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Matthew Downie wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
My question is why a group of adventures would even allow a totally incompetent character on their team. I am not taking about the players, but rather the characters.

Why wouldn't they? In fiction, teams always have a comic relief guy, a sidekick, a non-violent love interest, or a Batman character who doesn't have the powers everyone else does but relies on his wits.

If someone was willing to face the same dangers are you, and wasn't completely useless, why would you kick him out? Sure the players know that if you kick out a bad PC a better one will probably turn up the next day, but the characters don't know this.

If the character is too incompetent then he is more trouble than he is worth. I have been in situations like that in real life. It was not about combat but about a job. I had a coworker that screws up so much it was easier for me to do his work than to correct his problems. When the boss came to me about whether to keep him I told him it was more trouble fixing his mistakes and getting rid of him would actually make my job easier.

The same should happen in a game. If the character is so incompetent that he is endangering the part they would not keep him. The monk does not fall under this category no class really does, but some characters do. Those that do should not be part of the party.

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My question is why a group of adventures would even allow a totally incompetent character on their team. I am not taking about the players, but rather the characters. If the rest of the party are seriously bad ass characters who can take on things other people would not even dream of, why the hell are they going to allow butterfly boy to be part of the team?

When I run if a character does not fit the campaign I plan to run it is vetoed. Before I start a campaign I go over what type of campaign I intend to run and make sure my players are on board with what I am planning. If the players are not interested in what I want to run I either change or let someone else run. If someone creates a character that does not fit the campaign they either modify it to fit or create a new character.

If the player is not able to create a suitable character I, or someone else in the group will help them. Sometimes you simply have to tell your player that while their concept is cool it does not fit this campaign. This does not mean that all characters have to be equally competent in combat, just that the character has to be able to offer something of value to the team. One of my most memorable charters was a very poor combatant, but had a lot of noncombat abilities that where very useful.

Without the appropriate standard feat your choice of mythic feats are limited. Most of your feats do not have a mythic version so you have few choices. That is one of the reasons I suggested mythic power attack. If you really don’t want to take it you could take mythic furious focus but that would be later

Instead of Dreadful Carnage you may want to look into the marshal path ability of Castigate. It takes a swift action but you don’t even have to roll your intimidate to demoralize. Yea it is another ability taking up the swift action but it affects everyone within 30 feet and you can do it at the beginning of your turn so you gain the benefits even on the first attack.

Don't forget you also get a marshal's order at tier 1 if you are taking dual path.

You are still mixing up mythic feats and mythic path abilities. You get mythic feats on odd tiers and mythic path abilities every tier.

Dual path is a mythic feat so can be taken at tier 1, actually it is about the only mythic feat you will have access to at that tier. Take mythic smite before clarion call. Having more smites is more important than sharing them. At tier 2 you only get a mythic path ability not a feat so take clarion call then. At tier 3 your get both a mythic path ability, and a mythic feat. The only real mythic feat you qualify for is mythic power attack so you might as well take that. You can also take menacing presence as your mythic path ability at the same time. At tier 4 you only get a mythic path ability so take mythic precision. At tier 5 you can take Titans Rage and mythic intimidating powers.

Personally I would go with cornugun smash over intimidating powers, and take Mythic Paragon for your 5th tier mythic feat. The ability to demoralize as a free action is an very useful. It also works in conjunction with ancestral scorn. This will give you the ability to demoralize evil outsiders with every hit as a free action. Mythic Paragon will increase the duration of your Clarion Call and Titans Rage by two rounds

While Aura of justice allows you to share your smite evil there are some important differences. First of all it takes two smite evils and a standard action to activate. Clarion call takes a swift action and uses a mythic point instead of two smites evils. It also affects all allies within 30 feet instead of 10 feet. Also with aura of justice is the bonus is not used by the start of the next turn it is lost. Clarion call will basically allow you to share your smite evil more often and allow it to be used by more allies. It also allows you to get a full attack while sharing your smite evil.

Since your first feat is going to be fey foundling that means you don’t pick up power attack till at least 3rd level. If you gain your first mythic tier at 2nd level you will not have anything to spend your mythic feat on. That is one reason I suggested dual path. This gets you an extra mythic ability (Marshal’s Order), and the ability to choose from two paths for your path abilities. Take mythic smite as your first mythic path ability.

