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956 posts. Alias of Wiggz.


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Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
Ask the DM if he will let Spiritual weapon work off your CHA instead of Wisdom.

I'm sure that he will. Its kind of common sense since the Oracle is a Charisma-based caster.

I'm starting to think a trip build might be a legit option as well. As a Half-Elf I can use Ancestral Arms to qualify for a Fauchard, and I think I can talk my GM into allowing me to take the Revelation Weapon Mastery a second time for a different weapon. Something like this (again, this is a two level dip in Divine Hunter and then leveling as a Battle Oracle with the Powerless Prophecy curse):
Feats & Revelations:
(Deadly Aim, Power Attack and Combat Expertise for free)
1st - Rapid Shot
1st - Precise Shot
1st - Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Fauchard
3rd - [Weapon Mastery: Bow]
3rd - Extra Revelation [Weapon Mastery: Fauchard]
3rd - Weapon Focus: Bow*
3rd - Weapon Focus: Fauchard*
5th - [Maneuver Mastery: Trip]
5th - Combat Reflexes
7th - Extra Revelation [Battlefield Clarity]
9th - [War Sight]
9th - Multishot
9th - Improved Trip*
10th - Improved Critical: Bow*
10th - Improved Critical: Fauchard*
11th - Divine Interference
13th - [Iron Skin]
13th - Greater Trip*
13th - Tripping Strike
14th - Greater Weapon Focus: Bow*
14th - Greater Weapon Focus: Fauchard*
15th - Clustered Shots
17th - [Surprising Charge]
17th - Quicken Spell

[ ] - Revelation
* feat gained from Revelation

Ranged attacks, melee attacks, trip attacks, buff spells... am I developing good versatility or trying to do too much?

Got a group that includes a couple of very tanky melee types and an Enchantment-focused Sorcerer... I was thinking that we needed a decent ranged threat who could also handle some healing and buffing responsibilities. After talking it over with my GM, he agreed to give me access to the Ancient Lore Keeper Oracle as a Half-Elf (a little RP/backstory stuff did the trick), but I've heard that ranged Oracles aren't as effective as one might hope, particularly due to BAB & feat limitations. Fortunately our GM grants Power Attack, Deadly Aim and Combat Expertise to anyone who meets the pre-requisites and has done away with Point Blank Shot, so that helps a little.

What I'm looking at now is taking a couple levels of the Divine Hunter Paladin archetype and then going into the Lore Keeper Oracle, selecting Battle as my mystery and Powerless Prophecy as my curse. The general plan is to open combat with buffs, supporting combat with ranged attacks and then cleaning up afterwards with healing spells, with some Knowledge & Social skills to help out outside of combat. I'd really appreciate any thoughts anyone could offer with regards to Revelations and Feat selections and anything else I might not have considered - thanks in advance!

Taenia wrote:
Between Barkskin (extended with a rod you make), Huge Air Elemental Form, Wis to AC you can have a great AC, plus a very high Sense Motive check for attacks that roll high or those annoying touch spells. You can pick up huge creatures (In PFS I have juggled Hill Giants, Stone Golems, Girallons and lots of humanoids, swarms and oozes).

An air elemental with skin made of bark?


First off, I very much appreciate the responses. A couple of quick clarifications:

The Aasimar twins together will have solid ranged options - battle dance + high dex + arcane strike + various other potential buffs do indeed add up. I just meant to say that we didn't have the sort of ranged threat that a dedicated archer or blaster-type might offer and wasn't sure if that would be a big detriment or not.

Skill-wise the way we're kind of looking at things is the Dervishes will have effectively maxed out Perception, Stealth, Acrobatics and (via Versatile Performance) Diplomacy, Sense Motive, Bluff and Intimidate, all fairly soon. They'll also have a touch of Knowledge: Religion and Escape Artist.

The Oracle will have Healing and a pretty diverse smattering of Knowledges while the Summoner will have Knowledge: Planes for certain.

Apart from trap-finding, what skills would we be lacking that the AP might require?

I'll look into the Player's Guide. Perhaps one twin would focus on Perception with Trap-Finding and the other on Disable Device? The two plan on serving as the 'scouts' of the group already.

EDIT: Shaman, I really appreciate the effort put into that lengthy and informative response, but the players are in love with the idea of playing identical builds intended to be complimentary. The Halfling player actually seriously considered running an Archeologist (with a dip in Halfling Opportunist) but felt that the group lacked any sort of legitimate 'tank' and has always wanted to run a Summoner type.

First off, I know there is no one who technically has trap finding. That's a concern and one we're trying to figure out how to address, but no one wants to have their characters dictated by something like that.

The group looks like this:

Human Oracle (Ancestor) whom intends to take some levels of Living Monolith, one at least.
Plans to use a reach weapon and serve as a second liner combatant and combat support.

Aasimar Dawnflower Dervish
Aasimar Dawnflower Dervish
Twins who grew up fighting together. Plan is for both to take Paired Opportunist and Broken Wing Gambit to reflect that, not sure if they'll be better off dipping into something to make that easier - maybe a level of Cavalier/Order of the Flame?

Halfling Summoner
Standard Summoner, eidolon takes the form of a giant multi-tailed scorpion that he rides.

Now the group lacks a particularly dangerous ranged threat (as well as the aforementioned trap finding issues), but all are casters and all are competent combatants and we feel like it'd be pretty strong against most challenges both in and out of combat.

Arachnofiend wrote:
This one, specifically. You get Dervish Dance as a bonus feat at first level so you get to be pure dex right out of the box.

Made an Aasimar Dawnflower Dervish for Wrath and it was absolutely one of my favorite characters ever.

Thaago wrote:

In general it looks solid.

I think Fly or Overland Flight should make it onto the list - just really useful. I also like invisibility rather than Bull's Strength for higher levels as it doesn't stack with enhancement items on your AC - maybe bull's strength at first, then swap it out for invisibility at 6 or 8 as a free retraining.

