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A Zen Archer/Inquisitor would be a good start. Flurry of greater bane is ridiculous. Take the conversion, or heresy inquisition and you can dump CHA completely and still be highly effective.

An Archeologist Bard/Oracle of lore would be good for gathering information and investigation. A catfolk with the bards favored class will mean you know just about everything.

Another good combination would be a Ranger/Warpreist. Full BAB, all good saves, lots of bonus feats including some fighter only feats, and decent magic.

Just to have the odd man out a Slayer/Wizard for arcane power. This gives you some needed utility to cover what the other characters do not.

I stopped doing this a long time ago. What usually ends up happening is that the character who is the chosen one for whatever reason leaves the game and the whole campaign falls apart. Sometimes the chosen one gets killed, other times the player leaves the game, when this happens it really kills the game.

If you really want to do something like this than the best way is to keep it vague. Make the prophecy general enough that it could apply to any of the players. This way if one character is no longer available the game can continue.

Intimidate is subtle skill that allows you to pressure people into doing what you want them to. This can be anything from going along with your order, to giving you the correct information to your questions. The trick is knowing just how much fear to induce without making the person useless. Often times the threats may not be aimed directly at the person you are intimidating. A good example is the mobster who threatens the person’s family. The whole point of the skill is not just to scare the crap out of someone, but to get their cooperation.

Threatening someone with a great axe is a great way to scare the crap out of them. But it is more likely to induce terror and panic than to gain the persons cooperation. If all you want to do is to get them to flee then that is probably not that difficult. Getting them to betray their boss or divulge correct information about something is a lot harder. They are more likely to tell you what they think you want to hear then to actually tell the truth.

Using a weapon for damage is also another thing entirely. Often the most deadly attack is the one that is not seen. Someone who really knows how to use a weapon does not twirl or flip it, he hits like a freight train. An expert with a weapon will probably hit you before you even realize he is moving. The person twirling the weapon sounds like he is trying to get the feat dazzling display for free. I would give a +2 circumstance bonus to intimidate for using an axe to actually destroy something. It could be a crate or pretty much any fairly tough object. Cutting down a soap bubble is not going to cut it.

People who want to use a skill should invest points in it. Since barbarians get intimidate as a class skill, and a decent number of skill points, dropping a few into intimidate should not be a problem.

mplindustries wrote:

So, look, obviously, talking to the players is the best step, but it bugs me whenever I see threads like this and most of the advice is "teach them how to play right (i.e. how you want to play)." Have so many of you failed to considered that they might be playing the way they enjoy best? Who are you to teach them the "proper" way? What if they enjoy just smashing stuff until it falls down? What if they have no fun debuffing first?

There's no "correct" way to roleplay, so, at least consider that they are having fun as is and the real issue is incompatibility of style between PC and GM.

While pathfinder is a role playing game, not everything is about role playing. Tactics and strategy are also just as much part of the game. When a player refuses to use any tactics even when his character would know better that is not role playing that is just bad tactics.

A party of first level characters ignoring tactics can be considered role playing the inexperience of their characters. A party of 10th level characters doing the same is actually a classic example of bad role playing. Keep in mind that the vast majority of people are supposed to be under 5th level. With an average character level of 10 this party is supposed to be the toughest group in the kingdom. 11th level and beyond is supposed to be world class characters. They should be experience battle hardened veterans at this point no rookies still wet behind the ears.

If the players are not good at tactics the GM may want to start making suggestions until they learn some basic tactics. If they are not interested in learning any kind of tactics then the GM needs to decide if he is ok running a game on easy mode. If not let the players know that and maybe one of them can take over as GM.

I would say that totally ignoring AC is probably a bad idea. Relying solely on being able to heal yourself is going to use up to many resources that party may need. Every channel or spell used to heal just yourself is one you cannot use to help other party members. Being a healer that is not healing others is not contributing to the party.

That does not mean you need to sink all your wealth into boosting your AC. Also due to your low CON you are going to be able to be outright killed, or taken out of the game without too much trouble. The lack of armor may also make you more of a target, because your enemies may mistake you for an arcane spell caster. You should have at least enough armor, and protective equipment to be able to deal with the minions of the BBEG. By dealing with them I am not talking about never being hit, but rather at least making them work to hit you. If the minions are hitting you on around 50% of the time or less you should be ok.

Being squishy is fine, being a soap bubble is not.

