate" character. But to do that they'd need to be discovered by the PCs during the campaign. So my player came up with the idea of playing a villain who betrays the PCs, and then after that is resolved they discover his real character. I'm adding a couple rooms to the dungeon by having the elevator be able to access another floor - that is where they will find the android.
When the betrayal happens, I'll actually be taking over the member of the Technic League as an NPC - he has an escape plan in place and may end up becoming a recurring villain. I've already told my player that it would be ironic as heck if his "fake" character ends up killing his "real" character. :)
I'll admit - with the way polymorph spells work in Pathfinder, it's hard for a shapeshifting-focused class to not be a "kill things" class, IMO. Many polymorph spells give very high bonuses to strength, any many of the best polymorph forms have some nasty special attacks. Even a wizard can be pretty murderous when they shapeshift into a gallows tree for +8 strength and 6 natural attacks.
Obviously shapeshifting gives a lot of utility, too, but I don't think it's the kind of utility that steps on other classes toes too much - no amount of shapeshifting will equal the buffing power of a cleric or battlefield control of a wizard, and animals aren't known for being able to pick locks.
Which could be another argument for shapeshifters being "fighter-type". Really I see them filling about the same role as an Aegis - tanky damage dealer with situational flexibility.
Hobgoblin Shogun wrote:
Holy crap. That is amazing. How did you even convey the information that it was a flat out alien zombie that was thousands of years old? Or did the PCs kinda realize it on their own?
One of the PCs is an Investigator with the Stargazer campaign trait, and had previously made the knowledge check to figure out that the cave paintings were of creatures not of this world, so they knew the four-armed creatures were aliens. They also had already guessed the true nature of the habitat module when they accidentally reactivated it.
Of course, none of the PCs really know how old any of this stuff is, which is why that exchange came perilously close to tipping off the fact that
If you are in my Iron Gods game do not read!:
the "scholarly" PC is actually a member of the Technic League planning to betray the party before the book is over - the destruction of such a valuable find angered him so much he almost blew his cover. Luckily a couple other PCs took his side, so no one got suspicious.
Also: I have to say my favorite thing about this campaign is getting to be vague and mysterious about knowledge checks and the like. Instead of saying "These are the bones of an XXX, it has XXX abilities", I get to say things like "Well, judging by the skeletal structure of this creature, you would guess it was adapted to a desert environment. The shape of the skull also indicates that it may of had human-like intelligence."
And don't even get me started on how much I love the tech stuff. My PCs almost blew themselves up with a grenade before they knew what it was.
I actually ended up writing a druid archetype very similar to this, sort of based on the 3.5 Shifter.
Ranger-style spell progression, gave up nearly every other Druid class feature, but could wild shape at will. Also had a limited-use ability that let it turn into basically anything, with full BaB for the duration of the transformation.
I don't want to derail your thread, but I could share it if you are interested.
I ran the repair drone encounter with only two of my five PCs, since I started the campaign with a party split (the two diplomatic PCs went to talk to Dolga, another went to check out black hill, and the fourth PCs went to Khonnir's house; PC #5 is Khonnir's apprentice/Val's "uncle". So that made it more interesting, but still an easy encounter.
The blindheim however... it got a surprise round, and every single PC failed their save. So the party got to fight it entirely blind. Surprisingly, no one died.
Since then they've made it through the habitat module (I... significantly increased... the number of skeletons. It was quite fun to have the PCs sneaking through the dark desert, trying to keep away from the dozens of glowing green eyes searching for them). They almost got murdered by the advanced ghalarn (3/5ths of the party was in the negatives at one point or another) and I was expecting the Kasatha chieftain to be a tough encounter.
The barbarian won initiative, charged, crit with her halberd, and did nearly 50 damage. Fight over.
Led to some great roleplay, though - one of my PCs (a scholarly type) freaked out over the barbarian destroying the intelligent zombie because "It had a MIND! A mind thousands of years old! We could have LEARNED from it!" "It was trying to kill us!" "We could have at least TRIED to capture it intact!"
Fun times. :)
Wow. Just recently discovered this feat. This feat is completely ridiculous, but not (only) for the reasons you guys are mentioning here.
I would never allow this feat because it requires me to stop game for several minutes so my wizard PC can do math. I can't imagine anything more boring for the other PCs. "Excuse me guys, we need to stop game while I try out a dozen combinations of a dozen numbers to see if I managed to cast that spell."
No. Bad feat. No biscuit.
Either that, or the wizard PC has an app for that, in which case it goes back to being broken for the above mentioned reasons. And as we learned from 3.5 Power Attack: No feat should require a computer program to use effectively.