Keep on thing in mind about hurtful is that you only get a single swift action per round. This means you are only gaining a single extra attack. Mythic has multiple ways to get an extra attack Also many mythic abilities require a swift action to activate. Between smite evil, lay on hands and mythic abilities you may not have a swift action available to get the extra attack.

If you plan on using a two handed weapon all mythic power attack gives you is the ability to ignore the penalty to hit. If you are using a one handed weapon it boost the damage to 3 points per 4 levels which is the same as using power attack with a two handed weapon. The extra damage does not require spending a mythic point and is always active when you use power attack. But what it does do is allow you to use a shield and have near the same damage as a two handed fighter.

Even without hurtful cornugun smash is a decent feat. Being able to apply a -2 to all attacks, saves, skill checks and ability checks as a free action is well worth a feat. Your target takes these penalties vs all creatures not just you. This means that the wizard in the party has a better chance to affect the target with a spell.

What are you looking for your paladin to do?

Using a mythic feat to pick up a regular feat is a huge mistake. Take dual path instead and pick up both mythic power attack and mythic smite. You can use a mythic path ability to pick up an extra mythic feat, or the reverse. Never use mythic choices to pick normal ones.

Use your 7th level feat for cornugun smash and delay intimidating powers. You could may want to take dual path as your first mythic feat. It gives you both a champions strike and a marshal’s order so is probably the best bang for the buck.

You also seem to be confusing mythic path abilities and mythic feats. You get a path ability every tier and a mythic feat every other tier. So at tier 1 you could take dual path and pick up advance, clarion call and fleet charge. At tier 2 you can take mythic smite but you don’t get any mythic feats. Tier 3 gives you both a path ability and a mythic feat.

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Have you considered making him a war priest instead of cleric? They use wisdom for all things including channel energy. Taking the good and sun for your blessing allows you to add 1d6 damage vs evil opponents and add undead bane to a weapon after you reach 10th level. You will end up with less spells and max out at 6th level spells, but you can cast spells to buff yourself as a swift action.

Channeling energy vs undead is not as good as it sounds. The damage is only 1d6 per two levels. So at 12th level you get 6d6. The problem is that undead get good will saves, and many also have channels resistance. So more than likely they will be taking ½ damage. So now you are effectively doing 3d6 damage. That is an average of 10.5 points of damage which is not much vs a level appropriate undead. It works well vs hordes of low level undead that you want to overcome quickly.

If you do want to use channel energy vs undead take glory and sun as your domains. Glory increases the DC of the save by 2, and sun adds your level to the damage. Take the feat improved channel and the trait sacred conduit for an additional +3 to the DC. If you were playing an Aasimar you could get a little better by taking their cleric favored class bonus of + ½ per level to the damage vs undead and evil outsiders. This is the one cleric build that actually does decent channeling energy vs undead.

Fey Foundling is probably the absolute best feat for a paladin. Not only does it work with lay on hands it works with all other healing including wands of cure light wounds. It now seems like all paladins were found in the woods as children.

Furious Focus is normally a good feat, but less so in a mythic campaign. The reason is that mythic power attack allows you to spend a mythic point and ignore the penalty for power attack on all attacks for 1 minute. It also gives you three points damage instead of 2 even when using a weapon single handed. This allows you to use a shield for defense without losing too much damage compared to using a two handed weapon. Combine this with armor of the pit and the AC bonus from smite evil and your AC will be very good.

Spending three mythic path abilities to get an additional +2 AC is not worth it. Seriously consider taking the mythic feat dual path. Mythic Smite is too good for a paladin to give up but there are a couple of things in the marshal path that are really worth it. Clarion Call allows you to grant your allies within 30 feet your active smite evil. This also allows you to pick up a Marshal’s Order in addition to your Champions Strike. Advance is actually pretty good. With it you can grant each of your allies (including yourself)the ability to make a move action or 5 foot step without it counting against their actions for the round.

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I think part of the problem is that there Is too much duplication in the party. You have a cleric and a oracle both of which are ¾ BAB full divine casters with the same spell list. You also have a bard and a rogue both of which are skill monkey’s. You also have three characters that have some healing. What you don’t have is a full martial or any real offensive magic. Also from the sound of it the original poster has been creating basically the same character.