Prestige classed do exist, but are less powerful than remaining single classed. Pathfinder as a whole does not encourage multiclassing. For the most part you are better off remaining with a single class. The good news is that now all classes get cool abilities as they level up. As a whole most of the classes are fairly well designed, the rogue being the notable exception. The problem with the rogue is that the rogue talents are pretty weak which makes for a weak class.

With the latter books they introduce archetypes which modify the classes to allow for a specific concept. They trade abilities of the core class for alternative abilities. This works out really well because now you can play a lot of different concepts without sacrificing game balance. Archetypes are one of the best features of the pathfinder system. With archetypes you can have 5 different characters all playing the same class with unique abilities and styles. Archetypes give pathfinder characters what prestige classes gave 3.5 without the power creep.

With only two casters over 11th level they don’t have the resources to waste on commercial projects. They would probably stick to military uses instead of commercial. The kingdom itself may also want to prevent this because otherwise they would probably lose a lot of tax revenue. If they can bypass the boarders they will also bypass the tax collectors. Also who is to say that those casters are wizards they may be a bard, or a magus, both of which have a more limited spell list, and slower progression.

Overall the fighter will generally do more damage than the paladin so I think you’re worrying too much. The paladin does have smite evil, but that is limited in the fact he can only do it so many times per day, and it only works vs evil. As long as there are a lot of minions around that need to be dealt with the fighter will still do better. This is especially true if the minions are not evil. The paladin is going to have to spend some points on CHA so the fighter’s physical stats will probably be better. Once things like weapon and armor training kick in the fighter is going to have a lot different combat style than the paladin.

If the paladin is going for the typical two handed combat style, the fighter could go for a sword and board character, or even two weapon style. Without the need for mental stats he can probably swing the needed DEX and make use of it where the paladin would not. The extra mobility from armor training gives the fighter a distinct advantage. His AC will be higher due to having a better DEX and will be even higher if he goes sword and board. With an AC at least 6 points higher than the paladin he will be able to wade through a lot of minions without any trouble. His job is going to be to deal with the minions so the paladin can deal with the boss.

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A couple of things that can limit spell casters are the fact they are rare. Just because players choose caster more often than not does not mean the distribution of casters in the general population will have the same ratio. While characters over 5th level will probably have PC classes not all of them will be casters, especially full casters. Barbarians, brawlers, cavaliers, fighters, rogues, slayers and swashbucklers will probably be the most common classes. Next will comes the martial casters like bloodragers, paladins and rangers. So figure you have 12 characters in a kingdom in the 11th to 15 level range. Probably at least 8 of them will not be full casters, that leaves 4 casters. Assuming an equal split of divine and arcane casters that means you have 2 arcane casters of 11th level to 15th level in the kingdom. Chances are that at least one of them, if not both of them will be working directly for the government. Their job is going to be protecting the kingdom from the other kingdoms casters. They don’t need to worry about making a living because almost anything they want they can have already. The divine casters will probably be running the religion so will also have their hands full.

Also consider what it takes to get that high level. The wizard who stays safe in town and uses his magic for profit will probably not gain a lot of levels. This is one of the reasons that characters over 5th level are so rare. The only casters that are going to be powerful enough to really matter are the battle hardened veterans, not the greedy merchants.

The last thing keeping things in checks are guilds. Even historically guilds have placed limitations on who can engage in trade, and how trade is conducted. Wizard’s guilds will probably control how magic can be used. They will not want large scale operations that are not under their control. They may have laws prohibiting a variety of uses of magic.

Those stats seem to be way high? If your group rolls for stats don’t waste stats like those on a fighter.

The Praetorians were body guards, so you may want to look at the honor guard cavalier archetype. This would also fit a Centurion better as they were usually nobles instead of commoners. This also gives you not only teamwork feats but the ability to grant them to others. The extra skills and getting the needed social skills is also something that the character will find useful. The order of the loin seems like a good choice and has some useful abilities.

The mount can be ignored for the most part, or see if the GM will let you trade it out for something else.

Start with a portable solar powered generator and portable solar panel to get electricity. They can be bought at.

Next get a good Ultrabook laptop and load it with all the software you need. Get E books versions of any scientific or reference material you want.

Also pick up a smart phone downloaded with the Apps you want and also include a copy of the E books from the laptop. This will replace all the minor electronic appliances like calculators, digital camera, etc.