But it does make me laugh that this feat is so obviously terribly designed, and the forum response is "this feat is broken because mathematically it's overpowered!" instead of "this feat is broken because it steals fun from everyone else while it resolves". :)
What I do is I use the healer's belt from 3.5 (not sure which splat book it's from), although I change it to be glove slot to not compete with physical stat belts.
750gp, comes with 3 charges a day, used as a standard action on yourself or another. 1 charge heals 2d8, 2 charges heal 3d8, 3 charges heal 4d8.
It sounds crazy cheap, but if you compare it to the healing of a wand of cure light, it's pretty well balanced. Over its lifetime, a CLW wand will heal an average of 275 damage. An efficiently used healer's belt (assuming the PCs resist the temptation to blow all the charges in one go in a rough fight) heals an average of 33 damage. Basically, the PCs would need to completely expend the belt every day for 9 days straight to get more out of it than a wand.
Anyway, I usually drop one or two as treasure in the campaigns I run instead of CLW wands. Less bookkeeping, too, since the PCs don't have to track every charge and make plans to run back to town when they get low.
Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
I'm not sure I follow. A wizard 3/bard 1 can have 4 ranks of perform (dance) and give up a feat to take the masterpiece, right? Just because you have the option of sacrificing a second level spell doesn't mean you have to be able to.
Which actually means that this is possibly even more silly in the hands of a wizard x/bard 1 character, since it frees up all your skill points for non-int-based skills... Of course, wizards don't really need the extra skill points.
Suppose there is a feat called "Improbable Knowledge". This feat reads "Choose a Knowledge skill. You get a +4 bonus to that skill, and may use that skill to make any Knowledge check".
That feat is always significantly better than the feat Scholar. While Scholar is not an amazing feat, comparing to existing feats is a standard balance metric.
If Pageant were only available as a feat, instead of by sacrificing a spell (which costs less than a feat), it would still be more powerful than Improbable Knowledge.
I recently helped a player build a Bard for a game I am running. Because it's a for-fun one-shot, I decided to let her take Pageant and run with it, see how crazy it can get.
As a 9th level character, she has a +38 in every knowledge skill. That's pretty impressive - I don't think I've ever seen a wizard of that level with knowledge that high. However, that's not what I think is most silly about the skill. People focus on its application to knowledge skills and forget that it applies to all Int-based skills.
What really breaks it for me is that Pageant means she has +34 in every Craft skill.
Craft (alchemy)? +34. Craft (siege engine)? +34. Craft (underwater basket weaving)? +34.
I can kinda understand the argument that Bards are supposed to be really good at Knowledge. But are they also supposed to be really good at appraise, linguistics, spellcraft, and every single craft skill, all for the price of one skill?
For that matter, a Bard doesn't even have to invest in Bluff to abuse this. My PC's bard has zero ranks in Bluff - she has Perform (Sing) with Versatile Performance instead, along with enough ranks of Dance to meet the requirement for Pageant. Since Sing also applies to Sense Motive, that means that she gets to apply her total bonus in one skill to:
Sing, Bluff, Sense Motive, Appraise, Linguistics, Spellcraft, every Knowledge skill, and every Craft skill.
That means a magic item that gives a +5 bonus to Perform (Sing) is giving her a +5 bonus to 16+ skills; Skill Focus (Sing) is also effectively giving her skill focus in all those skills. She ended up going with an Int of 7 because she couldn't think of any skills she needed other than sing and dance.
Are you sure that's not broken?
I am of the opinion that the arcanist is stronger than the sorcerer, in general. However, I am also of the opinion that the fault is not with the arcanist.
Mostly, the existence of this class just gave me the impetus to do something I've been meaning to for a while - switch sorcerers and oracles to wizard/cleric spell level progression (i.e. every odd level).
This fairly nicely balanced the arcanist, in my opinion - they combine some of the best aspects of wizard and sorc, but get their spells slower than either.
Dotting this thread for awesome explosive runes terror bombing idea.
Also, bit of real world experience: When I was a newbie 3.5 player I discovered Explosive Runes and had lots of fun with it (use mage hand to hold a slip of paper out in front of a kobold's face. Summon 1d4+1 celestial eagles (in 3.5, they can read) and order them to do dive-bomb attacks, etc.).
I also crafted a nuke. Just in case. And, ultimately, when we hit a fight that should have been a tpk, that nuke saved all our lives. It was awesome.
And immediately after that session I got an e-mail from my DM regarding nerfing explosive runes. Which was all cool - I'd had my time in the spotlight, it was time to move on to other players and other spells.
So my experience tells me that the people saying "in a real game, this would never happen" are probably right.
I did a similar thing with A.A. when I ran Carrion Crown. It's definitely a great way to play up the villain.