While an oracle of battle is better at combat than most they are still no match for a full martial class. True they can nova a few times a day for some very impressive results, but it takes time to buff up enough to be fully ready. The big problem is these two characters are too similar.

Since they will be getting a wizard soon a paladin would actually be a good addition to the party. As far as healing goes the oracle has the same spell list as the cleric and should already have all the cure wounds spell on his list of spells known. All that leaves is condition removal spells. These can usually be handled with consumables especially scrolls and potions.

The paladin is also the best defensive class in the game. They have good fortitude and will saves and even their reflex save is decent due to divine grace. They are immune to fear and disease and use heavy armor. With swift healing from lay on hands they are very difficult to take down. Smite evil keeps their offensive ability up where they cannot be ignored. They also have some spells including access to many condition removal spells. About the only thing they have difficulty is bringing someone back from the dead. If healing is really a problem than take the hospitaler archetype and maybe even an oath of charity.

You may also want to consider running it as a low magic campaign. Spell casters and magic using monsters should be rare. Not nonexistent but rare. They would be the BBEG with more normal minions. The exception should be healing items.

The only limited resources they have are HP. This means they can often go longer than the normal party. Normally when the spell casters run out of spells it’s time to rest. This is not the case with this party so it changes the dynamics. As long as they have HP they can keep going. This means as long as they have some healing (potions and scrolls) you can throw a lot more challenges at them.

You will probably need to tone down the encounters since they don’t have access to magic. But as I said you can throw more challenges at them. I would recommend the fast progression for XP to compensate for the lower threat of the challenges.

Depending on your CHA extra lay on hands could be useful. If you are going for whole healing thing the ability to bring back people from the dead would fit in very well. The feat Ultimate Mercy requires you to have 10 lay on hand a day, and a 19 CHA. If you have the CHA then you could take extra lay on hands at 5th to qualify for Ultimate Mercy at 7th.

As to magic items a Circlet of persuasion will give you a +3 on all CHA based checks. This would be very good for a king especially a paladin. The bonus to diplomacy works well, but more importantly it also gives you a bonus to bluff and disguise neither of which is a class skill and most paladins don’t put points in them. As a ruler you may need to be able to bluff. Check with you GM to see if the bonus applies to kingdom checks. If it does it will be very incredibly useful.

Another magic item that would be good would be a ring of mind shielding. Being immune to detect thoughts and having your alignment magically detected can be very useful for a ruler.

Another item would be a hat of disguise. These three items together will allow you to walk the kingdom disguised as someone else so you can get a true look at what people are saying.

In a situation like this combat has actually started. Whether the players want to retaliate or allow the guard to abuse them should be their choice not yours. Assuming the guard is a medium sized humanoid his unarmed damage is 1d3 +STR bonus in nonlethal damage. That would be the amount of damage I would use.

The only thing a player controls in the game is his character. For the most part they should be allowed to decide if and how their characters react.

Also in less the players are very low level they should be getting a certain amount of respect from most people. Most player characters are well armed with quality weapons and armor. When someone in masterwork full plate walks up to a city guard they are not going to assume they are peasants they can bully. Obviously I don’t know the circumstances of this encounter but getting bullied by ordinary city guards is a very over used cliché.

Both the monk and the rogue got major improvements in unchained. The reason for that is that both classes were actually pretty weak. Both classes got major upgrades so they are now on par with other similar classes. Rogues especially needed the upgrade as it used to be that there was absolutely nothing a rogue could do that could not be done better by another class. The monk was not quite as bad but still had a lot of problems. The monk had a couple of good archetypes that made it playable but the base class was underpowered compared to other martial classes.

Allowing the unchained rogue is a no brainer and would even allow current characters to rewrite using the unchained version. Since none of the monk archetypes are legal for the unchained monk I would leave that up to the player. If they want to play an archetype they can use the original monk, but if they want to play an unchained monk that is perfectly fine also .

What books and resources are allowed?

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Running is a full round action so you cannot perform other actions while running, except for free actions.

If you use two move actions in a round (sometimes called a "double move" action), you can move up to double your speed. If you spend the entire round running, you can move up to quadruple your speed (or triple if you are in heavy armor).