For buffing your animal companion, Enlarge Person works because of Share Spells. The reach and bonus to combat maneuvers is nice. Later on Animal Growth is an excellent upgrade that lets animals do surprising amount of damage.

I'm personally not a fan of Hold Person and Hold Monster as they offer a save every round - and I just don't like SoD's. You do get a +1 to their DC's though, so that helps.

[edit] ninja'd! Yup, any spell with a target of "you" can be cast. So Form of the Dragon at high levels is on for animal companions as well.

Thanks for the comments!

I keep thinking not to worry about Flight because of the bloodline abilities, but they won't come online until 15th which makes them next to useless in PFS.

I doubt I'll spend much money on items for my AC apart from getting the nicest Amulet of Mighty fists that I can afford... but I'll look at some of the other options.

Animal Growth is pretty amazing, I've never looked at it before - if I invest in it, should I also use a later spell slot for Summon Monster, with an eye towards using the two together (when summoning animals, of course)? Perhaps with that 6th level spell slot at level 12 that I forgot to include..? Or would that slot be better used for something like Transformation to really pile on the bonuses?

Remember that Kitsune get +1 to Enchantment DC's every four levels due to their Sorcerer FCB in addition to the racial bonus at 1st level. I'm definitely planning on taking advantage of that!

Duriel_Jones wrote:

You will really want Enlarge person for your animal companion. If you can't fit it into your spells known I would suggest a Page of spell knowledge, it's just that good. A large spinosaurus at levels 1-5 is something to awesome to miss out on.

I would also recommend looking at the Razmiran priest archetype as well. You only give up some bloodline spells for a huge increase in versatility.

So Enlarge Person will in fact work on my AC? this is the first time I'm playing one and the Share Spells ability specifically said spells with a target of personal, so I wasn't sure...

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This is for a PFS character, a Kitsune Wildblooded Sorcerer (Sylvan) who will have a full animal companion and intends to use spells as buffs for her party and AC and for enchantments. I'm just posting the final level 12 spell choices to save space - there will have been some swap outs as the character levels up and some spells become more or less effective.
12th level spells & abilities
Dancing Lights 3/day
Woodland Stride at will
Greater Invisibility 12 rounds/day
Spells per day (0 – unlimited, 1st – 8, 2nd – 8, 3rd – 7, 4th – 7, 5th – 6, 6th – 4)

Spells Known:
0 level
Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Prestidigitation, Read Magic, Resistance

1st level
Charm Person, Entangle*, Featherfall, Mage Armor, Obscuring Mist, Silent Image

2nd level
Bull’s Strength, Glitterdust, Hideous Laughter*, Mirror Image, Protection vs. Evil – Communal, Scorching Ray

3rd level
Deep Slumber*, Displacement, Haste, Hold Person, Resist Energy - Communal

4th level
Enervation, Poison*, Emergency Force Shield, Stoneskin

5th level
Hold Monster, Teleport, Tree Stride*

* Bloodline spells

Is there anything I'm lacking to fill my role or anything I haven't considered? Do I have too much of anything? My goal will be to use my animal companion (probably one of the big ones, like Allosaurus or Spinosuarus) to be my 'stand in' in combat, either protecting me or more often providing a little more melee firepower for the group while I try to lock down the biggest threats. I can't really do anything about some of the subpar bloodline spells, but they're not all bad.

I figure I'll be able to do the following things:

Solo buffs (primarily for Animal Companion):
Mage Armor, Bull's Strength, Displacement, Stoneskin

Group buffs:
Communal Protection vs. Evil, Communal Resist Energy, Haste

Solo control spells:
Charm Person, Hideous Laughter, Deep Slumber, Hold Person, Hold Monster

Battlefield control spells:
Entangle, Glitterdust

Offensive spells:
Scorching Ray, Enervation, Poison

Defensive spells:
Obscuring Mist, Mirror Image, Emergency Force Shield

Utility spells:
Featherfall, Silent Image, Tree Stride, Teleport

I'm also planning on taking Eldritch Heritage at 7th level and Improved Familiar at 9th, probably sticking with the Fey theme and going with a Faerie Dragon so I can add its utility to my own. Is that a good or a bad idea? Also, would 'Share Spells' allow Enlarge Person to be cast on an Animal Companion? And would Grease be a better choice than Obscuring Mist, considering that I'll be taking it around 6th level?

Kazaan wrote:


My search yielded some very old threads so I figured I'd ask here - would a Half-Orc be able to select from either the Orc, Half-Orc or Human FCB at each level? Presumably the same answer would apply to Half-Elves selecting the Elf, Half-Elf or Human FCB as well...

Benefit: You gain +3 hit points. For every Hit Die you possess beyond 3, you gain an additional +1 hit point. If you have more than 3 Hit Dice, you gain +1 hit points whenever you gain a Hit Die (such as when you gain a level).

If I receive Toughness at 6th level, do I gain 6 hit points, 3 hit points and then 1 for each level thereafter or none until I level up again?

Third Mind wrote:

1st question - Is it even a good idea?

2nd question - Which class would you use? I've read that Holy Tactician Paladins might be best, but Cavalier seems to offer more overall group support with other abilities.

3rd question - Which teamwork feats do you think might be best overall?

4th question - What would be the best mass (i.e. entire group) support build so that I may compare and see which I like a bit better?

Any suggestions or answers would be greatly appreciated.

In our Wrath of the Righteous run, we had two twins who were Aasimar Dawnflower Dervishes and ardent followers of Sarenrae. They took a couple of levels of Lore Warden for teamwork feats and ended up with Broken Wing Gambit and Paired Opportunists early, eventually taking Seize the Moment later. Fighting side by side they were devastating - whenever someone attacked one they both got AoO's off, whenever one of them landed a crit (which was often with a threat on 15+), the other got an AoO. It chained really well and made for a great concept of two quick and agile warriors whom had grown up fighting together.

