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Mysterious Stranger's page

934 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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I could see disallowing a 5 foot diagonal step on the basis that you are moving more than 5 feet. When moving diagonally you are actually moving at 2/3 speed rounded down. Each odd square is 5 feet, each even square is 10 feet.

"Characters using spells with the evil descriptor should consider themselves to be committing minor acts of evil."
Notice it does not say "Characters using spells with the evil descriptor are committing minor acts of evil."

This is like saying that giving someone who is hungry something to eat should consider themselves to be doing a good act. Except that you are knowingly giving someone with a severe allergy to nuts something made with nuts. Your act of good is an act of evil.

There have been multiple threads on this topic. James Jacob was the developer who stated the creation of undead is an evil act. He is also the one who stated that casting an evil spell is not an evil act.

Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: A cleric can't cast spells of an alignment opposed to her own or her deity's (if she has one). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaotic, evil, good, and lawful descriptors in their spell descriptions. Nowhere in the rules does it say casting a spell with an alignment descriptor is an act of that alignment.

True casting an animate dead spell is not an inherently evil act, but creating an undead is. If you cast the spell and did not for some reason create an undead your alignment would not change. Casting the spell is not what changes your alignment, what changes it is what you do with the spell.

Also keep in mind that the clerics are the only class that is restricted in being able to cast spells of opposing alignments. The wording on druids is a little unclear, and paladins do not have any evil or chaotic spells on their lists. All other classes have absolutely no restrictions on casting spells of an opposing alignment. A lawful good inquisitor for example can cast protection from good, which is normally an evil spell.

Magic like any tool can be used for both good and evil. The alignment description on spells only really matter to clerics as they cannot cast a spell opposed to either their own, or their deity’s alignment. So if you are a lawful neutral cleric of a lawful good deity you cannot cast any chaotic or evil spells. If your deity was lawful neutral then you would only be restricted from casting chaotic spells, and could freely cast evil spells. Casting the evil spell would have absolutely no effect on your alignment unless it was used to perform an evil act. Casting protection from evil to keep a demon from touching you would not turn you good, it would simply protect you from the demon.

A normal orc who works at a tavern will not detect as evil. Unless the orc was a cleric or antipaladin, or over 5th level he does not detect as evil. If the orc was killed in a single hit he probably was not over 5th level so will not register as evil.

That being said you were attacked by someone and defended yourself. This is neither an evil act, nor against the paladins code so there is no reason for you to fall. The fact that the orc works at the tavern does not mean if he attacks someone they cannot defend themselves.

To cast a spell you have to have the required ability score, and be of sufficiently high level. Each spell casting class has a chart stating when, and how many spells they can cast. You have to meet both requirements to be able to cast a spell. For example to cast a 4th level bard spell you have to have a CHA of at least 14, and be a 10th level bard.

You also have to know the spell in question. Generally spontaneous casters have a fixed number of spells they know based on level and can’t learn any more. Prepared arcane casters usually have some method of recording their spells like a book, or familiar that they need to memorize a spell. Prepared divine casters on the other hand usually know all spells on their list for spells they are high enough to cast.

This actually sounds like a pretty cool idea for a campaign as long as the GM told people in advance. And just having the characters all be descendants of a race of powerful spell casters is not enough. Also from what I remember of the Forgotten Realms the Netherese were an ancient human race of wizards. I am not really sure how a dwarf paladin can be a descendant of a race of human wizards, unless he is playing a half dwarf.

Any good GM who is running should always give the players an idea of what kind of campaign he is planning to run. This allows the players to build appropriate characters for the campaign. This is also not to say that the character cannot decide to play and oddball character, but the character should be able to function reasonably well in the type of campaign the GM wants to run. Changing the type of campaign in the middle of the game without the approval of the whole group is a bad idea.

It sounds like the original poster actually listened to what people were saying and learned from it. It sounds like he is a decent GM who is willing to listen to other people’s opinions and actually learn from what he hears. This is the mark of a very good GM, and he has my respect for that.

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Just because he does not want arcane caster levels does not mean he is not playing his character. Any good player has a concept in mind when they create their character. Most concepts cannot be achieved at first level and take time to develop. When a GM forces you to take other things instead of what you planed your concept gets sidetracked and you are no longer playing the character you wanted. This is probably what the player is objecting to.

