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The rogue class is considered to be the weakest class in the game. Even when it comes to skill there are several classes that do better than the rogue. The best skill monkey in the game is the bard, probably followed by an inquisitor. A ranger is probably is only slightly less of a skill monkey than the rogue, but does a lot better in combat than a rogue. Sneak attack is often difficult to manage, and without some other form of increasing your damage you will not be doing much damage.
Your will save is so low that you will be an easy target for any will saves. You may end up doing more damage to the party then the enemy.
If you want to go the thief route look into an archeologist bard. If you want a skill based character who is more focused on combat an inquisitor would be worth looking at.
I use a laptop and Hero Lab when I run so in a way I do use a screen. I have copies of all the characters loaded into it, and can also load any monsters in the encounter. The tactical console works very well for running combat. I even use the built in dice roller to speed up combat. Being able to look up any ability or condition and apply it to the proper character with a few clicks of the mouse is quite handy.
The laptop allows me to see the battle map and the players without any obstruction in the way. By sitting at the head of the table I can keep up what I need on the screen without the players seeing it. We have even used a second monitor placed where everyone can see it so that the players can be shown things without having to reveal everything.
Saving skill points is a valid use of the profession skill. Take a Halfling farmer with an intelligence of 8 and wisdom of 12. If he spends one point on professional skill farmer he gets a +5 bonus. What does that get him? This should allow him to grow crops (knowledge nature), control farm animals (Handle animal), and probably treat sick animals (healer). He does not know anything about wild animals other than they eat his animals, he does not know anything about rare plants or using plants for medical purpose, and he does not know how to take care of sick people. Using your method he would need to spend 3 times as many skill points which he does not have, and the rolls would be a lot worse. A single point investment in knowledge nature gives him a +0 roll.
For one thing just having the knowledge skill does not actually mean you can do anything related to the skill. It is all book learning not practical. Knowledge engineering for example may allow you to recognize a weak spot in a building or otherwise get information about a construction. What it does not do is allow you to draw up a set of plans for a building that can be used to actually construct the building. The herbalist not only knows which plants can be used for medical purpose, but can actually prepare them. Just having knowledge nature only allows you to recognize the plant and it use.
Like your list shows many of the professions cover multiple aspects. Having a single skill that allows you to do all the things a profession does without having to purchase multiple skills actually save you points. Fisherman for example could be substituted for both knowledge nature and survival but only when dealing with fish.
The single most important thing pathfinder can teach kids is problem solving. In an adventure what you are doing is encountering problems and figuring out a way to deal with them. You could create a situation where there is an obstacle to overcome and grade them on how well they do it. The obstacle could be combat or noncombat or a mixture of them both. This also teaches that there is more than one solution to the problem.
Another thing it can teach is planning and preparation. After the characters are created you should have a discussion on what they missed. For example did the kids forget to purchase important items that they will need. For example do they have both ranged and melee options, did they forget to purchase rations or other appropriate gear.
I have to disagree with your view of legitimate authority. Not all authority is equal and paladins of all people have a hierarchy of authority they follow. If there is a conflict between authorities the paladin follows the higher authority and can freely disregard the lesser authority. For most paladins the hierarchy of authority will be in the following order. The Paladins deity, The rules of the paladins religion, The authority of the paladins church, the Highest secular authority of the paladins nation, The lesser secular authorities of the paladins nation, The highest foreign secular authority where the paladin is located, the lesser foreign secular authority where the paladin is located, and last is the local laws.
Also many of these authorities have limits on their authority. The mayor of a town for example will have no authority in a town other than his own. If the mayor of town a in the duchy of b tries to give orders in town c in the duchy of d he has no authority.
Another thing you are not factoring in is that the paladin himself may have authority in his own right. If the paladin is for example a belted knight and the mayor of the town is a commoner the paladins authority will probably be higher than that of the mayor. This is of course assuming a European feudal culture. Other cultures may have different rules.
