|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
My friend who ran WotR had a very similar experience to this; he actually cut out the entire last book because he was so burned on the campaign.
Currently, our opinion on Mythic is that it is a great way to give a little extra oomph to a particularly vicious boss, and we have both used it that way a couple times. I do also like Paizo throwing the occasional mythic enemy for the same reason.
I will probably never give my PCs Mythic power, except maybe individual abilities handed out that are appropriate to the characters and not game-breaking.
I typically allow most anything by Dreamscarred Press - both the psionic rules and the Path of War - or Super Genius Games (although not godlings), especially as I draw on a lot of that material to give my PCs opponents. Oh, and I added Pact Magic Unbound to that list lately, because the Occultist is totes cool.
I will also allow other third party material on a case-by-case basis, but only for interesting character ideas, not for powergaming.
As for that feat: It's probably fine. I already allow the Greater Unarmed Strike feat mentioned above from Path of War, and I'd probably use that instead, but it's certainly not going break any games. Monks already aren't breaking any games.
Well, in my house rules in which I basically give all monks pounce at 4th level they actually have come close to dominating a fight. But then the witch shut four monks down with one spell and balance was restored to the universe...
A bit of advice of my own, based on something that almost messed me up when creating my item this year:
In previous years, with wondrous items, cost has always been half of price.
This year, that is not always true. If you are making a weapon, armor, or shield, please remember that the price of the non-magical base item is not halved. For example, suppose you are making a magical dagger. All together, it ends up with a price of 10,302gp - 10,000gp worth of magical abilities, and 302gp for the masterwork dagger.
The item's cost is 5,302gp - not 5,151gp.
This may be nit-picky, but attention to this level of detail is certainly something I will be looking for when voting this round.
Bob Bob Bob wrote:
I think this is wrong. The reason I think this is wrong is because he is not two weapon fighting.
Consider the following situation:
A fighter with a +6 BaB attacks with a greatsword for his first attack. Then, for his +1 BaB attack, he drops his greatsword and quickdraws an earthbreaker.
As far as I can tell, this is completely legal and the TWF FAQ doesn't apply to it.
And as far as I can tell, it is no different from using vestigial arm to do the same thing without the quickdraw.
Totally had a DM pull that on our group once. Most encounters we were approaching carefully, fighting defensively and waiting to see what the enemy was capable of before going in for the kill. This fight, we (luckily) won initiative, caught the swarm with Color Spray, and then fireballed it into oblivion before it could act.
Then we left that part of the dungeon and never came back. :)
Oh, that reminds me of another great idea that DM had. We found an abandoned mineshaft, and were attacked by a heavily armored skeleton. For some reason, this skeleton was immune to our attempts to turn it.
Finally, we discovered that it was actually an animated suit of armor with its former wearer's skeleton trapped inside it, and the skeleton was non-animate.
Then as we were crossing a minecart track we got bludgeoned by a runaway minecart that seemed to be moving on its own. And then we were attacked by a swarm of animated pickaxes...
It turned out that the mine had been abandoned because the miners had struck a magical ore that animated any metal object to touch it.
As an apology for having a bit of fun with you, I will try to offer some honest critique.
I actually like the idea of tying various classes strictly to various alignments and deities; I'm doing something very similar for a world I am designing. It's a great way to give theme to a setting, and more importantly it's a great way of communicating that theme to players without making them read books of setting material.
Don't design settings that require players to read books full of setting material. If they wanted to do that, they'd be GMs. :)
I do notice that your deities have very broad portfolios. I could see this as a good thing or a bad thing - it means two worshipers of the same deity can be very different depending on the aspects they focus on (I imagine a naval commander who gives praise to Solonarre as deity of water and military expeditions worships her quite differently than a scholar who prays for her blessing of knowledge and invention), which is quite cool.
On the other hand, it makes it a bit harder to "classify" the deities. Deities with simple portfolios are easier to understand - again, try to design your setting such that players grok it quickly.
Also: Do all the deities shop at the same bookbinder? I notice a theme of "weighs 3lbs and costs roughly 40gp" among the holy books.