You may also be actually hosing his character by forcing arcane caster levels. His character may not even have the stats to become an arcane caster. If I were playing a dwarf ranger who had with a 10 INT and an 8 CHA and was told the entire party was going to get a free level of arcane caster I would feel ripped off. What do I get out of this? The ability to cast 3 cantrips and 3 uses of a weak ability based on one of my lowest stats. The wizard on the other hand just got a significant power increase.

The only way I can see this being fair is before the campaign started you informed the player that they had to play an arcane caster of some sort.

The primary reason the robe needs to go first is because it also affects what power you can use. The robe also allows you to gain higher level powers that you do not have access to because your sorcerer level is too low. A 1st level sorcerer donning the robes is treated like a 5th level sorcerer which means that he has access to his 3rd level bloodline power even though his sorcerer level is really 1st. If he has a feat that affects the bloodline power he can apply that feat to the 3rd level power.

The feat has limited benefits for a single class sorcerer, but will help a multiclass sorcerer. A 10th level character with a single level of sorcerer will have an animal companion of a 6th level druid. But a 10th level sorcerer will have an animal companion of an 11th level druid.

One thing the feat will do is to prevent your animal companion from weakening if you are level drained. Since negative levels do not change your character level the feat acts as a buffer. The first negative level will drop the animal companion of someone wearing a robe to 10 (Character level). The next four levels will not have any effect on the animal companion.

Boon Companion cannot raise your animal companion higher than your character level period. Rereading the post above I will concede that the robe can raise your effective druid level to one above your character level. Boon companion will not do anything at this point because your animal companion is already higher than you character level so no longer applies.

Actually Boon companion maxes out at your character level not your druid level. Since the robe of arcane heritage only increases your sorcerer (druid) level and not your character level it would not work. Normally your character level cannot be higher than the combined total of all your class levels, but the robe is the exception to the rule. The robe does not increase anything but your sorcerer level and then only for the purpose of your bloodline powers.

Assuming the players are supposed to fight the pirates the easiest way would be for them to be part of a military organization that deals with pirates. Maybe a special unit of the Navy of the country the adventure takes place in. This would also allow you to give them control of a ship without them having to purchase it.

Each player just needs to come up with the reason they are members of the organization. They don’t have to worry about meeting up and suddenly trusting each other. Nor do they have to figure out how they know each person in the party. They simply get their orders to report for duty where the adventure starts.

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Captain Zoom wrote:
Damocles23 wrote:
One of my players...
If you're the GM and you think it's cool, you could just let him have proficiency in the weapon.

If a GM starts giving every player anything they want just because it is cool the game starts to break down. It’s one thing to allow something that does not affect game balance, but giving away free feats for no reason is starting down a slippery slope especially sine there are rule in the game to allow the player to get what he wants. I am all for customizing your character and being allowing the odd combinations, but if you want extra abilities you should give something up, in this case that means spending the feat, or using an alternative racial trait.

If the GM only does this for some of the players and denies others that unfair to the other players.

An oath of vengeance paladin and a life oracle would work pretty well together. The oath of vengeance does not get channel positive energy, and will be using his lay on hands to get extra smite as well as heal himself. This means that there is not going to be a lot left over for the rest of the party. This will allow you to go full out offensive with the paladin and then heal the party afterwards.

Life oracle also gets most of the important condition removal spell from his mystery so he does not have to worry about those. The paladin especially at low level is going to have a hard time fulfilling the role of a healer, which means you are going to be using your oracle spells to supplement that. With a life oracle you can use your channel energy to do a lot of the heavy lifting for healing freeing up your spells to be used for other things.

You have two major problems. The first is you have no full spell caster and the spell casters you do have are 3 levels lower than theirs, and have a lot less spells and of significantly lower level. Even leadership is not going to fully cover it because your cohort is going to be at least 2 levels behind your level. Also the cohort is probably going to be built on fewer points. This means their magic is going to be a lot weaker. The fact that you will have two of them will help make up the difference.