Just spend a feat on Iron will, and take a trait that gives you +1 will saves. Lowering your BAB and delaying the point you get fighter only feats is not really worth a dip for a straight fighter.
A half elf or elf gets a +2 save vs. enchantment so that would put you up to +5 on the important will saves with only a 10 wisdom. A dwarf will get the same bonus or even better if he takes the feat steel soul.
Do you also ignore the skill point penalty for characters that dump intelligence? Do you ignore the penalties for having other dump stats? If not you should track encumbrance. Why should the bard get a free ride for dumping strength if the barbarian is not going to get the same thing for dump stat?
Dump stats should have negative effects on the character who takes them. If you don’t enforce the negative aspects of dumping a stat it only encourages people to dump harder. If the bard has an 8 STR because he wanted more charisma or dexterity then he should pay the price for what he got.
If you don’t want to do the book keeping then you should limit all characters to their light encumbrance load. Tell them they cannot carry any more period.
Most people are going to be neutral not good or evil. Committing an evil act does not necessarily make you evil, just like committing a good act does not make you good. To gain an alignment you have to consistently act in manner consistent with the alignment in question. Most people act in a mixed manner doing some good and some evil. Also you actually have to perform acts of good or evil, not just think thoughts. Sure the bully at the bar likes to pick on people, but he also probably helps his friends out when they need it.
Also most people do not have an aura. The website says 4th level or lower do not normally detect, my printed book says 5th level. This is also assuming you are not undead, and outsider, or a cleric, or paladin. The vast majority of people are under 6th level.
Using the rule of 80/20 what this comes down to is that 80% of the people are probably neutral. Of the 20% that are aligned on the good/evil axis 50% of them are evil. Of this 10% of the population 80% does not have an aura. What that comes down to is that approximately 8% of the people in the world will detect as evil. Of the 8% of people who detect as evil 80% of those will probably be in some position of authority or power. So what it comes down to is that most people that detect evil are going to be in positions that make killing them difficult for the paladin. Attacking the lawful evil sheriff is going to cause the paladin a lot of problem.
Precise strike only works vs. living targets with a discernible anatomy. While undead and constructs may not be immune to sneak attack they are not living.
The paladins smite evil and the cavaliers challenge is designed to be used against the BBEG and as such they work very well. The swashbuckler’s precise shoot is designed to allow him to quickly overcome the BBEG minions.
The discernable anatomy could also mean that you have to be familiar enough with the creature to be able to figure out where its weak points are. For common monsters this is probably not that hard, but something really unusual may require a knowledge check.
You have a couple of problems with your build. You do not qualify for power attack because it requires a 13 STR and you only have 10. You are also taking your feats out of order. You have weapon specialization before you have weapon focus. You can rearrange the feats to make it level, but doing so will really change the balance of the character at those levels.
The paladins smite evil adds his CHA bonus to hit, and AC as well as bypassing all damage reduction. It can also be used with any weapon including ranged and natural weapons. The damage is also multiplied on a critical hit. While it can be used a limited number of times per day, it lasts for the whole combat. At higher levels you can even grant smite to all your allies within 10 feet of you.
The cavaliers challenge in addition to the damage also has another bonus based on your order. It can be used with any melee weapon, and the damage multiplies on a critical hit. It also last for the entire combat.
Precise strike adds only your level to damage when using a restricted set of weapon and cannot be combined with wielding a weapon two handed. While not every creature is immune to precise strike there are still a decent number of them. The big limitation on precise strike is that it is not multiplied on critical hit.
I would rate the swashbucklers precise shot as about equal to a cavaliers challenge, but a lot weaker than a smite evil.
I know you said he does not want to play a bard, but how about an archeologist bard. They lose bard’s performance for luck. Between this and a few spells like heroism he should be ok in combat. A lot of people get hung up on the name of the class, but that is not what is important. What is important is what the character can do.
If you are in a jungle environment where arcane magic does not work a druid is going to be your best bet. Not only will they have the spells, and abilities to do well in the jungle, they also have a lot of more blast spells than the cleric. If you gestalt with a monk you can completely dump charisma and concentrate on wisdom and physical stats. Wild shape into a gorilla to become large, and the boost to your physical stats even further.
