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After rereading what you are looking to do with the spell it is apparent that you need more than just a higher level awaken to accomplish your goals. You want to create a race of sentient animals that can breed true. It’s doubtful if an awakened animal will be able to pass on its abilities. Since its type is changed to a magical beast it probably can’t even breed with normal animals. Even breeding with other awakened animals may not be possible. The change may render the animal sterile.

There is only really two spells that could even come close to doing what you want. Those spells are Miracle and Wish. Even so this would fall under the greater effect clause. This is probably the best way to achieve what you want.

Crimeo wrote:

I personally thought it was pretty clearly implied by the polymorph any object spell text that since you get a +2 in the chart for "turning into something of equal or lesser intelligence" that mental stats were being considered transferred here.

I guess it does not actually explicitly say that, though. If a mouse turned to a human still just has INT 1, then it is much less powerful for that application (not even 5 since 1 is still "having an INT score")

Also since Awaken is a druid only spell I doubt it would be available.
You could also simply conceive of it as a researched alternative to Polymorph any Object? Narrower flexibility, modified stat rules, level 8 or 9. Arcane magic then not particularly caring about the natural order.

It states directly in the spell what happens when you turns something that does not have stats to something that does.

Polymorph Object

If the target of the spell does not have physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution), this spell grants a base score of 10 to each missing ability score. If the target of the spell does not have mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma), this spell grants a score of 5 to such scores. Damage taken by the new form can result in the injury or death of the polymorphed creature. In general, damage occurs when the new form is changed through physical force. A nonmagical object cannot be made into a magic item with this spell. Magic items aren't affected by this spell.

Strictly by the rules an animal does have mental stats so it would not grant them anything. I could see allowing an animal to gain an INT of 5, but even that would be a house rule. Turning a pebble into a human would grant the pebble a 5 in each of the mental stats so that would not be too much of a stretch.


An awakened animal gets 3d6 Intelligence, +1d3 Charisma, and +2 HD. Its type becomes magical beast (augmented animal). An awakened animal can't serve as an animal companion, familiar, or special mount.

What you are missing is awaken turns the creature into a fully sentient Magical Beast. And actually increases it power by granting it 2 extra HD. This is significantly more than what polymorph object can achieve. It becomes a magical beast instead of an animal which means it now has full BAB, d10 Hit Dice, and both darkvision and low-light vision.

A plant or animal created by Awaken is much more powerful than on created by polymorph an object. Polymorph an object can only grant a mental stat of 5. Awaken can give a creature the full normal human range of INT. With a high enough roll you can end up with an animal with an 18 INT. It also grants an extra 2 HD to an animal.

Also polymorph object cannot simply grant abilities to a creature it has to turn it into an existing creature. So you can’t turn a wolf into an intelligent wolf, but you could turn it into a human. That human would have the physical stats of the wolf and a INT of 5, WIS 12 and a CHA of 6. The awakened wolf will have the same physical stats, but an intelligence between 3-18 (10.5 average), WIS of 12 and a CHA.

An awakened animal could also take levels in a class to further boost its ability. Because of all of these reasons I would be very hesitant to allow a spell like this. The only reason to create a spell like this would be to create an army of intelligent animals. If I did allow a spell like this I would probably put the level to at least 8th, but more than likely 9th. By this level most characters are not worried about cost as they have multiple ways to raise the required gold.

Also since Awaken is a druid only spell I doubt it would be available. I don’t see the forces of nature allowing the creation of armies of intelligent animals. This would be too disruptive of the natural order.

Play a race that gets extra rounds of performance as a favored class bonus. Take Fates Favored as a trait to increase your luck bonus by +1. Take the spell heroism as soon as you get second level spells. Also make sure to take lingering performance.

At 4th level you are +4 to all attacks, saves and skills, and +2 to all damage. You can do this for up to 24 rounds broken up into 8 times of 3 rounds each. A single point in a class skill gives you a +8 on that skill without bonus for a stat, except knowledge’s which are at +10.
Use criminal for your other trait to get disable devices as a class skill. I used a half elf and traded skill focus for proficiency with scimitar and went the dervish dance route. This was before fencing/slashing grace.

