But I do have to take it eventually for Crane Riposte, don't I?
Two levels of Monk gives me Improved Unarmed Strike as well as the two bonus feats needed for Style and Wing... I took Dodge so that I could eventually take Riposte.
Two levels of Fighter still wouldn't give me the feats I needed, but I am still considering it - Four levels of Fighter would do it, as well as opening up Weapon Specialization and, if I went Weaponmaster, Weapon Training at 3rd which in turn makes Gloves of Dueling a viable option.
I'm just trying to figure out how to order things and even if I should. I'm not really a fan of Bard spells after 4th level so I'm not worried about high-level spells, but do want to gain lower level spells as quickly as possible - ideally I'll have one good pre-combat buff, either Allegro, Cat's Grace or Dance of a Hundred Cuts available as I'm not expecting many opportunities to sit there before combat and layer spell upon spell on. Also the three Bardic Performances - Inspire Courage, Inspire Greatness and Inspire Heroics - all have their benefits doubled and by 15th level (of Bard) I'll be able to flip through them with a swift action, full attacking with Courage (for instance) with a +8 attack/+8 damage buff and then switching to Inspire Heroics for a +8 AC/+8 saves before my turn ends, only to switch back when my turn begins the next round. Or I could regularly refresh Inspire Greatness to replenish 4d10+4 temporary hit points every round...
Perhaps I'm trying to do too much - what I'm trying to figure out is if the early and on-going benefits of Crane Wing (and Fighting Defensively) are worth putting off for multiple levels all of those other options.
I've been working diligently on a character who's concept I've fallen in love with - an Azata-blooded Aasimar Dervish of Dawn with a two level dip in Master of Many Styles to take the Crane Style line. What's got me torn is when to take the dip...
At the moment I'm staring at two side-by-side builds which use similar attributes and similar feats, but the feats are shuffled based on whether I take those two Monk levels at 2nd & 3rd or at 16th and 17th.
On the one hand, it seems like the ability to negate an attack every round and have superior overall defense from the start (Evasion, bump in saves, etc.) would be ideal, but on the other hand, not only does my accelerated advancedment through doubled-up bardic performance slow but so does my spell progression. I wonder if my defenses wouldn't be adequately tended by my getting earlier access to spells like Cat's Grace, Mirror Image, Blur, Dance of a Hundred Cuts, etc. and by the fact that I'd be better able to take down my foes.
The character is intended to be played 1st - 17th or so and will be the secondary frontline combatant, healer and face.
Early dip progression (2nd & 3rd):
Maestro of the Society
Later dip progression (16th & 17th):
Maestro of the Society
Part of me even questions the need for the dip if taken later, since I'll be able to cycle through Performance as a swift action to take advantage of Inspire Greatness and Inspire Heroics... but that Crane Riposte is so very nice.
I'm torn - early defense that pays dividends throughout the build or better offense and accelerated spell progression from start to finish?
Pursuant to Crane Style:
Prerequisites: Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +2 or monk level 1st.
Now, does that mean:
Prerequisites: (Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +2) OR (monk level 1st).
Or does it mean:
Prerequisites: (Dodge), (Improved Unarmed Strike) AND (base attack bonus +2 or monk level 1st).
That's... frustrating. the document I have is actually titled 'Fighting Defensively as a standard action'. They need to clean these rules pages up.
I'm still not 100% sold on Crane Wing as an option, but its definitely one I'm looking in to.
I know its a little ways off, but look at the spell Dance of a 100 Cuts - not sure there is a better combat spell out there. It'll be my bread and butter once it becomes available, and being able to enchant my scimitar as a wand will let me store away plenty of uses.
EDIT: Looking at Crane Style, I'm thinking something like this - I'll still take the first 15 levels as a Dervish of Dawn, but levels 16 & 17 will be as a Master of Many Styles. After that I could keep going Monk or switch back to Dervish, assuming we reach play at that level. This is what the new build would probably look like (through level 17).
Aasimar 16th level Dervish of Dawn / 4th level Weaponmaster
Attributes: (20 point buy)
Evasion and the bump in saves serves as a nice little bonus over those two levels, I'll get the +2 AC for only -1 attack AND I'll get the Wisdom bonus to AC as well for another +2. I think the free nullification of an attack every round (and a riposte to go with it) is more than worth the two level dip and the shuffling around of feats. Not 100% sure about dropping Power Attack, but I won't really be hurting for damage and taking the next Eldritch Heritage feat opens up some options for me as a caster...