If you are using mythic rules there are a couple of ways you can gain an additional action without it counting against your other actions. Outside of mythic I don’t think there are any way to gain an attack while making a run.

Archeologist Bard is probably the best for this. Use a trait to get disable device as a class skill and you are set. The bard spell list includes a lot of illusions and buff spells. Between heroism and archeologist luck you are decent in combat. If you go the dervish dance route for DEX to damage you are actually pretty good at hitting and do decent damage.

I agree with t everyone recommending using the ABP rules. But instead of coming up with ways to justify it just consider them part of leveling up. If you can accept that people get a bonus to stats every 4 levels without any explanation why does getting a few more require you explain them. The only thing that might require some explanation is DR magic. For this simply make up another special substance or two that covers it. You probably need two substances on for meatal weapons, and one for wooden weapons.

Another way to handle it is that almost all creatures have some innate ability to use magic. As you level up you learn to draw on this even if you are not a spell caster.

Why do you need to give the players something extra? Extra gold and a higher point buy I can understand. In my experience giving the players too many extra “things” just makes it harder to run the game. While low level characters don’t have a lot of options once you get past a certain level it becomes progressively more difficult to balance out the game. This often means that high level campaigns start to break apart and get abounded. Adding extra abilities only hastens this trend. I would much rather have the game go to higher level than to get some extra abilities at low level.

The best boons to give a player are usually not tied to game mechanics. Membership in organizations and special privileges are often good rewards. Rank both social and military is also useful. Allies, contacts and favors are also helpful. For some characters these type of thing will often be more important than an extra bonus to hit. To a paladin having the right to dispense justice is often an incredibly useful boon.

The smart thing for the ranger to do would be to ride the horse well away from where the people are coming up, and then go back and scout on his own. This is a level 1 ranger so the horse is obviously not an animal companion. It also means that he has only 1 point in stealth and handle animal.

Most rangers don’t have a good CHA, and often have a penalty due to dumping CHA. Assuming he did not dump CHA that means at first level his maximum bonus to handle animal is +4. This means it is impossible for him to push the horse to perform a trick it does not have. Also assuming a 18 DEX which gives him a +8 stealth. If he is trying to hide on the horse and takes the -4 penalty for the horse being large that gives him a +4 to his stealth.

So what the ranger needs to do for this to succeed is to roll natural 21 on a d20, then roll stealth with a maximum bonus of +4 and hope that no one in the group following him beats this with their perception roll. This is simply not going to happen. If he were a high level ranger with an actual animal companion than he could probably pull it off.

It looks like you are trying to play a bard using the unchained rouge. This is an interesting idea, but will be a lot less efficient than a bard. Bards already have all knowledge skills as a class skill and a bonus of half their level to all of them. That is the equivalent of an extra 5 skill points per level. They also get a lot better spell casting than you will get including full caster level from day 1. Add in the ability to take 10, and 20 on knowledge skills and you simply cannot compete with the bard.

You can take the trait Noble Scion of lore for the +1 to all knowledge skills.

Actually a cleric always radiates an aura of his deity’s alignment so even after 5th level he would still not need undetectable alignment.

If by Paladin you mean a holy warrior dedicated to the idea of maintain cosmic balance then yes you can have a true neutral paladin, just not the paladin class. I have to agree with many of the other posters that think that should not be a called a paladin. I think the reason that most people think of any holy warrior being a paladins is because in 1st edition the only holy warrior was the paladin. This has led to the idea that all holy warriors are paladins.

There are several classes that could make a decent champion of balance. A warpreist with the champion of the faith archetype would be perfect except that you have to choose from law, chaos, good or evil for your alignment focus. If you could convince your GM to allow you to choose neutral and only affect creatures with no neutral component to the alignment that would be perfect.

The best legal choice would probably be an inquisitor. They have the ability to detect any alignment at will. Bane can work as a good stand in for smite evil. You won’t have the sheer combat ability of a paladin but you will have better utility. Considering that you are supposed to be eliminating anything that gets too powerful that is probably not a bad thing. Paladins only have to worry about evil outsiders; you will have to deal with all 8 of the other alignments.

You could simply use your first level feat for the Feat Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Firearms). It gives proficiency with all firearms.