The other thing is the template. Not only does this give them a huge list of special abilities including spell resistance, it also gives a huge boost to stats. This makes the difference between your casters even larger. You can bet the cleric is going to be putting one of his +4 into WIS which makes his spells even harder to resist.

You are going to need to acquire the half celestial template for all your party including cohorts or you don’t stand much of a chance. If you don’t you need to find something that will bring up your power level. If you gained some mystic tiers that may make up the difference. Maybe some artifact can grant you that for a short time.

If you are going to focus more on fighting and using your spells for support and healing than you will probably want a race that can get a bonus to STR. If you are going to focus more on spells than you will want a race with a bonus to Wisdom. A race with a flexible bonus will work in either case.

Humans are always a good choice. The extra feat and skill points are always useful. Use the extra for proficiency in heavy armor without having to multiclass.

Half Orc is also a very good race for a battle cleric. They get proficiency in a couple of good weapons so their damage will be decent. Having darkvision is also a big advantage. Orc Ferocity work really well for a cleric as it can keep you in the fight when anyone else would be down for the count.

Half Elf gets the flexible stat bonus, but does not bring much else to the table.

An Oread gets a bonus to both STR and WIS so make pretty good clerics. The penalty to CHA will reduce your ability to energy. Unless you have Earth as one of domains swap out Earth Affinity for Crystalline Form. I would also swap out Energy Resistance Acid for Granite Skin.

Eridan wrote:

It depends on the situation and is a GM decision.

You fight with an orc and outside of the fight a bag of rice falls prone.
To notice the falling bag you get a +5 for distration on your perception DC on my table.
To notice that the orc is only a half orc in disguise you don't get a +5.

I agree with this. You would not be considered distracted by anything involved in, or possibly involved in the combat. For things outside the combat you would be distracted. Someone sneaking around, or casting a spell would be considered part of the combat as you are expecting threats.

I could see if someone in the combat is trying to distract you then maybe that would work. The person trying to distract you would probably need to make a bluff, or intimidate roll.

One solution is to have the players be members of an organization. By doing so you can eliminate the entire find, kill it, take its treasure syndrome. The characters can then be equipped by the organization as appropriate to their rank (Level). I ran a campaign where the players where members of the eagle knights. All expenses were covered by the government, so the player did not have to track wealth. I had a basic package that everyone got and then let them spend the rest of the WBL as they saw fit, subject to my approval. At the beginning of an adventure or if they headed back to base they were able to restock their equipment.

This works very well for a lot of concepts that should not be greedy. The paladin was able to stop worrying about treasure without having to worrying about having appropriate gear. It also meant my players did not have to slow themselves down lugging around a lot of loot. I even threw in a couple of cool magic items tailored to each character. Think of any James Bond movie where he gets the latest gadgets.

A monk might work well and fit well with you god’s weapon. The quarterstaff is a monk weapon so you can use it to flurry. Monks being a Wisdom based character also work well with a cleric. You mentioned your stats are good so you can ignore not concerned with MAD. This is normally the monk’s weakness.

Actually I don’t see that the archeologist will have any less INT than the rogue. When I build an archeologist INT is an important stat. Also using your favored class bonus for extra performance means I actually can have more archeologist luck, which only adds to the skills. When I use favored class bonus for increased skills I get +1 on a single skill that is it. With extra rounds of performance I can get a +5 on all attacks, saves and all skills for 60 rounds. Add Greater heroism and that is +9, and can use any skill untrained. Now admittedly this is at 20th level. Also gather information takes time so you may not be able to use it.

I will concede that focusing on offensive spells is probably a mistake for an archeologist. But they have a lot of spells that can bypass the need for combat altogether. An archeologist with the right spells can be nearly undetectable and can bypass all but the toughest security systems. How is the rogue going to match someone who is can teleport, become invisible, assume gaseous form, and ignore more divinations spells? At this point the rogue can no longer compete.

Dance of a Hundred cuts can give you a +5 to hit, damage and AC. Dance of a Thousand cuts gives you all that plus the benefits of haste. Both of these spells stack with archeologist luck. So that is +10 to hit and damage, +5 AC and an extra attack. Add in greater invisibility for an additional +2 to hit and ignoring the enemy’s dexterity bonus. So I end up with a no other bonus is +27/+27/+22/+17 to hit and +10 to damage. Use Dervish dance for Dexterity to hit and damage with a keen scimitar and you will do a lot more damage than a rogue.

