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Mysterious Stranger's page

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I was working on an undead lord for a campaign I was thinking of running and came up with a pretty good combination. Antipaladin 2/Oracle of Bones 18 with the Graveknight template (Fire) If you take a dual path Mythic Champion and Hierophant That is going to be one tough undead. Can you take more than one template? If so you could add the Half Fiend template for even more abilities.


Look at this from the Lawful aspect. To take control of any part of Hell you are either going to be taking over some other beings domain, or taking unclaimed land. Chances are any unclaimed land is has nothing worth claiming so you would be unable to build anything. Hell is the ultimate hierarchy so every creature has its place and knows it.

The one way it could work is if you were able to take territory from somewhere else and add it to hell. If you conquer part of another plane and have some way to make it part of hell, that would work. A Lawful Evil ruler is not going want to have his vassals overthrown. On the other hand he will gladly welcome new vassals if they enlarge his power.

The only other way would be to take out a major devil by yourself. Hell may have some sort of challenge that proves the right to rule. This would probably be some sort of personal challenge.


The biggest problem with the rogue is that most rogue talents are way too weak. There are a couple of good ones, but for the most part they are just plain bad. Many of them are usable only once a day, or are very narrowly focused. Camouflage is a perfect example. Once a day you can gain a +4 bonus to stealth that is limited to a specific natural terrain, and can easily be destroyed. Why would I ever bother with this when I can take skill focus stealth and get a +3 in all terrains that work under all conditions and at 10th level the bonus goes up to +6.

A lot of the rogue talents focus on sneak attack. The problems with sneak attack have been discussed multiple times in multiple threads. When half the rogue talents are focused on something that may be difficult to get it does not help. Don’t get me wrong I think sneak attack is a decent ability, but too many people misunderstand it. It is not designed to make the rogue equal to a fighter or other combat focused characters. If that is what you want you are going to be disappointed. I also do not consider it to the rogue’s main ability. I look at it as something decent that sometimes work.

Rouge talents should be at least as good as a feat, and probably a little better. They should also allow the rogue to do what no one else can do. Giving mall bonus to skills and abilities just is not enough. Ninja talents are generally a lot better, but many of them require a ki pool to use.

I don’t see a problem with the fighter as long as you realize what he is. He is called a fighter because he fights things. With the number of feats he gets he can pull of feat chains better than anyone else. With the variety of archetype available you can create a lot of completely different fighters. The problem is that a lot of people want to do more than just fight. For someone who wants a fairly simple character to play and is not that interested in more than combat they work fine.

The biggest problem with monks is they require a great deal of system mastery to build properly. They also require a good concept of both tactics and the rules to use affectively. You really have to know your character and all its abilities to make them effective. There are also a lot of traps when building and playing a monk that many people fall for.


Considering that Hell is under the control of Asmodeus himself I think you are going to have some problem. Hell is Lawful Evil so there is probably not any unclaimed territory for you to claim. While you may be a cleric of Asmodeus the Archdevils are his vassals. They would probably take your claiming territory as an act of war. I doubt if he is going to want you starting a war in the middle of his kingdom. More than likely he would tell you to stop trying to cause problems and serve him on the material plane like you are supposed to.


Any group of adventures that is high enough level to deal with a vampire should have properly equipped itself. Grab a bag of holding or a handy haversack and fill it up with a bunch of equipment. This is where you put alchemical weapons, climbing kits, various tools, and anything else you think may come in handy. Spare weapons and extra ammo should also be included.

This is just common sense like a modern day soldier making sure he has his full pack before leaving on a patrol. I can understand that there may be sometimes you don’t have you pack with you, but if you are wandering so far away from anything that you can’t even take a body out to sunlight you should have your equipment.


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You influence the actions of the target creature by suggesting a course of activity (limited to a sentence or two). The suggestion must be worded in such a manner as to make the activity sound reasonable. Asking the creature to do some obviously harmful act automatically negates the effect of the spell.

The bolded section is the key. If the target is not in any danger and you Suggest that he play the piano for the next hour that is reasonable. You never stated that he was not able to defend himself or that he could not leave if it became dangerous to remain. So if either of those conditions comes up he is free to act. If on the other hand you worded your Suggestion play the piano for the next hour ignoring all danger to yourself, and don’t stop for anything that would be unreasonable and fail.


One thing that can help with the saving throws is to make sure you have spells that target all three saving throws. Very few creatures have good saves in all three categories. Being able to target a creature’s weak save is often the best way to affect creatures. Also keep in mind that Reflex saves are usually the least important. Reflex spells are usually direct damage spells which are often less effective especially at high level. Will saves are probably the most effective because they often allow you to control the enemy. Fortitude saves are usually incapacitate or kill type spells.

Another concern for high level casters is spell resistance. If you can’t get past the spell resistance then the save does not matter. A lot of high level creatures have decent spell resistance. Spell penetration, and greater spell penetration are just as important if not more so then spell focus.