Comments on spells:
Ants in Pants seems childish. I'm honestly not really sure what the point of the spell is, except to be a joke. If your setting is meant to be taken seriously, setting-specific mechanics that players are likely to take as a joke are probably not going to set the right tone.
Bestow Wound is really, really overpowered. Not only free healing but also free damage, as a cantrip? This would be a good 1st level spell, kind of like a lesser version of Vampiric Touch. But it's way too good as a cantrip.
Bone Dry Thirst is also really strong for a cantrip. It's easy to negate, but it's also potentially devastating if you catch someone without easy access to water. It also kills targets faster than Cup of Dust, which is a third level spell (and specifically can't kill you).
Bug Spray has convoluted wording. It functions like circle of death, but it creates a cloud? Does the cloud linger if everything fails its save? Does it have the hit die limit of circle of death? Also, this spell is likely to only be used against swarms, and swarms suffer virtually nothing from the sickened condition.
Erupt Armor's wording is excessively complex. Also, why would you want your armor to get a saving throw? Besides, as an attended magical item, the armor uses your saving throw, and you can choose to fail to save anyway, so....
My suggestion for cleaner wording:
Oh, something else I noticed. Your spells mention paladins, antipaladins, and hunters - I got the impression from your writeup in your first post that these classes don't exist in your setting?
Mouthpiece is a really cool spell.
I'm debating whether Rumor Mill is too strong for a cantrip or not. It's pretty limited, but it could also be used to very great effect. I think it's probably okay.
Throw Arrow is very similar to the already existent spell Ki Arrow.
Anyway, there's my 2 cents.
Count me in that category - totally thought someone was writing up a Confessor from Sword of Truth.
Not sure how one would DO that as a class, actually. Due to poor support for low fantasy settings, Pathfinder doesn't really do well to represent "I have one insanely powerful class feature, but I'm otherwise a Commoner".
How did the player take it? Was he overjoyed at the ride upon which you'd taken him, or angry at what he perceived was a betrayal of the character he'd been playing all that time?
I was worried that he might be upset by it, but he actually loved it. I believe his exact words were "it doesn't matter how much the plot screws you, as long as it's engaging". :)
Actually, there is no problem here, since damage to an ability score explicitly does not actually reduce that ability score.
Ability DRAIN might cause this problem, though.
Abraham has it exactly right.
Tower shields are pretty boss. I got to run a boss battle in my Way of the Wicked campaign with a pair of Giant-template tower archons who could basically set their shields so as to nullify all attacks from one direction and force the party to circle around them and eat attacks of opportunity.
Nope, just a standard lance with a counter-weight to the back for ease of balancing, that and that bulbous point also looks as if it would help the Hellknight use the lance as a spear if unhorsed, allowing him to set it to receive a charge. Bear in mind this is all guesswork by me.
Ah, suddenly that all makes sense and I can go back to appreciating the awesome artwork.
Thank you. :)
When I ran Kingmaker ages ago, one of my players wanted to be a dwarven druid who had received a vision from a goddess instructing him to travel up to the Stolen Lands to "find his destiny".
I decided to
major Kingmaker spoilers!:
have the "goddess" be Nyrissa. She continued to provide him with "advice" the entire campaign, guiding him to unknowingly helping her gather the reagents she needed to steal away the Stolen Lands. Even when she revealed her true motives, she still almost managed to convince the dwarf to join her.
The look on the player's face at the end of Book 5, when he found out who he'd been working for and trusting completely since Book 1 was priceless.
On question two, the description says to choose "a single edge of your space". Your space is the entire space you take up, so a Huge creature wielding a tower shield gets to block a 15-foot-wide area.
Technically, RAW, the tower shield says nothing about sizing, so a Huge creature wielding a tower shield sized for a Medium creature still blocks a 15-foot-wide area. Oddly.
I think for question #1, you do in fact get total cover against diagonal attacks. This actually makes the tower shield better than an actual wall in that case.
For question #3, the tower shield only counts as cover for "attacks targeting you". So you can attack just fine, as can your allies.
This is purely houserule, but I've always ruled that characters can select any feat they can potentially qualify for; they just only gain the benefits of that feat when they do qualify for it.