As to the rogue talents archeologist already get the equivalent of fast disarm and quick disable for free so has even less need of rogue talents.

Another area the bard has a major advantage on is using magic items. As a spell caster with a pretty diverse spell list I can use wands and scrolls to further supplement my abilities. A bard can use wands of cure light wounds with no chance of failure. A rogue doing the same thing requires significant investment in UMD. Speaking of UMD this is one way an archeologist bard can also gain a significant advantage. You have already stated the rogue does not need, nor should put much into CHA. A bard on the other had will which means he will have a higher UMD. This opens up not only bard spells, but spells from other classes.

From a game mechanic point of view the rogue is way behind the archeologist bard. They both have very similar in a lot of respects. Same base attack bonus, HP, and armor use. Same weapon proficiencies except the rogue is proficient in hand crossbow, while the bard gains long sword and whip. The bard has two good saves to the rogue’s one. So far the bard is slightly ahead.

Skills the rogue seems to have the edge, but not really. Yes the rogue gets 8 skill points to the bards 6 and that seems to be an advantage, but not really. The archeologist gets a straight bonus to perception where the rogue only gets it to find traps. This makes means the archeologist can have equivalent perception to a character 1.5 times his level. Most rouge’s will have a good knowledge local so the bards bonus to all knowledge skills does have some bearing. At this point they are about even at least until 10th level. At 10th level jack of all trades kicks in and allows the bard to make any skill roll untrained.

Next up is rogue talents. True a rogue gets more talents and gets them earlier than an archeologist. There are some good rogue talents, but for the most part they are pretty weak so the advantage is not that much. If the archeologist really wants a talent he can spend a feat on extra rogue talents. What the archeologist gets instead is luck. Luck is the rarest bonus in the game which means it stack with almost everything. A bonus on all your attacks, saves and skills more than makes up for getting less rogue talents. With the trait Fates Favored and the feat Lingering performance this becomes a major bonus. Either playing a race with a bonus to the number of rounds of performance as a favored class bonus, or the feat extra performance means you will probably have more rounds of luck than you need.

So at this point the only thing the rogue has that the bard does not is sneak attack. The bards answer to this is spells. At 1st level a rogue gets +1d6 when he can manage to get a sneak attack. The bard can have spells like charm person, sleep, and hideous laughter instead. At 4th level the rogue is now doing +2d6 sneak attack. The bard on the other hand is casting spells like blindness, hold person, or invisibility. At 7th level the rogue is up to 3d6 sneak attack. The bard at this point has spells like charm monster, fear and thundering drums. This is also not taking into account the bards utility spells. For example bards have access to heroism as a second level spell. This is a spell that gives a +2 bonus to all attacks, saves, and skill that last 10 minutes per level.

The finial advantage of the archeologist bard is synergy. Many of the archeologist abilities can be combined with his spells to get truly obscene. Consider a 12th level archeologist activating his luck while he has heroism active. That is +6 on all attacks, saves, and skills.

While the 4 charisma is barely within human range the 2 is subhuman. A score this low should not be allowed in a player character. Keep in mind that if his charisma drops 2 points he basically goes into a coma. Being that charisma is a mental stat not a physical being ugly is not going to cut it. A character with this low of a charisma is not going to be able to interact with any living thing in any meaningful way.

He will be unable to recognize that other creatures are alive. He will tend to view them as object to be used for his own purposes without regards to their needs and wants. If he is Hungry he may end up attacking other people as food. He will take anything he wants from anyone who is weaker than he is. Even most animals have more empathy and feeling than this character.

Unless you want to role-play a cannibalistic rapist who does not see other creatures as being real consider changing the concept. This character will not be able to cooperate with the party because to them they are just objects.

After giving it some thought I have come to the conclusion that Paizo made a mistake with Elves and Gnomes. Elves get a bonus to INT, where gnomes get a bonus to CHA. It should be the other way around. Look at the descriptions of the races and it seems that elves should be the one getting the bonus to CHA and gnomes should have a bonus to INT.