I've actually recently fallen in love with the Dervish of Dawn archetype and have been working on one in preparation for the upcoming Wrath of the Righteous AP (we might even have twins, a male and female, with the same builds). I too have also been trying to figure out exactly what to do with feats, but I'll share with you what I've come up with so far...
Aasimar 16th level Dervish of Dawn / 4th level Weaponmaster
Attributes: (20 point buy)
Now none of this is etched in stone by any means - I'm looking at the Crane Wing option and others right now. I've taken the Eldritch Heritage Arcane Bloodline feat because an Arcane Bond is too good to pass up; bonus spell of any level and a weapon I can enchant? Yes, please - and I'm pretty sure you can cast with a weapon in your hand if its a bonded item without penalty. Our GM has even house-ruled that you could enchant arcane bonded items like weapons or rings the same way you might wands (same costs, triggers, actions to use, etc.).
I'm comfortable taking things like Power Attack and Combat Expertise because between Inspire Courage, Dance of a Hundred Cuts, etc. your attack bonuses get very, very high high. I wanted to do something to take advantage of the Scimitar's high crit range. The Fighter levels come at 16th - 19th since 1) 6th level Bard spells don't really blow my skirt up, 2) I could use the extra feats (Weapon Specialization?)and boost to fort saves and 3) I get access to Weapon Training at 3rd level as a Weaponmaster which in turn opens up Gloves of Dueling for a nice little boost late.
This archetype is great from the start but really begins to come into its own in my opinion at 13th level when you can begin playing games with Bardic Performance... like making a full attack with Inspire Courage up giving you +8 attack and damage then as a swift action changing performances to Inspire Heroics to grant a +8 AC and saves bonus during your opponents turn, only to switch back using a swift action when its your turn again before full-attacking... or 'cycling' performance to continuously refresh temporary hit points using Inspire Greatness at 4d10+CONx4 a clip. It eats up swift actions sure, but why have them if you're not going to use them?
Seriously though, I'm looking hard at taking a couple of levels of Master of Many Styles instead to go Crane Wing... I just don't like the fact that when you fight defensively you are limited to a standard attack action, though I could see it having its place.
Uh, can't you change bardic performances as a swift action at level 11 without any extra feats?
Its 13th level, but that's assuming that 'ending a Performance' doesn't count as an action.
Viewed in that light, Harmonic Spell seems pretty 'meh'. Perhaps they meant it to say 'change it as a free action'? That would make more sense... or perhaps its a way to gain that ability much earlier, as well allowing the bard to save on Performance rounds in the levels where it would be needed most.
To gain the benefits of Harmonic Spell, you need to cast a 1st level or higher spell. You can switch your performance type as a swift action at the time that you cast the spell.
And of course that's exactly how it reads. Ah well, still useful.
Gotta figure out a way around that cumbersone '1 swift action per turn BS'... so if I quicken a spell I can't use the ability because I'm out of 'swift' actions even though I still have my entire turn left?
I'll probably talk to the GM about houseruling that move actions can be used as swift actions. Seems to work fine in other games.
Been steadily working on my Azata-blooded Dervish of Dawn in the hopes of having her ready for the Wrath of the Righteous AP... really excited about her. One little combo I noticed was that Harmonic Spell allowed you to change from one Bardic Performance to another as a swift action.
So I can have Inspire Courage up, granting myself +8 attack and +8 damage, make a full attack action, and then as a swift action switch my performance to Inspire Heroics which in turn grants me +8 AC and +8 saves before my turn ends... on the following turn I can cast a spell (or whatever else) and then on the turn after that begin with a swift action switch back to Inspire Courage before making another full attack action.
Being able to bounce back and forth between +8 attack/damage and +8 saves/AC as a swift action should really be useful - its a shame I have to wait until 15th level before I can do it. Looking at the build as a whole though, this will definitely be the best gish I've ever made.
Anyone else out there who has some exprience with this class have any wisdom to offer up?
That's a good find, and you're right, for my purposes that clarification renders the subject mute - dang it all.
Still kinda wondering about the intent of the original feat, though.
I'm ressurecting this old thread in an effort to get some clarification on the subject after being directed here from another similar thread located here.
I had an excellent idea for an Aasimar Bard who would take Scion of Humanity, theoretically making it eligible for both the Aasimar's favored class option and the Human's favored class option... I wanted verification and posted the question, and was directed to this debate.
Reading through the replies, it seems to make utterly no sense. Here are the options for interpretation as I see it - and let's keep in mind that this is a feat with pre-requisites and is restricted to a single race, suggesting that it does in fact offer some sort of benefit:
1) The feat allows you to take 1 skill rank AND 1 skill point per level OR to take an alternate class feature.