Ryzoken wrote:
Mercurial wrote:
Dawnflower Dervish. Let me know if you're interested in a build.
I am interested in your build.

Short version:

Aasimar Musetouched Dawnflower Dervish
Extra skill rank at 1st & 2nd level, FCB at levels 3-12 to improve Inspire Courage

STR - 13 (+1 @ 12th level)
DEX - 16 (+2 racial bonus, +1 @ 4th & 8th level)
CON - 14
INT - 10
WIS - 10
CHA - 12 (+2 racial bonus)

1st - Dervish Dance
1st - Arcane Strike
3rd - Weapon Focus
5th - Power Attack
7th - Improved Initiative
9th - Lunge
11th - Discordant Voice

The accelerated Battle Dance and various combine to make you devastating in melee and strong at range. You'll take spells that buff, cure and have utility (rather than spells that require saves), and with Versatile Performance you'll have the best social skills in the game. Its not a complicated character and its not a hard character to play but the versatility it offers should give you plenty of opportunities to grow.

At 1st level, with nothing more than a Masterwork Scimitar, you'll be +7 attack & deal 1d6+7 damage with a high crit chance. At 4th level, with just Allegro and a +1 Scimitar, you'll get two attacks per round at +13 (hitting the average CR 4 with a 4 or better) and dealing 1d6+10 each. Just to put things in perspective.

Salarain wrote:

Hello Gamers,

I have a question about choosing the right class build for PFS.

I'm already running a tiefling ranger, and a Half elf cleric. I am trying to get one built before the assimars are locked out.

Any help Please

Thank you

Dawnflower Dervish. I played one through Wrath of the Righteous and I'm starting my first PFS one thing weekend. Highly versatile and devastatingly effective from level 1. Let me know if you're interested in a build.


One of the things I try to take into account (and all that formula may have) is how likely I am to hit an equivalent level foe. If my attack bonus is so high that it's all but guaranteed, PA seems a better choice than if I'm struggling to hit. In this case I find a properly built DD to have a well above average chance to hit, especially once I start including magical gear.

Victor Zajic wrote:

Could you put the spoiler for Wrath of the Righteous plot behind a spoiler button please?

Also, having identicle builds seems like it would get boring after a while. You could easily make two different characters who benefit from the teamwork feats though. Maybe one's a Bard and one is an inquisitor or cleric.

I don't think that's a spoiler, just something that happened in our game - our GM rewrites tons of stuff in the AP's. And I can't change it now anyway. :(

Gwen Smith wrote:


Looking at the wording on Discordant Voice, I don't think it would stack with itself. It says that it stacks with other energy damage the weapon does: I read that to mean that if your weapon normally does sonic damage, this would add to it.

I like Seize the Moment--that would work out better for you than Outflank, probably. (Our teamwork characters had rogue levels, so we were already all about the flanking, anyway.)

Another thing to check out is Oil of Bless Weapon: it lets you auto confirm a crit threat against evil foes, but this can't be used with Keen. With Improved Critical, though, auto-confirming crits is really handy.

I'm not a big fan of Lunge. I really, really want to like it, but it doesn't continue through to your AoOs, which makes it only half as useful, to me. You might want to look at using Enlarge Person to extend your reach and your flanking/adjacent squares. Enlarge isn't as good on a Dex-based character, though, and I think Enlarge Person doesn't work on an Aasimar, so it might not be the best option for you. (Although you could use it and switch to a great sword or earthbreaker: 15 str, 3d6, and 1.5x STR and Power Attack would make a nice backup...

Again, I really appreciate your input. The levels are taken when they are specifically to take advantage of the FCB that accelerates the advancement of Inspire Courage. I could accept that ruling on Discordant Voice and if there's going to be even a chance if it's applying differently from table to table I'd prefer to avoid it.

I'll probably go the Improved Critical route, and though I'll probably have a Keen weapon long before I select the feat, I'll be able to buy another '+' once I have it. Then Oil of Bless Weapon should be well worth it's cost.

Kyle Elliott wrote:
instead of power attack consider the dex based version, pirahna strike. I believe it is still legal for use in PFS.

Nah, I'd need Weapon Finesse and it only applies to light weapons anyway...

Maybe something like this? Here I'm taking Weaponmaster at levels 5, 6, 7 & 12.
1st - Dervish Dance
1st - Arcane Strike
3rd - Power Attack
5th - Paired Opportunists
5th - Broken Wing Gambit
6th - Combat Reflexes
7th - Lunge
9th - Weapon Focus: Scimitar
11th - Discordant Voice
12th - Weapon Specialization: Scimitar

Did we ever figure out if Discordant Voice stacked if more than one person is using it? If so I'd stick with the above, but if not, I might be more inclined to make those last two feats:

11th - Improved Critical
12th - Seize the Moment

Seize the Moment would really make those other Teamwork feats come together and taking Improved Critical probably means I can afford another enhancement on my weapon other than Keen... not that I'm likely to do a lot of post-12th level play.

Dorothy Lindman wrote:

I'm a big fan of teamwork characters! This sounds like a lot of fun.

A couple of thoughts:
1) You have until August 14 to get one chronicle applied to an aasimar character; if you can do that, it's grandfathered in. So you might be able to do it as a aasimar.

2) Power Attack is not as effective with one-handed weapons, and with Dervish Dance, you can only use one hand on the scimitar. If there's another feat you were looking at, it might be a good idea to switch it out. Also, you might consider lowering your strength and use the points in CHA so you can get spells higher than 2nd level. (Assuming you only took 13 STR to get Power Attack; if you wanted the 13 STR for something else, never mind.) :-)

3) I'd actually recommend getting Precise Strike earlier. At lower levels, you'll fight more enemies who are susceptible to precision damage than at higher levels.