Elves are generally seen as attractive to other races, and are often portrayed as having a commanding presence. They are also emotional and flighty instead of logical and disciplined. Their society is tradition bound, but relies more on individual respect than blind obedience to the rules. To me this implies CHA instead of INT.

Gnomes on the other hand are often misunderstood by other races. Gnome’s obsessive behavior and strange ways seem to resemble a form of autism. Many people with autism are actually quite intelligent and can excel in many scientific occupations, think of Sheldon from the Big Bang theory. This to me suggests INT instead of CHA.

Since most spontaneous magic is CHA based this would change the balance of the classes for the races. Elves would make better bards, oracles, and sorcerers, where gnomes would become better alchemists, wizards and witches. This actually makes a lot of sense. Elves are supposed to be a highly magical race with more spell casters than any other race. Gnomes on the other hand are supposed to love experimentation.

What I think should be done is to swap out the bonus so elves get a bonus to CHA, and gnomes get a bonus to INT. I would also change the favored racial bonus for elven spell caster to the human bonus of extra spells.

How does this sound?

Parmadon wrote:
Would the feat Unsanctioned Knowledge by pass that?

Yea unsanctioned knowledge would work as long as it is one of the spells you chose, and you memorized it.

Actually the best monster hunter is an inquisitor. Once they get Bane they can go nova like no other class. Judgments are also incredibly useful because they can give you what you need. If the monster is hard to hit you get a bonus to hit, if it has fire attacks you can get resistance to fire. Pretty much anything you need you have a judgment for. You also get spells including some of the very good buffs and a lot of useful spells like invisibility.

Take the feat Improved Monster Lore and a single point in each relevant knowledge will give you a good chance to identify the weakness of any monster.

I don’t really see this as a problem. The divine spell list is for the most part more restricted than the arcane list. Many of the spells are situational useful and end up getting swapped out for either cure or summon spells. For the most part the divine spell lists are more narrowly focused than the arcane spell lists. The cleric spell list for example has a lot of healing and buff spells but really does not have a lot of attack spells. The druid spell list has more attack spells, but even those are generally less potent than those on the wizard or sorcerer list.

Having a huge list of spells you can’t cast because you did not memorize it today is really not a problem. In fact having a huge list can often be just as much of a disadvantage as it is an advantage. With a prepared arcane caster you only have to worry about learning the spells you know. If fireball is not on your list of spells known you can ignore it. The cleric has a lot more work because any spell on his list can potentially be memorized.

Consider the situation where you want to memorize a 1st level spell that allows you to control another person’s actions. If the wizard knows charm person he is able to turn an unfriendly person into a friendly person, job done. The cleric has more choices; he has two spells that seem like they will work. He can memorize command, or forbid action, in both cases he is limited to specific things he can cause the person to do, or not do. In addition he also has other limited spells that will allow him to control someone. He could also memorize compel hostility, fairness or sanctuary, as these also allow him to control a person in one way or another. The Wizard has fewer choices, but his single choice is for the most part better than any choice the cleric has.

One thing people seem to ignore is the inquisitors ability to use wisdom in place of charisma for some social skills is a because of divine ability granted to you by your deity. I see this as acting as the mouthpiece of your deity. It also only affects specific skills which means that you can turn on the charm like nothing else, not that you are charming. Roleplay this as you would any other low charisma character except when you are actively using the relevant skill. Be rude and crude until you want to persuade the guard to let you pass, and then whatever you say seems to sound reasonable.

If you want to deal with traps as a bard the archeologist is what you need. It is the only bard that can deal with magical traps. You may want to go for another trap friendly class instead of bard. I would suggest a ranger. Either an urban ranger, or a trapper ranger would work.

There is a big difference between knowledge skills and practical skills. Your combining of skills ignores this important difference. Knowledge nature may allow you to identify animals but does that mean you are good at tracking them? Knowledge arcana means that you know a lot about magic, but may not be able to actually do anything with it. It is like saying just because I studied the history of art I can create an artistic masterpiece. Geography is more about knowing the lay of the land than being able to survive in the wilderness. Knowing the boundaries of the amazon jungle does not keep me from getting hopelessly lost while traveling in it.

