Will the Sorceress have a load of battlefield control spells?
No. The sorceress will focus heavily on mind-affecting spells with the goal being to lock down major threats and eventually to turn foes against their brothers. She'll probably also keep a handful of buffs and utility spells in her arsenal.
Hello all. First time making a non-combat purely support character and I thought I'd get a little advice from the experts. First a couple of things to take into account:
Character will likely be used for a Rise of the Runelords run.
The other three party members will be a Barbarian tank, an Archer and a Kitsune Sorcererss (Serpentine).
Human 1st level Witch / 16th level Bard
Attributes: (20 point buy)
Feats & Abilities:
Some very minor rules allowances by our GM:
Blessed Touch will work with the Witch's Healing Hex.
Eldritch Heritage: Arcane Bloodline - Arcane Bond will allow the character to have both a Familiar (from Witch level) and a Bonded object.
The concept is a scholar and lover of the arts who learned a little hedge magic from his grandmother when he was still a boy (the Witch level). He's not a pacifist, he's just no good in a fight and knows it, but despite that lack he still feels a lust for adventure, particularly when it comes to unravelling mysteries or discovering forgotten lore. The character's going to obviously go very heavily into knowledge and social skills and will use the human favored class bonus to have a wide swath of spells available. There are plans for the Kitsune and I to get Faerie dragons at the same time (9th level), presumably we'll find a clutch or a mated pair. Should make for some fun times.
Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing any thoughts anyone might have.
Shoot me a private message so that I don't forget and when I have the builds in front of me I'll post them.
Btw - that Dervish is goign to be twins now when we start up Wrath of the Righteous. Me and another player, one representing Sarenrae's vengeful side, one her redemption but the builds will be identical. We're even going to take some teamwork feats so that we can fight more effectively together.
A grin at seeing two of my builds re-posted out of nowhere.
Heya Mors - I've updated both of those since posting them. Let me know if you want to see the improvements...
Was wondering on a ruling on this:
A 11th level Sorcerer...
I understand that technically force effects break the 'line of effect' rule for casting spells, but what about controlling spells already cast when line of sight is not an issue?
I appreciate the responses. The character in question, if he had a specific deity, it would be Azathoth the Old One (who also has the Madness Domain), but he's not a worshipper per se - he was captured by an Aboleth society deep beneath the earth and made a slave, eventually escaping and fleeing to the surface where he was greeted with a starry night sky - the very origin of his tormentors surrounfing everything. It broke his mind. Now he's dark abd brooding and convinced of the end of the world at the hands of Abberant overlords though he refuses to surrender to it. I'm not 100% sure how he's going to play this angle for the AP though...
I really don't think the player is a Summoner type though, so the point is probably moot.
Without knowing any more about the AP than what's been put out, I expect this group to waltz through most combat encounters, but the ones they don't might end up being a real struggle for them.
That shouldn't matter. Clerics possess an Aura as a class feature. As such, any Cleric should, even if that Aura is "Neutrality" (I have no strong feelings concerning this subject). In addition, their aura would be influenced by how they Channel energy - if it's "positive" or "negative" and even alternative Channeling still is impacted by this.
This could be incorrect, but to my knowledge there are no creatures with an 'Alignment subtype' of neutral, which I would imagine means a neutral Cleric can't get any mileage out of the Sacred Summons feat. And neutral Clerics who channel positive energy don't suddenly gain 'Good' auras, do they?
I'd love to be wrong on this.
The cleric could still be a strong summoner. In fact, there is a Feat that aura-possessing casters can use to cast Summoning spells as a Standard Action, and then other Feats to boost the power of the Summons (including Feats that provide summoned critters with attacks that count as silver, cold iron, or magic weapons).
Unfortunately he's running the Cleric as 'true neutral'. He's got a pretty impressive build/concept though - he carries a Dorn-Dergar as his 'deity's weapon', its heavy end actually a piece of raw star-metal ore. The madness-infused rock doubles as his holy symbol (he's less a priest and more an unwitting herald, but it all fits his background).
At 6th level, with WBL-appropriate gear and under the benefits of a simple Haste spell, his full attack would be +14/+12/+12 for 1d10+18 damage. That's pretty strong. Moreover, his Clerical Domain powers would still be at 6th level potency as would his CL. He'd still only have access to the spells of a 4th level Cleric but that's not so terrible a trade-off for being such a monster in combat.