Summoning is also a good tactic that ignores saves and AC. Sometimes the easiest way to deal with something is to summon up something else to deal with it for you. The summon monster spells are some of the most versatile spells in the game. Augment Summoning is great, and is almost considered a feat tax on a summoning focused caster.

If you have not already done so make sure to read Treantmonk’s guide to Wizards. While it only covers the core rule book the idea presented in it are still valid. Often the best thing you can do with your spells is to buff your allies. At high level casting haste on your party is going to do a lot more damage than a fireball. A fire ball will do 10d6 damage which averages about 35 HP before save, if it makes the save which it probably will this drops down to 17. This is assuming you get past spell penetration and it does not have fire resistance. Haste on the other hand means the paladin and barbarian get an extra attack at full BAB, a bonus to AC and reflex save and additional movement. Haste will also probably last for the duration of the fight so that is one extra attack per creature per round, or you could do between 0 -35 HP to each creature in the blast radius.


For save the first thing to do is to boost your INT. Get the best headband you can afford, and maybe look into getting a tome of clear thought. The feat Heightened Spell will allow you to increase the DC for spell by using a higher level slot. Assuming you start out with a 18 INT, put all level ups into INT, have a +6 headband and acquire a +5 tome your DC for a 9th level spell is going to be 31. If you are willing to take some age penalties on your stats you can get it up a little higher. Be careful of doing that because you end up getting twice the penalty to physical stats as the bonus you get on your mental stats.

In games I run if a wizard is starting out higher level and wants extra spells I have him pay as if he bought the spell on a scroll.

The nice thing about the wizard is that he can have potentially unlimited number of spells. A sorcerer has to be very careful in his selection of spells because he has a limited number. With a wizard you don’t face that so the need for spells to level up is less crucial.


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Running water is traditionally free flowing natural water like a river or stream. Pouring water from an urn or other container would not work. Moving the water does not make it free flowing or you could dump a vampire in a bath tub and pull the plug.

Ambrosia should work. It says it affects undead and evil outsiders as if it were holy water. Considering it cost x4 the cost of holy water I don’t see a problem with this.

Destroying the coffin will work as long as the vampire does not have any other coffins. Dracula had around 30 in the book.


Does he have a laptop and use Herolabs? If he does have him use the built in die roller and it will automatically add up the results. It can even add a static bonus to the total.

I use this feature when I am running as it saves a lot of time. It works really well for when you need to make a lot of rolls. Having a group of 20 orcs make a saving throw vs a fireball is now a single click.


Divine and arcane are game terms. Other than the fact that some clerics use holy symbols how do you tell if a person is casting a divine spell? As a player I can see cleric written on Bob’s character sheet, but my character cannot. Also how do you tell who is really a god? Razmir has about as much divine power as a turnip, but still claims to be a god. He has actually managed to pull off the fooling everyone. Considering that the other gods have not denounced him he may have even fooled them. He even has arcane casters pretending to be his priests which complicate the matter even further.

I had a friend who created a religion that denied not only gods, but magic itself. It claimed that the supernatural was not real and magic was just trickery and deception. Strangely enough the religion actually had clerics who cast spells, but they denied they were casting spells. They could only cast spells that spells that revealed tricks that revealed or protected against tricks. This was under 2nd edition AD&D and the campaign did not require memorization of spells. Pretty much all spell casters were spontaneous, before there was there were spontaneous casters. The founder of the religion was the great philosopher AtheI so the Atheists were a pain in rear.


Selgard wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

The main argument for this being an evil act seems to be that taking away a person’s freedom is evil. I think this is a mistake because freedom is not so much a matter of good vs. evil, but rather a law vs. chaos. This stems from the idea that anything positive must be good, so anything negative has to be evil.

While I think the idea of freedom and liberty is a great thing and should be upheld, it is not in itself “good”. That being said I don’t think that a paladin would have any problem using magic to change a person’s behavior.

Who you are and what you do is the only real choice you have in life. Permanently, magically, altering that thing into something else is probably one of the greater evils you can do to a person.

You can imprison them, you can execute them- but magically forcing them into just doing what you want? Not only is it incredibly lazy for the Paladin to do (should be teaching/converting) but its also disgusting and should be evil. (yes, I know, the game is silent on whether or not it is.)

Permanently Dominating someone and forcing them to do what you want is an abhorrent, vile thing whether you are forcing them to be nice or to be a jerk.

Having a prison with some pacify effect or whatnot is one thing. Using magic to apprehend someone and safely return them to the authorities is one thing.
But using that same magic to mentally neuter them and force them to view life as you do just because you think you are right?

Evil, here you come.