Take fast stealth and trap spotter for rogue talents.

Chose spells that boost your abilities instead of those that affect others and you only need a CHA high enough to cast your spells. Expeditious Retreat combined with Invisibility and fast stealth is insane. At higher level you get Gaseous Form, Teleport and other spells to make you an unstoppable thief.

Not sure what races are legal for PFS, but Catfolk get a favored class bonus of +1/2 bardic knowledge. They also have alternative racial trait curiosity that gives bonus to some knowledge’s.

Also half orcs with improved monster lore end up with a +1 per level to Identify monsters if they use their half orc favored class bonus. This is in addition to getting both CHA and INT to the skill.

It really depends on what you consider a well-rounded character. Some classes by their very nature are specialized. Wizards for example tend to be very specialized and their stats are also usually weighted. This is true both in the game and in real life. How many scientists do you know that are also professional athletes?

Some classes like Bards, Inquisitors, and Rangers are actually very well rounded. All of them have decent combat ability, skills and access to magic. They all also have at least two good saves and decent AC. They all also have numerous class abilities to boost their usefulness even higher. If you want a well-rounded character able to perform well in a multiple rolls play one of these classes.

Stats are more important early in the game, but after about 6th level begin to become less important than the class.

CampinCarl9127 wrote:

Ah, if we want to get into the subject of binding outsiders, I'm an expert on the subject.

Yes, you would need to counteract the protean's freedom of movement ability somehow. It is a more complex but similar problem to the many outsiders who have teleport abilities. You would need to either physically lock them down or temporarily suppress the ability.

Actually the spell specifically states that it does not prevent extra-dimensional movement like teleport unless a dimensional anchor spell is cast. It also notes that the dimensional anchor spell lasts as long as the circle. For an inward focused circle this is 24 hours per caster level.

The spell also states that the trapped outsider cannot do anything directly, or indirectly to affect the circle. It can use any ranged attacks to affect any creature within range of said attacks. The whole purpose of the inward focused circle is to trap a called outsider. It would seem that the circle of protection is more specific than freedom of movement.

I would say it does not because all those spells directly affect the targets movement. Magic Circle spells do not directly affect your movement; they simple keep you in or out. You are still able to move around a Magic Circle and even move within an inward focused circle as long as you do not cross the barrier.

A lot of your assumptions are way off. First of all a giant octopus has 12 HD not 8. This is not changed by adding the celestial template. It increases its challenge rating not its HD. This means that most of your calculations were wrong. Its DR is 15 not 10. It also adds its HD (12) to damage, but nothing to hit because it does not have a positive CHA modifier. This puts is damage to +17 with smite.

Even with that it is not a strong as you think. It still only has 90 HP and an AC of18. Its weakest save is Will at +7. Its spell resistance is 14 which is tough but not unbeatable. Smite is only vs a single target and they only have one smite per day. Vs a single evil opponent it is pretty strong, but when it comes to multiple targets it is useless.

To summon up a giant octopus requires a sixth level spell, which means your caster has to be at least 11th level. Compared to some of the other things a 11th level character can do this is not that strong. Flesh to stone completely eliminates the creature from combat.

You could try calling a fire elemental and just keeping it around. Lesser planar ally or lesser planar binding may work.

If you want to keep warm then hallow with a endure element as the fixed spell will work. It only covers a 40 foot radius so you may need more than one. The nice thing about this is it works for both heat and cold. It does need to be renewed every year though so is not really permanent.

Wands of cure light wounds are one of the most efficient ways of healing HP. Evil clerics can use wands of cure light wounds just as easily as good clerics. If you really want to maximize the healing then take craft wand to create your own wands.

Condition removal is where healing becomes more complex. As an evil cleric your ability to remove conditions is exactly the same as a good cleric.

Avoron wrote:

Well, yeah, but people were drawing to attention to the fact that in other places the rules just say that they're "cumulative," not that they "stack," and thus that the "stacking" rules wouldn't necessarily apply.

The sentence in Intimidate heavily implies that the standard way fear effects add up on top of one another is considered "stacking," and that the term is used interchangeably with "cumulative."