First of all, can't every single character choose an alternate class feature regardless of race already? So how or why would that even be mentioned as an option? Secondly, can't every single character choose to take 1 skill rank as their favored class option and then choose Toughness as a feat to get this benefit already? Why an entirely separate feat with race and attribute-dependent restrictions?
2) The feat allows you to take 1 skill rank or 1 hit point AND an alternate favored class optione.
Well, the above examples show that you already get a favored class option for free no matter who you are and that Toughness will get you that extra hit point, making the feat redundant (and less effective) than already existing options unless you were to try take a skill rank and a favored class option alternate which would actually give the feat as described some sort of non-redundant role but still make it enormously under-whelming (especially with the pre-requisites) and overly confusing.
3) My original interpretation which mirrors the above, but allows you to take two of any favored class option you are eligible for without duplication.
This makes far and away the most sense, provides an actual benefit players might want, is in no way unbalanced and is actually worthy of the pre-requisites applied to the feat's selection.
Perhpas I'm being dense or missing something blatantly obvious to others, but I can't imagine a feat being conceptualized, written, intended or interpretted in the manner described by options #1 and #2... can someone help me out?
Thank you very much for posting those links... sorry to say though it seems as if its only confused the issue even more. Here is a quote by the author:
Jason Nelson wrote:
Wait - so the benefit of the feat is to allow me to get +1 hp and +1 skill rank (which is effectively a weakened version of Toughness) OR to get an 'alternate favored class bonus'? What is an alternate favored class bonus? I assume that would be the standard option available to every class and every race, like the human's additional spells for bards or a dwarf's extra uses of a Domain power... but if its something everyone automatically gets anyway regardless of race or class, why would I need to be a human AND take a feat to get access to an alternate favored class bonus? Why would that even be deliberately included in the feat description?
When I look at the feat's description AND the fact that its a feat at all, I have to believe that either 1) its a race-specific feat that does exactly what another feat available to everyone (Toughness) does but not as well, 2) its a race-specific feat that explicitly allows something every race gets anyway for free including the race it is restricted to, or 3) its race and attribute pre-requisites and the fact that its a feat at all means that its intended to give some sort of bonus or benefit, and the logical extrapolation of that benefit is that you get to choose two of the normal options available to you instead of one (i.e. +1 skill rank, +1 hit point or whatever favored class options you are eligible for - which in most cases woudl be one, but under special circumstances like Scion of Humanity, might well be more than one).
Feats not effects. They are an explicitly permitted option.
If what you're saying is that 'feats are not effects' then the wording of the ability seems to contradict that:
An aasimar with this racial trait counts as an outsider (native) and a humanoid (human) for any effect related to race, including feat prerequisites and spells that affect humanoids.
The term 'including' seems to make it clear that a feat is indeed an effect - presumably that means 'including but not limited to' as I would hate to think that 'any effect related to race' would encompass more than just spells that affect humanoids and feat pre-requsities...
After all, one would never say 'all great cats, including the elephant' would they?
So it appears to be based on the technical definition of the word 'effect', then? A race-based feat pre-requisite being an 'effect' but a race-based favored class option not? If that's the ruling I can certainly accept that, but unless there is a list somewhere of exactly what's an effect and what is not it seems terribly vague and non-specific.
Nothing came up in my search on the subject which is why I posted here - can you point me towards the discussion?
I appreciate the quick responses. I want to question them a bit more because I'm trying to understand the way the rules would work in this particular case.
I don't see anything saying that Fast Learner 'replaces' the favored class option (important terminology there since 'replaces' is very official). I read it as saying that instead of getting one favored class option, you get two, whether its the standard +1 hp and +1 skill rank or any other favored class option that you would be eligible for.
And this response directly affects that last part - favored class option that you would be eligible for. I have to believe that if I count as a Human 'for any effect related to race, including feat prerequisites and spells that affect humanoids' then that would include favored class options as well. For all intents and purposes I AM human - there is certainly nothing I see there that would single favored class options out.
Is there a part of this I'm either misreading or a progression of the logic that I've missed?
If I were making an Aasimar Bard and I took Scion of Humanity and then the Fast Learner feat, would I be able to take the Human favored class option for Bards (additional spells known) and the Aasimar favored class option for Bards (+1/2 level for one bardic performance) at each level?
Scion of Humanity
I appreciate the answers, but I'm still somewhat confused.