I also went with the angle of A.A. being grateful to the PCs - he would have been sorely disappointed if he had achieved world domination as easily as everything else. In fact, he ended up offering the PCs indirect advice a time or two - nothing to do with his own plans, of course, that would spoil the game, but it wouldn't due to have them dying to fish-cultists, you know?
Nymphs are really nasty for a CR 6 creature.
Noticed this when I threw a mixed batch of CR 6 fey at my PCs and the nymph was vastly more effective than the rest.
DC 21 Fort vs blind for the whole party most likely takes the wizard and rogue out of the game, and then stunning glance at the same DC against whoever saved... Also, there is no immunity to the aura, so the party is saving against blindness EVERY ROUND.
Polymorph Any Object has some exceptionally "fun" uses, and I've always considered it one of the most broken spells if applied creatively.
One that came up recently: In Skull and Shackles, a PC got himself bitten by a wereshark then used a scroll of PAO to transform himself from an afflicted wereshark into a natural wereshark...
Also seen some hilarious uses, like polymorphing an enemy minion into a wall to block the hallway his friends were sending reinforcements down...
Basically, with some creativity, there's really no limit to the havoc you can wreak with this. Made it a save-or-die by turning the target into a soap bubble. Polymorph one trap into a pig and use it to spring the next trap. Turn a 10-by-10-by-10 cube of the ceiling into lava.
Polymorph an elephant into a pebble, trick someone into swallowing it, wait for the spell to run out... Have fun watching your GM try to figure out how to rule that.
@Cyrad: Yeah, unfortunately there is a lot of necessary copy/paste. For example, Gun Kata works very similar to Flurry of Blows... but not exactly. So I have to replicate a lot of the text to make it clear which parts are the same and which are different. I could probably rewrite it to be shorter, but I worry it would be less clear. Honestly, this archetype changes so much I should probably just declare it an alternate class instead of an archetype.
I definitely cared more about fulfilling the core concept I envisioned for the class - versatile, short-range firearm combat - then I did about making reference to the movie. This class is inspired by the grammaton clerics, but it's not meant to be an exact reference.
Point blank shot could get wonky if you were a mythic equalizer and took limitless range, yeah. But in that case you are running an mythic campaign and all balance bets are off. Not sure there are any other ways to really break it, though. With regular pistols your range is shorter than usual point blank - only 20 ft. - and even a distance firearm only gets you 10ft. past typical point blank range.
I think it's more important to simplify bookkeeping; I didn't want the player to have to remember "Am I in point-blank range? What about touch AC range? Which one lets me use my trick shots again?" So I just made them line up.
@Adam: I actually have a PC playing a Cryptic in my current Way of the Wicked campaign. His Stealth score is +40, but so far that's the only way he's really broken anything. :) Didn't notice that archetype, though, that's cool.
I made this for a friend who wanted to play a gunslinging monk in Skull and Shackles. ...I may also have watched a certain movie too many times... >.>
Anyway, disclaimer is that this is not meant to be exactly equally powerful to standard monk (which I think most people agree is a low bar). This class is probably stronger than a typical monk, at least when it's doing what it's good at. But it should be in the power scale of barbarians or paladins.
Remy Balster wrote:
There is, however, no way to interpret the extra attack from a flurry as resulting from fighting with two weapons rules. Nothing in flurry says that it results from fighting with two weapons. It even strongly implies that it does not, in fact, come from fighting with two weapons, by explicitly telling us that we don't need to use two weapons in a flurry! Top that off with the fact that a monk's unarmed strikes are never offhand attacks... and the notion that the extra attack from flurry being the result of fighting with two weapons is simply ludicrous.
This does, of course, conveniently ignore the fact that a monk making a Flurry CAN choose to use two weapons.
Let's say a monk decides to flurry using a temple sword in each hand. None of these attacks are off-hand attacks, by your reading, but he is clearly fighting with two weapons, alternating attacks between the two.
Would you argue that the monk can then use TWF to make another set of attacks with one of the swords he already attacked with, except this time calling them "off hand attacks"?
GMing a Way of the Wicked campaign and the party is finishing off a paladin and discussing what to do with his corpse.
Drow ninja: As I coup-de-grace him, I carve out his heart in supplication to my god.
Witch: My cacodaemon familiar devours his soul and turns it into a soul gem.
Antipaladin: I'm stripping his armor; it looks shiny.
Necromancer: Can I raise him as a zombie? I need another minion.
Witch: Oh, let me remove his brain first, I need it for the golem I'm building.
Me: You guys are horrible...
Antipaladin: Hey, Father Asmodeus teaches us to use every part of the buffalo.