My actual rule book and the Pathfinder PRD do not mention stacking. The D20Pfsrd is the one that mentions stacking. Below is the text from the Pathfinder PRD and the Core Rule Book.

Demoralize: You can use this skill to cause an opponent to become shaken for a number of rounds. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + the target's Hit Dice + the target's Wisdom modifier. If you are successful, the target is shaken for 1 round. This duration increases by 1 round for every 5 by which you beat the DC. You can only threaten an opponent in this way if they are within 30 feet and can clearly see and hear you. Using demoralize on the same creature only extends the duration; it does not create a stronger fear condition.

This is from the D20Pfsrd.

Demoralize Opponent

You can use this skill to cause an opponent to become shaken for a number of rounds. This shaken condition doesn’t stack with other shaken conditions to make an affected creature frightened. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + the target’s Hit Dice + the target’s Wisdom modifier.

Success: If you are successful, the target is shaken for one round. This duration increases by 1 round for every 5 by which you beat the DC. You can only threaten an opponent this way if it is within 30 feet and can clearly see and hear you. Using demoralize on the same creature only extends the duration; it does not create a stronger fear condition.

As you can see the Actual rule book does not use the term stacking.

Avoron wrote:

On the other hand, Intimidate refers to it as "stacking."

Intimidate wrote:
This shaken condition doesn’t stack with other shaken conditions to make an affected creature frightened.
But overall, it seems to me that the "Becoming Even More Fearful" rules should take precedence, even when it is the same effect multiple times, unless there is something specifically prohibiting it.

This is an specific exception to the cumulative effect.

Cevah wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:


Spells, magic items, and certain monsters can affect characters with fear....

Above is the full text of the fear condition. It specifically states that it can be caused by spells, magic items, and monsters. The last section also states that fear effects are cumulative. If you look closely it never says it stacks. Stacking means you add up the bonus or penalty. So two -2 penalties become -4. Fear does not work like that. If you are shaken and are subject to another effect that makes you...

"spells, magic items, and monsters" looks kind of general. :-)


The point is that it specifically states that fear effects are cumulative. RAW they do not stack they are cumulative. You can argue all you want which is more specific, but that does not change the way it works. If you are shaken and another effect causes you to become shaken you become frightened, unless the description of the effect says that it is not cumulative it is.


Spells, magic items, and certain monsters can affect characters with fear. In most cases, the character makes a Will saving throw to resist this effect, and a failed roll means that the character is shaken, frightened, or panicked.

Shaken: Characters who are shaken take a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks.

Frightened: Characters who are frightened are shaken, and in addition they flee from the source of their fear as quickly as they can. They can choose the paths of their flight. Other than that stipulation, once they are out of sight (or hearing) of the source of their fear, they can act as they want. If the duration of their fear continues, however, characters can be forced to flee if the source of their fear presents itself again. Characters unable to flee can fight (though they are still shaken).

Panicked: Characters who are panicked are shaken, and they run away from the source of their fear as quickly as they can, dropping whatever they are holding. Other than running away from the source, their paths are random. They flee from all other dangers that confront them rather than facing those dangers. Once they are out of sight (or hearing) of any source of danger, they can act as they want. Panicked characters cower if they are prevented from fleeing.

Becoming Even More Fearful: Fear effects are cumulative. A shaken character who is made shaken again becomes frightened, and a shaken character who is made frightened becomes panicked instead. A frightened character who is made shaken or frightened becomes panicked instead.

Above is the full text of the fear condition. It specifically states that it can be caused by spells, magic items, and monsters. The last section also states that fear effects are cumulative. If you look closely it never says it stacks. Stacking means you add up the bonus or penalty. So two -2 penalties become -4. Fear does not work like that. If you are shaken and are subject to another effect that makes you shaken you become frightened in addition to being shaken. If you are then subject to another condition that causes you to become shaken you become panicked in addition to being shaken. Notice that at no time do you ever become shaken more than once. You are still only taking a -2 on all attack rolls, saves, skill checks and ability checks. If the effects stacked you would take -2 per shaken condition, but that does not happen. So technically fear effects do not stack, but most people will consider it easier to understand by saying they stack.

Cevah wrote:

Agreed, but which is more specific? Duplicate Spell or Fear Stacking?