So in accordance with what you're saying, a Dervish of Dawn using the spell Shadowbard would get absolutely no benefit from Inspire Courage, Inspire Heroics or Inspire Greatness (or Dirge of Doom since they don't get that performance), nor would any member of their party, making the spell essentially useless to them?
Exquisite Accompaniment does not provide any performance whatsoever, it merely saves you from using your own rounds of performance.
I'm trying to figure out how, if it is possible, for a Dervish of Dawn to have two instances of Bardic Performance up - specifically Inspire Courage and Inspire Heroics - who's effects mimic that which a single Bardic Performance by the Dervish of Dawn would have.
Is there any realistic way for a Bard to have two instances of their Performance up and running at the same time?
I'm putting together a Dervish of Dawn and I have a few questions about how Bard spells affect this particular archetype and its unique performances...
Does the performance used by the Shadowbard spell keep you from being able to use a performance ability yourself, or does it allow two concurrent performances to be used? I know that similar bonuses wouldn't stack, but could it be used to activate both Inspire Heroics and Inspire Courage at once?
Does the Shadowbard performance behave as if it had originated from you - i.e. the doubling effect of the Dervish's battle dance? Same question for Exquisite Accompaniment.
Are there any other practical ways to maintain two performances at once?
The two best melee damage-dealing builds I've seen on this forum are here a Brawler build that uses two-weapon fighting rather than rely on Flurry of Blows, and here, a two-handed Weaponmaster build that has a lot of different offensive options.
Bard 12/ pal of vengeance X. Take extra LoH a couple times, you will get cha to saves, hit, and dmg that way, and you'll get some huge situational bonuses to your static dmg. Don't even bother with pal till lvl 12 though. By the time you hit 16, you will be a monster! Pick your smite targets carefully and go all out. You will have enough healing to be a back up healer, skills enough to more than face for a group, and more dmg output than most melee classes (just not quite as often).
Thats kind of what I was thinking... but wouldn't it be better to go with 8 levels of Bard then 4 levels of Paladin first to make myself eligible for Extra Lay on Hands feats as well as to get Oath of Vengeance's conversion ability earlier on? If I pulled the Scion of Humanity/Fast Learner trick by 8th level I'd have all 10 uses of Weird Words anyway...
No, its been proven to my satisfcation that Weird Words can be allocated to however many targets you like, up to 1 target per 'word'. Kind of like Magic Missile, which also states that you can only use one missile per target.
Saying a missile can only have one target is not the same thing as saying a target can only be affected by one missile. The wording is awkward, I'll grant you, but even with the ability to 'concentrate fire' so to speak, you still have to hit as a ranged touch attack, they still get a save against each hit and because its bludgeoning, slashing or piercing damage, DR still applies.
The ability would seem extraordinarily potent at lower levels (when you have fewer performance rounds to burn) but much less so at the middling to late levels... of course, with Smite you can boost that damage substantially (CHA bonus x10) AND ignore DR so...
spend your favoured class bonuses on getting inspire heroics early and pick up exquisite accompaniment. One round of buffing will give you +8 armor and saves with your normal courage buffs.
In fact, if you take scion of humanity and then take fast learner and improve both performances simultaneously. You would have all of your hit, damage, saves, and armor class improved by eight.
I'm trying to understand how this would work:
So Scion of Humanity makes me eligible for human-only feats, of which Fast Learner is one. Fast Learner then allows me to apply my Aasimar favored class option to two different Bardic Performances per level, in this case Inspire Courage and Inspire Heroics. I think that is a very interesting option to take and I might well do exactly that... but I don't see any way I could have two bardic perforamces active at once. As I read it, Exquisite Accompaniment only saves you from burning rounds of performance, it doesn't allow you to maintain two performances at once, correct?
Also, in the case of Inspire Heroics, there isn't really anything to improve, is there? The bonus is static, not level dependent and as a Dawn Dancer the ability only applies to me (though admittedly at double strength). If the performance doesn't need to be performed, I wouldn't have to jump through all those hoops I don't think.
This does beg two new questions though - do the additional levels gained through the racial option also infect effective class level when it comes to determining saving throw DC's, and can you take the racial bonus in perforamnces you don't have yet so that you get the full benefit when you attain it?
Any reasonable DM would extrpolate the bard's inspire courage progression for beyond 20th level. If you are playing in PFS, you won't get past 12th level and won't have to worry about this.
Honestly that had never even occurred to me. Thinking on it, it might be a viable option though I could easily see any GM hard-limiting things to an effective 20th level. And you know, I think I could only eke out another +2 at 16th level and then again at 20th level even if they did allow it.