I think the use of "other" ties it up for me, as far as RAW goes. It means that the person writing this item was acting under the assumption that thrown daggers are always small, ranged, piercing weapons. Which means that handguns are always small, ranged, piercing weapons.
However, I am also 90% sure that whoever wrote this armor was not a rules lawyer, and that their thought process went "well, obviously thrown daggers do piercing damage, doing slashing damage with a thrown dagger is just silly". Trying to say that daggers being on that list means that the designers intended for guns to be affected is giving a bit too much credit to the amount of thought put into designing the armor.
You have to remember that the designers of this armor probably didn't cross reference half as many rules half as intensely as the people in this thread have; they just wrote the item in a way that they thought worked, based on their available knowledge of the rules.
So I guess my personal stance is that RAW: The DR applies against bullets. RAI: Who knows? House rule: Haha, no, you are not stopping bullets with your Charmin armor.
Oh, and for your debating pleasure: Does this DR apply against blunt arrows (bludgeoning damage) fired from a longbow (piercing damage)?
Now THAT is a question I couldn't answer. :)
One of the players in my friend's Wrath of the Righteous campaign is playing a slightly modified Holy Gun. The changes were:
-Gives up spellcasting.
With these changes, she is actually a beast in this campaign. Since she dual wields pistols, she can burn 2-3 smites in a single attack routine, getting double smite damage each time. Plus the ability to recover her grit pool in the usual ways means she often gets MORE smite attacks in a given day than a typical Paladin could expect to get, even having to burn a grit point each time.
EDIT: Ah, sorry, didn't realize I was contributing to a necro... ~hangs head in shame~
Thanael makes a great point, and basically what I'd consider the best use of Diehard - ask your GM how hard it is to pretend to be knocked out (they'll probably say it'll be a Bluff check, so if you haven't invested in that skill this might not work).
Using Diehard to get yourself an extra action to heal yourself so the healer doesn't have to is a great use of it. But using it to stay in the fight on your last legs is really dangerous.
Yeah, raging vitality and toughness will both keep you in the fight longer without the risk of killing you.
Oh, that said, as a barbarian there is another reason to take Diehard. When you fall unconscious, your rage ends. At higher levels, this will cause you to lose enough hit points that you probably die anyway. So at that point, taking Diehard to keep yourself conscious will save your life.
Also, from my experience, Die Hard might as well be called Please Kill Me. One of my fellow players in Wrath of the Righteous invested in Die Hard. Every single time he's used it, it resulted in him dying. Every single time the GM admitted that if he'd been knocked unconscious, the enemy would have gone after someone else.
You are basically trading your safety net for the hope of getting an extra attack or two in, and it's usually a bad trade.
So I had a character in one of my games once. She was a rogue. She wielded a greatsword and had the feat Catch Off-Guard.
She would fight people with her greatsword, doing the usual rogue flanking and sneak attack stuff. And then sometimes, she wouldn't be able to get flanking. And while her foe was sticking their tongue out at her, you know what she'd do? She'd pommel bash them with the greatsword for sneak attack damage.
You know what? It was awesome, and totally iconic, and I don't want to roleplay in a world where that's not possible.
Speaking from personal experience here:
The final battle of a 3-year campaign I ran was a custom monster I created.
She had 5000 hit points (no typo), was immune to anything that would instantly defeat her, recovered from any debuff in very short order, and could act three times a round.
I also basically completely threw rules out the window - she didn't actually have a stat block other than AC and saves. Instead I wrote individual attack routines - "this round, she uses this attack, with these bonuses, then uses this ability, with these bonuses, then does this".
So in other words, I did everything Orfamay Quest says makes a terrible boss battle.
But you know what?
My players had a blast.
It was the end of an epic campaign, the battle against a BBEG that had been against them from the very start. They were mythic and insanely powerful in their own right. It was a completely gonzo, silly over the top battle that lasted an entire session and my players still talk about it being one of their favorite sessions.
So I don't think you can say "do this and it will always suck" or "this kind of battle will always be fun". What it comes down to, as with every aspect of a GM's job, is know your players. I didn't have a single character in my party who was save-or-suck focused; everyone was a damage dealer. So a boss that was a giant pile of hit points was playing to my party's strengths.
I built action routines for her that gave different players a chance to shine - one round she had a special barrier that blocked attacks originating from more than 10 feet away, so the melee fighters could go to town. The next round, she teleported away from anyone who got close - the ranged attackers got to have their moment in the limelight.
I think boss battles can be all kinds of fun. They can also be horribly boring. They have to be very carefully tailored to your party and their expectations. That's why I think "elite monster" templates and that sort of thing are a bad idea - you can't design a boss in a vacuum, or create a boss that will be interesting for every party.
Anyway, there's my opinion.