Now you can also purchase other scientific equipment that requires power.

fearcypher wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
fearcypher wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
There is no such thing as a 25 level monk so it caps at 20th.
Well I remember that Pathfinder has rules for epic level play which state that classes with bonuses that increase at a constant rate that they would continue to increase at every such level after 20th so there could be a 25th level monk the question is if I could count as one through the use of the Monk's robes
That was 3rd edition D&D not pathfinder. Pathfinder does not have, nor plans to add epic levels. They use mythic which are a completely separate rules that can be added at any level.
Considering the time of your post you probably just didn't see the most recent post of mine. In the CRB in the gamemastering section there are guidelines for epic level play the link is in my previous post.

Those are guidelines for running past 20th level, not actual rules. If this is a home game the GM is free to do what he wants. The guidelines even suggest limiting any class to 20 levels and multiclassing beyond 20th. Anything past 20th level is in the realm of house rules.

fearcypher wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
There is no such thing as a 25 level monk so it caps at 20th.
Well I remember that Pathfinder has rules for epic level play which state that classes with bonuses that increase at a constant rate that they would continue to increase at every such level after 20th so there could be a 25th level monk the question is if I could count as one through the use of the Monk's robes

That was 3rd edition D&D not pathfinder. Pathfinder does not have, nor plans to add epic levels. They use mythic which are a completely separate rules that can be added at any level.

There is no such thing as a 25 level monk so it caps at 20th.

A hunch only lets you know that something may be wrong nothing more. It may allow a second roll to determine if someone is lying. If you have already rolled to determine if someone is lying you don’t get any more information. Let say you are talking to someone and have no reason to believe they are lying a hunch will tell you the person may be lying that is it. It will take a second roll to determine the truth. That roll is in addition to the hunch.

When you compare a class you need to look beyond the game mechanics and look at what they accomplish. So instead of counting the number of dice a class has in sneak attack you need to be looking at what sneak attack is designed to do. Sneak attack is designed to allow a rogue to be able to get the jump on someone and either take them out of the combat, or at least significantly damage them. So if a class is able to do as much damage as a rogue with sneak attack using some other mechanic it should be counted as being equal to sneak attack for purpose of comparison. As long as it can accomplish everything that the first ability does it does not matter if you are rolling 3d6 or if you have a flat damage bonus.

Also the number of ranks in skill is also not as important. Many classes have bonus to skills that make them better at skill then rogues. Bards get a bonus of +1/2 level on all knowledge skills, this is the same as getting +5.5 skills per level. Inquisitors also get a lot of bonuses to skills, and can take improved monster lore for even more bonuses.

There is one archetype that will be able to do everything the rogue does better than the rogue. The Sanctified Slayer trades judgments for studied strike and sneak attack. He still keep bane and teamwork feats so can take precise strike to get an extra 1d6 sneak attack. Take an 8th level sanctified slayer as a comparison. This combination will give the Sanctified Slayer 5d6+2 of bane/sneak attack at +2 to hit. They can also pick slayer talents so can have trap finding. Take Heresy inquisition to use WIS for bluff and intimidate, and to get to roll twice for bluff, diplomacy, or stealth. They are already getting +4 to Intimidate, and sense motive, as well as a+4 bonus on tracking. Trap Finding gives them a +4 to find and disable traps and can deal with magical traps. They can use medium armor and a good number of martial ranged weapons, plus their deities favored weapon. Improved monster lore will give them a huge bonus on identifying monsters. The only thing he is lacking is uncanny dodge and evasion. On top of all this he still has spells and other inquisitor abilities.

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As people have stated it is for game balance reason. Humanoids are the most common creature type you will ever encounter. How many adventures have you been on, or even heard of that did not have any humanoids? Pretty much every city, village or town is full of them. What you suggest is going to mean that every ranger is always going to take this as his favored enemy and will completely dominate most urban encounters. Don’t forget that rangers also get the bonus to bluff, knowledge’s, perception, sense motive, and survival. Favored enemy human is almost overpowered by itself, and having it apply to all humanoids is going to be completely overpowering.

As far as getting it vs a creature that is in disguise I consider this to be subconscious recognition of the creature’s true type. Maybe the demon is moving in a way that triggers an automatic response. It’s too subtle for you to notice outright but you instinctively react to it.

Nobody has mentioned magic missile. While the damage is not great at first level it always hits and is a force affect so works on incorporeal creatures. Even at high levels this will remain useful.

At low levels your stats are the most important thing determining your power. This is especially true at 1st level. A 1st level commoner with 18 in all physical stats will be stronger than any 1st level martial character with 10 in all physical stats. Admittedly a commoner is not going to have all 18, and a 1st level PC class will have more than a 10 in all stats, but the point is still valid. Somewhere around 3rd or 4th level the class abilities start making the difference.