I'm interested in keeping Weird Words - being able to hit a single target with 10d8+60 or so damage or to split it up as desired every round definitely has its appeal - but the biggest limiting factor seems to be DR which would render the ability almost unusable. Smite fixes that and increases the damage significantly. I also worry about the character's survivability and Lay on Hands would help a lot, especially if I loaded up on them via feats...
Still not sure though - perhaps 8 levels of Bard, 4 levels of Paladin, then 4 more levels of Bard and then 4 more levels of Paladin to finish it off?
Maybe I'm trying to do too much. I suppose I could ride the Weird Words train til 10th or so when it starts to lose its effectiveness and then focus on the Dawn Dervish side of things the rest of the way... move action heals are very nice.
Using the Azata's favored class option, I should, by 12th level, have a +8 attack & damage bonus from Inspire Courage when fighting in melee and I should also have ten 1d8+Cha ranged touch attacks/round from Sound Striker.
But what then? My gains from additional Bard levels would be only moderate at best, and I'll have all of the same weaknesses. I'm thinking about going in another direction the rest of the way - my first thought was Paladin. Smites will allow those Weird Words to ignore DR and will boost both their chance to hit and damage... it'll also give me opportunities to improve my survivability with better saves, Lay on Hands, etc.
Do you think this is the best option, or am I missing other solid options? It occurred to me that I could stop at 8th level Bard and still have most of the same benefits (eight Weird Words/rd, +6 bonuses from Inspire Courage) and it would let me get to those Paladin levels a bit sooner...
@Revel - Okay, so I was on the right track then... I had originally built my Brawler taking one level of MoMS and had gone through the full progression of Snake Style without realizing exactly how the archetype worked.
I don't think taking two levels of MoMS will be a problem as Evasion is a worthwhile class feature to have. Still not sure yet though exactly how I want to arrange my feats... exactly when to take what, what should have priority.
Thanks for the quick response.
As an aside, I hate it that you have to have a weapon with the Agile enhancement to be able to add Dexterity to your damage. My old group used to have a houserule that 'Finesse' was a weapon quality possessed by all light weapons, ranged weapons and some others (like rapiers and whips) which automatically meant you used Dexterity rather than Strength for both attack and damage when wielding those weapons. Worked great.
If I'm building a Monk of Many Styles (or trying to take a 1 level dip in it), is the following an appropriate 1st level feat selection based on the rules as described:
The problem I think I'm seeing is that even with Monk of Many Styles, I can't take Snake Fang until I've taken Snake Style, and if I'm using the MoMS bonus feat to take Snake Fang then I can't take Snake Style without meeting its pre-requisites, which include three ranks in Sense Motive.
Is that right?
If so, I could take Snake Style free of pre-requisites at 1st level as the Monk's bonus feat and then a 2nd level of Monk (with its second bonus feat) would allow me to take Snake Fang without having to meet its pre-requisites?
If I then go Fighter the rest of the way, I could take another style feat I qualify for later on and still fuse the styles, correct?
I'm asking cuz my head is about to explode.
We're getting in some early prep for the Wrath of the Righteous AP (very excited about it except for the Epic rules requirement - we're going to try and play it straight instead). So far one member of the party has put together this really great Paladin with a killer backstory and I wanted to make a cleric (my first) as a sort of partner/side-kick for him.
She's going to be a Cleric of Iomedae weilding longsword and shield and she's going to be an Evangelist who takes the Glory domain/Heorism subdomain. All of that I'm totally comfortable with. What I'm stuck on it how to make her useful in combat after the opening salvo of buffs? Power attack isn't really an effective feat for a sword and board'er, I'm not looking to get into the whole two-weapon fighting/shield bash thing. I thought maybe Dazzling Display in round 2 as a follow up to my initial buffs before moving in to help flank/aid another? But there's got to be some options I'm missing.
This was my first stab at feat selection, taking a single level of Fighter at 1st - the character is MAD enough that she won't have very impressive physical stats though I've not yet decided exactly how my 20 points will be allocated...
Human Cleric of Iomedae
I took the level of Fighter to get heavy armor and to help out a little with my feats. I'm still considering a feat to boost my Initiative so that I can get my buffs out early enough to make that key difference...
Should I give up on being an effective combatant and simply plan Round 1: Buffs, Round 2: Dazzling Display or a big spell, Round 3: Heals/Channelling/Condition removal?
I would consider that a testament to how well you ran her rather than the quality of the character herself - nicely done, sir. There are few things I enjoy more than when a party really comes to LOVE (or really comes to HATE) an NPC I've devoted time to.