4) If you're going to stick with scimitar, you might consider the Weapon Master archetype instead of Lore Warden. (You already have all the knowledge skills from your bard levels, and you're not using Combat Expertise as a pre-requisite that I can see.) If you go three levels in Weapon Master, you can get Weapon Training (+1 attack and damage, untyped); you can then pick up Gloves of Dueling to boost that to +3 attack and damage.

5) Paired Opportunists doesn't usually work with Precise Strike or Outflank: one is adjacent, the other two are flanking. (If you pick up Gang Up, though, you might be able to pull it off, but that takes a 13 Int and another cooperating player. Might not be worth it.) You might check out Escape Route as an replacement for Paired Opportunists.

My husband and I ran teamwork characters with Outflank. Combined with Keen (or Improved Critical) to make the threat range 15-20, this turned out to be really effective.

Thanks for your response!

Power Attack is clearly less effective, not just as a one-handed character but also as a 3/4 BAB class - I just found that the attack bonuses seemed high enough to support its use, and +4 or +6 damage is still nothing to sneeze at.

I realize that not all of the Teamwork feats are complimentary, but I thought it might be good to have more than one option - feats that benefit us when we're flanking and feats that benefit us when we're adjacent; is that trying to do too much? In my opinion the strongest combo in this build is using Broken Wing Gambit and Paired Opportunists, since it will give us each an AoO whenever one of us is attacked, though it is dependent on us both hitting them first.

That's a good thought about Weaponmaster - I never tend to take gear into account when pre-planning my characters. Is that bonus worthwhile, in your opinion, for bumping both my next Inspire Courage and all my spells another level down the road?

Hi all! I'm relatively new to PFS, but I was looking at one of the builds/concepts that was effective in our recent Wrath of the Righteous run as something I might be able to 'port over. The twins in question were Aasimar Dawnflower Dervishes who turned out to be descendants of Sarenrae herself, and after seeing them in action in a home game, I was wondering if they would be equally effective in PFS. I realize I might be getting into the game a hair too late to make the exact build a reality since Aasimar are walking out the door, but the build could be almost or equally as effective as a Human.

The thought process was to go Dawnflower Dervish and fight side-by-side, utilizing Battle Dance and Teamwork feats to maximize one another's effectiveness. This isn't the exact build, for many reasons, but its a reasonable facsimile of what was run in the AP. Levels 5 and 6 are Lore Warden for the additional feats offered and because it fits both the feel of the characters and the PFS society.

STR - 13 (+1 @ 12th level)
DEX - 16 (+2 racial bonus, +1 @ 4th & 8th level)
CON - 14
INT - 10
WIS - 10
CHA - 12 (+2 racial bonus)

Maestro of the Society
Magical Knack

1st - Dervish Dance
1st - Arcane Strike
3rd - Power Attack
5th - Broken Wing Gambit
5th - Paired Opportunists
6th - Combat Reflexes
6th - Combat Expertise
7th - Outflank
9th - Precise Strike
11th - Discordant Voice

For the first four levels they should be plenty effective on their own - after they gain their second bump to Inspire Courage (thanks to the FCB), they begin piling on Teamwork feats. Side-by-side, both using Broken Wing Gambit and both taking advantage of Paired Opportunists to get off two AoO's against anyone who attacks them, and later, layering Precise Strike and Discordant Voice to rev up their damage... from what I can tell, two concurrent instances of Discordant Voice should stack, for both they and their teammates.

Of course, that's not even getting into spells...

I would build these characters for I and a friend, intended for when we're both playing together at the same table, we'll have other characters for when we're not. Those of you whom have been involved in PFS for a while, what do you think?

yosemitemike wrote:
Not having a divine spellcaster is going to add difficulty.

Well, everyone in the group can buff and heal and the Dervishes should be hellacious in combat... but there is some concern about not having access to spells like Restoration.

We're talking about the possibility, using some of the best Bards we've seen in our groups. Right now we're looking at:

Twin Aasimar (Azata) Dervishes of Dawn
Halfling Archeologist
Human Archivist

The Dervishes are considering taking a couple of levels of Lore Warden to take some teamwork feats to use together while the Archeologist is thinking about taking a couple of levels of Halfling Opportunist for RP purposes, but we're not sure if that would be cheating... the Human is going to go spell-crazy with his FCB and the Eldritch Heritage feats for the Arcane Bloodline.

@Applied People

It's just you. That's why the eidolon remains the same at levels 1-3, then at levels 4-5, etc. if only progresses every two levels because it's half as effective.

This is a very old thread and I've tweaked the build a bit since then.

Gaberlunzie wrote:

it seems they are not spells but are considered spells for everything except the explicitly listed exceptions (components, casting time etc)?

they function like a spell. so say someone uses cure light wounds as an SLA. this functions like the clw spell. what happens when a barbarian is affected by a clw spell? it has to try to make the save.

the magic sections says that SLAs function like spells in all ways except a few which it lists: components, focuses, armor, casting time.

the bestiary section doesn't change this, it just says the same thing again, though only mentions the exception of components.

think there's a very strong raw argument that slas must be saved against.

Again, why specifically mention SLA's in the first part of the ability description and specifically omit them in the second part?

What about SLA's that don't have a spell equivalent?

Gaberlunzie wrote:

on supernatural abilities this seems correct, but what about spell-likes?

"Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name. A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus. The user activates it mentally. Armor never affects a spell-like ability's use, even if the ability resembles an arcane spell with a somatic component.

A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description. In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell."

I considered that, but the fact that the ability specifically mentions spell-like abilities in the first part of the description and specifically omits it in the second seems to dictate proper intent.

And even then the above quote isn't quite right - do SLA's provoke AoO's? Spells do. Do SLA's that don't mimic existing spells qualify for Quicken SLA? I've seen some pretty compelling arguments that they shouldn't... just a few examples which suggest that while they function is a mostly similar manner, they are definitely not the same thing.

Hendelbolaf wrote:
Mercurial wrote:
Thanks - that was my initial interpretation but it was brought up at the table, and when I started searching past threads on the issue, it seemed to become more and more muddied.