-S

Magic is neither good nor evil. It is a tool and like any other tool it is the person using the tool that is responsible not the tool. So to say something is worse if it is done using magic is false. If you are allowed to use therapy on a person to change his behavior and still be considered good, why using magic is considered evil. If the person is in prison and forced to go to therapy there is no difference.

Modern medicine has found that a lot of behavior is the result of chemical imbalance in the brain. They have come up with medication to treat many of the conditions. What if in a fantasy world evil behavior is the result of a magical imbalance in the soul, maybe demonic possession? By your definition modern medicine is vile and evil when it uses medication to treat psychological problems.

Again I am not saying I agree that freedom and liberty are not important, but rather that is a question on the law vs. chaos axis not the good vs. evil.


DominusMegadeus wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

The main argument for this being an evil act seems to be that taking away a person’s freedom is evil. I think this is a mistake because freedom is not so much a matter of good vs. evil, but rather a law vs. chaos. This stems from the idea that anything positive must be good, so anything negative has to be evil.

While I think the idea of freedom and liberty is a great thing and should be upheld, it is not in itself “good”. That being said I don’t think that a paladin would have any problem using magic to change a person’s behavior.

This falls in line with my theory that Paladins are the greatest evil plaguing game worlds. That's a lowercase 'e', btw.

The idea that since I am good anything I disagree with is evil is a hard trap to avoid. Unfortunately most people don’t see the trap and fall for it. I think that is one of the reasons the real world is so screwed up.


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The main argument for this being an evil act seems to be that taking away a person’s freedom is evil. I think this is a mistake because freedom is not so much a matter of good vs. evil, but rather a law vs. chaos. This stems from the idea that anything positive must be good, so anything negative has to be evil.

While I think the idea of freedom and liberty is a great thing and should be upheld, it is not in itself “good”. That being said I don’t think that a paladin would have any problem using magic to change a person’s behavior.


Do you have to wear full plate? A bard can cast in light armor with no chance of spell failure. Medium mithral armor counts as light so you could use a breast plate instead of full plate. If you have high enough DEX the AC will be the same.


A bard may be a good mix. Bards can cast in light armor so using medium mithral armor would eliminate spell failure.

An oracle of battle would also be a good combination. It would boost your combat abilities to an obscene level.


How about coming back as an inquisitor?


Actually a hedge witch may work well. Take the healing patron and you will automatically get most of the important condition removal spells. Once you get to 4th level you can spontaneously swap out spells for the cure spell of the same level. All of the summon monster spells are on the witches spell list. Between cure wound spells and summoning you should do fine vs undead. Witches also have at least one direct damage spell for each spell level that will also work against undead. Hexes probably don’t work that well vs undead, but that does not make you totally useless.

You don’t need divine magic as much as healing and condition removal. Buffing and debuffing is also needed, but a witch can also do that quite well.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
To put it in modern terms if a marine guarding a US embassy in Russia is given an order by a Russian official that directly contradicts his orders he will not obey them. The reason being is the Russian official does not have authority over the marine. For example let’s say a Russian police officer wanted to arrest someone granted diplomatic asylum by the US in the embassy. The marine is not going to allow the Russian police officer to enter the embassy even though arresting the person is completely legal.

On the other hand, a marine posted to Russia will obey orders given to him by a Russian policeman if he's off-duty and drinking in a restaurant. Even if the order is "come with me, you're under arrest."

* Yes, the marine probably has some form of diplomatic immunity, so the cop is exceeding his authority. But this can and will be sorted out at the precinct office.

* The alternative is to resist arrest, which will probably result in someone getting hurt. Possibly the cop, possibly bystanders, possibly the marine himself. Shooting a Russian cop is a bar is probably a career-limiting move. Shooting a bystander is definitely a CLM.

You are right about the Russian police officer in the bar. Like I said legitimate authority is not cut and dried. There is a hierarchy of authority that needs to be established.

Authority need not be hierarchical, and in most cases isn't. In your example, if the commanding officer told him not to go with the Russian police officer.... that's actually down in the books (UCMJ, Art. 90, Explanation (2)(a)(i)) as a "patently illegal order" (he's being ordered to commit the crime of resisting arrest) and need not be obeyed. (And if the CO said "don't go with the cop, but don't resist arrest" or some other inanity it's a patently impossible order that also need not be obeyed.)

Which is to say, marines are expected to to be...

What I meant by a hierarchy of authority is that sometimes one authority takes precedence over another. Your example is better than mine. The case of the illegal or impossible order is a lot clearer than mine.

I actually agree with everything you said. My original point was that a paladin does not need to blindly follow every law.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
To put it in modern terms if a marine guarding a US embassy in Russia is given an order by a Russian official that directly contradicts his orders he will not obey them. The reason being is the Russian official does not have authority over the marine. For example let’s say a Russian police officer wanted to arrest someone granted diplomatic asylum by the US in the embassy. The marine is not going to allow the Russian police officer to enter the embassy even though arresting the person is completely legal.