Expect table variation with this one.



Panicked wrote:
Panicked characters cower if they are prevented from fleeing.

It’s pretty obvious that the rule of fear effects stacking is more specific. Fear effects are subset of all effects. The rule of stacking applies to all effects so fear is more specific.

Without knowing all the abilities of your homebrew class it is impossible to give any kind of meaningful advice.

Blymurkla wrote:
Umbral Reaver wrote:

Stasis vs Change?

Or does that overlap with Law/Chaos in your interpretation?

Hm. I don't know. Seems kind of hard to have gods and outsiders connected to Stasis and then have them, you know, do stuff.

Beopere wrote:
Reason vs emotion (stranger) and have emotion aligned people use words of power. With some additional flavor.

Reason/emotion occurred briefly in my head too, and since it has been mention here twice it might be a good idea.

Emotion-aligned people (and, outsiders etc.) using words of power? Are you referring to the ancient and trans-cultural concept of certain words and phrases being powerful magic, you are referring to a subsystem or something within Pathfinder?

Words of power are an alternative magic system from Ultimate Magic. Instead of learning spells you learn words that can be combined to create spells. Personally I think the words of power would be more suitable to reason than emotion. Reason implies a scientific method that would seem better suited to the idea of construction spells from base components.

Life vs Death

Reason vs Emotion

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The magician archetype for the bard gives extra spells. Note only that it can be from any arcane casters spell list. This opens up the wizard/sorcerer or the witch spell list for you. The archetypes does replace some very useful abilities including inspire courage and bardic knowledge. You also get a bonus on knowledge arcane, spell craft and use magic device. If the idea of casting a fireball in a mithral breastplate appeals to you this may be a way to go. You are giving up a lot of useful abilities so the cost may be more than it is worth. This would be the one character that would actually benefit from taking a weapon as an arcane bonded item.

I would advise against taking sacred tattoo for a half or paladin. Instead take the feat Ferocious Resolve. It gives you the full orc ferocity which allows you to keep fighting at negative HP. For a paladin this is extremely useful. They have to literally kill you to stop you. If you take this with Fey Foundling it will be incredibly difficult to keep you down, especially with the warrior of the holy light archetype. As a paladin your saving throws are already high boosting them even further is not that useful.

Feats are not based on character level not class level so they are not class features. You do not get two sets of feats.

Another option would be to take the archeologist archetype for the bard. This way you could be both the paladin and “Thief”. You of course would not actually be a thief, but would have the skill set and be able to scout. In this cast fates favored is the way to go. Take the extra rounds of performance instead of extra spells and don’t forget lingering performance.

Armor expert is a good trait. You essentially get a bonus to multiple skills.

Extra Arcana gives you either one extra spell at your highest level of spell you can cast when you take the feat. Or you can gain two extra spells of any spell level lower than your highest level you can cast when you take the feat. These spells cannot be changed so chose them carefully.

One thing to keep in mind is that many of your abilities require at least a swift action to start. This means you may not be able to use them at the same time. Lay on hands for example requires a standard action as does your power of light. Your bardic performance also require a standard action to start, but can be maintained as a free action. That means that on the first round you can either start your power of light, or your inspire courage. The next round you can use your standard action to start the other effect. But that pretty much takes all your actions for the first two rounds.

Since you are starting at 6th level a hospitaler paladin with the oath of charity would easily be able to cover the role of healer. You get the normal paladins lay on hands except when you heal others you heal an additional 50%, the down side is you only heal 50% when you use your lay on hand on yourself. You also get a separate pool of channel energy at -3 off your level. You can also change your mercies every day for different condition removal. You still get smite evil just not as many of them. Fey Foundling will help with the self-healing.

The vampire template takes care of the physical aspects of being a vampire. Any CHA based caster will cover the magical aspect. If you want a blasting vampire sorcerer would probably be best. A bard would work well for more subtle forms of magic including enchantments and illusion. An oracle vampire with the right mystery can get incredibly tough. If you want a straight up combat monster go for a antipaladin vampire.

Human makes a good choice of race for most of these casters as the favored class bonus is extra spells.