Many tables run it where it applies to spell-like abilities and/or supernatural abilities due to the fact that the bonuses apply to those effects as well. However, you asked for the RAW so the RAW is that they do not have to make saves versus spell-like and supernatural abilities.

Now, having seen one of these barbarians in action and how difficult they are to take down with saves, then I would be sympathetic to a DM who chose to run it their own way and not RAW. However, I have seen those barbarian goes down due to the fact that they cannot get such easy access to healing. So, by running with RAW you allow them to receive Channel Energy and keep them on the front line.

Combined with a focused Oracle of Life, a Barbarian with Superstition is a wrecking machine!!

Indeed. We have an Invulnerable Rager at our table - based on his build, its looking like he'll have DR 18/- by 12th level and it'll continue to grow from there. His Superstition bonus will be +7 and rising. You don't need much healing when nothing in your CR level can damage you...

I'm having him check his math now.

Hendelbolaf wrote:

Strictly speaking as the rules go it says:

"The barbarian gains a +2 morale bonus on saving throws made to resist spells, supernatural abilities, and spell-like abilities."

So he gets the bonuses on those three types of effects.

"While raging, the barbarian cannot be a willing target of any spell and must make saving throws to resist all spells, even those cast by allies."

It only applies the penalty to spells. So no save needed on spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities.

That is the ability strictly by the rules. That is the RAW position.

If they spelled it out what effects he gets the bonuses, then they should have spelled out the same effects to apply the penalty or in this case having to make the save.

Other than that, run it by your DM for confirmation, but that is the Rule as Written.

Thanks - that was my initial interpretation but it was brought up at the table, and when I started searching past threads on the issue, it seemed to become more and more muddied.

James Risner wrote:
Mercurial wrote:
others think they must save against all three.

I'm in this camp, and any spell, spell-like-ability, or supernatural ability that isn't Save No he would have to save. This includes spells with Save Yes (helpful) spells/spell-likes/etc.

If the ability doesn't have a save (does Inspire Courage have a save?) then you wouldn't need to make a save.

I understand that people are in that camp - I'm trying to understand what in RAW validates that position... I don't really have a dog in this fight, but do I need to understand how it officially works.

And what about something like Bardic Performance? That's little more than inspiring and there are tons of examples of such even in Barbaric cultures. If they did have to save, would they have to save every round?

The fact that all of a Barbarian's abilities are specified as Extraordinary abilities is very telling, I think.

9 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

...and I'm sure it comes as no surprise. I used the search and found more confusion than answers.

The ability specifies that the Barbarian gains the benefit against any spell, spell-like ability or supernatural spell. It then says that the Barbarian can't be the willing recipient of any spells and must make a save against them.

Must make a save against any spells. It says that specifically, but specifically omits the previously mentioned spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities. That seems pretty cut and dried to me, but after searching, it seems some hold that one must save against spell-like abilities as well, while others think they must save against all three. Then I read that they have to save against potions, extracts and even magical abilities granted by gear they are wearing.

Which of the following would a Barbarian using Superstition have to save against and why:

A Cure Light Wounds spell?

A Cure Light Wounds potion?

Channelled Healing?

Having Touch of Rage cast upon them (Orchish Bloodline)?

Having Aura of Heroism activated by a nearby ally (Heroism Subdomain)?

Activating a Ring of Feather Falling?

Thanks in advance...

Just goes to show that the problem with Paladins is as much the fault of the GM's (at least as often) as it is with the players.

If a Paladin is sincerely trying to do good then he should really never fall, unless the GM wants him to... and if he does cross the line, I'd expect some sort of divine warning before all of his class features are simply stripped from him - the Paladin is there to do his deity's work after all, and what use is a servant who's been neutered? The deity WANTS the PC to have these powers and would only take them away if they were used in a manner that hurt their faith rather than upholding it.

I can just see a God thinking 'yeah, I know you were on your way to investigate and ultimately destroy that evil cult which is about to open a portal into the abyss through which demons can come pouring into your world... but you punched an evil bartender without proper cause, so I guess the greater good will have to suffer'...

I'm so glad we went to Paladins being primal avatars of alignment rather than the way they're written. Paladins of Order, Chaos, Good and Evil - much easier to play and they avoid stepping on the toes of Clerics and Oracles.

mordulin wrote:

If its going to be a while before you guys are playing this campaign I would recommend holding off on character decisions. The Advanced Class Guide should hopefully be out before you guys play and who knows how those classes will have changed from the playtest. It may be that one of those classes better fit the theme/RP Background you guys have in mind for your characters.

With the above party I think you have already hit the nail on the head for most of what would be problematic. Though I can add it does look like there is also a distinct lack of decent swarm fighting techniques (area effect sorcerer/wizard spells or alchemist bombs). If the Mummy movies taught us anything its that swarms of scarabs are just lying around waiting to devour tomb explorers.

Now the thought of that just gives me the willies... *shudder*

We just like to gameplan our characters ahead of time - it gets us excited about the AP, keeps us committed to the group. Its a living document, though, nothing etched in stone.

Case in point - I was the one who was going to run the Dervish and now I'm seriously rethinking it. The Summoner, eidolon and Barbarian should be more than enough to handle front-line duties so I'm thinking of running a Cleric instead, one my husband designed for Slumbering Tsar but was never used. I figure an Evangelist taking the Glory-Heroism Domain will let me load up on buffs the group can use, will give me access to strong 'face' abilities and open up those healing spells we know we're lacking. Offensively I'll use Sacred Summons and eventually a little 'bad touch' action with Planshift as a perfected spell.

As an aside, I don't think anyone in our group is going to be taking advantage of those 'hybrid' classes any time soon.

Gladior wrote:
That looks like a good party. None of your party can cast remove disease though, and I'm willing to bet there will be a good number of mummies over the course of this AP...