On the other hand, a marine posted to Russia will obey orders given to him by a Russian policeman if he's off-duty and drinking in a restaurant. Even if the order is "come with me, you're under arrest."

* Yes, the marine probably has some form of diplomatic immunity, so the cop is exceeding his authority. But this can and will be sorted out at the precinct office.

* The alternative is to resist arrest, which will probably result in someone getting hurt. Possibly the cop, possibly bystanders, possibly the marine himself. Shooting a Russian cop is a bar is probably a career-limiting move. Shooting a bystander is definitely a CLM.

You are right about the Russian police officer in the bar. Like I said legitimate authority is not cut and dried. There is a hierarchy of authority that needs to be established. If that same marine’s commanding officer was there and told him not to go with the Russian police he would follow the orders of his commanding officer. Also if the US ambassador was in the bar and the Russians were attempting to arrest him he would not allow that.


Bandw2 wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

I think the whole legitimate authority is actually referring to those who have authority over the paladin. Paladins are lawful good and that usually means they are part of an organization. While not all paladins serve a deity they can. If a paladin is a member of a religious order than the command of the order is what he considers legitimate. If he servers a secular lord than legitimate authority are those of higher rank than he is. If the organization he servers has alliances with other organizations he may respect them as legitimate authorities as long as they are not in conflict with his own organization.

Some organizations may be seen as neutral and would generally be respected if their orders do not conflict with the goals and orders of his own organization. Under no circumstance will the paladin consider enemies of his organization as legitimate authority.

yeah, but following a god doesn't change his paladin rules, thus he still has to behave exactly the same. PFS is special.

a paladin that is the only man alive on his plane, is still lawful good. he doesn't have to be part of an organization. he simply must always try to promote the common good and order. if doing good would destabalize a region, he would not do it. as mentioned he would work from within the system.

also the wording legitimate authority, is almost exclusively used in the context of rulers of nations, kingdoms or states.

Again while a paladin does not have to follow a deity he can. If he is a member of a religious order than that order will be considered a legitimate authority. The same is also true for being a member of a kingdom. If I have sworn allegiance to a group and that group is not evil than they become my legitimate authority. And some paladins do worship a deity there are several archetypes that state they serve a specific deity. These archetypes are no less of a paladin than any other archetype.

Also a paladin will always choose Good over law. If a paladin knowingly commits an evil act they fall right then and there. They can commit a chaotic act and do not fall until their alignment actually shifts from lawful Good to neutral good. That is RAW straight out of the book.

To put it in modern terms if a marine guarding a US embassy in Russia is given an order by a Russian official that directly contradicts his orders he will not obey them. The reason being is the Russian official does not have authority over the marine. For example let’s say a Russian police officer wanted to arrest someone granted diplomatic asylum by the US in the embassy. The marine is not going to allow the Russian police officer to enter the embassy even though arresting the person is completely legal.

Legitimate authority is not always a cut and dried situation.


I think the whole legitimate authority is actually referring to those who have authority over the paladin. Paladins are lawful good and that usually means they are part of an organization. While not all paladins serve a deity they can. If a paladin is a member of a religious order than the command of the order is what he considers legitimate. If he servers a secular lord than legitimate authority are those of higher rank than he is. If the organization he servers has alliances with other organizations he may respect them as legitimate authorities as long as they are not in conflict with his own organization.

Some organizations may be seen as neutral and would generally be respected if their orders do not conflict with the goals and orders of his own organization. Under no circumstance will the paladin consider enemies of his organization as legitimate authority.


darkwarriorkarg wrote:

Raistlin Majere

Belkar in Order of the Stick
Danearys Tartagen's brother
Agent Ward's mentor on agents of shield

Raistlin was lawful evil if I remember correctly.

Viserys Targaryen was an idiot who sucked at manipulating people. He got molten gold poured over his head when he pushed. Most of the time people were manipulating him without him realizing it.

Garrett is also lawful evil not chaotic. He has long range plans no one understands but is willing to sacrifice anything to achieve them. He is HYDRA which is the ultimate lawful evil.


Chaotic evil characters can restrain themselves if they want to, but it is their choice. To have any alignment besides true neutral you have to have at least some intelligence, chaotic evil is no exception. They are able to recognize that their actions have consequences and act accordingly. A chaotic character who wants something will generally take it unless there is an advantage to doing otherwise. He could even give it as a gift to someone else if it would benefit him. Chaotic evil is no more stupid than lawful good. Alignment and intelligence have nothing to do with each other.


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I think you are confusing intelligence and imagination with chaos. Doing something no one else understands is not chaotic. If I am smart enough to come up with schemes that no one else understand that does not make me chaotic, that makes me a genius.

Chaos is all about doing what you want. Chaotic evil is evil without restraint of any kind. You do what you want; when you want unless someone stronger stops you.