What happens when my concept is that I am the best swordsman in the world? Most people who play games are ordinary people, so what is wrong with wanting your character to be something special? Even in real life there are plenty of examples of people who dedicate their lives to one thing at the expense of everything else. A person who is so hung up on getting into medical school that they concentrate all their time on getting good grades, or any professional athlete are both examples of this.

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There is at least one undead type that is not always evil and can even be good. That is a shadow summoned by a shadow dancer. There is no alignment restriction on shadow dancers although it does state that they do not fit comfortably within the lawful alignment there is no rule saying that they cannot be lawful, or even lawful good.

At 3rd level, a shadowdancer can summon a shadow, an undead shade. Unlike a normal shadow, this shadow's alignment matches that of the shadowdancer, and the creature cannot create spawn. The summoned shadow receives a +4 bonus on Will saves made to halve the damage from positive channeled energy and the shadow cannot be turned or commanded. This shadow serves as a companion to the shadowdancer and can communicate intelligibly with the shadowdancer. This shadow has a number of hit points equal to half the shadowdancer's total. The shadow uses the shadowdancer's base attack bonus and base save bonuses.

Gluttony wrote:

Does the answer to these "I want to play X" threads really always have to "Play Y instead"?

OP asked for an Arcane Archer, not an Eldritch Knight with a bow who has a small dip in Arcane Archer. (And certainly not a Zen Archer.)

I suggested a Zen Archer instead of a Ranger as the base class before taking Arcane Archer. If you read my whole post you would have seen I also suggest a Empyreal Sorcerer to reduce the number of STATS he needs to raise. How is this any less of an Arcane Archer than a Ranger/Wizard?

demontroll wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Kazumetsa Raijin wrote:
demontroll wrote:

Register your fists as deadly weapons with the local authorities, then you can get them enchanted, because they now count as weapons.
Is that pfs legal? Or some kind of houserule?
House Rule. Or a joke. Not an official rule in any case.
Yes, it was meant to be a joke. You could still try to role play this scenario--it might be good for a laugh, even if the GM doesn't allow it.

It may have been meant as a joke, but there may be some validity to it.

A monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

Have you considered a Zen Archer? They get more bonus feats then the ranger and can also ignore prerequisites. With a Ranger you get 2 bonus combat feats and endurance, you also get to use any martial weapon, medium armor and shields. The last two are not really all that good for an arcane archer.

A Zen Archer gets improved precise shot at 6th level, and has flurry instead of rapid shot. They get a total of three selectable bonus feats vs. two for the ranger. They also have the following static feats improved unarmed strike, Perfect Strike, Point Blank Master, Weapon Focus, and Weapon specialization. They can also spend a point of Ki to get an extra attack.

You can also go for an Empyreal sorcerer to use Wisdom as your primary stat. Having a single stat that for your bonus to hit, AC, and as your casting stat is a huge advantage.

A wand of mage armor would allow you to buff the party monk all day long for very little cost.

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In your game you can house rule anything you want. As I stated before you should be rolling for initiative before the first punch. The time to call for initiative would be when the half orc stands up or moves in to punch. In many cases the first action in the combat is going to be a move action not an attack action. If you call for initiative when combat might start instead of after it starts you solve the problem. The combat may go for multiple rounds without any attack taking place. After everyone has acted whether they actually act of not they are no longer flat footed.

Headfirst wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
At this point a perception roll to notice the situation has become hostile is appropriate

I get what you're saying, but adding in a perception check only worsens the situation, in my opinion.

Perception is already overused by inexperienced DMs, who require it for things like noticing tracks or determining an NPC's mood; those should instead be survival and sense motive checks.

Perception versus stealth should only be used for ambush situations that could result in surprise rounds of combat. For those fights, unaware combatants should be flat-footed, yes. That makes perfect sense.

But using perception for normal, anticipated combat encounters further solidifies the fact that perception is MANDATORY for all characters (which I detest). If you don't have ranks in it, you're basically resigning yourself to get insta-gibbed on the first round of combat, surprised or not, and even if you're completely aware of your enemies and their intent to start a fight.