While the antipaladin vampire does not have a much magical power as the others it is an incredibly strong option. Smite good with a two handed weapon and power attack will often one shot many characters.

The more powerful vampires in the book were also probably mythic vampires.

I would advise sticking with the standard, featured and uncommon races. Anything else will require a great deal of reworking to balance things out. Templates are especially troublesome. This still leaves you with 40+ races to choose from and most of them can be further customized with alternative racial traits.

I allow leadership under certain conditions. First the character must be actively working at building an organization of some sort. This could be a thief’s guild, a religious group, a war band, a spy ring or just about any other sort of organization you want. Second the character has to be able to actually run the organization in question without his cohort. Third the character has made a name for him in something relating to the type of organization he wants to build. And last but most importantly the character is continuing to run the organization.

When a character takes leadership they must take both the cohort and all followers they attract. They must also be able to equip and maintain all followers and cohort in a reasonable manner. If the character does not pay proper attention to his followers and their mutual goals he loses the feat. If he wants he can try and regain the followers by working to rebuild. This results in a permanent -2 to leadership per instance. If he does not want to bother he can simply chose a new feat.

Only player characters have to spend a feat for leadership. Appropriate NPC’s get it for free. I find that the leadership rules actually work well for creating opponents for the players. Since I am not actually using the feat players get full experience and treasure for everyone then fight. This works well for creating the local thief’s guild or followers of the local lord.

It really does not matter because if you attempt to use either ability you are breaking the rules of the fight. Cheating in a friendly fight is not really an honorable thing to do. Probably not enough to cause you to fall, but if I were the GM your abilities would fail as a warning.

A single bean stalk may not be enough to feed the party. On the other hand since there is no cost to cast the spell there is no reason it could not be cast multiple times. Once the witch has created her bean garden the party should be able to avoid starvation. Since it says it lives as a normal plant it may take some time for the beans to mature. Long term this will work, but the party will still need to feed itself until the garden is ready.

Clerics, druids, Magus, Paladins, Rangers, Shamans, Warpriests, and Witches all prepare spells. Divine prepared spell casters know all the spells on their spell list, but still have to prepare them. Arcane prepared spell casters can learn an any spell from their list, but have some way of recording their list of spells known.

All spell casters prepared or spontaneous have a limit to how many of each level spells they can cast per day. This number increases as you level up.

To set up a business is not that easy. First of all you have to pay all the relevant permits and fees to even setup a stall. Next you have to pay all the bribes both to the legal and illegal authorities. After that you have to pay taxes on everything you sell. Even after you do that you are not guaranteed to actually sell anything. I would probably say that all the fees , taxes and bribes will probably start around 30% of the cost.

Anyone who has worked in a sales job can tell you it is a lot of work and requires some skill. I agree with the other people saying that diplomacy is the wrong skill. What they need is professional skill merchant. Since professional skills are trained only they don’t get a roll unless they actually put points into it. Even with professional skill merchant they are not guaranteed to sell at full market value.

If my players want to bargain for purchases I usually give them an opposed diplomacy roll vs the merchant’s professional skill merchant. A tie results in the listed price for every point they beat the merchant they get a 5% discount, if the merchant beats them he gets an additional 5% over the listed price. This is to reflect supply and demand and other variables. If they want to sell I use the same method except the base cost is half the listed cost. They also have to use professional skill merchant, but the buyer can use either diplomacy or professional skill merchant. I only use this when they want to actually bargain, if they just want to sell the loot I allow them to take half value without a roll.

You could also go for an oracle of bones instead of choosing the Juju mystery. The bonus spells for the mystery of bones have more necromancer spells. It also gives you a couple combat revelations.

Another option would be to go for a Oradin. Take two levels of Antipalading and the rest of your levels as an Oracle of Bones. This gives you heavy armor and martial weapons and CHA to saves. It also gives you smite good to deal with all the paladins that will be coming after you. While the bonus to damage from the smite is only +2 you still get your CHA bonus to hit and to AC .

Guidance will give you a +1 competency bonus to any skill roll.

Cats Grace will give you a +4 DEX which will give you an additional +2 since disable device is a DEX based skill.