The problems with slashing grace applying to shorts swords are over stated. Simply use a gladius instead of a short sword. They cost 5 extra GP and count as a short sword for all feats and abilities.


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Aranna wrote:
Umbranus wrote:
In a city where it is disallowed to give food or money to beggars the LG guy will not feed the starving child because he isn't allowed to.

I also disagree with this. Lawful is about following a code not about following laws. A paladin will NOT obey an evil law; he will oppose such a law and certainly never follow it. And a code against giving food or money to others certainly isn't a 'good' code. Doesn't sound at all like the sort of code a LG person would follow.

In such a city a lawful good type may hire the beggar to do something for him. The easiest way would be to have the starving child get him something to eat, and to get one for child. He could even take a bite of the food and decide he is not hungry anymore and give the rest to the child to take home to his family.

Lawful types know how to work the system better than anyone else. Lawful good is no exception to this.


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All good alignments have similarities. When confronted with evil all of them will fight against it. All of them will also try to help others. Even a lawful good, and a chaotic good character will agree that the evil outsider needs to be taken down, or that stopping the undead horde from destroying the village is a good thing. Often where they disagree is when it is a not a matter of good vs. evil.

The lawful good character will try to get people to act the way he thinks they should act. They have no qualms about imposing his will on others as long as it is for the greater good. Requiring everyone in the village to pay a tithe to support the church, so it can provide help to the poor is perfectly acceptable. Many of their plans and efforts are long term. They are willing to sacrifice for other and think that everyone should be required to do the same.

The chaotic good character does not believe in forcing other people to be good. To them freedom is equally important and no one should be required to do anything that do not want. They have no problems giving money to help the poor, but believe this is up to the individual and instead of requiring it they will try and convince people. They deal with situations as they come up and try and tailor each solution to the problem. They believe that a good deed comes from the heart and forcing someone to do it cheapens it.

The neutral good character is the middle ground between them. They look at what is most likely to work and solve the problem. If the people in the area are generous and there is enough money to help the poor they are good with leaving things as they are. If on the other hand the poor are not getting the aid they need they will not have a problem setting up a tithe to fund the church. They will have some plans for the future but not to the extent a lawful good will. To them what matters is what does it take to get the job done.


I think the problem was that both of you were playing essentially the same character. The problem was not so much that he had a strong mechanical build, but that he was a stronger version of your character. If you think that build was bad for skills try an elven archeologist bard with breadth of experience. Between archeologist luck, heroism and bardic lore his skills are going to be even better.


Keep in mind at 9th level he is supposed to be one of the most powerful individuals in the kingdom. The vast majority of people are supposed to be 6th level or lower. There are supposed to be handful of level 7th to 12th in each kingdom. Characters over 12 level are the most powerful in the entire world.

While individual campaigns may vary this is the baseline assumption. Player characters are supposed to be special and be able to do things other cant. Also keep in mind that circumstance bonus or penalties are cumulative and stack. With the bard I don’t think having a +26 sing is the problem, what is probably the issue is versatile performance.

Another thing is most skills that the character max out tend to be skills that can be opposed. Sure with a +26 bluff it seems like you can lie to anyone, but keep in mind that there will be people and creatures the player interact with that have equally high skills. A quick check on CR 9 creatures showed that most of them have perception and sense motive skills ranging from +3 to +23.


Considering this will be a gestalt character I think the archeologist bard will offer more than the ninja. First and most importantly are spells. The bard has a lot of spells that work very well for infiltration and deception. Even some of the 0 level spells are incredibly useful. Message allows you to coordinate with allies, or to pass information back and forth. The uses for Mage Hand, and Sift should be pretty obvious. It’s also pretty hard to stop something that is invisible and able to dimension door. If he takes the archmage path, or dual path he can take wild arcana to be able to spend a mystic point to cast any bard spell.

Skill wise bards get 6 skill points per level and get to add half their level to all knowledge skills. This effectively gives the bard 11 skill points per level. Lore master may only be useable a few times per day but the ability to take 20 on a knowledge skill that you have a good bonus on is still pretty good. Both archeologist luck and heroism stack and both of them add to all skills makes the archeologist one of the best skill based characters.

While an archeologist bard only gets a few rogue talents it gets enough to pick up what it needs. Trap spotter and fast stealth being the most useful. Ninja tricks are better than rogue talents but they don’t make up for the lack of spell casting.

The paladin gives a lot of combat ability especially against evil which this AP should have plenty of. The extra damage from sneak attack is not going to be all that important and may be difficult to setup. Since a bard is able to cast in light armor with no chance of arcane spell failure this allows the character to use a mithral breastplate without any chance of arcane spell failure.