Actually I was more concerned with flyers. The original plan was for the second dervish to be a Master Summoner with access to flying creatures, but he got all excited about the Dervish character that was being made and came up with the idea for a twin.
The Paladin is set - he was the first character made and he was made long before this AP was even announced. Guess we'll just have to get creative.
Wu Nakitu wrote:
That's a big part of the decision, and it fit in well with the character's backstory. We usually build characters for the whole game, not so much with an eye towards post-20 content.
There are four characters in this group - as written, there are twin Dervishes, a brother and a sister, meaning that there are two of them in addition to the Dwarven Cleric and the Paladin.
The Dervishes are taking the Crane Style feats which fits in perfectly with their fighting style, and they get an early, potent saving throw boost, evasion and other benefits as well.
The Dwarven Cleric is a character the player has been itching to play since a foray into Way of the Wicked. Two levels of Wild Rager make him a serious potential melee threat and also give him movement on par with the rest of the group. The Theologian archetype and Magical Knack covers some of the loss in Clerical potency... in all cases the characters are potentially giving up something very late in the character's devlopment in order to gain a lot more earlier on, and in each case the dip suits the character's concept ideally.
As I said, I'm only concerned with the lack of a potent ranged threat and the limited control ability of the party as a whole... with so much melee power and so much in-combat healing ability, I'm not really worried about survivability.
Everyone's really looking forward to this AP, and we've been working on our characters, both separately and as a prospective party. We're taking the angle of 'chosen' warriors sent or called to this region by our respective Gods for a purpose that has yet to be revealed. We really like the potential role-play associated with the characters, but it doesn't look like a 'classic' party. In particular I'm a little worried that it might roll through the early to middle levels but not have enough power at the top end - none of us know anything about the mythic rules.
Tiefling 1st level Oracle (Lore) / 19th level Paladin (Oath of Vengeance, Oath Against Fiends), raised in secret by a remote dwarven temple to Torag after his aasimar mother died in childbirth, the offspring of an Incubus intent on breeding for his own nefarious purposes. Stoic, brooding but the very embodiment of nobility and self-sacrifice.
Aasimar 2nd level Master of Many Styles / 18th level Dervish of Dawn, two of these, male and female twins who are ardent worshippers of Sarenrae. The Tiefling above will wrestle with his growing feelings for the sister while the brother regards him with utter disdain and suspicion.
Dwarven 2nd level Wild Rager / 18th level Theologian (Madness), a wild card, driven more than summoned, his motives as closely held a secret as his sanity.
The party should be pretty heavy on face & knowldge skills, healing (even in-combat healing), buffs and melee power... but it lacks any real battlefield control or a serious ranged threat. I'm wondering if that will come back to haunt us?
Actually, I will be running an Aasimar Dervish of Dawn - with doubled Inspire Courage that's gained at an accelerated rate, she should be significantly ahead of Fighters even with weapon training and Focus/Specialization. Add to that face skills, plenty of buff spells and the eventual ability to cast cure spells as a move action and she'll be tough to beat.
Heh - actually, looking at 15th level, she'll be able to have +8 attack/+8 damage on her turn and then +8 AC/+8 saves on everyone else's... pretty impressive, especially when you stack it with another +5 to attack, damage and AC from Dance of a Hundred Cuts.
So I could Cackle twice as a double move action while someone was in range and extend the Hex for two rounds, even if I were to stop cackling after that and the target went beyond 30'? That never occurred to me, thanks.
Each cackle adds one round to the duration of misfortune. Every time the witch cackles and that foe is within 30 feet, its duration is extended by one. If the foe steps out of 30 feet the duration doesn't suddenly shrink, but he's not going to have be affected by a cackle while he's out of range. Does that make sense? Cackle doesn't have to do with staying in range, it just extends to the duration for people affected by it.
So Cackle serves as a 're-application' of the original Hex, meaning that if one of the criteria of the original Hex were to fail (i.e. out of range, dead, whatever) then the original Hex would fail to re-apply?
I think I understand - I was reading through the Hexes themselves and didn't pay attention to the wording of Cackle itself. Not much use against ranged/flying foes then, eh?
Witch casts a spell with a range limitation like Misfortune (30') and the creatures fails its save. The Witch then proceeds to Cackle throughout the encounter, but that creature moves beyond the 30' range of the Hex. Does the Hex persist as long as she Cackles or does it fail once the creature moves outside of range?
FAQ it! If they rule 'no response required', and it's still not clear, they've asked us to re-FAQ a new thread.
As far as I/we are concerned, they can all target the same foe. There are too many other ways for the damage to be mitigated for it to be even the slightest bit game-breaking. Besides... the fluff of it is going to be cool - an Aasimar Dervish of Dawn/Soundstriker, the 'words' manifesting as waves of sound created as the Dervish slices her scimitar repeatedly through the air.
That's some good advice. I totally dropped the ball on Power Attack so I'll have to find a good option to replace that.
The way I see it, the benefits of Arcane Bond are two-fold (apart from the role-play aspect of a Dervish of Dawn being bonded with the same weapon used by her Goddess): the first is an extra spell per day of the highest level you can cast. To me that's worth a feat (or two) any day of the week. The second is the ability to enchant the item as if you had the necessary feats/spells - which leads me to the reason you don't see Improved Critical, as Keen would be the very first enchantment I'd put on it.
I really looked long and hard at finding some way to get a good critical feat or two in there later in the build - I especially wanted Blinding Critical because I thought the flavor would be good (blinded by Sarenrae's holy light), but Staggering Critical is the best option I have given my slower BAB advancement... and its not so bad once you consider that Crane Wing and Crane Riposte would be devastating against any foe limited to a standard action.
Toughness might replace Power Attack... though by 12th level I'll be able to give myself 4d10+4 temporary hit points as a swift action, heal myself as a move action and deflect at least 1 attack every round. I'll look at it though. An option might be to drop my Dexterity from 17 to 16 to get those three points to raise my Strength to 13.
EDIT: As an aside, its really aggravating when there are redundant pre-req's for feats (such as being forced to take Weapon Finesse as a requirement for Piranha Strike when you already have Dervish Dance). Its easy for me to forget about Weapon Finesse in particular because in our game we've done away with it as a feat and made it a weapon trait instead.
Morning all. :)
I've been working on an Aasimar Dervish of Dawn, getting ready for an upcoming campaign where we will have three characters, each representing one of the major good Gods (Torag, Iomedea and Sarenrae) working towards a common endeavour. I get to be Sarenrae, obviously, and I really wanted to build just the best servant/chosen one for her that I could. The results, after play-test, have been amazing and I wanted to put her up here so that the experts could give me any advice on things they think I might not have considered and interested newbies could benefit from all my hard work.
The thought process was to go Aasimar for Dervish of Dawn to be able to maximize the doubled Inspire Courage benefit by using the race's favored class option to accelerate the rate it advances. Azata-blooded was chosen for obvious reasons - they are literally the divine bard - and the other benefits provided were nice. From there I decided to take a couple of levels of Master of Many Styles to secure the Crane Style feats and to shore up my defenses (saves boost, evasion, etc.), plus there's something about the imagery of wielding a scimitar and the Crane Wing style that seemed to have wonderful symetry. Those levels were taken at 2nd and 3rd.
I've been very impressed with the character in combat - she can initiate her performance as a move action at 1st, but by 12th level she can begin it as a swift, meaning that she can literally switch back and forth between Inspire Courage and Inspire Greatness (and eventually Inspire Heroics) during her turn, meaning at one point she'll have +8 to attack and damage on her turn and +8 AC and saves on her opponents turn. Nice, eh? And that's before buffs like Cat's Grace or Dance of a Hundred Cuts. Additionally, she'll be able to cast healing spells as a move action starting at 10th level, making heals during combat actually viable.
Pretty much all of her spells will be of the buff or healing variety with a few utility options thrown in, meaning that DC saves won't be particularly important.
So far in play tests she's managed to best (heads up) all of the martial characters we've put her up against, and has the added benefit of a wide variety of skills and spells as well. I'm really excited about her potential, but I know that the experts on this board can always offer tweaks for improvement.
FWIW, she's intended to be used in the next upcoming AP (which will remain nameless to keep this thread from getting bounced from the forums), and the rest of her party will be a Tiefling Paladin of Torag (raised in seclusion in a dwarven temple) who I think is going to have a crush on her, a Half-Elven Master Summoner who only summons celestial creatures and good outsiders (a worshipper or Iomedea) and possibly a mad Dwarven Cleric who doesn't really worship anyone but is convinced that our doom is near.
Aasimar 18th level Dervish of Dawn / 2nd level Master of Many Styles
Attributes: (20 point build)
Skills: (7/level, 5 @ levels 2 & 3)
Zog of Deadwood wrote:
That looks like a ton of fun! I'll definitely keep that build in mind--I enjoy playing strongly Light Side characters. However, the OP is going a...different...route.
Yeah, I get that - but in my opinion its just a handwave for the GM to allow a character to have the same skill set and be darkside. No reason for the good guys to have all the fun, and the build works almost as well for Humans...
Zog of Deadwood wrote:
I've been working on an Aasimar Dervish of Dawn for the upcoming Wrath of the Righteous AP and the results have been spectacular.
Dervish of Dawn doesn't get the reduced number of Performance rounds that the Archeologist does and the effects of Inspire Courage, Inspire Greatness and Inspire Heroics are all DOUBLE when applied to them. Moreover an Aasimar accelerates the progression of one Performance type, meaning that by 12th level Inspire Courage would give an Aasimar Dervish of Dawn +8 attack & +8 Damage (for instance). At 15th level you can make a full attack at +8/+8, drop your Bardic Performance as a free action and begin it again as a swift action but this time using Inspire Heroics and gain +8 AC/+8 Saves during your opponents turn before switching it back out again the next round. They also gain the ability to cast heal spells as a move+swift action, can cast without penalty in light armor and get the Dervish Dance feat for free. And that's not even mentioning the effects of spells like Dance of 100 Cuts.
I'm telling you, when well made, this archetype is utterly off the hook. Mine is going to be taking a 2 level dip in MoMS for the full Crane Style feat line early on.
I have an absolutely amazing Dervish of Dawn build if you're interested...
Short version is an Aasimar Dervish of Dawn devotee of Sarenrae (I'm building her for the upcoming Wrath of the Righteous AP) with a two level dip of MoMS for the Crane Style feats. The Aasimar's favored class option is used to accelerate Inspire Courage, giving the character +8 attack and damage by 14th level (12 + 2 level Monk dip). Moreover at later levels you can get +8 AC and saves using Inspire Heroics, allowing you to pull off tricks like this.
Lots of skills, lots of spellcasting ability and as much punch as any Fighter I've ever played...
I've been working on an Aasimar Dervish of Dawn, hoping to capitalize on their favored class option and I found this comparison interesting. It takes into account only:
The BAB for each class.
Dervish of Dawn
Obviously we aren't taking into account the relative attribute which would reasonably be equivalent for both characters nor are we taking into account additional Fighter feats or Dervish spells (like Dance of a Hundred Cuts). I thought it a fair comparison and was surprised by the results, considering all of the other things the Dervish can do:
If healing is really going to be 'your thing', then try to take the feat Healer's Touch into consideration. Assuming your GM allows for it.
Pick up one of those thumb counters people use to keep track of your healing and hold off on the damage til you reach your target goal. The benefit is huge for the healing-focused.
The rest of the build, FYI...
Teamwork feats will also be taken by Animal Companion at around the same level. I'm making the character melee-centric (obviously) and crit-focused, going for higher static bonuses than larger damage dice.
Putting together a character for a possible run in Jade Regent but this is my first foray into Rangers as a whole since beginning Pathfinder play. The Infiltrator looks like the best option for me right now and I'm trying to pre-plan my favored enemies and the attendent Infiltrator abilities that will come with them.
The character in question will be a Dwarven Infiltrator (I don't think I'm going to stack another archetype onto it) who will focus on two-weapon fighting and will have an animal companion (undecided). The rest of the party will be a Human Witch, a Human Barbarian and a Halfling Archeologist.
This is what I'm thinking:
1st - Favored Enemy (Goblinoid +2)
The main thought behind focusing on the Giants specifically is in part because it suits the traditional nature of dwarves but mechanically its so that I can get the greatest eventual benefit from Instant Enemy.
Any thoughts or insight into the character or the AP (without actual spoilers, of course) would be much appreciated.
If you have any idea where this thread is, I'd be interested in seeing it as I haven't seen such a thread. Since I don't have any of the data on what to search for to narrow it down from the dozen of threads on this topic, which you presumably have, that'd be wonderful to see.
Agreed - I'd love to see that. My searches have only resulted in finding inconclusive discussion.
How incredibly worthless (as a 6th level power no less) would Weird Words be if that were the interpretation?
Weird Words (Su): At 6th level, a sound striker can start a performance as a standard action, lashing out with 1 potent sound per bard level (maximum 10), each sound affecting one target within 30 feet. These are ranged touch attacks. Each weird word deals 1d8 points of damage plus the bard’s Charisma bonus (Fortitude half ), and the bard chooses whether it deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage for each word.
The question is whether or not you can attack the same target with multiple words. Saying specifically that each word can affect only one target seems to suggest that a word can't affect multiple targets, not that a single target can't be affected by multiple words.
The fact that you have to 1) succeed on a touch attack, 2) beat a Fort save and 3) overcome DR since it's slashing/bludgeoning or piercing damage seems to suggest that the ability would be basically worthless if the additional restriction of one word per target was placed on it... moreover, how often does a character have 6-10 different valid targets in a single round? I can't believe it was intended to be so incredibly limited.
And just out of curiosity, would Clustered Shots work with this feat, assuming a target can be affected by multiple words?
Finally, Wordstrike, from the same archetype:
Wordstrike (Su): At 3rd level, the sound striker bard can spend 1 round of bardic performance as a standard action to direct a burst of sonically charged words at a creature or object. This performance deals 1d4 points of damage plus the bard’s level to an object, or half this damage to a living creature.
What's the range on this?
Lord Twig wrote:
I too find the playing of instruments silly in combat, but I find myself really enjoying a number of Bard archetypes.
In Skull and Shackles I was a human Sea Singer who was fairly non-combatant but was chosen captain of our ship. She whistled which was effective for dancing a jig, controlling the winds or calming the crew... but in actual combat she simply used oration to command the battle.
In Rise of the Runelords I was a halfling archeologist who was also fairly non-combatant, more of a bookworm, linguist, cartographer and historian who had a fascination with traps.
In Second Darkness I was a human Arcane Duelist who was all about combat and social situations. He used oration as well.
For the upcoming Wrath of the Righteous, I'm going to be going with an Aasimar Dervish of Dawn who's 'performance' will be her battle dance. I've already run some playtests and she's going to be absolutely deadly in combat.
Four Bards and not an instrument in sight.
I'm currently play-testing an Aasimar Dervish of Dawn with a two level dip in MOMS for the Crane style feats and the results are absurd thus far (in particular with the Aasimar's favored class option for Bards).
One question I've always had is whether or not the feat Improved Unarm Strike opens the door for you for two-weapon fighting even with Dervish Dance's restrictions? I doubt I'd use it as the build it pretty tight, but its something to consider.
Well once again the board mods get trigger happy - can anyone PLEASE tell me where in this post I ask anyone for advice on anything??? The sole purpose of this thread is to ensure the legality of using swift actions to activate abilities in the manner shown, and to make sure that Dervish class features are being interpretted properly.
I get so sick of things getting moved from the correct forum to the incorrect one by people who clearly aren't even reading the posts.
Jessie Scott wrote:
Sorry, that's right - I sometimes get them confused.
Its also correct that the same character could use Inspire Greatness to gain a +4 attack bonus and 'refresh' 4d10 temporary hit points every round, yes?
Just got finished running a couple of scenarios with a pre-made Dervish of Dawn character, just to make certain I've got their combat abilities down and I wanted to run the basics through on here so that the local experts could make certain I was on the right track and not going off the rails too much.
The combat was run at 15th level so I could test the effectiveness of switching back and forth between Inspire Courage and Inspire Greatness. The PC is an Azata-blooded Aasimar using the favored class option for Bards and is getting geared up for a Wrath of the Righteous run. Below is how the combat rounds roughly played out as far as the PC's actions went on her turn. 5-foot steps and actions by other players including buffs were omitted.
Does everything as listed above look kosher?
I was talking about the Strength penalty to damage for having a penalty (bows inflict this on you). Sure it doesn't sound like a big deal, but are missing out on 1 damage per attack starting at level 1. As an archer you are going to be making a lot of attacks.
Wait a minute - as non-thrown projectile weapons, bows automatically inflict a damage penalty on you for having a low strength?
Man, I am so glad we have the houserule that we have... that's just ridiculous.
Not that it should have any bearing on the 'official' build I'm trying to put together here, but a major house-rule we've adopted is the changes to Weapon Finesse.
Weapon Finesse has been done away with as a feat, and in its place we now have the Finesse weapon quality (similar to the Reach or Double qualities) that automatically applies your Dex bonus to both attack bonus and damage bonus whenever you use a light weapon, rapier, whip or projectile ranged weapon like a bow or crossbow.
For us it was just common sense across the board.
It looks like your build is well thought out, and the only part I question is the focus on critical hits. Because bows only crit 5% of the time, 10% when enhanced, critical hits just aren't common enough to be worth the feat investment. I'm not sure what I would replace it with though.
I don't know that I'd call it a 'focus' on critical hits per se - I had the feats and figured I'd be getting off more attacks on average than most which would equate into more opportunities. To be honest, it occurred to me that I might need another one or two crit options and Crit Mastery, taking my levels of Fighter to 14 because it'd give me a little more punch with a keen scimitar when in melee.
Doesn't the bow have issue with strength penalties? I would strongly recommend at least having a 10 there. Of course my real recommendation is to just have a good strength on your archer to use composite bow's ability to use your strength for damage. Having a high strength means you can wield a 2 handed weapon to good effect, invalidating the need for the dervish dip. making him a ranger means you get some good archery specific bonus feats, full BAB, and a decent assortment of spells (gravity bow, instant enemey...). Oh, having an animal you can use is also handy.
Yeah, its just that I wasn't setting out to make a Ranger really, but rather a high Dexterity character and there wasn't room left over for Strength. Having an 8 shouldn't hurt me at all, and don't forget as a Dervish of Dawn I'll get a double-strength Inspire Courage to make up the difference. Some spells too.
I'd suggest take your bard to lvl 10 and add the sound striker archetype to it. Weird words is a POWERFUL ranged volley by even the best blaster arcanist standards.
I was on the band-wagon for Sound Striker for a while, wanting to take the archetype to go with Dervish of Dawn since the two didn't conflict, until it was proven to my satisfaction that you couldn't use multiple words against a single foe and pointed out to me that not only did DR affect the words individually but the target also got a Fort save for half. That dulled its apparent effectiveness to almost zero.
For the most part I don't see much of a point going out of your way to have a melee option; Snap Shot can come in as early as level 6 and now you can do everything a melee guy can do besides fight in a grapple.
I don't know if I'd call it 'out of my way' since I'm really only making a 1 level investment and getting a lot for that dip. I should probably consider Snap Shot as part of my build anyway, but wouldn't I also have to take Point Blank Mastery to get into the realm of being able to do everything a melee guy can do?
It ocurred to me that a great way to add in a decent amount of melee ability without having to spread myself too thin would be to take a 1 level dip in Dervish of Dawn and grab that Dervish Dance for free along with a little spell-casting and some self-buffing goodness. The character would be primarily a ranged threat, but would be able to melee and I wanted to get some opinions from all those switch-hitters out there...
I'm thinking Human, 1 level of Dervish of Dawn, then 12 levels of Weaponmaster (Bow) for the accelerated Weapon Training and then finishing her out with 7 more levels of Dervish. The build would look something like this:
Human Dervish of Dawn 8 / Weaponmaster (Bow) 12
Attributes: (20 point build)
This is just a rough draft of what I'm thinking and any advice or insight would be much appreciated.
Probably not the best racial/class option, but one of the most fun characters I ever played was a Halfling Archeologist with two levels of halfling Opportunist. He could heal, buff had excellent knowledge and face skills and was good with traps... but in combat he relied very heavily on Dirty Tricks and was built to be as effective as possible with them.
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?