For example, I have allowed monks to take feats they don't have enough BaB for, because their BaB when flurrying was high enough. They just only benefit from the feat during a flurry.
Or I'll let a druid take Improved Natural Attack - they benefit whenever they are in a form with that specific natural attack, otherwise it's a dead feat.
So far no one has used this to do anything that has horribly broken any of my games. ~shrug~
I definitely feel that the "replace and add" clause should stack. As someone running Way of the Wicked with an antipaladin who will likely become undead at some point, I'm definitely going to let him get Charisma to Fort twice. And I let my Inquisitor get Wisdom to Diplomacy twice in the same way.
But I also definitely always thought that "Add Dex to this" and "Add Dex to the same thing" were not meant to stack. So it's nice to have confirmation on that.
Also, to BBT: The simple answer to most of those questions is exactly what Mark said earlier - the FAQ does not affect anything other than exactly what the FAQ says it affects. You don't need to go digging for other rules elements that are affected by the FAQ because there aren't any.
Is it a question about how to apply multiple untyped ability score modifiers from the same ability score to the same thing? Refer to the FAQ. Is it a question about anything else? Don't refer to the FAQ.
Seems straightforward to me.
The explanation I have seen used - and what I rule myself - is that you can take 10 as long as you are not in immediate danger from something ~outside the skill check itself~. So, for example, no matter how dangerous the climb is you can take 10. But if someone is shooting arrows at you, no take 10 even if the climb is easy.
EDIT: That said, if your GM says you can't... you can't. Some GMs really don't like taking 10 and 20. YMMV.
Well, my party's final encounter with Meyanda was ~fantastic~.
I had made a couple tweaks to the encounter - firstly, I changed Meyanda to be a warpriest. Secondly, I removed the gearsman from elsewhere in the book and made her robot ally a gearsman.
And then I decided to take a page out of Mass Effect 2's book, and give Hellion the ability to remotely "assume command" of robots under his control, giving them his augment template.
So the party has awesome roleplay with Meyanda, questioning her about her goals and life choices. The party barbarian, who thinks Meyanda is her missing friend, especially had good roleplay. Finally, Meyanda challenged the barbarian to a one-on-one duel, ordering the robot to stand down.
Barbarian loses most of her health, but gets a lucky hit towards the end and Meyanda surrenders with barely any health left. As agreed, Meyanda moves to shut down the power relay.
Cue Hellion assuming command of the gearsman and smacking Meyanda unconscious as a surprise round. So, time for the ~real~ boss battle, against an 80hp robot with two actions a turn!
The barbarian wins initiative, shouts "Stay away from my friend!", crits, confirms, and deals 92 damage for an instant win.
This is becoming a thing...
Way of the Wicked spoilers:
In a recent session of my WotW game, the party came face to face with the phoenix in book three. Not just one, but BOTH of its deaths were awesome. The phoenix was staying in the air out of melee range and dropping firebombs, while the party tries to figure out how to bring it down. Then the party ninja UMD'd a staff with Dimension Door to teleport... directly on top of it. Nat 20'd his Acrobatics check to land on its back, Shadow of the Colossus style. It tried to fling him off (I had him make a Reflex save), he hung on, and... TWF sneak attack blender. Every attack hit, two were crits. Murdered it from full health. Featherfall (he was a drow) + dimension door again to get back to the ground and take a bow.
Of course this was just in time for it to resurrect, snatch the party antipaladin, and drop him off a 500-foot cliff, killing him.
The ninja tries to do the same thing again, but this time messes up his landing, and it grapples him. Party is freaking out, and then the cryptic (psychic rogue-type class) says "Guys, I have a plan. Everyone form up on me and ready an action." Then proceeds to hit the phoenix with ectoplasmic grapnel and have the whole party aid another the CMB check. Just when it looks like they are going to be 2 points short of beating its crazy 50 CMD, the ninja announces that he is stabbing it in the wing to disrupt its concentration and effectively aid another. Success, and working as one they harpoon the phoenix out of the sky and bring it crashing to the ground. The ninja sticks his Acrobatics check to land and blenders the now prone phoenix with a flanking buddy, killing it again.
My PCs still make comments about that fight once a session or so. :)
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. :)