No, she shows up again in Hook Mountain Massacre I'm pretty sure, to (among other things) resolve some daddy issues. The thing is that since we already have a female archer character, her inclusion seemed a little redundant, so I figured I could accomplish all I needed to with a more suitable character.
At the moment there are no plans for Jade Regent (though I'd love to run it if I can find the money to buy the AP), but if and when we do I don't see why I couldn't just include Shalelu then as I would have if running the AP on its own - or am I missing something?
We also have a female archer in the group... so I'm thinking of replacing Shalelu with Drummond, a Dwarven Ranger (Infiltrator) I designed a while back who's two favorite favored enemies are goblins and giants. I figure I'll introduce him in the parts where Shalelu would have been and I'll have a quiet chat with my player about the possibility of having an estranged relationship with her father, perhaps venturing to Sandpoint looking for him after her mother died. That'll let me work in the Black Arrow subplot and have it feel a bit more near and dear to the party as a group.
Alright, I'm doing final preps for the start of the AP and I'm considering two fairly significant but primarily RP-related twists. I'd be interested to get other's take on them, advice on how best to execute the idea, cautions on potential pitfalls especially if I might be messing up something I've missed later on in the AP.
The first is that I'm going to change up the Aldern Foxglove's obsession a little and make it a love triangle of sorts... the idea is that one of the hero's (I'm pretty sure I know which one) will rescue Shayliss in the opening goblin raid and then do the same with Aldern as written. Shayliss will become besotted with her rescuer (perhaps even using Aldern in an attempt to make them jealous) while Aldern will fall for the winsome Shayliss and resent her affections for the PC. All of this will result in the PC getting either the 'wrath' or 'envy' side of things once the Skinsaw Murders begin while Shayliss gets the 'lust' side, drawing her and her family even further into the horror that takes place.
The second is that I'm going to make Tsuto's infatuation/obsession be with his half-sister Ameiko rather than Nualia whom I will instead make him terrified of. There is some good backstory in the family that I think I can make use of, as well as the idea that he wants to 'rescue' her from the burning of Sandpoint as she is the only person he's ever loved and certainly the only person in town (to his mind) that doesn't deserve to burn. They share the same blood after all - why shouldn't they be together?
I'm planning on making Ameiko a more involved part of the first two books, but again purely from a RP-angle - the PC's shouldn't need her help adventuring.
The one we're about to play looks pretty formidible. We're running the exact same 4-man party we ran through Second Darkness because it went so well, but adding a fifth member.
Elven Wizard (Void Mage & Spellbinder) - Void Mages are the bomb, plain and simple. Elves get to use their Reveal Weakness pretty much at will and Spellbinders offer tremendous versatility for a prepared caster.
Human Arcane Duelist - recently came across a build for this archetype that I really like. Casts more spells and knows more spells than any other version I've seen and can be very effective in combat. Plus buffs. Plus heals. Plus face.
Half-Elf Summoner - the build takes one level of Fighter at 8th or 9th and uses his eidolon as a mount w/lance and arcane armor. Before that he fights behind him using a longspear. The character has a high strength and has taken the Orc Bloodline; Touch of Rage begs for an eidolon or animal companion.
Half-Elf Master Summoner - the two are twins. Having a Master Summoner makes up for not having a full martial in the group to tank for us and gives us tremendous versatility in combat. The Bard's Inspire Courage and Discordant Voice gets put to excellent use here. Having a small eidolon built for stealth and perception gives them a super-stealthy expendable scout that can see in the dark, communicate telepathically and eventually fly.
To those four we're going to add a really great Human Archer (actually a Weaponmaster Fighter with a couple of levels of Urban Barbarian, who has eventual plans to take some late levels of Transmutation Wizard and Arcane Archer).
Really going to have to beef up some encounters, I think.
Yeah, Necklace of Adaptation is definitely out and I knew about hiks immunity to Feeblemind which is why I said it would automatically fail - doesn't mean my guy won't try it though.
I've often wondered how to effectively play a villain with a 36 Intelligence and plenty of foreknowledge. Theoretically he should truly be unbeatable... theoretically. I'm feeling better about the final battle - still leaves a lot of high level bosses who should go down easy though.
I could see that being very useful for one of the BBEG's - perhaps Kourzog himself, provided that they had the opportunity to observe the PC's and see the spell in action... so that's at least one fight the spell won't dominate. Don't think I could use it more than once though, twice tops.