Combine the Guidance and Cats Grace with taking 20 and you should not have a problem.

Shatter would work but may need a silence spell to cover the sound. After you have the loot use a mending or make whole to repair the lock.

Templates are designed to allow a GM to modify a monster or character to create interesting opponents for the players. They are not supposed to be options for the players. As such they don’t have to be balanced against each other.

The whole CR system is only a rough guide not an absolute science. Applying the same template to different monsters or classes can result in widely different power levels. It’s main purpose is to figure out how much experience points to give out for an encounter

The pureblood Azlati option allows you to create a NPC that is more powerful than a standard NPC without being totally overwhelming like an advanced human would be. But the real reason to use the pureblood Azlanti is because the character is actually a pureblood Azlanti.

While you party has a lot of divine caster the bard is the only arcane caster. His spell list has many of the utility spells so you probably want to focus your wand selection combat. Magic Missile will help deal with any incorporeal creatures. Area of affect damage is also something that you are also lacking. A wand of fireball would work well for this, if you can’t afford that a wand of burning hands with a 5th level caster level may work until you can afford better. Stone call will also be helpful not just for damage, but for battle field control

The thing I would have a problem with is the raging barbarian. Rage specifically states that you cannot use any ability that requires patience or concentration. Pulling your blows seems like it would fall under requiring concentration. Of course the solution to this is to simply pretend to rage. Also keep in mind that a barbarian cannot use bluff while raging.

Under normal circumstance you should be able to use as much of a bonus as you want to as long you are the source of the bonus. So the rogue can use as much or as little of their sneak attack as they want. As several people have mention you can cast at any caster level up to your maximum as long as it is high enough to cast the spell. For the DC of the spell you could use any stat bonus up to your maximum, but it has to be at least high enough to cast the spell. The duration of the spell could also be done this way.

If the bonus is outside your control like a bards performance or a spell then you would probably not be able to control the bonus. The only exception would be to lower the caster level of a spell you cast. So you could cast divine favor so that it only gives you +1, but if it were cast at full caster level you would have to take the full bonus.

You of course have the option to take any penalty on any roll you want, but then it becomes obvious that you are doing it.

I would probably allow a simple bluff to cover most of what you are doing. I might even go so far as to put a penalty on the bluff roll equal to the difference between your normal roll and the roll you are actually using. So if you are taking a -2 to hit and -6 to damage that would be a -6 to your bluff roll.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

As several people have said combining Zen Archer with an Inquisitor is going to lead to some insane damage. With the right inquisition this would also allow you to become a skill monkey.

If your alignment was good that would open allow you more options. A Stone Lord Paladin would actually be pretty decent. You gain full BAB and the ability to enter a defensive stance, which is basically the same as a barbarians rage. You also gain some decent defenses including DR Adamantine equal to half your level and the ability to sometimes ignore critical hits or sneak attack. It also gives you an earth elemental as a companion.

It doesn't look like all the Stone Lord abilities work with archery though.

One problem with going Cleric: every round you use a standard to cast a spell is a round you aren't raining down death via flurry goodness. Fervor, bane, and judgment all mesh better with your full attack paradigm. At least until you can quicken spells.

Stone strike is the only thing that does not work with archery. Defensive stance works fine with archery as long as you have an adaptive bow. Since it is a morale bonus it stacks with any enchantment bonus you have like belts or bulls strength.

A Zen archer still gets the unarmed damage of a regular monk so even stone strike is not completely useless. This allows you to still be effective is your archery is shut down.

As several people have said combining Zen Archer with an Inquisitor is going to lead to some insane damage. With the right inquisition this would also allow you to become a skill monkey.

If your alignment was good that would open allow you more options. A Stone Lord Paladin would actually be pretty decent. You gain full BAB and the ability to enter a defensive stance, which is basically the same as a barbarians rage. You also gain some decent defenses including DR Adamantine equal to half your level and the ability to sometimes ignore critical hits or sneak attack. It also gives you an earth elemental as a companion.

Use the skill healing that is what it is for.

The Undead Lord states it can be applied to any undead creature. This would indicate that you can apply to a lich. Undead are not born they become undead at death. The inherited template states that they are born or created with the template. This would mean that the lich used a more powerful ritual that transformed him into a lich lord instead of a normal lich.