Instead of simplifying the game through changing the rules simply create a list of recommended feats and spells. There are a ton of very situational spells and feats that probably won’t ever get used. This way the players who don’t want thing complicated have a single list to go over. But if another player wants something not on the list he can have it. This will probably be greatly appreciated by the players who don’t want to spend time pouring over books.

You are creating a lot more work for you and your players by changing the rules. For every rule you change you have to inform the players of the change. If a player is just learning the rules it makes it worse because now instead of just reading the book he has to also learn your house rules. If he forgets about the house rule and learns the R.A.W it creates confusion. The best solution is to use the rules pretty much out of the book, but only use the rules that your group is going to actually use. If no one is playing a samurai you can ignore those rules.

Keeping the number of house rules to a minimum creates a much simpler game. I usually try to keep the number of house rules to no more than a single page.

1. Daring Champion Cavalier with a trait to get stealth as a class skill
2. Archeologist Bard
3. Hedge Witch with trait to get stealth as a class skill
4. Inquisitor

All roles are covered with a primary and at least one backup character. The entire party can sneak so no one has to get left behind, or sent out alone. All skills should be able to be covered with some duplication. 3 characters able to heal in some way so the healing can be shared. ¾ of the party can cast spells. This party will be extremely good at finding things out. ¾ of the characters have the ability to significantly improve their combat ability for short periods, and the last can buff the group. When this group pulls out the stops they are going to be a very tough to deal with.

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What is really needed are some good talents like the these. If your only allow actual rogues to choose these talents will fix a lot of problems with the rouge, including the rouge not being able to do anything that someone else can’t do better. Since there are fighter only combat feats the precedent is already been set.

Accurate Sneak Attack: The rogue gains +1 to hit with sneak attack. At 5th level the rogue gains an additional +1. The bonus increases +1 per four levels after 4th to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. This talent can be combined with one other talent that modifies sneak attack.

Improved Skill: Choose one skill; the rogue gains a bonus of +1/2 per level on selected skill. This talent can be taken multiple times but does not stack. Each time it applies to a different skill.

Skill Specialization: Choose one skill; the rogue rolls twice for that skill taking the higher roll. This talent can be taken multiple times but does not stack. Each time it applies to a different skill.

Quick Skill: The chosen skill takes half the time it normally does. A full round action becomes a standard action, a standard action becomes a move action, and a move action becomes a free action. This talent can be taken multiple times but does not stack. Each time it applies to a different skill.

Supreme Diplomacy: The rogue can use diplomacy to shift the attitude of a NPC one additional step. This ability stacks with all other abilities that allow shift attitudes additional steps.

A rogue with improved bluff and improved feint can now feint as a free action. Pick up accurate sneak attack and the problems with sneak attack disappear. A human rogue with the Supreme Diplomacy and Silver Tongue can talk his way out of almost anything.

Many of these suggestions would make good rogue talents. Also all once a day talents should be changed to all the time. Do this and add a couple more good talents like a true skill mastery that gives you +1/2 rogue levels to a skill that can be taken more than once to cover more than one skill. Making these talents rogue only talents like fighter feats would keep other classes from taking them and the rouge would probably be in good shape.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Leaning more towards melee than casting.

Go Swashbuckler/Inquisitor then. Stat synergy is only so-so, but with those stats you can easily go something like this:

Str 14 Dex 20 (+2 Race) Con 16 Int 17 Wis 18 Cha 15

Then go Inspired Blade and have more than enough Panache, all the skills you'll ever need, and Fencing Grace from level 1. Plus enough Str for Power Attack.

Take whatever spells float your boat, do okay from 1st to 4th, and then wreck everything from 5th level onward. Should be loads of fun.

Instead of swashbuckler go cavalier and take the daring champion archetype. They get pretty much what you want from the swashbuckler and also get cavalier abilities. You get both the precise strike and cavaliers challenge which means double your level to damage. Add in bane and judgments and you are looking at some absurd damage. You also get bonus teamwork feats from both classes and the ability to grant them to your teammates. Order of the Lion gets a dodge bonus on challenge and can grant others more a bonus on saves vs fear and bonus on attack rolls.

The goblin barbarian is going to be a lot easier to trick. Also hitting the kobold monk is probably going to be harder.

Would you rather live in Ustalav or Geb?

Nex because Geb is a ghost and no one knows where Nex is. This way I at least find out what happened to Nex.

Who would you trust more to keep a bargain Asmodeus or Milani?