According the PathfinderWiki Anubis is an ancient osirion deity with the domains and portfolio’s I listed. He has both repose and death as domains. Death gives animate dead as its 3rd level domain spell. This is also what the Archives of Nethys say. Admittedly there is not a whole lot more information about him.

Wolfswift wrote:
Okay, so wands are okay to retrieve as part of a move action if you have +1 BAB, cool, but what about splash weapons? Like Alchemist's Fire and Acid? If you can retrieve those as part of a move action, why not other flask type items like potions and such, all once again presuming they are stored in reach like on a bandolier or belt or such not in your pack.

One reason that alchemical weapons are allowed and potions are not is due to the fact of how they are used. To use an alchemical weapon you pretty much just pull it out and throw it. The idea is to get the substance all over the target. Potion on the other hand not only need to be retrieved they need to be opened without spill them all over the place. It’s the difference between pulling out a bottle of beer to throw at someone vs pulling it out and opening it and removing the cap.

Since you came up with the character concept the primary burden to make this work should fall mostly on the paladin’s player but you will probably have to make some compromises. I agree with Guru-Meditation that worshiping the same lawful neutral deity is probably the best solution. Abadar has been mentioned by several people as a possible deity. Of the main deities he is probably the best one, but there is one who may work better. If you are open to worshiping a Osirion deity Anubis may be even better.

Anubis is a lawful neutral deity of death who has burial, the dead, funeral rites, mummification and tombs as his portfolio. His domains include death, earth, law, protection and repose. His subdomains are ancestors, defense, inevitable, metal, purity, and souls. This not only side steps the whole detecting evil situation, but also removes your deity as a problem as well.

As was mentioned to cast cleric spells you usually need to have a divine focus. If you worship an evil deity this is going to be nearly impossible to hide. But if you both worship the same deity this is not a problem. You could even borrow the paladin’s holy symbol if you need to. The idea of using a paladin’s holy symbol to command undead is just too bizarre to pass up.

Play up the lawful aspect and hide the evil as much as you can. As a priest of your deity you may even be considered a legitimate authority which would give you even more leeway.

Archetypes can only be added at first level so you can’t decide to add one later. You also can’t take archetypes that replace or modify the same class feature.

For a player I would recommend the following

Core Rulebook
Advanced Players Guide
Ultimate Combat
Ultimate Magic
Inner Sea Guide

This will give you most of the classes and options. If you are going to be running a game as a GM you will probably need at least the bestiary.

Most feats have numeric bonuses so you are suggesting eliminating too many feats. By the way two weapon fighting would also be eliminated. Anyone can fight with two weapons the feat simply reduces the[b]numeric /b] penalty. You also eliminate the ability to become an expert at a particular activity. How am I supposed to build the expert swordsman when all the other martial classes have the same chance to hit and do the same amount of damage? This suggestion would end up making the game a lot less fun.

The Auto Bonus Progression from pathfinder unchained solves most of these types of problems. Since all characters have the basic bonuses the game assumes you have magic items become less important and more fun. Now instead of having to have a cloak of protection you can get something more interesting. It also means that a new character will have most of what he needs even if he has no equipment. He might not have all the cool abilities the other characters have but he has the basics so he is not totally useless.

In most cases when a new character is brought in he should have about the same level of resources as the rest of the party. If the party is at or near wealth by level, then the new character should get the standard wealth by level. If the party is significantly lower than wealth by level the new player should get that level of equipment.

Since you already allowed the player to have a pseudo dragon as an animal companion and it does not seem to have caused problems I would be inclined to let him keep it as his companion. What I would not do is to allow him early access to the companion. An animal companion is a class feature and should not be given early. Instead I would find some reason for the companion to be unavailable until he reaches the appropriate level. Maybe it was captured and he finds and rescues it during the course of the game. If you think that the pseudo dragon is more powerful than normal have him spend a feat for it. Considering a class with a familiar who wants a pseudo dragon as the familiar has to do that it seems fair. Personally I agree with Nox Aeterna that it is not really all that much more powerful than a normal companion. I would however advance it like a familiar not an animal companion.

Pathfinder is a great game and with all the supplements you can build almost any character you want. Since you only have the core this will be more difficult than if you had more books. It can get a little expensive especially for someone just starting out. While most of the content is available online so that helps. I would suggest looking at some slayer class or some ranger archetypes for what you want.