Yeah, our philosophy tends to be to kill or incapacitate things quickly rather than have prolonged fights which require more healing, but the 'side' threats like poison, disease and ability drain are a concern. Both Bards are planning on taking UMD though, so that might help...

We're putting together a party for this, hoping to get into it after our Wrath of the Righteous run (plenty of time since iron whatever doesn't interest any of us) and, hooray, I get to play this time instead of running it!

So, after chatting and doing a little preliminary planning, this is what we're looking at, assuming the AP runs to 17th level (I'll spare you the RP backgrounds):

Human 15th level Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager & Urban Barbarian) / 1st level Fighter (Unbreakable Fighter) / 1st level Living Monolith - Reach weapon wielder, Bardiche probably, with very high DR and the ability to Enlarge himself 3/day as a swift action. Basically a Barbarian Tank with a swath of Knowledge skills.

Halfling 13th level Bard (Archeologist) / 2nd level Fighter (Lore Warden) / 2nd level Halfling Opportunist - Archer, scout and trapfinder with some healing and miscellaneous useful spells.

Aasimar 15th level Bard (Dervish of Dawn) / 2nd level Fighter (Lore Warden) - Major offensive threat to compliment the Barbarian with face skills and some healing.

Half-Elven 17th level Wild Caller - Monster of an Eidolon that resembles a giant scorpion which may eventually be used as a mount. Summoner is built like a melee combatant with a reach weapon to compliment his eidolon but will have both offensive and useful spells as well.

Now all of these characters will be moderately optimized and should be very effective in their roles - I expect a lot of damage from this group right out of the chute... but the biggest source of concern for us is the relative lack of healing, both when it comes to hit points and things like ability damage, poison, disease, etc. We figure with the Barbarian's DR and the Eidolon running interference for the group, the two Bards should be able to keep our hit points adequately replenished but I just don't know.

What do you think - is it a big concern or should we be able to handle it with what we have? Are there any other areas we might be lacking in?

Vaellen wrote:
For a solo campaign it would be hard to beat a Summoner or a Druid.

We have someone at the table who is sorta THE Summoner player and he'll probably be the one GM'ing for me... I liked the idea of more of a stealthy sniper type. It was between a Ranger and a Zen Archer for me and I know Shalelu is an NPC in both AP's so I figured ZA was the way to go. I'm more of a martial type anyway.

Mudfoot wrote:
Doesn't sound likely, unless you start a few levels ahead. I don't know about JR, but RotRL doesn't have enough NPC casters of any significance. If you want to solo it, you'd probably need a gestalt wizard/cleric or the like, and even then you'll be short on action economy.

Well, I figured I'd have to do things a bit differently, stalk foes, use stealth and range to my advantage, possibly bypass some encounters entirely... and I imagine my GM would tweak things a bit. I know that Zen Archers have high mobility, can deal a lot of damage, often without putting themselves into harm's way, can self-heal starting at 7th and have better than average skills...

Do you really think it'd be that difficult?

I'd like to try and run a solo campaign through one of two AP's - either Rise of the Runelords or Jade Regent - running a Zen Archer and taking advantage of the existing NPC's in the adventure. Is such a thing viable and if so, which would lend itself better to such an effort?

darkwarriorkarg wrote:
There is one other reason for a human cleric: favored class bonus: +1/2 /level to penetrate outsider SR.

I totally missed this - talk about the perfect solution! I figure I'll take the bonus levels 6-15 for +10, taking bonus hit points levels 1-5 and 16-20. Persistent Spell will take the place of Piercing Spell.

I'm really loving how this character has evolved - thank you everyone for your helpful advice.

andreww wrote:

Summon first, makes sure your summons gain the benefit of your Inspire Courage and Aura. I haven't looked at either ability in a while so it may not be an issue but just in case...:)

Piercing Spell is a great choice but bear in mind it is not doubled by Spell Perfection.

The Summons won't be an issue - the two abilities are more like a continuous aura than a one-shot casting.

Yeah, Piercing won't be doubled but it fills the 3 meta pre-req and addresses a concern regarding Spell Resistance (which I personally hate and find wholly unnecessary to the game).

andreww wrote:
Reach Spell also lets you use various touch based clerical magic far more offensively. Reach Plane Shift is extremely potent as a will based save or die, especially good against huge brute type monsters that you never want to get close to.

I have to admit that the idea of using Plane Shift as an offensive spell is really intriguing, and it fits in so well with the mechanics and theme of a character already built around summoning extra-planar creatures.

I talked to the person who would be running the Arcane Duelist, and he's been thinking about running an Archeologist instead which has in turn gotten me thinking about running an Evangelist. I started playing around with it and this is what I came up with, using a Human...

Human 20th level Evangelist (Glory/Heroism)

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 10
DEX - 14
CON - 12
INT - 12
WIS - 16 (+2 racial modifier, +1 @ 8th, 12th, 16th & 20th)
CHA - 11(+1 @ 4th level)

Reactionary (+2 Initiative)
Magical Lineage (Plane Shift)

1st - Spell Focus: Conjuration
1st - Augment Summoning
3rd - Summon Good Monster
5th - Sacred Summons
7th - Superior Summoning
9th - Reach Spell
11th - Quicken Spell
13th - Piercing Spell
15th - Spell Perfection: Plane Shift
17th - Greater Spell Focus: Conjuration
19th - Divine Interference

Spellcraft 1-20
Perform: Oratory 1-20
(additional skills)

With swift action self-healing Paladins and summoned creatures as front-liners, I think healing can be less of a focus than I initially made it out to be. I worry a little about Spell Resistance for targeted spells, hence the Piercing Spell choice. Feats are still very tight, but I think this will make for a much more effective character for the party - the Heroism aura will stack with the Evangelist's Inspire Courage, and I'll focus spell selection on utility-type stuff, relying on between-combat Channels and end-of-day spontaneous spells to supplement our healing.