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UncleGeorge wrote:
I dunno what the hell you guys are on about, rogues are great! They're fun to roleplay as a~%@##$s thief and all arround sociopath! The rogue in my group has been doing quite a lot of damage, its not THAT hard to flank an enemy and get that sweet sweet sneak attack, especially if your team is smart about it and are willing to take a couples of AoO to get in a really good position for the rogue..! Plus, FUN. TO. PLAY. Sometimes you Dpr olympic / munchkins forget about the "fun" part of this game..

You can have fun playing any class. I could play a commoner and have a blast while doing so. The problem is that there is not anything a rogue can do that can’t be done better by another class. You could rewrite your rouge as an archeologist bard, or investigator and have just as much fun.

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The biggest problem with the rogue is the lack of good talents. The most common use for talents is to trade them for feats. Too many of the talents are only usable once a day. Compare that to rage powers that can be used once per rage. The abilities the talents give are also weak so that makes it even worse.

Compare the rogue talent charmer vs the investigators talent empathy. The rogue gets to roll diplomacy twice once per day for every 5 levels. The investigator always rolls sense motive twice and once a day can read a single targets surface thoughts. How is that even close to being the same power level? The barbarian rage power powerful blow gives a +1 to damage on a single hit, and an additional +1 per four levels. So at 8th level that is +3 damage, which is not that good, but he at least he can use it once per rage.

If they added a talent that allowed you to pick a skill when using that skill roll twice and take the better roll it make the rogue what he is supposed to be. Allow the talent to be chosen multiple times but each time it applies to a different skill.

You seem to be ignoring the most powerful aspect of the archetype. What makes or breaks the archeologist is his luck. Keep in mind that your archeologist lucks applies to almost everything including skills. Also the spell Heroism is also incredible and should be the first 2nd level spell you pick up. If you take fates favored and cast heroism this gives you +4 on almost all rolls except damage which only gets +2. Take lingering performance to effectively triple your rounds of luck. This is what is going to make you the king of skills not simply skill points. You will never be able to have enough skill points to be good at everything, but using this combination and placing a single point in all class skills will work.

The elemental languages are useful for a druid for when you summon elemental creatures.

The single best reason not to dump STR is encumbrance. A character with 7 STR has a light encumbrance of 23 pounds, medium of 46 pounds and heavy of 70 pounds. This mean wearing a chain shirt puts you to medium encumbrance. Add in weapons and a minimal amount of gear and you will be at heavy. You can reduce some of the weight by using other armor or otherwise lightened the load, but there is a certain amount of gear you need to be able to carry. Dropping all your gear at the first sign of danger is not really a god idea.

Bards have proficiency in short bow and it makes a decent ranged weapon. All characters should have some sort of ranged weapon. Your STR penalty applies to all damage except when you are using dervish dance. You have to pay extra to use your STR with a bow, but the penalty applies to all bows.

At high level the archeologist bard may have one of the highest chances to hit. With both heroism and archeologist luck running they get a huge bonus to hit. Once they get their second attack power attack can add some extra damage without causing problems in being able to hit. If they have combat reflexes it makes it even more valuable.

Belts with both STR and DEX bonus are expensive so your best bet is having the STR score you need and spending the extra to get even higher DEX.

Also a STR drain attack will take you down very quickly with a dumped STR.

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Not seeing ranged.

Archer Inquisitor seems a nice fit.

I agree an archery focused inquisitor is probably the best idea. Your party lacks a couple of things you have no real ranged combat, you also don’t have a skill based character, or someone good at scouting. An inquisitor is good at all of these.

Judgments may seem complicated at first but if he can just stick with the obvious ones and ignore the others as he wants.

Half elf has a better favored class bonus for the archeologist than humans. Extra rounds of performance are better than extra spells. Since the half elf counts as humans he can actually take either.

What it really comes down to is the campaign, and how high you can get your DEX. Don’t dump STR even for a dervish dancer. If you can afford a 12 or 13 STR while getting the rest of your stats you should be good. If the campaign is going to see a lot of combat and you can get a DEX of 18 than dervish dance would be the better choice at 3rd level. If you are not going to see much combat than lingering performance will be better. If you get the 13 STR you can also pick up power attack to get more damage, but I would wait until after you have a second attack.

I would not recommend dipping to get feats. It slows you progression at to many thing especially spells. Speaking of spells you should focus on spells that don’t have a saving throw and then get just enough CHA to cast your spells.