Still, I like the option - it fits thematically, shows the PC's that their tactics can be prepared for. Its a good option if not an all-out solution.
That's kind of the direction I was leaning towards, and in truth that interpretation may well be the one needed to make the fight what it should be. I know these guys and I would expect the battle to open something like this:
The Void Mage would hit Kourzog with his Reveal Weakness ability and a Quickened Extended Suffocate while the Arcane Duelist follows it up with Feeblemind (a spell learned through Arcane Bloodline)... which between the two should be able to take out just about anyone - but for obvious reasons one would be dispelled and the other simply fail, giving Kourzog the time he needs to get off his Quickened Timestops. Meanwhile the mounted Summoner and his flying eidolon would go after the blue dragon, while the Master Summoner would send flying summoned creatures after the giants and the Archer would attempt to pick off the nearest immediate threat. Should be a hell of a fight.
That doesn't solve my more immediate problem - countering the incredibly effective Perfected Suffocation spells earlier in book 6 without marginalizing the focus of a player's build. Any ideas?
...the final book, really.
We haven't even begun yet (and one or two of my players are on this board but know not to read my posts), but I'm looking ahead for potential pitfalls as I've seen the likely builds the characters will be using and one in particular I think will prove worrisome.
The group (as outlined in a post below) should prove both capable and formidible, with a Wizard, an Arcane Duelist, a Summoner, a Master Summoner and what looks like is going to be an Archer. I can beef up encounters with little difficulty and there's enough mystery solving to keep everyone entertained... early on the Summoners will prove the most difficult to deal with but fortunately I've got more than a little experience with that.
However in the final champters, the Void Mage looks like he's going top be a beast, specifically with the combination of his Reveal Weakness ability and some Quickened spells - he's going to go Spell Perfection with Suffocate for instance, allowing it to be both Quickened and Extended, and increasing the DC via Spell Focus feats. From what I can see pretty much every BBEG on up to Kourzog himself are going to be VERY vulnerable to that little combo (no doubt as intended).
Now the last thing I want to do is penalize a player for preparing an effective build, especially one that fits his RP concept (he's a mage of the void as in outer space, and leans heavily on spells like Call the Void, Deafness/Blindness, Pit spells and Suffocatation as well as some divination type spells - he has even voluntarily decided to take both fire and air as opposition elements because it fits the character better)... but you can see how this might take a lot of the umph out of many of the final battles. I'd be interested in some thoughts if anyone has them to offer.
Also, as I read the effects of Kourzog's Contingency spell, it says that it triggers as a result of harmful spells that render him unable to act - initially I consider that to be something that inflicts a condition like Dazed, Stunned or Paralyzed - what would your ruling be on whether or not Suffocate falls into that category?
Yeah, its pretty hard to say 'I want a character capable of dealing damage at range' but I don't want a Wizard, Sorcerer, Fighter, Barbarian or Ranger...
Here's what I would suggest:
With Urban Barbarian you can gain +4 to your Dexterity (or your Constitution) instead of your Strength and don't suffer an AC penalty when raging. That boosts your AC by +2 as well as your attack bonus by +2 whenever you are raging. With this build as is you'll get 17 rounds of Rage per day which should be good for at least 3 combat encounters is used wisely.
I like Auspicious Mark as the Rage Power because it has so many uses - some even out of combat. If you need to complete a difficult skill check (like Stealth) You can Rage for a round, boost Dex and then use Auspicious Mark to give you an additional +1d6. If you need to make a Fort save against poison or disease, you Rage for a round, boost Con and then use the mark to give you an additional +1d6 on the saving throw. If that doesn't appeal to you then I recommend Reckless Abandon which will completely offset the attack penalty from Deadly Aim.
At 8th level, while raging using the build above, your full attack chain will be:
Keep in mind that none of the above includes magical equipment. A belt that boosts Dex or Strength (or both) and a magical bow would obviously increase both damage and accuracy.
I also like to take the Invulnerable Rager archetype which stacks with Urban Barbarian and will grant you a nice little DR 1/- to go along with everything else. The first two levels of duo-Barbarian, along with the Extra Rage feat and the Traits listed is actually part of a special 'combat school' we created in my campaign - after those two levels you can continue on in any martial class and still enjoy its benefits.
I think that's good advice on Desperate Battler, especially considering its potential synergy with Crowd Control. Your point about full BAB and Furious Focus is well taken - I think I originally took FF because I planned on taking Dreadful Carnage as part of the build but obviously that got cut along the way.