Figure at 8th level I'll be able to activate the Heroism Aura (+2 Attack, +2 saves) as a swift action, Inspire Courage (+2 Attack, +2 Damage) as a move action and then summon an Augmented Archon as a standard action just to open combat, and unlike a buff like Haste, each of those buffs should work continuously even if I summon additional creatures as needed.


(EDIT: Darn - I edited a previous post rather than making a new one. I had mentioned my concern about making a character who relied on spells targeting DC's when they neither optimized to overcome saves or Spell Resistance.)

How does this look?
Aasimar 20th level Cleric (Healing - Restoration & Glory - Heroism)

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 10
DEX - 14
CON - 12
INT - 14
WIS - 14 (+2 racial modifier, +1 @ 8th, 12th, 16th & 20th)
CHA - 13 (+2 racial modifier, +1 @ 4th level)

Blessed Touch (+1 point of healing when Channeling or casting a Cure spell)
Seeker (+1 Perception, Perception is class skill)

1st - Spell Focus: Conjuration
3rd - Augment Summoning
5th - Summon Good Monster
7th - Sacred Summons
9th - Superior Summoning
11th - Divine Interference
13th - Quicken Spell
15th - Reach Spell
17th - Maximize Spell
19th - Spell Perfection: Breath of Life

Equipment (at 7th level):
Breastplate Armor +2, Large Shield +2, Cloak of Resistance +2, Phylactery of Positive Channeling (Holy Symbol)

Diplomacy (even levels)
Perception (1-20)
Knowledge - History (odd levels)
Knowledge - Planes (even levels)
Knowledge - Religion (odd levels)
Spellcraft (1-20)

Magda Luckbender wrote:

@OP Sounds like you have an excellent summoning-themed Cleric. That ought to work out very well.

My only suggestion is that you not be so quick to discard basic martial competence. While it takes a lot of build resources for a Cleric to be a powerful martial combatant, it's easy and cheap to be a competent martial combatant.

For example, just a 14 STR, a two handed weapon, and some buffs can produce decent martial damage numbers for a Cleric. Such a character will not win tournaments, but can hold her own in melee. This small investment changes your character from a tactical liability that your team must protect (so she can get off her spells), to a moderate protector of the team. Damage output won't be huge, but neither will it be trivial. Your spell ability etc. will be completely unhindered. Here's one way a Cleric might accomplish this.

Given your focus on Summoning, you should have build resources to spare. Summoning will eat all your feats, but does not require high Wisdom. One can build a highly effective summoning-focused Cleric with 5 build points: STR 10 DEX 10 CON 10 INT 10 WIS 14 CHA 10 ; feats: Spell Focus Tax (1st), Augment Summons(3rd), Sacred Summons(5th), Superior Summons (7th) . For a small up-front build investment you can give your character modest martial ability that will remain useful at high level.

I appreciate that advice and all of the advice that has been offered - there are a number of options I hadn't considered or even realized were available and some of my misconceptions were cleared away.

I understand what you're saying about being a competent melee threat and I initially planned on doing just that, but unfortunately the character I want to build has more demands than simple summoning. I want her to be an effective channeler, which means charisma. I want her to have a degree of survivability which, in my book, means a bit of Constitution and a bit of Dexterity... and I want her to have more than two skill ranks per level which means Intelligence. I wouldn't officially call the character 'MAD', but it does seem that Strength is the least needed attribute for what I hope to accomplish, and at the end of the day it seems that of my options each combat round - domain abilities, spells, channeling and so forth - making a meager melee swipe would probably be the least effective, especially if it put me directly in harm's way.

I think this is the character build I've finally settled on - thanks again to everyone for their advice.

Aasimar 20th level Cleric (Healing - Restoration & Glory - Heroism)

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 12
DEX - 12
CON - 12
INT - 12
WIS - 14 (+2 racial modifier, +1 @ 8th, 12th, 16th & 20th)
CHA - 15 (+2 racial modifier, +1 @ 4th level)

Blessed Touch (+1 point of healing when Channeling or casting a Cure spell)
Seeker (+1 Perception, Perception is class skill)

1st - Spell Focus: Conjuration
3rd - Augment Summoning
5th - Summon Good Monster
7th - Sacred Summons
9th - Superior Summoning
11th - Divine Interference
13th - Quicken Spell
15th - Channeled Revival
17th - Extra Channel
19th - Extra Channel

Equipment (at 7th level):
Breastplate Armor +2, Large Shield +2, Cloak of Resistance +2, Phylactery of Positive Channeling (Holy Symbol)

Diplomacy (even levels)
Perception (1-20)
Knowledge - History (odd levels)
Knowledge - Planes (even levels)
Knowledge - Religion (odd levels)

It seemed a waste not to take at least one 'face' skill with such a high Charisma and Diplomacy suited the character concept. She's also the only member of the party with a high Wisdom and the only member with darkvision, so Perception seemed like a good choice to focus on, especially for one who is consumed with discovering the truth about things. As someone raised by the church and 'blessed' with divine outsider aid when she calls for it, the knowledge choices made sense as well. She's supposed to be educated, perceptive and an honored representative of her church, but at the same time has led a fairly cloistered and sheltered lifestyle up to this point, which would explain the lack of effective combat experience. In our campaign world Aasimars are exceedingly rare, and her backstory is something of a wonder, where lantern archons would appear from time to time in her presence when she was a child, at prayer, at play or even watching over her while she slept. It made her something of a celebrity as well as a mystery in the church, but her recent decision to leave that life behind in pursuit of a greater calling - one that has been deemed politically inappropriate - has many both concerned and frustrated.

The character is being built for a Slumbering Tsar campaign, and is using a hook suggested in the beginning of the adventure - discovered letters sent back to the Church of Muir prove that the Paladin Lord Bishu had been left behind to occupy the city and had never been heard from again. She has long suspected that her birth ancestry was tied to the Army of Light and that epic battle, she's become somewhat obsessed over discovering what happened to those forces left behind. The two Paladins in the party - both considered 'troublemakers' within their order, were the only ones willing to accompany her on this fool's errand which is destined to bring to light certain chapters of the Church's history they would prefer be forgotten.