Atarlost wrote:

The other problem with mixing paladin and rogue is the honor code. Lying and cheating are explicitly prohibited and the "and so forth" is damning. Stealth is deception. Ambushes are deception. Feinting is deception. Stabbing someone in the back while they're distracted by your ally is cheating. Pretty much everything that a rogue is good at is arguably forbidden to paladins.

If your GM is going to run the code RAW do not play a paladin unless you're going to run a straight forward meathead. Sorcerer or bard can pull that off but rogue cannot. (Meathead here meaning as imaginative as a hamsteak but not necessarily stupid. Carrot Ironfounderson is a good example.)

The paladin’s code requires the paladin to act with honor and gives some examples. Stealth and deception are part of tactic. The Art of War has entire sections on the proper use of deception. Nowhere does the paladin’s code say they are not able to use tactics. Not all paladins are knights in shining armor. True many are, but that is not the only path for a paladin to follow.


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Bards can’t use silent spell.


I think if you want to go for an offensive arcane caster than the sorcerer is probably the strongest. While a lot of the arcanist abilities are keyed off CHA his spell casting is actually INT based. Dragon disciple also gives you some nice bonuses to your stats. +4 STR and +7 natural armor are hard to pass up.

The idea of the paladin filling the role of the “Thief” of the party is not something you see all that often. Even if he is not stealing the idea of a paladin sneaking around and being the party scout is kind of strange. Gives pretty good edge when it comes to getting away with stuff. No one is going to believe the paladin in a breastplate is able to sneak around.

As to the role playing vs. optimization a very wise person one said that optimization happens before the game, while roleplaying is something you do at the table. You can role-play an optimized character just as easily as you can an optimized character. I actually find it easier to role-play an optimized character than a weak character. When I game I want to play a hero not Joe average. Even in real life we optimize. How many NBA players are short, how many scientists have a low IQ?


I would recommend staying with bard and not bothering with rogue anymore. If it is not too late you may want to look into the archeologist bard archetype. Even if your GM does not allow it you are going to be a lot better off sticking with bard.

Multiclassing really weakens your character especially for a spell caster. An inquisitor with only a 10 WIS is pretty useless. Almost all the inquisitor’s ability are based on WIS so you would be pretty useless as an inquisitor. Taking a spell casting class and not being able to cast spells above 0 level is a really bad idea.


They are similar but the biggest difference I see the archeologist is actually better at trickery and deceit that the investigator. The bard can affect others with his spells, while an investigator only affects himself, even with spells that normally affect others like haste. The bard has access to illusion and enchantment spells that the investigator simply does not have.

The bard also gets 0 level spells some of which are very useful. Detect magic and mage hand are incredibly useful for a rogue type character.


A Zen Archer/Inquisitor is actually one of the best gestalt archer combinations. You get WIS for just about everything. Flurry of greater bane with multiple judgments going is insane.


Knowing what other people in the party are going to play can make a big difference. How big the party is will also be important. In a large party chances are there are multiple characters able to cover any one role. In a smaller party that is not always the case. Also knowing what the other players are planning to play will also make it easier to fit in. If everyone is playing a stealth based character then it would make sense to make sure your character is not completely incompetent at stealth. This way you don’t end up being left behind when the party wants to try and sneak up on something. This is not to say that all the characters need to be able to do everything, but rather if your group is going for a tactic make sure you can use this tactic.

From what you I have seen you are looking at three concepts. First would be the paladin sorcerer combo. This works actually quite well as the paladin supplies all the combat and you can use the sorcerer for blasting and utility. This gives you a lot of things that you can do based on what you are encountering. If you are going up against the BBEG you cast a few buff spells and wade in. If you are going up against numerous lesser foes you can use a couple of area effect spells to soften them up and then wade in. You will also have some utility spells but for the most part this character focuses on combat especially if you go into the dragon disciple.

The paladin oracle will probably end up being the primary healer of the group. If there are other able to cover some healing going for the battle mystery is going to make you a very competent combatant. You will probably still want to pick up some condition removal spells but these are going to come out of your selection of spells known. Lesser restoration, restoration and heal are probably the minimum you want. You can retrain lesser restoration when you get restoration. The battle mystery has a lot of things coming online as you level up so your GM may not realize how powerful you are until you actually gain the levels.

You mentioned adding rogue instead of oracle or sorcerer for versatility. A better solution would be to go archeologist bard. Since bards can cast in light armor without spell failure you can use medium mithral armor and still cast without having to deal with spell failure. Your saves are going to be ridiculously good and get evasion at 6th level. Most direct damage spells are reflex which you will probably make so will ignore huge amounts of damage.

The archeologist bard will give you plenty of skill points, and bardic lore means you will only need to put one point into each knowledge to have a decent roll. Focus your spells on buff and utility spells and you will be incredibly versatile. You get enough rogue talents that you can pick up the good ones without too much trouble. Bards get access to heroism as a second level spell and you should get this as early as you can. Heroism stacks with archeologist luck and last a long time. Between the two you only need a point or two in a skill to have a really good roll when you need it.