The perception roll is only needed if you are not paying attention to the situation. If you are in the bar flirting with the serving wench when the fight breaks out you need to make a perception roll to be aware. If you are at the table watching the action you do not need to make a perception roll.

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The key is deciding when the combat starts. The combat and initiative roll should take place when the first person prepares for combat, not the first swing. This could be someone standing up from the table, or moving towards the other person. At this point a perception roll to notice the situation has become hostile is appropriate, but may not be needed in some cases. At this point initiative is rolled and people can act in normal order. If you beat the person who started the situation you either act and interrupt his action like hitting him as he stands up, or you can either hold your action or declare a readied action. If anyone involved in the combat is not aware the combat is starting then you go to a surprise round, if everyone is aware then you go to a normal round.

Too many players are conditioned to attack automatically when initiative is rolled. Not every call for initiative needs to turn into a combat.

The reason you are flat footed is because even though you attempted to start the combat the person who won the initiative was actually quicker than you were and actually started the combat. The scenario where you have the person covered with the crossbow is where you were able to gain a surprise and took a readied action to shoot them if they move. Since a readied action interrupts and takes place before the action that triggered it the person covered by the crossbow is the one who is flat footed.

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You can take a trait that affects an ability you do not have.

You were bullied often as a child, and you are now constantly ready to defend yourself with your fists when an enemy comes near.

Benefit: You gain a +1 trait bonus on attack of opportunity attack rolls made with unarmed strikes.

Note that this trait does not grant the ability to make attacks of opportunity with your unarmed strikes—you must have a level in monk, the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, or some other similar power to gain the use of this character trait. However, that doesn't prevent you from selecting this trait. You simply cannot make use of it until a later point if you do.

The rogue class is considered to be the weakest class in the game. Even when it comes to skill there are several classes that do better than the rogue. The best skill monkey in the game is the bard, probably followed by an inquisitor. A ranger is probably is only slightly less of a skill monkey than the rogue, but does a lot better in combat than a rogue. Sneak attack is often difficult to manage, and without some other form of increasing your damage you will not be doing much damage.

Your will save is so low that you will be an easy target for any will saves. You may end up doing more damage to the party then the enemy.

If you want to go the thief route look into an archeologist bard. If you want a skill based character who is more focused on combat an inquisitor would be worth looking at.

I use a laptop and Hero Lab when I run so in a way I do use a screen. I have copies of all the characters loaded into it, and can also load any monsters in the encounter. The tactical console works very well for running combat. I even use the built in dice roller to speed up combat. Being able to look up any ability or condition and apply it to the proper character with a few clicks of the mouse is quite handy.

The laptop allows me to see the battle map and the players without any obstruction in the way. By sitting at the head of the table I can keep up what I need on the screen without the players seeing it. We have even used a second monitor placed where everyone can see it so that the players can be shown things without having to reveal everything.

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Saving skill points is a valid use of the profession skill. Take a Halfling farmer with an intelligence of 8 and wisdom of 12. If he spends one point on professional skill farmer he gets a +5 bonus. What does that get him? This should allow him to grow crops (knowledge nature), control farm animals (Handle animal), and probably treat sick animals (healer). He does not know anything about wild animals other than they eat his animals, he does not know anything about rare plants or using plants for medical purpose, and he does not know how to take care of sick people. Using your method he would need to spend 3 times as many skill points which he does not have, and the rolls would be a lot worse. A single point investment in knowledge nature gives him a +0 roll.

For one thing just having the knowledge skill does not actually mean you can do anything related to the skill. It is all book learning not practical. Knowledge engineering for example may allow you to recognize a weak spot in a building or otherwise get information about a construction. What it does not do is allow you to draw up a set of plans for a building that can be used to actually construct the building. The herbalist not only knows which plants can be used for medical purpose, but can actually prepare them. Just having knowledge nature only allows you to recognize the plant and it use.

Like your list shows many of the professions cover multiple aspects. Having a single skill that allows you to do all the things a profession does without having to purchase multiple skills actually save you points. Fisherman for example could be substituted for both knowledge nature and survival but only when dealing with fish.

The single most important thing pathfinder can teach kids is problem solving. In an adventure what you are doing is encountering problems and figuring out a way to deal with them. You could create a situation where there is an obstacle to overcome and grade them on how well they do it. The obstacle could be combat or noncombat or a mixture of them both. This also teaches that there is more than one solution to the problem.