You may want to look at an Oread as they get a bonus to both strength and wisdom.
The worst thing you can do as a GM is to let a player push you around. As a GM you are the one setting the limits on the campaign not the players. Limiting what is available to your players to what you own is completely reasonable. While all the pathfinder material is available online it is kind of hard to sit down and casually browse through it. I had one GM that came up with an interesting solution to this problem. He allowed any official material as long as he had a copy of it. If you wanted to use something he did not have you had to buy him a copy of it for his own. So if he wants to use something from Ultimate Magic have him purchase a copy for you.
As far as allowing a player to write changes to the rules that is something I would never allow. I can see allowing a player to purpose a house rule, but in the end you are the GM and all house rules should be created or adopted by you not the players. In no circumstance would I allow a player to create custom abilities unless it an optional rule like the custom races from the ARG.
If the player gives you a hard time thank him politely for his interest in playing, and let him know how sorry you are that what he wants to play does not fit the campaign you are running. Then tell him that you will inform him if you decided to run a campaign that is more suited to what he wants to play and leave it at that.
Anytime you are allowing a player to use optional rules the GM should exercise caution and use his veto power if they think it is unbalanced.
Also flexible feat is worth 4pt not 3, and damage reduction is not allowed for standard races.
I have allowed a player character to use the race building rules from the ARG, but limit them to a standard (10 pt) race. Since most of the traits you are looking at require an advanced race I would not allow what the player wants to do. A player wanting to play something like a lizard man is fine, but if they want to play a storm giant they are out of luck.
Having a 9 intelligence does not make you stupid. You are probably a little slow but can understand everything a normal person would be able to understand, it just takes you a little bit longer. This is probably the equivalent to a straight C student. I would consider someone with a 7 intelligence to be kind of dumb, but still functional. It also matters what your other mental stats are.
If you have a 9 intelligence and a 12 wisdom for example you are going to be pretty close to average. You may be a little slower but have enough common sense to make up for it. If on the other hand you have a 7 intelligence and a 7 Wisdom you are going to be about as bright as All Bundy on married with children.
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
A bard gets the really necessary divination spells and often gets them earlier. They get Scrying as a 3rd level spell, where a wizard gets it at 4th. They also get Legend Lore at 4th instead of 6th. If you focus on spells that mainly affect the caster or information spells you only need a charisma high enough to cast your spells.
Instead of mixing a rogue and wizard you may want to consider a bard. They have all plenty of skills and bardic lore means they can actually have higher knowledge skills than a wizard. Lore master gives them the ability to take 20 on knowledge skills.
Bards get a lot of divination and enchantment spells so they have the magic covered pretty well. They are also a charisma based character with UMD as a class skill so can potentially use any divination spell in the book including divine spells.
1. A wizard can potently learn every spell instead of being limited to a set number of spell determined by level.
2. Wizards use INT as a casting stat so that means they get a lot more skill, and have a lot higher roll on a lot of important skills.
3. Wizards get access to spells one level earlier than a sorcerer
Revolving Door Alternate wrote:
Dwarf monk will be tough to kill, but can it really shield others in any fashion (other than just still be standing up I mean).
Against the players the monk can use combat maneuvers. Also a monk with a bard, sorcerer and a druid buffing him is pretty strong. The bard casts heroism on him, the sorcerer casts mage armor on him, and the druid casts magic fang on him.
An archeologist bard would be the best bet for the skill monkey. This also covers the face and knowledge roles. The bard also has almost every skill as a class skill. This would also be the best bet for the boss.
A sorcerer would be better for than a wizard for the wand wielder. This way UMD is a class skill and he has the charisma to make the bonus high. With a good UMD he can also use scrolls.
A dwarf monk will be a built right will be a tough nut to crack. His offense may not be that good, but his defenses are going to be pretty high.