In modern times most people do not engage in hard physical labor since early childhood. Many characters in the game will have done this. In medieval times they started training early, a warrior type would start training by the age of 7. The only thing that comes close would be athletes. Some football players get pretty bulked up even in high school. Some high school football players are well over 6’, 250#.

Abundant ammunition (Long battle where you run out of arrows)
Aspect of the falcon (+3 perception, +1 to hit and 19-20 x3 critical)
Gravity bow (Damage as weapon is one step larger)
Cats grace (if you don’t already have a belt of dexterity)

Lead blades (Damage as weapon one step larger)

Endure elements (Good for when you are in extreme temperature)
Hunters Howl (Treat creature as if favored enemy, actual favored enemy gains shaken condition)
Jump (Allows jump a lot better +20 to acrobatics at 5th level, decent duration)
Keen senses (+2 perception and low light vision, increases low light vision if you have it)
Pass without trace (Can’t be tracked by non-magical means
Resist Energy (Protects from spells dealing elemental damage)
Urban Grace (Increased movement in city)
Animal Aspect (Several bonuses’)
Bloodhound (Gains scent)
Eagle eye (Great for spying or scouting)
Hunter’s eye (See invisible targets, ignores most concealment)
Perceive clues (+5 to perception and sense motive, lasts 10 minutes per level)
Wind Wall (shuts down an archer)

The character is willing to put his life on the line to protect his commoners. He also tries to do what he thinks as right for his commoners. Instead of just giving the commoner food, he wants to make sure the commoner always has the resources he needs to take care of himself. He treats his commoners as if they are his children. While this may be arrogant and patronizing it is not evil. The only thing that seems to be a strike against him is that he does not feel the same way about other commoners. I think that this is more of a matter of respecting tradition. He is taking care of his responsibilities and expects other nobles to do the same.

The character is also willing to work against corrupt nobles. The fact that he prefers to work within the system is an indication of lawful good than anything else. This falls under respecting legitimate authority. Kind of hard to say an act is evil when it is called out in the paladin’s code.

Does the character try to cheat other commoners or does he treat them fairly? How does he treat commoners not under a noble’s protection? If he treats other commoners fairly and is willing to help commoners not under another nobles protection he is lawful good.

I would say that for the most part what you describe is good. It sounds like you are confusing democracy with good. While I am a believer in democracy that does not mean that anything that disagrees with it is necessary evil. Other than using less than honorable tactics they actually sound lawful good. Also keep in mind that they may hold commoners and nobles to different standards, that is not necessary chaotic, or evil.

The saying give a man a fish and he will be fed for a day, but teach him to fish and he will be fed for life comes from the bible. If the commoner works hard do they take away what he earned or do they let him keep it? There will of course be taxes but as long as they are consistent and fair that should not be a problem. If they allow the commoners to prosper if they work hard, and don’t just take what they want they sound good.

Abadar is a lawful neutral deity not good; as such he can have lawful evil clerics and inquisitors. There is no reason to go outside the religion for this. Simply use a lawful evil inquisitor of Abadar.

The way I see it the investigator is more specialized. A lot of his abilities are limited but taking the right talent can open them up. The problem comes is that talents are a limited resource and it may be a while before you can get all the ones you want. They have the flexibility to do anything well just not everything at once. If you want to concentrate on combat there are a talents that will make you very good at this, but this means your abilities in other areas are not as strong as they could be.

The one area that I see the bard doing better in than the investigator is magic. The bard has a larger selection of spells than the investigator has extracts. True the bard has a limited number but his selection is better. Look at their 6th level list. Almost half of the alchemists extracts are form of the X variants. The bard gets many spells earlier than the wizard. A bard gets overwhelming presence as a 6th level spell; to a wizard this is a 9th level spell. He also gets shadow evocation, and shadow conjuration which is a very versatile spells. And he gets cantrips. Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Message, and Sift are all very useful.

The way I see it the archeologist bard does a better job of a thief. He can pick up the two rouge talents needed to be a great thief sooner than the investigator. He already gets the equivalent of fast picks and quick disable for free, so all he needs is fast stealth and trap spotter. His spells are also for the most part tailored to the role a little better. Getting heroism as a second level spell is a big advantage. I consider that spell a must have spell.

The investigator on the other hand has a long list of things he is going to want to spend his talents on before he will be able to get those. He is going to want expanded inspirations, amazing Inspirations, underworld inspirations, quick study, infusion, and probably empathy. I probably missed some even with that. The inquisitor can spend feats to get extra talents, but at that point he does not have them to spend on other things.