I would suggest a CHA based spell caster is going to be your best bet. The only thing a rogue really brings is skill points and a few rogue talents. Most rogue talents are not that good so even though you get a bunch of them most are not that good. What it really comes down to is what you want out of your character.

If you want to be a combat heavy character the oracle of battle is probably the best. If you want good combat with decent spell the dragon disciple is decent. If you want to be the sneaky batman type consider an archeologist bard. Sneak attack is often difficult to set up. It works best in a large party so you have multiple flank buddies. I assume since you are doing a gestalt campaign you don’t have a large party.


A couple of things to keep in mind with gestalt characters are what stats are required for the class and how they synergize with each other. Two classes that are similar to each other may not offer enough diversity to make a good gestalt. Also keep in mind weapon and armor restrictions. You want to be able to use all the abilities of both classes at the same time. If you are mixing a character that uses heavy armor with a character that has spell failure you need to figure out how you are dealing with armor.

The paladin inquisitor is probably not a really good fit because you need every stat. Paladins need good STR, CHA, CON, and you don’t want to dump DEX, this leaves INT, and WIS as your dump stats. Inquisitors usually require good STR, WIS, CON, and you don’t dump INT or DEX, this leaves only CHA as a dump stat. Also both classes use a lot of swift actions for their abilities so you will probably not be able to have them all going at once.

The draconic sorcerer gets mage armor as a spell so you don’t need to wear armor, but your AC will probably be lower than normal for a paladin. The bonus natural armor will help but does not kick in till higher level. Dragon Disciple will work well with this but you will lose your 9th level spells. Also your 6th – 8th level spells are essentially the same spell. Since you cannot trade out your bloodline spells this puts you at a slight disadvantage. Overall this is still a good choice but be aware of the disadvantages of the build.

An oracle will work very well with the paladin. As a divine spell caster you don’t have to worry about spell failure. Either battle or life works well for your mystery. Battle will increase your combat abilities considerably, but life will allow you to act as the party healer without spending much in the way of spells. Life also gives you most of what you need for condition removal and breadth of life to bring people back from the dead. If you want to go all-out offensive battle is the best mystery for that, if your party will has no other healing than life may be a good choice.

The Battle mystery has a lot to offer but many of the revelations start out fairly weak but level up pretty well as you get higher level. Weapon mastery eventually grants you three feats for a single revelation but until 7th level you only get weapon focus. Maneuver Master will be useless to you until 7th level as you are already have full BAB from paladin. War Sight is actually pretty good because DEX will probably be a lower priority so getting to roll multiple times for initiative is pretty good. Skill at arms does nothing for your character since he already gets it from the paladin side.

Since elemental races are allowed go for a Suli. The bonus to STR and CHA is where you want your stats. The elemental resistance is nice and if traits are allowed pick up unscathed for an additional 2 points of resistance. While 7 points of resistance may not seem like a lot your saves are going to be good so you will probably make most saves which means it will actually be more useful than it looks. The Suli are not humanoid so are not affected by spells targeting humanoids like charm person. The downside is that they are also not affected by useful spells targeting humanoids like enlarge person.

Pick up fey foundling as your first level feat. The bonus applies to lay on hands as well so it will be a huge boost for healing


Stealth is for hiding and moving silently. I don’t think that stealth should cover other things besides the character using stealth. Would wearing an elven cloak make the sound of the windows being unlocked any less? Another thing that could be done is to string a bunch of bells on the inside of the window so that anyone opening the windows causes the bells to ring.

The point is that there are a lot of mundane things that can be done to thwart stealth. Good security does not rely on only a single method of detection. If the inquisitor knows he is being hunted he could even put grease of some sort on the window to make anyone coming through the windows fall.


Considering vampires are supposed to be chaotic evil and think they are superior to everything why would a vampire lord agree to work as a common mercenary. Also I get the impression that the enemy kingdom is evil so why would the vampire not simply take what the PC players are offering and turn around and betray them?

Have the vampire seem to agree to the plans but when they get to where they are supposed to drop the vampire army off a force from the enemy kingdom is waiting to attack them. Have the vampires fight alongside the party for a few rounds until they are in a position to betray the party. The only thing to be careful of is that it does not turn out to be a total party kill.


First of all was the Window locked? Did the inquisitor use any kind of preparation at all? The inquisitor is probably one of the most likely classes to be paranoid about this type of thins so should have not just gone up to the room and fell asleep.

The DC to hear a key turning in a lock is 20. If the Window was locked the Assassin will have to make a disable device roll to open it which would give both characters a roll to hear the window being unlocked. I would say that that roll will be against the base of 20 with the +11 being added in that makes the DC a 31. This is before the window is even open, so they will also get another roll to hear the windows being opened. If the inquisitor has half a brain then he would have put something on the window that would get knocked over when the window was opened. A big heavy object or a fragile glass that is sure to shatter on the floor is probably best. Both characters should at this point get another perception roll to hear the disturbance. This will probably be against a base of 10 at best, adjusted for the characters being asleep for a total of 21. If the assassin manages to get this far then the rest of the story happens like the original post.

Keep in mind the inquisitor is probably the most paranoid and cautious class in the game. He knows how easy it is to get the jump on some so will know a lot of tricks to prevent it from happening to him. This is also without using any kind of magic like the spell Alarm.


Some animals can and do use tactics despite only have an INT of 2. The phrase pack tactics refers to wolves. They will have one member attack and when the creature goes after the attacker it retreats and another member attack from the rear. Usually the creature being attacking then turns to deal with the wolf who just attacked it, who then retreats and the original attacker moves back to attack.


Actually you are better off with claws until 15th level. At 8th you get a single extra attack at -5, with claws you have the same number of attacks but at full BAB. Even when you get your third attack its chance to hit is so low that you are still better off with claws.


Try an antipaladin 2/oracle of bones 18 for some interesting abilities. He wears full plate and wields a Bastard’s Sting. His saving throws are insane and he can smite good on the paladin. The bonus damage is insignificant, but getting to add his CHA to hit and AC is going to come as a nasty shock to the paladin of the group. Because he can wear heavy armor his AC will be pretty good, but can still cast 9th level spells.


I think you are missing the point of the talent. This talent allows you to make your bluff roll to convince people you have never encountered the story is true. So let’s look at a lie both with and without this talent. You convince a guard the king is actually his evil twin brother that has assumed his identity.

Without the talent you make your bluff roll and if you succeed the guard believes you. The guard goes running to his captain to tell him the king is an imposter. The captain has known the king since childhood and does not believe the lie. He rolls his sense motive and finds that the guard thinks the king is an imposter, and believes he is telling the truth. The captain himself does not believe the king is an imposter, merely that the guard does.

With the talent you make your roll and convince the guard the king is an imposter. Again the guard goes running to his captain to inform him the king is an imposter. The guard still has known the king since childhood, but you were able to bring up create a story that actually makes since. Maybe you remembered that the king actually did have a twin brother that died at when he was a child. You build a story about why and how the imposter replaced the king.

With the talent you can now make your bluff roll against the captain, and if you succeed he believes the king is an imposter. If the guard for some reason had a better bluff than you do he uses his own bluff at +2 to convince the captain the king is an imposter. Since the rogue used his bluff on the captain when the captain gives the order to arrest the king you can again roll your bluff or the captains at +2 to convince others the king is an imposter. With this talent the rogue can create a lie that spreads like wildfire.


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Why don’t you simply talk to the GM about declaring what you have been doing a house rule. This is exactly the type of thing that house rules are supposed to be used for. Being a RAW kind of person myself, I find prefer that any changes from the game be declared upfront. You don’t have to actually write up an actual rule just let him know that you are not using those rules.

What Ascalaphus, and Blackbloodtroll are saying is also very true. The rules give us a structure that allows the game to be played. When you start randomly ignoring rules it often leads to favoritism and confusion. If rule A is not enforced what about rule B? It really helps if the group spells out what rules are going to be used.

Also consider the fact that having items change size to automatically fit the wielder may seem a little immersive breaking and may be giving him some problems. I think the idea of a Halfling using the sword that you looted off the ogre is little absurd, but if that is the way your group plays that’s fine.


EpicFail wrote:

Herd dogs in real life convert to Int. 2 in Pathfinder. I've seen them solve problems in real life on their own initiative. They can certainly count and a have an understanding of distances.

My interpretation:
"Can we order them to walk ten miles then stop?" No.
"Can we order them to go to landmark?" If it's known or seen, yes.
"Can order them to walk 10K steps? 3 steps?" Somewhere in between- that's a tough one.
"Walk to the tree? The big tree?" Certainly.
"Walk to x then then turn right and proceed to Y." Again if seen or known, then yes. But that is pushing it I think.

I think the order:
-track thing Y, alert me as best you can when you get close, and don't kill it.

I'm making a big assumption you can talk, or the equivalent, to it.

The question is not can something with an animal intelligence do these things, but can a mindless creature like vermin or constructs do them. If we are dealing with animals that is a completely different question.


A Zen Archer can do this fairly easily. The only problem with the Zen Archer is they are kind of weak until 3rd level when they get WIS to hit. The usual build for a Zen Archer is to take 13 DEX so you qualify for deadly aim and pump WIS and STR as high as you can. You will also need a decent CON, about 12 or so should do. Dump CHA to the floor, and go for an Oread for bonus to STR and WIS. If you use traits worship Irori and take wisdom in the flesh to allow you to use WIS for acrobatics.

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