For the last guy I would go druid for the sheer versatility of the class and to give you a divine caster.
Another thing to consider is that it is possible for an elf to spontaneously change into a drow. I think it happened to an NPC during the AP second darkness. Admittedly this is an extremely rare occurrence, but it still happens. I do not have the adventure path so I don’t know the specifics, but that would indicate to me they are the same race.
Let’s say you have an elf that changes into a drow, does he lose the feats he qualified for before he changed?
While elf blood does allow half elves to choose elf feats they still have to meet the other requirements for the feat. Breadth of experience also has a prerequisite of being 100+ years old. This means you are at least old and close to venerable, so more than likely most half elves will not qualify for it.
Drow are elves in the same way full blooded Azlanti are humans.
Fast learning is probably not worth it blowing a feat over. Paladins don’t need as many HP as other martial classes, because they can use a swift action to lay on hands. Bastard sword is also not worth blowing a feat just to use it one handed. The damage difference is not that much, and you can already use a long sword either one handed or two handed.
I would suggest swapping the CON and INT. A 13 Con puts your point of death at -13 instead of -12. Probably not a big deal but at least the odd number gives you something. I think having a paladin with who is not dumber than a rock is kind of cool so don’t dump WIS and INT like everyone is saying.
Power attack is a good feat so get that at third. You may want to look at feats to increase your lay on hands. Greater mercy and extra lay on hands are always good for that. Having too high of an AC can actually be a bad thing for a paladin. If the enemy can hit you once in a while they may keep attack you instead of the rest of the party. Use your lay on hands to heal up and you just became a damage magnet.
About the only thing the inquisitor is going to have a problem with is bringing someone back from the dead. The important condition spells are on their spell list. Pick up a Mnemonic Vestment if you can and keep some scrolls with the condition removal spells and you should be good for most part. If you are human use the favored class bonus for extra spells. I would eventually take cure light wounds as a first level spell, but probably not put a lot more than that into spells known.
It depends on what you want to focus on. If you want mainly a rogue with minimal healing an archeologist bard is probably your best bet. The cure spells are on their list so wands will do most of the work. They also have a good charisma and UMD as a class skill for using scrolls for condition removal. The archeologist bard is probably the best “Thief” in the game. They even get rogue talents, but not as many, and at a latter levels.
If you want a divine rogue that would be an inquisitor. They have nearly the same number of skill points as a rogue but also have several skills that they get bonus equal to half their level. Take improved monster lore and they are probably the second best skill monkey in the game after a bard. The inquisitor will also be better at combat than either the bard or the rogue. Bane and latter greater bane will more reliable than sneak attack anyways.
Readying an action simply means you are prepared to do one specific action if you notice the triggering action. Since you have prepared you can interrupt the person performing the action. You still have to be able to perform the action when the trigger occurs. A good GM will look at your intentions to determine when the event occurs. If in doubt the GM should ask for a clarification. If you are casting an area of effect spell when someone enters the corridor with the intention of damaging them I would wait until they are actually in the area before you spell goes off. If the on the other hand you are casting a wall of stone to block the entrance you spell would go off before they enter the area.
Human communication will triumph rules at this point.
What are you trying to get out of the arcane trickster? If you want a magical thief than an archeologist bard is probably better than an arcane trickster. I don’t think this is what you are going for but without further information on what you are looking to get out of the class then it is hard to give any useful advice.
A couple things to keep in mind are that the duergar are an evil race. This does not mean you have to be evil, or that you cannot be a paladin, but it does mean you have rejected many of the attitudes or your race. Duergar for example commonly hold slaves and probably are cruel hard masters. This is probably not something you will be able to keep and remain a paladin.
Playing out the duergar racial prejudices is probably going to be ok as long as you don’t go overboard. You are fine treating surface dwarves with some contempt, but will still deal with them fairly. You may not trust them, but you will not cheat them or betray them. Hatred of the drow is probably not an issue since they are also an evil race, but even vs the drow you will still have to act with honor.
Bad role playing is not going to make your character fall, but bad GMing is another story. What will cause a paladin to fall is knowingly committing an evil act, or breaking the paladin’s code. It is probably a good idea to sit down and have a talk with your GM about what your code is and how he defines it.
Dwarves have traditionally regarded all other races as lesser being. You simply extend this attitude towards non-duergar dwarves. I can see your character being somewhat arrogant and thinking he is better than anyone else. This probably means that when you see something wrong you feel that you need to fix it. Play up the whole with great power come great responsibility angle, but don’t be humble about it.
The undead still disappear when the duration of the spell ends. Command undead does not alter that it simply allows you to control them. I suppose that technically you are they are still under your control, but since they are no longer there it does not matter.
If command undead works the way you think it does all necromancers would be able to summon up permanent undead minions with low level spells.
I was working on a NPC write up for a Catfolk Bard that dips one level of oracle of lore. The Idea is to have a character that is dumber than dirt but can answer any question. I will be taking the Lore Keeper revelation to make all knowledge skills CHA based, but also noticed the Focused Trance. Focused trance allows you to gain a +20 circumstance bonus to any INT based skill. My question is does Focused Trance work on knowledge skill if you have the Lore Keeper revelation. Since they are both revelations of the same mystery it would make since that they can be used together.
With an inquisitor, and possibly a ranger you party will not be lacking on skills. You also have characters that are able to fight in both melee and ranged. What this party is lacking is arcane spell casting. The alchemist’s big problem is that his extracts only affect himself. A full arcane caster may be of more use to the party. If you want to do the rogue you may want to consider an archeologist bard instead.
Gambling is a group activity that a lot of people enjoy, and there is nothing inherently evil about it. Losing money is part of the game so punishing a paladin for keeping the money is a real poor move on the GM part.
A friendly poker game like any other entertainment can strengthen the bonds of a group. From the sounds of it you have never gotten together with a bunch of friends for poker night. Even if you lose you end up bragging about it. As long as he is not cheating or betting on evil things he is good. Betting money for example is fine, betting that someone becomes your slave would not be ok.
The stat the skill is based on is only one of the factors that add to the skill. The class skill bonus is still +3 which mean that a skill monkey with a 10 Wisdom will still have +4 without any other bonuses. Most clerics don’t have the extra skill points to pump perception every level so only have an advantage for the first few levels anyways. Elves and half elves also get a bonus to perception so either of those races will start out with at least a +6 in perception.
The Ranger usually has decent wisdom and dexterity and also have a couple of archetypes that get trapfinding.
From the sound of it this is an extremely high level character. He probably has 13 or more level in monk plus levels in barbarian. I suspect that the GM does not intend for you to defeat him at this point. If that is the case there may be some story related way to deal with him.
The monk’s defenses vs magic are pretty high so trying to find the spell that is going work is going to be difficult. You will need to find a spell that does not allow a save, or magic resistance. Good luck with that. What will work better is focusing your party on boosting your best ranged character. An archer paladin would probably be the best person for the job. Have the rest of the party cast their spells on him. Even with the AC the monk has that is probably the best way to deal with him.
At early levels there is not much difference between the classes. Your stats matter more than your class for the first couple of levels. Around 4th level or so you start to see the differences in the classes become more apparent. Also not all classes are equal. The rogue is mechanically the weakest class so the power level between him and the fighter is only going to get worse. The cleric and the wizard are strong classes but there strength lies in other area not straight up combat.
Your GM’s mistake is thinking that he needs to balance things vs. the strongest member of the party instead of the average. Instead of challenging you on your strong points he should be playing of your weak points. As a fighter your weak spot is probably your will save so if he wants to challenge you add something with spell that target your will save. A hold person cast against you can easily take you out of the fight. That same spell is not going to be much trouble for the wizard or the cleric.
This will also give the other characters a chance to shine. By focusing on your strengths he is ignoring theirs. He needs to be looking at more than just AC, HP and damage for his encounters. Having more encounters that are not solved with combat will also help.