The problem with the investigator is they have so many good talents. Unfortunately you can’t have them all. This is a good problem for a class to have because it means that you can have a variety of investigators that are all different. It also means the character takes a little longer to come together. Once he does he is great, but waiting for that to happen can frustrate some players.

A couple of thing to keep in mind about studied combat is that you don’t get it until 4th level. It only applies to a single melee target, and does not work on a target with concealment. You also have to use a move action to activate it every time. This is not to say that it is worthless, it’s actually a decent ability, but has a lot of limitations. This is what that rouge should have instead of sneak attack.

Archeologist luck requires a single swift action to start and its abilities apply to all attacks, damage, saves and skills. While its usefulness on spells may not be that important it still works on them. More importantly it works on ranged combat. Both the bard and investigator have proficiency in short bows. This character will probably have a decent DEX but only an 11 STR. He will probably be wearing no armor so his AC will not be the best. Ranged combat is a lot better for this particular character than melee.

Let’s assume an 8th level character. With a single swift action the bard can increase his chance to hit and damage with a bow, and improve his saving throws. The investigator on the other hand is using a move action and then may have to use his standard action to move in to attack. This means he does not get an attack until the second round of combat. In the meantime the bard has attacked twice. The next round the bard attacks twice without having to worry about being attacked. The investigator can now attack but will also be able to be attacked back. Round three the target goes down, but there are still other targets. The bard will simply chose a new target and take his full attack. The investigator now has to spend a move action to get his studied target and then may still need to move to the new target. At this point the bard has attacked 6 times to the investigators 2 or 3 times. The investigator has may have also taken some damage.

I think either one of the combinations would work it really depends on what the player wants.

I have never said that the bard is better at skills than the investigator. The investigator will obviously be better at skills overall, but the bard is not that far behind. The bard is going to do better in combat and survivability. Evasion and better saves due to archeologist luck being able to be used for all saves instead of just one means he will be able to deal with area of effect damage a lot better. Uncanny Dodge means that he gets his full AC even when flat footed or facing an invisible attacker.

Normally being able to use INT for some skill is going to big, but in this case it will not be as valuable. The player is rolling for stats not using a point buy, and they have already been rolled. The obvious place for the 11 is in STR which means the next lowest stat is a14, and the highest stat is a 17 (19 after racial adjustment). The difference is only +1(+2). If he goes bard I would put the 16 in INT.

The bard gets a straight +1/2 per level on all perception, disable device and knowledge skills. The investigator gets +1/2 per level on disable device and perception rolls to spot traps. The investigator does not get the bonus on perception to spot an ambush or notice anything but a trap. This is like getting 6 extra skill points per level for the bard vs. ½ or maybe ¾ for the investigator. Also the ability of a bard to take 20 on a knowledge skill is something an investigator can’t do. At 10th level a bard can perform all skill untrained. Admittedly by this point the only thing that this will apply to is professional skills which are of limited use.

Studied combat takes a move action instead of a swift action. It also applies to only a single target and only applies to melee attacks. Archeologist luck applies to all attacks including spells.

Overall the investigator is going to be a bit better at skills, but the bard will be better at combat. Now the original poster is not trying to be a major combat monster, but you still want to be able to contribute something and more importantly to survive. This is where I see the bard has the edge.

Both the archeologist bard/sorcerer mix and the investigator/wizard will be very similar.

The archeologist will be better at spotting things other than traps. Trap finding only applies to detecting traps. The archeologist will also disable traps and open locks faster.

Archeologist luck vs. inspiration is fairly close. Both have limited pools that may run out. Inspiration has the advantage of being unlimited for some things, but also has to be used individually. Since using inspiration on a saving throw is an immediate action you can only use it on a single saving throw. It also requires you to use more for combat uses so may run out quicker. Archeologist luck basically requires lingering performance. It applies to everything that it qualifies in the round and also increases damage. Inspiration will be better for skills if you pick up the right talents. Archeologist luck is going to be better in combat.

Magic wise the bard has spells vs. the investigators extract. Extracts only affect the investigator unless he spends a talent to affect others. Even when they affect others it is a single character so is often less powerful. The big advantage is that you can know unlimited number of extracts; the down side is you have to memorize the right one. The bard gets several spells early, Heroism being a good example. He also gets cantrips. His spells can also affect multiple targets and can do more than just boost the character. The downside is he gets a limited number. Overall I would call it a draw.