Again, thanks everyone for their advice.

psychicmachinery wrote:
Just to clarify, I'm all for Sacred Summons despite its limitations, especially in the case of a LG cleric with a LG deity like Mercurial's talking about. The expanded list for SGM is nice, but doesn't really come into its own until later levels, and the diehard feat for a summoned monster is kind of pointless. So, for me yes on Sacred Summons, but wait on Summon Good Monster.

I do wish the alignment options were more evenly distributed - Summon Good Monsters seems to be a deliberate 'make-up' for the fact that Lawful Evil Devils seem to populate every summons list.

My husband put together twenty-something different themed summoning lists I- IX, for characters intended to be built with a particular concept in mind (Vermin, Fire-based creatures, Undead, Animals, etc.) and the times we've tried them they've worked really, really well.

psychicmachinery wrote:
Just wanted to point out that everything summoned by Summon Good Monster is not going to benefit from Sacred Summons, and I would actually dump that feat all things considered as who cares if something that's only going to be around for a few rounds stabilizes or not? Sacred Summons only works on creatures whose alignment subtype exactly matches your divine aura, so your run of the mill celestial critter is still going to take a full round action to summon.

This is technically true, but having seen a Master Summoner in action, it simply can't be discounted the value of getting that Standard action Summons into play... and Summon Good Monster expands the LG Archons option enough to make it viable. In my particular case (Lawful Good), the options that qualify for Sacred Summons at each level would be:

(Sacred Summons gained at 5th level)
1 Lantern Archon

1 Hound Archon
2-4 Lantern Archons

2-4 Hound Archons
3-6 Lantern Archons

1 Legion Archon

1 Shield Archon
2-4 Legion Archons

2-4 Shield Archons
3-6 Legion Archons

1 Trumpet Archon

All in all that seems worth it to me.

XMorsX wrote:

Even if your summons benefit from the maximise and empower spell feats, Spell Perfection does not allow you to use metamagic that would increase the lvl of the spell beyond the 9th lvl.

So maximise spell is probably a waste. I would probably take Highten Spell and Prefered Spell at 19th lvl, although Persistent Spell is a nice alternative for making your save or suck spells viable.

Of course - don't know how I missed that. Ah well, knew it was a little too good to be true. I'll have to look at some different metamagic options if I go that route.

XMorsX wrote:
darkwarriorkarg wrote:

Now, take all of this and compare with a similar master summoner...

After the 7th lvl or so you are actually stronger than him. Almost as good at summoning, but in addition you are a full divine caster.

...with Domains, Channeling and better saves no less.

BobtheSamurai wrote:

Both maximize and empower should work on any of the SM spells, save for SM I. After SM I, all the summons have a random, die rolled effect to determine the number of monsters summoned.

Granted, applying either feat when you use the spell to summon monsters of the highest list is a waste of spell slots.

Yes, but couldn't I - for instance - use Spell Perfection to cast a Quickened Monster Summoning IX to summon a Trumpet Archon (taking advantage of Sacred Summons) and then immediately follow that up using Spell Perfection to cast a Maximized Monster Summoning IX to bring in an additional six Shield Archons, all benefitting from double Augment Summoning?

With that thought in mind, and the advice you've all offered, here's what I'm thinking now (bowing to social convention and going straight Human for the extra feat AND the bonus skill ranks so that I can pay for Spellcraft):

1st - Spell Focus: Conjuration
1st - Augment Summoning
3rd - Summon Good Monster
5th - Sacred Summons
7th - Superior Summoning
9th - Reach Spell
11th - Divine Interference
13th - Quicken Spell
15th - Maximize Spell
17th - Spell Perfection: Summon Monster IX
19th - Improved Initiative

darkwarriorkarg wrote:

This is all IMHO, of course.

As a feat-starved cleric, I probably wouldn't get Fey Foundling, although work something similar as backstory, just without the mechanical benefits. It's awesome for swift lay on hands with a paladin, not so much everyone else. I probably also wouldn't bother with selective Channel. With 2 paladins, you'll rarely need in-combat healing. Maybe variant channelling rules?

I would, instead, work to get augment summoning ASAP

Summon Good Monster is basically a feat tax for Sacred Summons...

1st - Spell Focus Tax: Conjuration
3rd - Augment Summoning
5th - Summon Good Monster
7th - Sacred Summons

I would normally suggest scribe scroll at 9th so you have some status removal, however superior summons is also tempting (1d3+1 Augmented diehard hound archon goons instantly appear around an enemy...)

We had all kind of agreed on the Fey Foundling thing as being a hallmark of the religious order of Knights (Paladins) and Clerics, but its not set in stone and you're right about being feat-starved. Perhaps we'll make it only Paladins who take the feat... you're also probably right about not needing combat healing at all, though we thought the 'layered' healing would help against some of the more difficult threats we face. It does seem like I'd be of greater use summoning than healing, if past experiences are any guide.

Verteidiger wrote:
Have you looked at the Evangelist archetype for clerics? It is pretty good for summoning. You only get one domain, but get a few bardic performances instead that help buff.

I actually did at first, but once we added a Bard the need for it kind of went out the window. The only Cleric our group has ever run before this was a crazy dwarf who ran an Evangelist and took the Madness Domain.

BobtheSamurai wrote:
You could also build towards spell perfection (Summon Monster IX), which would let you double Augment Summoning's stat bumps for anything you ever want to summon. Not sure if adding an additional creature from Superior Summoning would count as a "fixed numerical bonus" though.

That's a very, very interesting idea - I will have some later feat slots available which I was just going to use for Extra Channeling... I didn't realize that the Augment bonus applied but it makes sense. Would Maximize spell give you the maximum number of summoned creatures if you were to summon from a lower list?

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