Another thing it can teach is planning and preparation. After the characters are created you should have a discussion on what they missed. For example did the kids forget to purchase important items that they will need. For example do they have both ranged and melee options, did they forget to purchase rations or other appropriate gear.

I have to disagree with your view of legitimate authority. Not all authority is equal and paladins of all people have a hierarchy of authority they follow. If there is a conflict between authorities the paladin follows the higher authority and can freely disregard the lesser authority. For most paladins the hierarchy of authority will be in the following order. The Paladins deity, The rules of the paladins religion, The authority of the paladins church, the Highest secular authority of the paladins nation, The lesser secular authorities of the paladins nation, The highest foreign secular authority where the paladin is located, the lesser foreign secular authority where the paladin is located, and last is the local laws.

Also many of these authorities have limits on their authority. The mayor of a town for example will have no authority in a town other than his own. If the mayor of town a in the duchy of b tries to give orders in town c in the duchy of d he has no authority.

Another thing you are not factoring in is that the paladin himself may have authority in his own right. If the paladin is for example a belted knight and the mayor of the town is a commoner the paladins authority will probably be higher than that of the mayor. This is of course assuming a European feudal culture. Other cultures may have different rules.

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Just spend a feat on Iron will, and take a trait that gives you +1 will saves. Lowering your BAB and delaying the point you get fighter only feats is not really worth a dip for a straight fighter.

A half elf or elf gets a +2 save vs. enchantment so that would put you up to +5 on the important will saves with only a 10 wisdom. A dwarf will get the same bonus or even better if he takes the feat steel soul.

Do you also ignore the skill point penalty for characters that dump intelligence? Do you ignore the penalties for having other dump stats? If not you should track encumbrance. Why should the bard get a free ride for dumping strength if the barbarian is not going to get the same thing for dump stat?

Dump stats should have negative effects on the character who takes them. If you don’t enforce the negative aspects of dumping a stat it only encourages people to dump harder. If the bard has an 8 STR because he wanted more charisma or dexterity then he should pay the price for what he got.

If you don’t want to do the book keeping then you should limit all characters to their light encumbrance load. Tell them they cannot carry any more period.

Most people are going to be neutral not good or evil. Committing an evil act does not necessarily make you evil, just like committing a good act does not make you good. To gain an alignment you have to consistently act in manner consistent with the alignment in question. Most people act in a mixed manner doing some good and some evil. Also you actually have to perform acts of good or evil, not just think thoughts. Sure the bully at the bar likes to pick on people, but he also probably helps his friends out when they need it.

Also most people do not have an aura. The website says 4th level or lower do not normally detect, my printed book says 5th level. This is also assuming you are not undead, and outsider, or a cleric, or paladin. The vast majority of people are under 6th level.

Using the rule of 80/20 what this comes down to is that 80% of the people are probably neutral. Of the 20% that are aligned on the good/evil axis 50% of them are evil. Of this 10% of the population 80% does not have an aura. What that comes down to is that approximately 8% of the people in the world will detect as evil. Of the 8% of people who detect as evil 80% of those will probably be in some position of authority or power. So what it comes down to is that most people that detect evil are going to be in positions that make killing them difficult for the paladin. Attacking the lawful evil sheriff is going to cause the paladin a lot of problem.

TarkXT wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

The paladins smite evil and the cavaliers challenge is designed to be used against the BBEG and as such they work very well. The swashbuckler’s precise shoot is designed to allow him to quickly overcome the BBEG minions.

Here is a list of monster types not affected by precise strike.

5.Incorporeal (Unless you have a ghost touch weapon)
6.Protean (50% chance to ignore)
8.Anything without a discernable anatomy

The discernable anatomy could also mean that you have to be familiar enough with the creature to be able to figure out where its weak points are. For common monsters this is probably not that hard, but something really unusual may require a knowledge check.

This looks more like a list out of 3.5. Some of those can be sneak attacked in pathfinder.

Precise strike only works vs. living targets with a discernible anatomy. While undead and constructs may not be immune to sneak attack they are not living.

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