As far as talents it would seem that the investigator has the advantage because he gets more of them. This is actually an illusion because there are some he almost has to take. The investigator is going to want expanded inspirations, underworld inspiration and infusion if he is concentrating on being the sneaky thief type. So he has to either spend feats for extra inspirations or wait till 9th level to pick up a rogue talent. The archeologist bard actually has a couple of talents built in. He gets the equivalent of fast picks, and quick disable for free. This means he can actually get his first talent by 4th level.

The investigator gets poison use, studied combat and studied target.

The bard gets evasion, uncanny dodge, bardic knowledge, and lore master.

zza ni wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Play a half elf and use the favored class bonus for Bard for extra performance and the Sorcerer for Extra spells. I assume that you can take both bonuses each level because half elves have two favored classes.

nop. you get the fevored class only when you take a level in the faovrd class. that mean ehwn he levle as bard he get the BARD(and only the bard) fevored calss bonus.) and when he level as the sorcerer he'll get the sorcerer fev class bonus. getting one fev class has nothing to do wit hthe other's bonus. you can have eve n12 fev classes(human with the extra fev class feat) yo ustill get only one bonus for the class you just leveld in.( UNLESS yo utake the trait "find kin". or however it is called that case you still get the fev class you picked, but even if you took that you get +1 hp and +1 skill)

He is gaining levels in both classes using the gestalt rules. So each level he gains a two classes.

Both the investigator and the archeologist bard have a lot of overlap that does not take advantage of the gestalt rules. Both have 6 skill points per level, both have the same combat ability and saves. You would get both bard spells and extracts but not much else. The same is going to be true for the rogue.

With sorcerer you get much stronger magic and a bloodline. Basically the sorcerer is trading away a lot of combat for magical power. Full 9th level casting is a lot more powerful then extracts and offers a lot more versatility and utility.

The original poster is not interested in combat so that eliminates many of the classes. An archeologist bard/paladin for example would be a lot better in combat and have much better defenses.

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An inquisitor may have some leeway, but they are still followers of the god. The church may not have authority over an inquisitor, but the deity does. Any inquisitor ignoring the teachings of the god for selfish reasons will soon be an ex –inquisitor. In the real world there may be a lot of religious people who don’t care about their religion, but they are not being granted powers.

Also the inquisitor is the last class you want to multiclass with. They have too many abilities that will be weakened or delayed by dipping.

This is also part of a team so changing deities may be more difficult than normal.

Xyden wrote:
I think I figured this out. So the archeologist's luck feature replaces the bardic performance feature. Therefore, any feats, or racial features, etc., that would normally affect bardic performance, would instead affect archeologist's luck, right?

Exactly Lingering Performance also triples the number of rounds.

If you are going for a druid then use inquisitor for the other class. That would work give him the skills he needs for the investigation and sneaky things he wants. Wild shape last hours per level so when you first get it you can remain in animal form for 4 hours. At 5th level you can pick up Natural Spell to allow you to cast spells in wild shape. By 6th level you can spend 12 hours a day in wild shape, and by 8th you are up to all day. The only thing this character would not be able to do would be to disarm magical traps. In most campaigns that is probably not a big deal, but in some it can be important.

I still think the Archeologist Bard/Umbral Sorcerer is the best way to go. Just make sure to pick up lingering performance and a race that gets +1 round of performance per day as a FCB. While many of the spells are on both lists this is not a bad thing. Normally both the sorcerer and the bard have such limited spell selection they have to make every spell count. This way you can afford to pick up some situational spells because you will be able to get the other spells you need with the other class.

Aura of the Unremarkable is a great spell for pulling off completely outrageous things, but it is very limited in scope so most spontaneous casters will probably avoid it. This would be a perfect spell for this character.

Shadow Projection is another spell that would be very useful for this character. The ability to become a shadow to scout out an area is huge.

The Archeologist bard is basically a rogue that has magic. Take the trait criminal to get disable device as a class skill, and fates favorite to boost your archeologist luck and there is nothing a rogue can do that you can’t do better. Use your bard spells to boost your abilities with things like invisibility, heroism, gaseous form and the like.

I would still take the sorcerer for the other class. Your group has the combat down and the combat spells seem to be taken care of. What you are lacking is utility spells. Not buffing spells, but thing like teleport, fly, clairvoyance, and mages magnificent mansion. Also divination, enchantment and illusion spells will allow you to do a lot more sneaky stuff than any skill especially at higher levels.

The Umbral bloodline seem to give the most for this including hide in plain sight at 9th level.

Between these two classes you will probably have every utility spell in the book.

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