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Mysterious Stranger's page

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First of all there are two things going on here. The first is that you have added two extra players to the group. This alone will cause you to have to rethink your tactics. Two players may not seem like that big of a deal but your party’s resources just increased by 50%. By resources I mean actions per round, HP and all the other things players are able to do. This will have a big impact on the game no matter what class the players choose. The game is based on the idea of a party of 4, any variation of that will require adjustment. If instead of gaining two player you had lost two players would you keep throwing the same type of challenges out. What would challenge a party of four will slaughter a party of two.

The second thing you have is the new characters are seemingly more powerful than your existing players. Most of your players are playing classes that do not have to worry about running out of their main resource. Only the wizard really depends on a pool of limited resources. A wizard without spells is basically a commoner with a few tricks. The barbarian does have a limited number of rounds of rage per day, but even without rage they are not useless. The ranger and the rouge are generally effective as long as they have the HP to continue. The magus has two pools of resources he depends on the first being his spells, the second his arcane pool. Once those are gone they become a lot less effective.

You also seem to be unwilling to adjust your play style to account for the changes in the party. With all due respect you have no choice but to adjust your play style. This does not mean you have to completely abandon the idea of the BBEG at the end of the adventure. While you will need to modify that some what you really need to do is to adjust the rest of the adventure. You need more encounters to drain away the resources so that going into the end battle they are low on resources.

You also need to change the nature of the challenges so they have to carefully plan what spell they take. Use challenges that require more than just a shocking grasp to overcome. Most magus spells tend to focus on combat, but they have other spells. Make sure they have some of those spells and create situations where they are needed. Every expeditious retreat or invisibility they memorize is one less shocking grasp they have. The wizard has many if not all these spells so create situations where they need multiple of the same spell. Maybe the who party needs to be invisible to sneak past some challenge.

Yea there are a couple of things you are not seeing. The first is cavaliers challenge. Adding your level to damage even a limited times per day is very good, and each order gives an additional benefit. At low level this may not seem all that good, but once you get past 5th level it becomes very good. At high levels it becomes even better.

Second is the ability to grant your allies your teamwork feats. Teamwork feats are usually ignored unless you are an inquisitor. The cavalier can give the whole party the teamwork feat. Take shake it off for a bonus to all saves.

You are also forgetting about the order abilities some of which can be very useful. Being able to grant all allies within 30 of you your CHA bonus to hit and damage is something a fighter cannot do.

While a fighter can use feats to gain bonus for skills, but this uses up his feats so he ends up not being able to use them for other things. Also cavaliers not only get more skill points they get more class skills and have all the important social skills.

Where a cavalier shines is in single combat. If you need to take down a tough opponent by melee combat no other class except maybe a paladin will be a better champion. Unlike the paladin the cavalier is not limited by the alignment of his opponent. The cavalier does equally well vs a good opponent as he does an evil one. A 10th level cavalier will easily defeat a 10th level fighter in single combat.

The problem with multicasting is it really weakens the character especially spell casters. You have already invested 4 levels in Skald so this is more than a dip. Any spell casting class will now be 4 levels behind in spells and class abilities. Each level of spells are significantly more powerful than the last. It may seem like having twice the number of second level spells is as good as having third level spells but it is really not the case.

If you really want to multiclass you may want to look into Dragon Disciple. You get the Draconic bloodline and some extra stats and abilities. It also increases your existing spell casting so you would progress as a Skald instead of diluting your spell casting. Turning into a dragon just seems appropriate for a Viking based character. You don’t even have to take all the levels take as few or as many as you want.

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Does it have to be barbarian? A Skald would get you Ragin Song and allow you to grant inspired rage to the rest of the party. Talk to him and see if that is an option. As a cleric you probably have the CHA so you will get a few low level spells out of it.

Generally it is better to remain a single class then to multiclass. This is especially true with spell casters. Each new spell level is significantly stronger than the last so while you may have more spells with two classes, you lose more power than you gain. Both of these classes also have a lot of level dependent class features so make poor choices for multiclassing. Of all classes these are probably the worst to multiclass with.

Nature domain will grant an animal companion, but be sure to pick up boon companion.

All these are burning skeletons

103. Streetlights

104. Space Heaters

105. Portable bonfires (Bring marshmallows)

106. Eternal fuel for ovens and spits for cooking.

Agile maneuvers is the worst feat to take for a Roc. When it becomes large it’s STR increases and its DEX decreases. This will result in a decrease of your CMB. Dodge is not bad anything that increases touch AC is always useful. Seriously though Iron Will is going to be a lot more useful than any other feat it qualifies for at that level. Devotion gives a bonus only for enchantments not all will saves. It does not help vs illusions and most fear based spells. Strangely enough almost all fear spells are necromancy instead of enchantment.

Since animals have a poor will save Iron Will is always good. Skill focus fly may also be worth taking to counter the -2 size adjustment for fly when it becomes large.

A projectile weapon does damage when it hits. The target of a shrink item reverts back to its normal size after it hits. All arguments about inertia and speed are irreverent since at the moment of impact when the bolt actually does damage it is still medium sized. Only after it has stuck the target and done damage does it revert to it proper size.

I could see a bolt changing size while in something may cause additional damage, but there are no rules for if a projectile weapon is still in the target or not. I would simply have it hit the target and bounce of, then grow to proper size.