If you have a small party a paladin is probably the better choice. They may do less damage then the fighter (except when fighting evil), but they have a lot better survivability. In a larger party you can probably count on others for buffs and protections, but in a small party you may not have that luxury.
The Paladin has a huge advantage of survivability over the fighter. Better saves and immunities means he will be a lot harder to take out of the fight. The paladin’s ability to heal as a swift action is going to keep you alive and fighting when the fighter is dead or dying. If the primary healer is down being able to bring him back up so he can heal the group is a very important thing.
The switch hitter ranger can do both ranged and melee combat so that is also an option.
I realize dragons were not real. My point was that when guns came on the scene the world started to change. Prior to guns wolves for example were a lot more terrifying and seemed more supernatural. Once guns became common man became the most efficient predator and began to fear the world less. People stopped believing in the old ways and looked for rational explanations for what superstition had explained. This in turn led to more scientific discoveries which reduced superstition even more. Ultimately this is a good thing, but at times we all miss the idea that magic is real.
Looking back at history you will see that when guns became common is exactly when the legends of dragons and such started to die off. It is also when a lot of normal animals started to become a lot less of a threat to humans. A lot of people are of the opinion that guns are unrealistically overpowered, and need to be toned down. For the most part if you are not a gunslinger guns are not that good. If you are a gunslinger they become a lot more deadly. Honestly I think this is fairly accurate and makes a lot of sense. In the hands of someone trained they are devastating which is why they eventually replaced all other weapons.
This is the reason I do not allow guns in my game. That being said I think it is a bad move to nerf something mid campaign. Changing the rules in the middle of a campaign without informing the player beforehand is a really low class move.
I can see magical means of protection against guns being developed. If the dragon has a spell that allows him to apply his natural armor vs guns that is a different story.
It sounds more like you are a Neutral Good cleric than a Lawful Good cleric.
It all depends on what you mean by lying. If you are careful to never tell an outright lie, and just bend the truth and remain silent so people draw the wrong conclusion you could be fine. Some of the best manipulator are lawful in alignment because they know how to say one thing while meaning another. This is more common with Lawful Evil, but even Lawful Good characters can do this.
I think it come down to more of an alignment issue than a problem with the paladin’s code.
If you have Hero Labs the tactical console can keep track of nearly everything and automatically adjust the stats for you. It also gives you all the information on the characters, and monsters so you do not have to ask the player, or look it up. I have a copy of every player character loaded into a portfolio and for this reason. A couple of mouse clicks and I have the current stats of any character so if they don’t know what their ability does I just look on their character and tell them.
One other thing that has not been brought up is the halflings favored class bonus. +1\2 per level to pass, or gather information and to disguise yourself as a human, elven or half elven child While not earth shattering adds up.
Also bards have the lots of enchantment spells that allow them to boost their ability to manipulate people. Charm person makes a previously hostile person friendly. What can a rouge do that is better than that? Sow thought allows you to plant an idea that the person thinks is their own. Again what can a rogue do that is anywhere close to that? Detect thoughts allows you to read someone’s mind. If you think the honeyed tongue rogue ability is nice look at the spell. It allows you to roll twice for diplomacy rolls and take the higher roll and it last for 10 minutes per level.
With the archeologist bard not even rogue talents are off limits. True they do not get as many a rogue, but they can take extra rogue talents if they need to.
In short there is nothing a rogue can do on the social end that bard cannot do better.
An Archeologist bard can out do this every time. He can all the same feats and tricks but can add some extra that the rogue cannot match. The spells Innocence, Heroism, Misdirection and Glibness are all bard spells. Innocence gives him a +10 competency bonus to appear innocent, Heroism gives him a +2 moral bonus on all skills, and Glibness gives him a+ 20 untyped bonus to bluff. Both Misdirection and Glibness can overcome magic to detect the truth with misdirection flat out preventing it from being detected. With Fates Favored the archeologist luck bonus at 7th level will be +3 so he acutally comes out ahead in the straight numbers.