A downside of it is that in my particular case he's going to be playing with an Elven Paladin and the intent was to stand behind her when possible and essentially fight over her head. Not an issue per se with regards to the build itself, just the feat's usefulness to me.
I'm seriously considering moving Combat Reflexes into FF's spot and then at 3rd level taking Extra Rage Power: Auspicious Mark... with the ability to boost any of your physical attributes, I've found it can be an incredibly useful ability in a wide variety of situations. As an aside, I really, really wish I didn't have to switch Crowd Control for Fast Movement... Controlled Rage is a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned but losing Fast Movement hurts, especially if you're planning on wearing medium armor.
Malen Isnell wrote:
Hmm I guess it does to a certain extent. You have to keep raging just like with raging vitality or else you will lose your raging hit points, but if you fall unconscious you would lose those hit points as per normal rage rules. I'm just suggesting taking it for the extra 2 Con (+1 HP/level) and the ability to use rage even while unconscious to keep from dying to the lose of those hit points.
I'm not 100% sure you get the Constitution bonus as an Urban Barbarian RAW, and since you don't lose hit points when you stop raging, I'm dubious about what the greater benefit would be from Raging Vitality...
I wanted to make a Barbarian who could really tank as well as dish out damage, and I wanted one with a touch of versatility beyond 'SMASH'... I know, I know, sacrilege - but consider this:
Attributes: (20 point buy)
Its really cunning the way this all comes together:
The character wields a reach weapon (a bardiche) and has Combat Reflexes and Come and Get Me to maximize that benefit, but also manifests claws when raging so I can attack adjacent foes without penalty. Pounce is nice too.
The ability to boost Dex instead of Strength combined with Deadly Aim makes the character at least somewhat effective at range.
The Human favored class option really makes Superstition shine when it comes to making saves vs. spells.
The high Intelligence modifier allows for some nice skills.
Damage Resistance by level as built:
Damage Resistance is of course doubled against non-lethal damage which Guarded Life and Greater Guarded Life allows you to convert normal damage into if you're reduced below 0 hit points. At the highest levels I'm negating up to 38 points of damage per attack, fast healing 3 hit points/round and automatically stabilizing when I go below 0.
Not dipping i still would play an admixture wizard for a blaster, being able to swap the element type for your most effective spells is worth it imo.. But i guess theres always elemental rods.. Have you considered playing an Ifrit? 4 Charisma bonus from race is nice if your playin a fire based guy..
Ifrits definitely seem the way to go if you're playing a Primal Fire Sorcerer - just depends on whether or not your GM will allow it. It certainly fits the theme and you can play her/him as a complete pyro-maniac.
Well, I've always liked the Admixture Evocation Wizard for my blasting, but that's in part because I like being able to hold out for being a little versatile with my spell-casting.
My recomendation to you is to go Half-Orc Sorcerer, and take the Primal Elemental Bloodline for Fire located here.
I don't think you need to go the Human route because you don't need the versatility of its favored class option for Sorcerers. Instead you'll gain +1 point of damage/die when you cast fire spells as your bloodline arcana and +1 point of damage/2 levels from your favored class option. You gain an elemental ray which will actually allow you to do something fire-related at 1st - 3rd levels when actual spells are hard to come by...
The bonus for Summoned Monsters is nice too - you summon Fire Elementals and send them in all buffed up and then pour the AoE fire damage in right on top of them.
And before anyone tells me to leave the group, this guy is my best friend and he's also a terrific storyteller, and he's running this game as a favor to me. So I'm willing to lower my optimization a little bit to meet the level of power he wants from his players.
Great attitude IMO.
Any thoughts on anything else lucky-themed I could add to this? Other feats that would work well?
I think the Azata-Blooded Aasimar is the absolute ideal choice for a Bard, especially a Bard/Paladin wielding a bow... but if you're looking for 'lucky' rather than blessed, it would seem like Halfling would be the way to go.
No intention to hi-jack the thread but since we've got some experts on here, I wouldn't mind a little critique of the build I'm about to use for an upcoming RotRL campaign. The concept is a Halfling Archeologist who's fascinated with ancient Thassilon. He's the party's '5th member', with the others being taken up by a Human Barbarian, an Elven Paladin, a Half-Elven Master Summoner and a Kitsune Sorceress - as such he's really the skill-monkey and party 'hook', and anything he adds to combat is just laginappe. Personally I always considered investing in the whip-trip concept to have diminishing returns as by the time you get really good at it fewer and fewer things can be tripped (especially when you have a low Strength), so archery seemed the best way to go.
Attributes: 20 point buy
Feats & Talents: