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I take a bit of issue with how little charisma the arcanist needs, despite being based partially on the sorcerer. I would propose the arcanist requiring both the requisite Intellect and Charisma scores to cast their spells, and then allow them to take the higher stat for the purposes of spells per day and DCs.
That would mean that an arcanist that wanted to cast level 4 spells would need at least an Int and Cha of 14, and if one of those two stats were higher, they would be able to use that stat for DCs.
To be fair, an archaeologist bard can do this also. If he casts ventriloquism it's even sillier.
It's just a silly argument in a circle.
If we reference other skilled classes that have better abilities, then people bring up Trapfinding. If we show up with archetypes that have Trapfinding, then people say it's not a big deal, and that rogues bring way more than that to the table. Then we show up with a build without Trapfinding and they go "Aha! You fell for my trap! I bet you wish you had Trapfinding!"
Another thing I notice is that your ground rules don't really need to be applied to the rogue class; all of them are just different ways of saying 'plan ahead'. Doesn't that mean the alchemists, rogues, and bards who 'plan ahead' are still on top of the rogue?
Unarmed strike or the Bludgeoner feat combined with the Enforcer feat pulls off shaken. Add the cruel enhancement to the weapon and you've got shaken and sickened. Give the rogue Shatter Defences and you have synergy with your Sneak Attack. Add Crippling Strike and you can inflict a net -5 to attack rolls (-2 shaken, -2 sickened, -1 Strength damage), -3 on melee damage, and -4 on saving throws with two attacks, providing both hit.
Accuracy is trickier, and is best solved with enhancements that are easier to find from other classes. A rogue that can cast from scrolls of heroism, making use of a high Strength or Dexterity score, and using the menacing enhancement (hopefully combined with Outflank), can hit reliably.
However, the issue is that a fighter does all of this better. Before the people come out with the "But the rogue has more skills" argument, the ranger also does this better, and he's only two skill points behind.
In the end, I see the rogue as a convenient go-to for a number of feats rivaling the fighter, while filling up some important skills. That doesn't make it a good class though, and all the optimization in the world won't make me wonder why we couldn't have just gone Urban Ranger.
A rogue that doesn't rely on allies, eh?
The Flankless Halfling:
Str 10, Dex 19, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 9
Alternate Racial Traits [ARG]: Fleet of Foot (replaces Sure-Footed), Low Blow (replaces Keen Senses), Underfoot (replaces Halfling Luck)
Traits: Axe to Grind [UCa], Pragmatic Activator [UCa]
We all know that a rogue can do decent damage when flanking — maybe not fighter or barbarian level, but good enough to contribute. That's why this build strives to maximize damage while not flanking. It uses the same Spring Attack chassis as the Mobile Halfling, but grabs the Magic rogue talents so that it qualifies for Arcane Strike, and also picks up Risky Striker. Getting the Improved Familiar gives this rogue a dedicated partner who can support him in a variety of other ways (one example: grease an enemy's square so that the halfling can ready an action to attack when the enemy moves through it, triggering sneak attack). The Axe to Grind trait gives him +1 to his damage when he's the only one threatening an opponent, because that will happen a LOT in PFS. Alternate Racial Traits are picked towards attacking things bigger than you (that will also happen a lot in PFS).
Attacking a large or larger opponent: +2 agile rapier +21/+16 (1d4+19/15-20)
*AC boost only applies if you're wearing armour with a very high Max Dex. I recommend eventually trading that mithral chain shirt for a haramaki, or even mage armour.
If the familiar isn't for you, you can get rid of Major Magic onwards to get Bleeding Attack, Trap Spotter, and Improved Evasion; alternatively, keep Major Magic to grab Dispelling Attack. This build definitely does not need to be carried.
Purchase a mule for 8 gp, and a pack saddle plus rope for 16 gp. Put one of your many skill ranks into Handle Animal. Give the mule everything that is campsite-related, and only carry the essentials and the valuables on your own person.
Also, save up for a mithral chain shirt and a handy haversack. At that point, you'll no longer have encumbrance issues.
1) The owner has no real business blaming you for turning away players from a full table. GM recruitment is a difficult process, and the owner should be contributing there before giving you flak about it.
2) You could consider modules. While they are much longer, they tend to be more relaxed because you typically have three sessions to get through the adventure. Otherwise, get used to skipping optional encounters. I know I have! :)
3) New players are just experienced players waiting to happen. Beginner scenarios like First Steps I, The Frostfur Captives, and Citadel of Flame are a great introduction to the game. You should have some veterans in no time if you are patient with them.
4) I think you may have solved the problem of having too many players. If someone is not willing to follow the rules of organized play, then they have no place in it.
To answer your final question, of course it's not necessary to run PFS. However, PFS is a great way of growing a gaming community, and I think it's worth the effort. That said, if you've found a good group of people, a long-term campaign can be amazing.
Luckily, there are plenty of awesome things left in the ARG, even with a few removed.
Personally, I'm not at all a fan of the aasimar/elf oracle favoured class bonus. I think it invites far too much abuse in an organized play setting when the GM has very few ways of responding.
If we're going to name attitudes that we hate in PFS, I'll mention the "well it's technically legal so you can't stop me" attitude as my least favourite.
Is there a story here? Your posts don't give any context, and so it is a difficult thing to respond to your questions.
Many classes could conceivably deal out that much damage in a round as they pass level 10, although some builds will be more consistent than others in doing so. As for your second question, a lot of encounters are solved quite quickly if you inject enough damage into them.
As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero.
Please, go ahead! Things that are shown to be overpowered on the forums tend to be adjudicated far sooner. If you are doing this as a theoretical build to show developers where errata may be necessary, I'm all for it. If, on the other hand, you are simply trying to beat a scenario solely using an animal companion, I would advise you to reassess your priorities.
I'm sure there are many who would agree with me that those feats do not stack. Fair warning to someone who may play at my table: don't try it.
Eric has the right of it as far as low level scenarios go.
As for meeting someone who pings evil because they have more than five hit dice, being evil is not a crime. If someone even has evil intent, they can ping evil. If a paladin is using detect evil as his or her sole justification for murder, give the PFS-standard evil action warning.
I'm all for planetouched being retired. Blood of Fiends and Blood of Angels has made them a far more powerful choice than any other core race. Add to that their ability to fast-track into casting prestige classes, and I would be thrilled to see a retirement and grandfathering date set.
Age 24, play a home game and PFS, and I do have one tiefling character.
It's not the same resource investment though. The halfling has to take an alternate racial trait just to reload as a free action, which means he can't take Fleet of Foot. In return he does less damage at a shorter range and with a lower critical multiplier.
A human has to spend two feats just to get the same benefits. What does the sling offer in return? The ability to use it as a melee weapon, but without any of your Weapon Focus feats attached. A-MAYZ-ing.
Here's something to consider. When only looking at the Core Rulebook, the sling is absolutely horrible. Only with an alternate racial trait or two feats from a splatbook can a character reload a sling as a free action. That feat that ciretose keeps citing for using a sling in melee came out in Ultimate Combat.
What that means is that the sling as written is broken. I think it is a major problem when a book comes out with weapons that don't work, and both the sling and the sling staff are like that in the CRB. Paizo has released some material that makes the sling slightly better, but nothing has changed the sling staff from being essentially a waste of a feat.
Does anyone else think it's a problem? If a character needed a feat from the APG to make a full attack with a greatsword, that would be an issue, right? Or would people say "pfft, you should just use greataxes!"
I really must state that the ability to use it in melee does not make up for the inability to full attack. A longbowman can pick up Improved Unarmed Strike and be many times more effective than someone who has wasted a feat on Exotic Weapon Proficiency: sling staff.
Those abilities aren't comparable ciretose. Not to mention the fact that you can now use a bow as a quarterstaff.
Why exactly is the sling staff an exotic weapon when it is so much worse than a composite longbow? Sure you can use it as a club, but without that ranged full attack, it is an absolutely awful weapon when compared to the alternatives.
You know, if the reason the sling is worse than the longbow is because of the simple/martial thing, why is the longbow immune to the martial/exotic thing?
I dunno, walking down the street and having everyone fawn over you is pretty cool. :)
Others in this thread have highlighted the two main options: caster-focused with an animal companion and melee-focused. Melee-focused is straightforward, and due to stat-requirements, I would recommend eschewing an animal companion; however, if you get one, you have a flanking buddy.
If you are going melee-focused, it would be ideal to acquire a bite attack in some way, as this would allow you to take Weapon Focus, and to prebuff with greater magic fang without being shifted. Being Adopted by half-orcs is probably the simplest method, but it may be distasteful to some players. Another option is the ring of rat fangs from Ultimate Equipment for 5000 gp.
Regarding the arm problem, grabbing the Toad domain would give you a toad familiar, which would qualify for Improved Familiar, allowing you a companion with opposable thumbs.
Since you will be able to buff your natural attacks by level 5, purchase other special abilities for an amulet of mighty fists, like menacing and ghost touch; the former is especially good if you're grabbing an animal companion.
Regarding the level 9 upgrade, if charming gaze does not appeal to you, I would recommend the swim speed or the natural armour increase. The poison is unfortunately quite weak, and the tail sting will weaken your bite. The defensive upgrades are also probably not necessary for a high Fort/Will class.
All this said, I think this archetype functions better as a caster. You get a lot of good arcane spells from this deal, and combined with the druid list there is a great potential to be an incredible blasting or control caster, who by the way also has a full HD animal companion. Buffing a large constrictor with the typical stuff (bull's strength, animal growth) while you air walk around with greater invisibility up is nice, and it's even nicer if you're also throwing the odd dazing magic missile or fireball. This version does function great with charming gaze, as the melee characters that get up in your face have to either blind themselves or always risk being besties with you.
Whether you are caster focused or melee focused, grab Quicken Spell at level 9 or 11. The benefits of quickened divine favour (for you or your companion) are too good to pass up; make sure that you're also budgeting for Natural Spell so that you're not destroying your casting ability with naga form.
I don't think TWF is the best style for a rogue, although it's high damage in optimal situations.
If you want an easier and more feat-friendly style, a tengu rogue with a the Claw Attack alternate racial trait will outdamage a TWF rogue for most of the TWF's career. Get a helm of the mammoth lord for a fourth natural attack, and you'll have more attacks than the TWF until he picks up Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, and you'll still outdamage him until he's level 15; that is, unless you pick up Improved Unarmed Strike to rock more attacks then he'll ever get.
So in summation:
Slings were dangerous, certainly more than 1d4 plus strength (assuming the average soldier has a +2 at best). They also shouldn't be a simple weapon, because it requires years of training to become good with it from a military standpoint. Composite longbows never existed, and regular longbows had just as much trouble with plated armour as slings did, although slings had the potential to seriously hurt someone even if they didn't penetrate.
I feel like we could move beyond 'what is the deal with slings?' to 'can we please change slings?'.
If you're dungeon-delving, MAYBE a short bow. A longbow is not very conducive to stooping. Really we should all be using crossbows and spears.
I might make a fighter who uses a simple spear in protest of this silly weapon bias. Just because something is easy to train in doesn't make it less effective; in fact, it's usually MORE effective.
I've never really understood why Manyshot only worked for bows. Something mechanical like a crossbow or a gun I can understand, because it's not as simple as jamming a second bolt into your crossbow to fire two; however, firing two arrows from a longbow simultaneously is just as silly (if not more so) than loading and firing two bullets from a sling. Furthermore, why not Manyshot with two throwing weapons? Throwing two daggers from one hand is a pretty common trope that I'm sure some players would love to emulate.
I would love to see a 'war sling' released in a later supplement that uses language similar to the harpoon; ie. if you have exotic weapon proficiency with it, you can do X, while if you don't, treat it as a normal sling. The war sling would be treated as a halfling martial weapon, do 2d4/x3 damage, and be reloadable as a free action.
There. Exotic, so you can justify the strength to damage bit (although composite bows should be exotic as well when you think about it), and with stats comparable to other ranged weapons.
I look at viking as an archetype that allows for very swingy AC and damage depending on the situation. The high AC from a shield makes for a nice AC, even with a light shield or buckler. The viking can then rage and use reckless abandon when he doesn't need AC and can spring for offence.
A barbarian has one mode, while a viking can pull off two.
At the very least, there are a couple things that pregens could use some help with. First off, can we get each of them a club? Just a free club? Not every new player with a pregen will know to grab one, but man does it suck showing up with Valeros and Meresiel to a place infested with skeletons.
Of course a smart player can play a pregen well. How about a brand new player that is looking at these guys as an example of how to build a character? Wouldn't it be good for them to know that Kyra, for example, is fully able to two-hand her scimitar for 1.5x strength?
I'll respectfully disagree with you Matthew as far as providing challenge goes. As a GM, I see it as part of my job to tailor the game to the players I have. I will never make it a cakewalk, but if my players enjoy being challenged I can give it to them, and if they want to be scared I can play harder. If it's four brand new players at my table, I should definitely be able to lower the difficulty of the scenario to make sure they have a good time.
I do this not by changing any of the numbers, but my making tactical or untactical choices. Sometimes Power Attack is often a great idea, but maybe not against someone who has never played and didn't know to avoid the flank. Against the experienced players, following the tactics of 'uses its spell-like abilities', I'll probably use the harsh ones to their maximum effect. Against some new players using level 7 pregens, I might work my way up to them.
You forgot to thank the FAQ team for settling a contentious issue and making things easier to adjudicate for players and GMs.
I know this isn't official, but I give a ton of information on the identification. If you know what it is, you know its subtype and everything that goes along with that. From there, every 5+ gives you what I feel is most relevant to not dying to said beastie. If the spellcaster has a specific shtick like fire, I'll cover energy resistances and immunities first. Yes, I'll give all of them, and I'll even throw in spell resistance! :)
Potions of darkvision are pretty cheap at the level that you can expect to encounter a lot of demons. For added darkseeing abilities, get an elixir of darksight from the Advanced Race Guide and you will be able to see through even magical darkness.
And that's the cool part, because demons can't see in magical darkness. So turn it on their heads, and throw up some deeper darkness, and enjoy watching them stumble around blindly. Suddenly that shadow demon isn't looking so scary.
Fourthly, a Weapon Cord does NOT do the job of a Glove of Storing. The glove keeps an item in an extra-dimentional/non-dimensional space, where not only is it safe from any and all environmental effects, it's also 100% undetectable. What's he got in his glove? A scroll of Breath of Life? A lit torch? A bouquet of roses? Who knows?? Also, accessing the item in a GoS is a free action, not a swift action. You can access it as many times per round you want (assuming you had a reason). You can access it and still have your swift action for the round (Hello Quicken Spell!), which seems to make this a must-have for Magi. It's WAAAAYYYY better than a Weapon Cord, with zero of the drawbacks. There is no comparison.
Subject to table variation. Also, don't try to talk while retrieving it.
I know this is not a democracy, but if it were, banning weapon cords and double-barrelled pistols would have my vote.
Ideally we could change the rules for both (move action for weapon cord and double-barrelled pistols can only fire both barrels as a standard), but as that's off the table, let's just get rid of the things that are causing the problem.
I also plan to allow as many free actions as each player would like to take. I will ask only that each player be reasonable to me and to their fellow players.
Hey, we can get somewhere now. I think a reasonable limit on free actions must include a few things.
One, you should be able to speak freely. Barring other limitations (magical silence, trying to say the entire works of Shakespeare during your turn), we shouldn't limit free actions to speak during a social game.
Two, any character should be able to use all their attacks. If you have spent a feat on Rapid Shot, you should be able to get that attack off. If you've spent a feat on Two-Weapon Fighting, you should be able to do that. That's not to say I advocate the double-barrelled weapon cord build, because I don't. However, a Two-Weapon Fighting pistol build that utilizes Quick-Draw and Rapid Shot has spent a lot of feats to have a flurry of bullets. Let's let players feel awesome, shall we?
So it'll be complicated to figure out a hard limit, but I think that saying three PLUS one for every ability you have which requires a free action to activate might be reasonable. I would also say that the drawing of ammunition and speaking should be exempt.
Therefore an archer is unaffected. A crossbowman can reload as many times as he has attacks and also speak to his buddies and also drop prone or drop a weapon or activate an ability. A gunslinger can do the same, and with Quick-Draw he can free action draw once for every attack.
Anyway, complicated. It would be simple for the FAQ to mention that GMs can put limits on free actions, but to make sure that players can take advantage of their feats and abilities, and that PCs should be able to get in all their attacks.
Sean, we just want our heroes to be heroic. I will come forward and say that the people who want to two-weapon fight with double-barrelled pistols and weapon cords are being abusive, but if that's what this FAQ is meant to combat, then let's not do it by suggesting that 3-5 free actions is suitable for all characters of all levels. Free actions are incredibly important in this game, and 3-5 are not enough for a high level ranged character.
Take a thrower with Quick-Draw. He wants to draw his daggers and toss them, and if he's gotten to a +16 BAB, he should be able to throw six of them a round if he tapped his boots of speed for the round (which is a free action) A GM who uses the example listed on the FAQ might say that he can only use Quick-Draw for two daggers. And at that point, he's not heroic. He's certainly not living up to his +16 BAB.
How about a crossbowman, who needs to both draw and reload his crossbow for every shot? Or a gunslinger with a single pistol or a musketmaster, both of whom have invested a feat into reloading quickly?
If you want to hit the TWF gunslingers with weapon cords, hit weapon cords. Hit double-barrelled pistols. I would suggest changing weapon cords to a move action that does not provoke. I would suggest double-barrelled pistols only fire both barrels as a standard action.
To reiterate, let our archers and gunslingers be heroic. To throw real world examples out is to ignore that a level 16 gunslinger has never happened in our real world. No real person can reload an old-style firearm as fast as these Pathfinder characters, and that's fine.
We want our characters to be magical, even if they don't cast spells.
Then say 15-18. Don't give a limitation of 3-5 and then say "oh, it only applies when you're REALLY abusing it."
Everyone is going to have different ideas of what abuse is. By setting the bar so low, you are giving GMs (especially PFS GMs) the license to prevent any ranged attacker from getting off his iterative attacks.