It really depends on the character. For the most part paladins don’t have many class skills that are affected by the armor check penalty, and they don’t get many skill points to begin with. They also tend to have lower DEX because they are better of putting their points into other stats. This means that a paladin is usually not going to be very good at things like acrobatics, climbing, and stealth. If that is the case you might as well wear heavy armor.

If you want something really unusual go for an Archeologist Bard/Paladin. The paladin gives you all your combat ability and defenses, and the archeologist bard gives you everything else. Use a trait to get disable device as a class skill and you can also cover the role of the rogue. Your other trait should be fates favored. Combine the archeologist luck, with heroism and smite evil and you will be incredibly effective.

This combo gives you full BAB, all good saves, decent skills, two spell lists off the same stat, healing, and the ability to buff the entire party. You can pretty much cover any role depending on your build and spell selection.

Physically Unfeasible wrote:

For a specific magic school - spell focus.

If it's to cope with multiclassing - the trait Magical Knack will help.

Means to boost caster level generally are, somewhat intentionally, rare. Though there are rules that provide an ok guideline for making new magic items.
A guideline on that is that the ioun stone in question is priced at 30K (if I recall correctly) - were that to actually take up a body slot, the price would be half that.
If creating charges/day - divide the cost by 5/charges. i.e. the item would be worth n*(30K/5) where n is the number of charges per day.
Personally unsure what would be a reasonable duration on a charged version of +1 caster level. Maybe for a round?

Spell focus does not raise the caster level. It raises the DC of the saving throw.

The idea behind a professional skill is to cover what other skill do not. Since just about any professional skill a barbarian is likely to take is covered by another skill it makes since that they don’t have professional skills as a class skill. Keep in mind the professional skill only gives the ability to make money with the skill. It does not actually give you any other abilities. So professional skill goat herder would not give you the ability to herd goats that would require animal handler which the barbarian does have

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Dispel Magic, and Prayer are also 3rd level. If you don’t have a cleric in the party both these spells are useful especially prayer. Prayer may not seem like much of a spell, but it is actually very useful.

I agree with Secret Wizard the unchained monk fixed all the problems with monks. Adding this on top of it gets insane. Having a 26 or higher stats is not that hard at high levels this would allow you to have +16 to hit and damage on all your attacks. As a monk you are already getting more attacks than any other martial class this puts it over the top.

Iron will is never a useless feat. Keep in mind that the unchained monk now has a poor will save. While a monk will have a high enough WIS to offset some of this, it is still a poor save. The original monk could pretty much ignore any spell that allowed a will save. The unchained monk now has a will save about the same as a wizard.

Personally I would never allow this in a campaign I am running. Getting two Stats that add to both hit and damage is way too powerful. Even using WIS in place of STR is probably too much.

I have to agree that a sanctified slayer would work extremely well as an assassin. With spells like disguise self, invisibility and undetectable alignment you will be incredibly good at infiltration and stealth. Getting both bane and sneak attack is going to help in combat. And at higher levels you even get a couple of rouge talents.

Take the Heresy Inquisition and you can dump CHA and still have a good bluff and intimidate. This also allows you to roll twice for diplomacy, bluff and stealth and take the better result a number of times equal to you WIS modifier. You will also be incredibly hard to fool. You have the ability to detect alignments, and lies and a sense motive that no one will be able to match. If you can take the feat signature skill for sense motive you will eventually be able to read minds after spending only a single round.

The problem is not his choice of class or archetype. Archeologist bards can be quite competent in combat. Depending on his build he could be anywhere from average to extremely competent in combat. I have seen a dervish dancing archeologist that was one quite deadly. All it took was weapon finesse, dervish dance, archeologist luck and heroism. Heroism is an extremely useful long lasting buff that will actually be just as useful out of combat as it will be in. Even if he is going to avoid combat this is one spell he should pick up.

One thing that would work is for him to play the reluctant hero. Make sure his build has at least basic competency in combat and just have him be reluctant to fight. This way no one will expect him to do anything in combat but when he is really needed he can come through for the party. Think of B.A Baracus in the A Team movie. He spent half the movie preaching that violence was wrong and how he would not fight, but in the end he came through.