As to how to handle the player simply tells him you are the GM and this is your ruling. If he continues to argue tell him Fiat voluntas mea. All official game ruling should always be done in Latin.

Assuming you don’t know what you are up against I would recommend a warpriest and magus combination. Both of these have a good mix of magic and mundane abilities. More importantly they both have good fortitude and will saves. At this level you have to worry about spells like baleful polymorph and dominate person. Any character who cannot deal with these will probably lose.

They both have a good mix of normal combat and magic. Both are actually designed to do both at the same time. The magus gets spell combat and spell strike, the warpriest gets swift action fervor which allows you to use a swift action to either cast a buff spell, or heal. At this level you will be getting 4th level spells vs. the 5th level spells of the full casters. The other abilities you get more than make up for that at this point.

The action economy is in your favor. Both characters get the equivalent of two actions per round which is going to be a big advantage.

In the description of the spell it states[ b] If the die roll fails, you know the spell failed, unless specific magic yielding false information is at work.[/b] So if the magic being used simply conceals the information you know that something is blocking you. If on the other hand the magic being used returns false information you get that information.

So a spell like undetectable alignment would not return the information, but they would know they are being blocked by something. A spell similar to misdirection on the other hand could return false information. I realize that neither of these spell will actually work on divination but the principle remains.

The really ambiguous question is what happens if the roll succeeds and there is magic blocking it?

Knowing the rules is a shared responsibility. A player should be familiar with all his own abilities and any rules that he plans to use. A GM should be familiar with the general rules and the rules for any creatures he plans to use. A good GM will also be familiar with the abilities of his character.

Basically read up on the things you plan to use or expect to have used against you. It really does not take that long to read over the rules for each class that your players will be using. You don’t need to memorize it but should have a good idea on how it works. Spell especially for prepared divine casters are the hard part. You don’t need to know everything just what will be used in the game you are running.

What it really comes down to is do you want to be a more powerful at combat, or more versatile out of combat. Slayers get full BAB, martial weapons and both light and medium armor. If you are not going to be using martial weapons or wearing medium armor that a slayer may not be the best choice. Since you are focusing on daggers the unchained rogue is probably better.

Take the Knife Master archetype for the d8 sneak attack. Skill focus stealth will allow you to get Hellcat Stealth after 6th level. For traits the best thing you can do is pick up one that improves your Will save.

I assume you meant neutral rather than natural, but even so there are still some good cleric spells for a neutral cleric. Since you don’t have real alignment restriction you can summon up any creature. This means summon monster is actually more versatile. Clerics get all the summon monster spells including summon monster 7. You also have greater bestow curse, and destruction. As long as you pick a true neutral deity your alignment works in your favor. As a true neutral cleric of a true neutral deity you have access to all alignment based spells. You are the only person in the game who can memorize both holy and unholy word.

RJGrady wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
For DR(no clustered shots feat) take 10 from the weapon damage you will enter for each iterative attack. The final result will be the numbers you post here.
That doesn't really work for DR when DR is a real problem. If I'm doing 1d8 damage, my average damage is 4.5. If I'm attacking DR 5, what's my average damage per hit?
0.75 hp.

You are forgetting about STR. Since this whole thread is about a melee specialist using a bow as a backup he is going to have a decent STR. By the time flying creatures become a threat the player will be able to afford a bow with a STR bonus. Most melee focused characters have 18+ STR. That brings your average damage up to 8.5, or 3.5 after DR 5. Bow also have a x3 critical multiplier, so on a critical hit that brings the damage up to 25.5.

Compared to his normal damage this is not really all that much, but the point is it is better than nothing. The whole idea behind a backup is to use it when all else has failed. If you have to fall back to your backup you are already in a bad way. The idea is to prevent it from becoming worse. The best example is a company’s backup of their computer data. If they have to use the backup their hard drive has completely failed including the R.A.I.D., at this point the backup is their last shot at preventing total disaster.

Champion path
Any mythic paladin should take mythic smite. It allows you to spend a mythic point to regain a smite evil. This is probably the best mythic ability for a paladin. This also means if you want something from another path you need to take the mythic feat dual path.

Marshall Path
Clarion Call allows you to grant your active smite to all allies within 30’ against the same target. Smiting Aura allows you to damage all evil creatures with 20’ of you. It does damage equal to your tier and last 1 round per tier.

Hierophant Path (Not paladin specific but still good)
Relentless Healing allow you to bring someone back from the dead with normal healing. Divine Countenance makes creatures within one step of your alignment attitude one step better.

Universal Path (Obviously not paladin specific)
Legendary Item to make your weapon a minor artifact, and get unstoppable strike.

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Never say never! I have purposely throw low level threats at the party that they can handle without pulling out the big guns. Then latter in the adventure had encounters where that item would have made a big difference. The key is using the appropriate tool for the job at hand. After the first couple of times this happened, the party started to use better tactics. It’s now gotten to the point where they have become very good at conserving their resources and often end up with more to use at the capstone of the adventure.

I think it really comes down to the style of the GM. If the GM only has encounters with level appropriate challenges and does not push the party to the limit then you don’t need to worry about a bow. What I mean by level appropriate challenges is not using a creature that is too tough, but just the opposite. I often throw in lower level encounters for the sake of realism. These are usually minor random skirmishes or to get the party thinking it will be a cake walk. Sometimes throwing large numbers of lower level creatures actually make it interesting.

I also like to push the party so there are plenty of tough encounters. In many cases by the end of the adventure half the party is down and most of the resources have been used. In my games being well prepared is not just a good idea it is a necessity. But no matter how well you prepare there will be thing you did not count on. Combining these two tactics makes the party have to really think about what they are using. If you use up the potion of flying to take care of the weak threat you may not have it vs the tougher threat.

Dealing with the lack of magic items is actually simple. Use the automatic bonus progression from Pathfinder Unchained. There is even a no magic item variant that is exactly what you are looking for. This will give you about the same power level as if the characters were equipped with the standard magic items. What you will not get are the unusual or utility items.

The problem of no spell still remains and that is harder to deal with. Healing and condition removal is going to be the biggest problem. Normally you could use magic items when the party does not have a healer but that does not work for you. I would suggest at least allowing potions to be available to the players. Maybe the church creates healing and restoration potions at a discount like they do for holy water.

If you are going for an elemental fire sorcerer do not take any fire spells other than you bloodline bonus spells. The reason being is that you can turn any spell that deals elemental damage to fire. By choosing spells other than fire you functionally get two spells for the price of one. You have a limited number of spells so you need to make each one count.

You could take the trait dangerously curious and max out used magic device.

The spell resistance will actually work well vs minions and other minor threats. It will give you some benefit vs things around your own power level. But vs the BBEG it is nearly useless. This is especially true at high level.

A 10th level wizard makes a poor threat for a group of 10th level characters especially if they have their own 10th level wizard. So what does the GM do if he wants a wizard as the BBEG, he makes the wizard higher level. Now you are facing a 15th level wizard. Now throw in spell penetration and maybe even greater spell penetration and your spell resistance is useless.

The bonus on the saving throws will be more useful vs the BBEG than the spell resistance. The DC for the saving throws can get pretty high. The +2 may not be that impressive, but every little bit helps. Also as several other people have pointed out you can increase this number with Steel Soul and Glory of old. As a dwarf cleric your fortitude and will save are going to be good. As I pointed out earlier the spell resistance does not work well vs the BBEG, but saves do.

Look at it this way what is more important, being able to ignore the command spell of the temple acolyte, or being able to resist the major curse of the high priest? If you are worried about the acolyte take the spell resistance, but if you are more concerned with the high priest take the saves.

Rynjin wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Why do people think you have to be only melee, or only ranged? Very few classes actually are designed this way. All full BAB classes have proficiency with martial weapons. That means they are all capable of doing both melee and ranged combat. Even if you have not invested any feats in archery any character with martial weapon proficiency can pick up a composite long bow and use it. While you may not have the accuracy, rate of fire and damage as a dedicated archer you can still do something. Likewise the archer can still pull out a melee weapon and attack.

While technically true, after a certain point your piddling arrow damage with no Feats becomes useless. Especially when DR comes into play.

1d8+6 vs DR 10/Chaotic and 100+ HP is no bueno.

So, flying items become MANDATORY for anyone who isn't a dedicated archer.

I am not saying you should not get appropriate items and flying items are good to have. The whole point is not to artificially limit your character based on false premises. Some classes will be effective even when fighting tough creatures. A paladin can smite evil with any weapon, and if he has weapon bond instead of mount he can do even better. An Inquisitor can also use bane and other class abilities with any weapon. The saying “Maximum utilization of available resources” should be followed. Even in the case you stated doing 1d8 +6 still has a chance to do some damage, and that is better than standing around doing nothing. If you have a better option use it, but for good sake do something.

Mythic adds a lot to the characters but low level characters simply do not have the base to make them work properly. As was pointed out earlier the characters will have more mythic feats than regular feats. This means they will probably trade in mythic feats for regular feats. This kind of defeats the point of having mythic tiers. Also many of the mythic abilities are useless or a lot less powerful at low levels. Precision is useless before 6th level. Mythic Smite is great for a mid to higher level paladin but not as impressive on a first level paladin.

Your best bet is to stick with the suggested mythic progression. Mythic tiers are more like a force multiplier than a plain addition to power. I think a third level character with 2 mythic tiers is going to be more powerful than a 1st level character with 4 mythic tiers.

As someone running a mythic campaign I will tell you that even a few tiers of mythic can really up the power level. My characters just reached 8th level with only 2 mythic tiers. I recently brought in two new players without mythic tiers and they are totally outclassed by the mythic characters.

Hierophant has one major advantage for an inquisitor which is inspired spell. This allows you to spend a mythic point and cast any spell on your list you are capable of casting without having to use a slot. This gives you access to your entire spell list. You can always use a mythic feat for dual path and then choose the Hierophant as the second path.

Why do people think you have to be only melee, or only ranged? Very few classes actually are designed this way. All full BAB classes have proficiency with martial weapons. That means they are all capable of doing both melee and ranged combat. Even if you have not invested any feats in archery any character with martial weapon proficiency can pick up a composite long bow and use it. While you may not have the accuracy, rate of fire and damage as a dedicated archer you can still do something. Likewise the archer can still pull out a melee weapon and attack.

While a focused melee characters chance to hit and damage will be a lot lower when using a bow it still helps. The same thing is true when a archer can no longer use his bow. I have seen high level fighters dealing with low powered flying creatures complaining that they are useless. When I suggested he pick up the bow lying on the ground and use it he said his character did not know how to use a bow. It was just a random encounter with a bunch of harpies and a 10th level fighter was completely shut down because of his own fault. They have an AC of 16 and his BAB is +10 but “He did not know how use a bow”. Even on his second shot he has a 50% chance to hit from BAB alone.

Are all the characters focusing on ranged combat to the exclusion of all else? Normally this should not the case. Inquisitors usually don’t focus on a single combat style and most of their class abilities work equally well with either ranged or melee combat. Rangers are still a full BAB class with proficiency in martial weapons. Even an archery focused ranger will have a decent STR so he can easily handle melee combat. Once he gets point blank shot at 6th level it does not matter anymore. The flying blade still gets all the bonus when making a melee attack. The daring champion is probably going to have a decent DEX so will also be fairly decent with a bow.

Your party actually sounds like can covers both styles of combat very well. The problem is going to be getting the characters to realize this. Too often players get the idea that they are either melee or ranged and forget they can do both. Just make sure every character has both a melee weapon and a ranged weapon and use them when appropriate.

As several people have said your parties biggest lack is an arcane caster. Between the cleric, inquisitor and the ranger you have plenty of divine magic. Four of your six characters are competent combat classes. You have two skill based characters and two that have ok skills. What you really need is a full arcane caster.

A lot of the people who argue that because other skills allow things that are impossible in the real world bluff should also. This has a lot of validity but the thing they are forgetting is that the other skills have limits and so should bluff. Jodokai used acrobatics as an example stating that with a high enough bonus you can jump 20’ straight up which is clearly impossible in the real world. In this he is absolutely correct, but what acrobatic will not allow is jumping from the floor of the bottom of a 1000’ cliff to the top. Bluff like any other skill should be able to do amazing things with a high enough roll, but there are still limits. Too many of the people here don’t think there should be any limits. The limits on bluff should be about the same as other skills.

The other thing people seem to think is just because you bluff someone that the person will continue to believe you. No other skill works this way so why should bluff. If I make my stealth roll and you fail your perception roll you don’t see me. But if circumstances change you may be able to spot me even though I made my stealth roll. For example if I make my stealth roll and then move through an area with no cover or concealment you spot me. Bluff should work the same way. If you successfully bluff me to believe the sky is purple it works until I get a look at the sky and see it is no longer purple. I don’t become color blind because you were able to bluff me anymore than I become blind because you were able to use stealth against me.

Bluff is not a skill that has much direct use. Don’t get me wrong it can be very useful, but by itself it is not going to do much. All it does is affect what you believe, it does not affect your perceptions or directly control your actions. When you use bluff to make the guard believe you are a friend of the king what does that do. So he believes you are the kings buddy. To get him to do something would require either diplomacy or intimidate. The bluff would significantly lower the difficulty for either of those skills.

Bluff also does not prevent you from using any ability you have. So the person claiming the sky is purple can convince someone it is purple, but when the person looks he still is able to see it is blue. You could pretend it just changed back and will change to purple soon, but you can’t change his perception of color. If this was the case bluff becomes the ultimate power. All you now need to do is to roll a high enough bluff and you can convince any creature he is dead. I guess this answers the question of how to kill the Tarrasque. Now I understand why DM Blake is so worried about this thread.

To those who argue that skills at this level should be fantastic you are right, but they should still be doing what the skill does. Bluff changes a person’s belief, not their perceptions or actions. The person convinced they were a chicken still has all the abilities of a human. He does not forget how to talk or drop things he is carrying. He does suddenly lose the ability use reason and logic. He still has all the skills and abilities he had before.

Jodokai wrote:
CampinCarl9127 wrote:

Edit: I also like how your argument about skills being able to do impossible things is supplemented by haste and a ki point, a magical and a supernatural ability.

I also like how you ignored every other post I made and only concentrated on the one time I used Haste and a Ki point. Nothing to say about perception then hmm?

Okay, my monk alone has a 30 Acrobatics. He's level 11 so has a 60 move speed. that gives him a 42 jump without a single bit of magic or Ki at all. that means he can, without any type of running start, just straight up 10', and that's assuming he rolls a 1 on the d20. It also means that he can, again with no running start just stand in one spot swing his arms and leap 43 feet, or 40 feet in game terms, on a roll of 1 on the d20. So without magic or supernatural ability, or even a running start, I can destroy the world's record for long jump by 10' on a 1. Make it an average roll, and I beat it by 20'. Take out his extra movement and he still beats the world record by 1 foot, again without a running start, and just for the record, the longest standing long jump is 11'. But okay that's a monk, he's mystical. So let's take a Rogue with a 30 Acrobatics. Roll a 1 and he beats the world's record by 4 feet. Average roll (10)he beats it by 9 (for a standing long jump).

Or we can go back to perception if you wish.

I'll spoiler the Logical Fallacy argument, and your incorrect use of irony (which actually is ironic) so as not to further derail.
** spoiler omitted **...

High jump is a Ki ability even when it does not use a point of Ki. This is not different than a monks unarmed attacks being counted as magic. To say you are not using Ki is false. While the original monk does not state this explicitly both the Quinggong Monk and the Unchained Monk do state this. To say you are not using Ki or magic is false.

Play a catfolk bard with a one level dip into oracle of lore can get you CHA to knowledge skills and spend a couple of feats for extra revelations to get focused trance for a +20 circumstance bonus usable a number of times per day equal to your CHA modifier. Think on it would give you the ability to reattempt a failed knowedge check with a +10 competence bonus. The rest of the levels go straight to bard with the favored class bonus. By 20th this will allow you to get well over a hundred on a knowledge skill once a day.

One thing everyone is forgetting is that Elven Curve Blade is a martial weapon to elves so a rogue has to spend feat to get it. My build included this but most of the ones I have seen do not. Even with the feat it is still a good option for a unchained rogue.

The unchained rogue talents now have some useful talents so trading them out for combat feats is not necessary. Minor and major magic now allow multiple casting per day. With Bookish rogue you can change the spells you know. You can also now pick up greater steal without any prerequisites.

Blood Casting only works on Bloodrager spells it does not allow you to cast spells from another class. Moment of Clarity will allow you to cast any spell while raging. The inquisitor side gives plenty of magic the bloodrager really does not add much from that perspective. The Barbarian gets more rage powers, so can easily get moment of clarity and still have 3 others by 8th level. The Bloodrager would only get one other rage power by 8th level.

Here is what I came up with for a quick build. The spells for minor, and major magic can be changed as needed. For the major magic either vanish or shocking grasp will probably be the best choices. The skill unlock for perception means he has a penalty of -1 for every 20 feet instead of -1 for every 10 feet. He still has 2,770 GP to spend for whatever he wants. Probably want to spend some on scrolls so he can fill out his spell book. With 10 uses of vanish he probably will not have that hard of a time pulling of sneak attacks.

Elf Rogue
Male elf rogue (unchained) 9 (Pathfinder Unchained 20)
NG Medium humanoid (elf)
Init +6; Senses low-light vision; Perception +15
AC 23, touch 17, flat-footed 17 (+5 armor, +1 deflection, +6 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 60 (9d8+12)
Fort +9, Ref +14, Will +9; +2 vs. enchantments
Defensive Abilities danger sense +3, evasion, improved uncanny dodge; Immune sleep
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 elven curve blade +13/+8 (1d10+10/18-20)
Special Attacks sneak attack (unchained) +5d6
Rogue (Unchained) Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +8)
At will—minor magic
10/day—major magic
Str 13, Dex 22, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +6.75; CMB +7 (+11 steal); CMD 24 (26 vs. steal)

Feats Bookish Rogue[ACG], Exotic Weapon Proficiency (elven curve blade), Great Fortitude, Greater Steal, Improved Steal, Iron Will, Weapon Finesse

Traits forlorn, indomitable faith

Skills Acrobatics +15, Appraise +11, Bluff +5, Climb +7, Diplomacy +5, Disable Device +20, Disguise +5, Escape Artist +12, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (local) +8, Linguistics +8, Perception +15, Sense Motive +10, Sleight of Hand +18, Stealth +23, Swim +7, Use Magic Device +11; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception, +2 Spellcraft to identify magic item properties

Languages Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Orc, Sylvan

SQ debilitating injury: bewildered, debilitating injury: disoriented, debilitating injury: hampered, elven magic, rogue talents (combat swipe, major magic, minor magic, trap spotter), trapfinding +4
Other Gear +1 shadow mithral chain shirt, +1 elven curve blade, amulet of natural armor +1, belt of incredible dexterity +2, cloak of resistance +2, ring of protection +1, 2,770 gp
Special Abilities
Bookish Rogue By studying a spellbook for 10 min, you can change your minor magic spell.
Danger Sense +3 (Ex) +3 bonus on reflex saves and AC against traps.
Debilitating Injury: Bewildered -2/-4 (Ex) Foe who takes sneak attack damage takes AC pen (more vs. striker) for 1 rd.
Debilitating Injury: Disoriented -2/-4 (Ex) Foe who takes sneak attack damage takes attack pen (more vs. striker) for 1 rd.
Debilitating Injury: Hampered (Ex) Foe who takes sneak attack damage has speed halved (and can't 5 ft step) for 1 rd.
Elven Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Elven Magic +2 to spellcraft checks to determine the properties of a magic item.
Evasion (Ex) If you succeed at a Reflex save for half damage, you take none instead.
Greater Steal Foe doesn't realize you've stolen from him until after combat.
Improved Steal You don't provoke attacks of opportunity when stealing.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Lv >=13) (Ex) Retain DEX bonus to AC when flat-footed. You cannot be flanked unless the attacker is Level 13+.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Major Magic (Vanish, 10/day) (Sp) Gain the chosen 1st-level spell as a spell-like ability.
Minor Magic (Detect Magic, At will) (Sp) Gain the chosen cantrip as a spell-like ability.
Sneak Attack (Unchained) +5d6 Attacks deal extra dam if flank foe or if foe is flat-footed.
Trap Spotter (Ex) Whenever you come within 10' of a trap, the GM secretly rolls for you to find it.
Trapfinding +4 Gain a bonus to find or disable traps, including magical ones.

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You are spending too much on weapons. You have a magic weapon and three masterwork weapons two of which are made of special materials. You are also spending an extra 850 GP for your chain shirt to be made out of mithral. All that really does for you is give you 0 armor check penalty instead of -1. I assume the bow is allows you to use your STR bonus which would cost 600 GP. For what you invested you could have picked up a ring of protection +1. It may only be +1 AC but every point helps at this point.

Since you are a ninja you may want to consider using shuriken instead of a bow. They may only do 1d2 points of damage, but a short bow only does 1d6. That is only 2 points of damage on the average difference. Shuriken allow you to add your STR bonus without spending extra money. They can also be used with sneak attack and Ki Attack. They also count as ammunition for purpose of drawing so you can draw and throw them as needed. Start out hidden or invisible and throw one for 1d2+3 +3d6 sneak attack. Since they only take one hand to throw you can still have the katana in the other hand. If you get surprise you can use a point of Ki to get an extra attack and sneak attack twice. Then either do it again or use the katana to melee. This allows you to be a switch hitter without spending any feats including quick draw.

There are a couple of things you should keep in mind. First of all unless you are able to fire a bow without provoking an attack of opportunity there will be times you cannot use the bow. Second ranged sneak attacks are often difficult to achieve. Third to use skirmisher you have to move at least 10’ which prevents you from getting a full attack. Archery usually relies on getting extra attacks due to rapid shot and multi shoot.

Your AC is low for a front liner, but I am not seeing that you invested anything to improve it. Rings of protection and amulets of natural armor are not that expensive. You may want to invest some of your wealth in those. Unless you are a fighter or a ranger there is also no reason you cannot do both ranged and melee combat. A lot of people get it in their head that to do archery you have to be an expert with a heavy investment in feats. While having all the archery feats does make you a better archer all you really need is proficiency with the bow and a reasonable DEX.

I would suggest one of two paths. The first would be taking Paulicus’s suggestion and going for Hellcat Stealth. This would benefit you in both melee and ranged combat as you could get a sneak attack on either. You could disappear and then move 10’ and either use a melee attack or the bow. Second if you really want to go archery consider picking up Shot on the Run. Since you are not going to be getting a full attack this would allow you to snipe more effectively. You could start out hiding behind some cover and then move and fire when you have a clear shot, and then move to another location where you have cover. If you could pick up both it would be even better. Than you could start out under cover, move and attack and then disappear. You could also do this with melee with spring attack.

Since you are playing a worshiper of Ragathiel whose domain includes rage why not go with something that can actually rage. A Barbarian/Inquisitor would actually work well. The Armored Hulk archetype would give you heavy armor proficiency which would allow you to use mithral full plate when you can afford it.

Your alignment would have to be neutral good, but that would explain why you deserted.

Don’t spend the feat for combat expertise. Use it for extra revelation and chose maneuver mastery. Not only does it not require combat expertise you get greater dirty fighting at 11th level and are effectively a full BAB with this maneuver.

This was the normal method in earlier edition of D&D. It was mostly abounded for good reason. The biggest problem is that it leads to large imbalances between the players. In 1st edition AD&D it was not so bad because stats were not that important. Your race and class was more important than stats. In pathfinder stats are very important especially at low levels.

Consider an elven wizard with a 18 STR vs a fighter with a 10 STR. At first level the elf will be better at using a long sword than the fighter. Around 4th to 5th level the fighter will start to pull ahead of the wizard.

Totally random stats sound like fun, but the big problem is that you don’t get to play the type of character you want. Some games even went as far as rolling for the equivalent of your class. If your players are good with this type of game then great, but be prepared for some buyer’s remorse.

Actually this may work well, but not until mid-level. What you do is to use your normal feats for extra revelations to make up for the lack of revelations this archetype has. The problem is going to be in the lower levels. Since you don’t get your first revelation until 3rd level you can’t take extra revelation until 3rd level. The first two levels will be the toughest since most oracle of battle take skill at arms at first level. You will probably need to take power attack to meet the requirements for a lot of feats so the build really comes online around 5th to 7th level. This allows you the best of both worlds.

Actually bluff can convince a person he is a chicken, but will not convince him to act a like a chicken. The thing to remember about bluff is it does not force you to take any actions. That requires different skills. The skills to force someone to act in a particular manner are intimidate and diplomacy.

A person with a very high bluff could easily convince another person they are actually a chicken that had been turned into a human. In the real world this would be extremely difficult but in a fantasy world it is actually a lot more reasonable. There are spells that can actually turn a chicken into a person. But this person would not start clucking and pecking the grounds looking for worms. With intimidate you could force a person to cluck and peck at the ground. I think even DM Blake would agree if someone had an assault rifle trained on him and told him to cluck like act like a chicken or die, he would be clucking and pecking on the ground just like anyone else. Likewise you could use diplomacy to cause someone to act like a chicken in this case it would probably be along the lines of a joke. Even DM Blake may play along with a joke to act like a chicken for a good laugh.

Magic will be able to achieve things that skills cannot, but skills are not useless. Magic for the most part is highly limited in either scope or duration, and sometimes both at once. Dominate Person can make a person do nearly anything but only affects one person and has a limited duration. Mass Hold Monster only affects a limited number of creatures and lasts 1 round per level. In each case the caster is limited in how many times per day they can cast the spell. There are ways to increase this number, but it is still limited.

Skills on the other hand have not limits to how often they can be used, and in many cases no limit to how many people they can affect. With bluff I can affect any number of people and there is no real limit on how long it lasts. As someone earlier in the thread brought up you can affect entire nations for years with bluff. Show me a spell that affects that many people for that long. With bluff I could convince an entire town that I a great wizard who will turn them all into toads if they don’t give me what I want. Strangely enough an actual wizard may have a harder time pulling this off.

For those that say a character with 20 ranks of bluff should be able to perform supernatural acts, the rules already support this. Sill unlocks often allow you to perform almost supernatural abilities. This does require the use of Pathfinder Unchained. The 15 rank skill unlock for bluff allows you to fool magical detection. At this point you can be a chaotic evil character and fool the paladin into thinking you are a good person. You can also lie and detect lies or zone of truth may not catch you. At 20 skill ranks you are able to cast suggestion with a full round action. You can pretty much do this all day long and it even works in a anti magic field.

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Hero Lab can actually help a lot. When I run I have all the characters entered in my system and use the tactical console for combat. This allows me to apply spells and conditions to not only the players but the enemies. It also has a dice roller built in that I can use to make attacks and saves. This works really well for combats that have lots of lower level creatures. One click and I can roll 20 saves, or 20 attacks and just go down the line. It also allows me to look up any ability or spell the character has quickly and easily.

I have found that the biggest slowdown in combat is actually the GM. It makes sense because as a GM you have to keep track of a lot more than the players. The players only have to keep track of their character and maybe a companion or cohort. I have to keep track of everything else. Anything I can do to speed up my end really helps. When I take too long the players start to get distracted. I can’t really blame them because watching someone read a rule book or stat block is boring.

The other thing I do is make sure I know what monsters will be used for the game and familiarize myself with what they can do. More importantly I also make sure I know what the characters can do. For example if you have a druid in the group make sure you understand how wild shape works. The last thing you need is to have to stop the game to look up how a class feature works.

Spells are another thing that you need to be familiar with. Spontaneous casters are not that much of a problem because they have a limited number of spells so you know what they can do. Prepared arcane casters have more spells, but still have limit. Prepared divine casters are the worst to keep track of as they know every spell on their list. Before a game begins I require my prepared casters to state what spells they have memorized and to inform me on any changes they make during the list. If the spell is one I am not familiar with I glance over it quickly before the game.

Proper GM prep goes a long way to keeping the game moving. If your game is moving along at a good pace your players are more likely to pay attention.

Rogar Stonebow wrote:

Being able to get someone to believe something is completely different from making someone do something.

The sky is blue, but there are hundreds of variants of the color blue that incorporates other colors. One particular color being purple. The particular shade we are looking at in the sky just happens to have a name synonymous with purple. Hence the sky is purple.

As an example above it is quite feasible to get someone who is gullible to possibly believe the above statement. Gullible meaning a low sense motive.

As far as getting a guard to let you on the base, it depends a lot on the guard. A successful bluff roll will get the guard to believe you. However it will be successful diplomacy roll to get the guard to allow you to enter the base without proper documentation.

You are completely correct in that bluff does not actually allow you to directly cause a person to do anything. That would be either diplomacy or intimidate, both of which have rules for getting people to do what you want. You could use bluff to indirectly cause someone to act, but you will have limited control over the actions.

Most of the examples given in this thread should have been using different skills besides bluff to get the target to act. Both the general’s lunch and the mission from the gods would use intimidate. In both cases you are threating the person with a higher power. Intimidate actually specifies the help will be limited and that the target will not put themselves in danger. Diplomacy allows you to do more, but also states it fails if it goes against the creature’s values or nature.

If you use bluff to convince the guard that the king is an imposter he could react in a number of different ways. You have no control over which one he chooses to do. Once he believes you, you could use diplomacy or intimidate to get him to act the way you want.

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One thing to keep in mind that bluffs does not prevent someone from using a skill or ability they have, that includes perception. So even if you convince someone the sky is different color all they have to do is make the appropriate perception roll. In this case probably a DC of -20 to notice the color of the sky. If they cannot see the sky for some reason then that is different.

Another thing that people are forgetting about is skill unlocks. The rank 20 skill unlock for bluff allows you to use the equivalent of suggestion on a person that lasts up to an hour. This is supposed to be the ultimate use of bluff. So to allow someone to exceed this with a simple roll is simply wrong. So if you have 20 ranks in bluff and have the skill unlock for bluff you can indeed convince someone the sky is purple and he will believe it for an hour. If you don’t have 20 ranks and the skill unlock then you will be able to fool the person as long as he is not able to see the sky.

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Jodokai wrote:

I agree with most of what Mysteroius Stranger said. I don't make Fighters role-play their attack sequence and then say "Meh you didn't impress me, you don't get to attack this round" so I don't do the same to social skills.

The part I disagree with is that I believe Bluff can convince someone that the sky is purple even if they're looking right at it. To understand my reason, let's look at something more quantifiable than Bluff, let's look at Perception.

I have an 11th level character that has a 35 to perception. If we look at the perception chart, if my character rolls a 1 on a perception check he can hear a bow being drawn from the other side of a 1 foot think wall. Or, again if he rolls a 1, he could sense a creature burrowing underneath him while he was asleep. Now I don't know about you, but that seems pretty far into the realm of superhuman. If perception can do that, why not bluff?

Bluff says that if they lie is impossible, i.e. the sky is purple, then your opponent gets +20 to his sense motive. The chart also says that if you possess convincing proof, you get +10, but I also take that to mean if the opponent has convincing proof that you're lying, like seeing a blue sky, they get +10. So if your Bluff can beat your opponents sense motive check +30, then yes they believe the sky is purple. I mean is that really any more far fetched than being able to hear a bow being drawn through a foot thick wall?

If you're still not convinced consider the real world example of a man who convinced an entire country all their problems were caused not by a war they just lost and the harsh treaty imposed on them, but by a group of religious people.

Bluff does not allow you to permanently alter a person’s perception. Just like perception does not allow you to continue to hear every move of the person behind the wall. Yes you made your perception roll so you heard him draw the bow; this does not mean you can continue to hear him. Each new situation requires the use of the skill. So the initial bluff roll convinced him the sky is purple, but now he is looking at it. If you stayed there and continued to bluff him then maybe you could keep him believing the sky is purple. Once you leave your bluff is no longer in effect, unless he has not had a chance to confirm it.

If you have the skill unlock for bluff that changes things.

darth_borehd wrote:

Rogue with max ranks in UMD, Bluff, Disguise, and Diplomacy. Use magical items like wands or scrolls for he magic support.

A bard can do all of this and will have better knowledge skills. A spy is going to need knowledge sills to be effective. He will obviously need knowledge local, but will also need knowledge religion, knowledge geography, knowledge history, and knowledge nobility. Other knowledge's will also be useful especially knowledge arcana and knowledge planes. A spy who does not recognize the duke of an important kingdom or even the kingdom he comes from is a pretty poor spy. The only knowledge the rogue gets as class skills are local and dungeoneering. The same is true when the spy cannot figure out what deity a cleric serves or anything about the deity.

Being a spy is about gathering and using information. In this the bard is unequaled. A 8th level bard with a moderate (12) INT has a +5 in every knowledge sill without spending a point. If he puts in a single point in every skill he has a +9. The rogue needs to spend 34 points to get the +5, and 72 points to get the +9. This does not even take lore master into account. The ability to take 20 on a knowledge skill will be invaluable to a spy.

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Brew Bird wrote:
It's a GM's call thing. I'm running a campaign right now with a player who specializes in bluff, and my ruling is that he can't just roll a bluff check. He has to actually role-play out telling a convincing story. If he can do that, I let him make the check. If not, I don't even let him try. So far it's worked out well, it rewards role play and prevents ridiculous situations.

One of the main points of role playing games is to play a character that has skills and abilities you lack. What happens when someone without good social skills wants to play a charismatic social manipulator? Do you make someone who wants to climb a wall or use acrobatics perform similarly?

Requiring them to role play the situation is fine, but only allowing them to roll if they succeed in a skill they may not have is in my opinion poor role playing. What I do is to have them state what they are saying and then let them roll. If they succeed at the role that alone determines if they succeed. I adjust what they actually say depending on how well they succeed. A character should not get the benefits of a player’s skill. People complain when a player uses out of character knowledge so why is this any different.

The way I run it when someone successfully bluffs someone the other person will at least consider what the other person is saying is true. They are unsure enough that they will at least check to see if it is true. In the case where someone is saying the sky is purple they will at least glance up to see if the sky is purple. When they see that it is not they obviously don’t still believe it. If it they were telling the kings body guard the king was an imposter they would at least seek to confirm this. The person who was bluffed is not required to act on the situation unless it was a situation they would normally act on. Convincing someone the sword you have is magical is not going to make them buy it, unless they would normally buy a magic sword.

The detective bard gives up bardic knowledge for a bonus to knowledge local, perception, sense motive and diplomacy to gather information. An archeologist bard gets all knowledges, disable device and perception. Trading a bonus to 10 skills for a bonus to 3 and half skills is bad deal.

While there may not be a lot of good core rogue talents there are at least two that a spy will find very useful. Convincing Lie allows you to use bluff by proxy. This is great for manipulating other into doing your dirty work. Obfuscate Story allows prevent someone from passing on information. But the most useful is probably Rumormonger which you gain access to at 12 level. Between Convincing Lie and Rumor Monger you will have a great deal of control over events without anyone being aware of your actions.

Skill unlocks are great and can be useful, but they can’t compare to high level spells. Some of them actually allow you to use spell without actually being a caster, but the level of the spells are usually fairly low and you don’t get them till high level. The archeologist bard can actually use a skill unlock if he spends the feat. True he is limited to a single skill instead of getting multiple skills.

The bard’s spells give him an advantage the rogue simply cannot match. Spells like detect thoughts, scrying , legend lore, and greater scrying allow you to get information the rogue could never get. Throw in some enchantment and illusion and you don’t even need to show yourself.

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Instead of hating other races you should pity them. It’s not their fault they were born as animals instead of people. Your “noble” goal is to transform all “thinking” creatures into elves. The fact that they may not want to is of no consequence because obviously they are not rational, or they would be elves. You as a superior creature know what is best for them.

Some of the bombs will be very useful for a witch hunter. Dispelling Bomb will work very well vs spell casters. Bombs also work well summoned creatures that the casters are going to be using.

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