Having the ability to use a ton of different weapons is not that good if you already have access to a good melee weapon. Most characters don’t use a lot of different weapons. Usually you have one melee and a ranged weapon. Inquisitors already get most of the decent ranged weapons, and as a half orc he gets a couple of good two handed weapons.

Flurry of Blows is only an one extra attack and you take a penalty to hit. Since both the monk and the inquisitor are ¾ BAB class you don’t get a +1 BAB until third level. This means that your single extra attack is at a penalty of -3. The only time this is going to be beneficial is you are facing a lot of low level threats. Any level appropriate monster will probably have a high enough AC where the extra penalty to hit is not worth it.

Let’s compare the 5th level inquisitor vs the 1st level monk/4th level inquisitor. Since we are comparing this build assume an 18 STR and no other abilities except class features. The pure inquisitor uses a falchion and is +9 to hit and deals 2d4+6 (+2d6 for bane). This is an average of 18 points of damage. The monk/inquisitor gets two attacks at +6 and deals 1d6+4 points of damage for an average damage of 7.5 each or 15 points of damage if both hit. The pure inquisitor is a lot more likely to hit and also has triple the critical hit threat range. This is also without judgements since at this level both are about the same. The pure inquisitor has a better chance to hit and deals a lot more damage.

This is also for PFS which if I remember correctly does not allow magical knack. Even if it does magical knack only helps with duration and other level dependent variables. The inquisitor gets slower access to spells than a cleric. This means that delaying gaining your higher level spells even more. A single level dip means you don’t get your second level spells until 5th level and know less spells than a full inquisitor. By this time the cleric is getting his 3rd level spells.

Instead of stealing/eating the soul you could have a creature looking to corrupt the soul. A vampire attacking pregnant women but leaving them alive so their children are born as Dhampir instead of human. He then abandons the child to his fate. Have the children be born with obvious vampire traits like fangs and then let the paladins figure out what to do.

You could also use a demon instead of a vampire and have the child be a tiefling or even a half fiend.

Inquisitors actually get Good abilities at every level. Starting at 2nd you get WIS to Initiative, Detect Alignment, and track. 3rd level you get a boost in your judgments and your first teamwork feat, 4th level brings an extra judgement per day and second level spells. 5th level brings bane discern lies and a boost in your judgments. 6th is mostly a boost in judgements, but at this level you get access to alignment property of judgement of smiting, and another teamwork feat. 7th level gives you a third judgement and access to 3rd level spells. 8th level you get to use two judgements at the same time. 9th level gives you your 3rd teamwork feat, and a boost to your judgments. 10th level gives you access to your 4th level spells and 4 judgements per day. 11th level gives stalwart. 12th level you gain greater bane.

Since PFS stops at 12 levels a dip of a single level costs you greater bane. You also lose a caster level which means you buffs don’t last as long. You are also losing out on your favored class bonus. Since the character in question is a half orc he can take either the human or half orc favored bonus. This means he loses +1 to intimidate and +1/2 to monster lore, or an extra spell known.

Bane is going to do more than any dip will ever do so delaying that should be avoid. Which means you don’t take the dip until at least 6th level, by that time why bother.

The following is what I would recommend for STATS. STR 18, DEX 12, CON 14, INT 12, WIS 14, CHA 7. Take heavy armor proficiency at 1st like Secret Wizard suggested. Since this is for PFS you won’t get higher than 4th level spells so a 14 WIS is fine. Take Heresy inquisition to get WIS for bluff and intimidate and ignore diplomacy.

Use a Falchion instead of a great sword. Use half orc favored class bonus for +1/2 to intimidate and monster lore. Remember that bane is multiplied on a critical hit.

For traits pick up fates favored. This will boost all your saves and works great with divine favor. For your second trait choose armor expert to reduce your ACP by -1.

Avoid spells that target others and concentrate on spells that affect you. Your WIS is a little low so anything that allows a save will be easy to resist.

Even though you are going melee carry a longbow to use as a backup. Most of your abilities work equally well on ranged or melee, so don’t limit yourself to one or the other.

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