Keep in mind that anyone can find traps with a perception roll. As a ranger you get perception as a class skill so can find traps. You may not get the bonus that a rogue gets, but if you are in your favored terrain you do get that bonus. You can also put ranks into skills that are not class skills you just don’t get the bonus +3 for it being a class skill. There are also traits that can make a skill a class skill and often that is a better way to go than multiclassing. The only thing you need trapfinding for is to disarm magical traps. The trapper ranger archetype in ultimate magic gives up rangers spells for trapfinding and the ability to quickly make traps. This sounds like what you are looking for.

Keep in mind that if you try to do too much all you end up doing is weakening your character. Being able to do everything sounds good, but most of the time it does not work. Instead of being able to do everything you end up not being able to do anything well enough to matter. A ranger with the right archetype and traits will make a great scout if you focus on that. If you try and spread out be the party face and use the skill use magic device you will probably not be effective at anything. This is especially true if you are using a point buy or roll low stats. Most of the time you will simply not have the stats to do everything.

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Yes you should have told the player that the BBEG was not taking damage. AS a GM you have to give your players the information they would be able to perceive if they were there. Do you tell the fighter when he misses with a melee attack or the rogue when he fails to open a lock? You should also be telling your players how the attacks affect the target. While many GM’s like to hide information from players doing so is a kind of unfair. If you can describe the effects of combat well enough to inform the players what is happening then great. Personally I cannot so I am fairly free as to how the effect (spell or otherwise) affects the target.

DM_Blake wrote:
thflame wrote:

I'm not sure I like the "Primal" idea. It feels kind of cheap. I like to build my NPCs to have attainable statistics, so my players don't feel cheated by DM shenanigans.

If one of my players asks after the fight, "How did he do that!?" I want to be able to point to something in a book that they have access to, or at least something in one of the Bestiaries or Monster Manuals.

I agree. Sorry if my post was in a vacuum of this one situation. I tell all players that I use some 3rd party materials, at my discretion, before we start playing. I also let them request 3rd party materials that they like (subject to my approval; I don't think everything is setting-appropriate or balanced enough to use). I also tell them that some 3rd-party stuff is ultra rare so starting PCs won't have access, but if they find it in game they can gain access later.

Primal energy works like that. No first level PC can have it, but I slowly introduce it into the game. My group is 4th level now and they did some research on how to destroy an evil artifact they found. In the course of that research, they learned a little bit about Primal energy. Now they know that there is another kind of magic in the world, a Primal magic, that transcends anything mortals can use. One of them even said he wants to learn how he can get Primal himself - the guy at the temple where he was researching told him to consider taking the Starstone trial (success means becoming a demigod). The player decided to wait a little while...

So now the stage is set. I can create a bad guy with a little bit of Primal energy (a drop in the bucket of what Saranrae or Pharasma, etc., can wield) and when he uses it they'll probably be a little awestruck and even afraid - now they know they're facing a demigod (or something similar).

In fact, I tend to use it more as the campaign goes on into higher levels - it blows the crap out of Rocket Tag and can turn one-round encounters into epic battles that everyone remembers for years. And...

The publisher for primal order is a company called Wizards of the Coast. They later acquired TSR and the rights to D&D. If you look at the third edition Deities and Demigods you will see a lot of the ideas from primal order. Primal order was in my opinion better because it could be used with any game system. It allowed the GM to occasionally bend the rules in a consistent and logical manner. It also gave a framework for power beyond what mortals can control.

Paizo’s approach to deities is that they don’t have stat blocks because anything with a stat block can be defeated. While this approach works it makes it a little harder for the GM to incorporate deities in his game. DM_Blake is right that properly used it can be a valuable tool for the GM. Overuse of it would make the mythic rules look like a preschoolers crayon drawings.

The problem with classical multiclassing is that are dividing your abilities between two classes pretty much evenly. If I am a sorcerer and want to have some rogue abilities I have don’t progress the sorcerer abilities unless I actually raise the sorcerer level. Classes with a lot of level dependent class abilities usually lose a lot more than they gain.

Spell casters are really hurt by this for several reasons. First and most importantly they are behind on gaining higher level spells. Many spells become worthless or at least a lot less useful as you level up. Sleep for example is completely useless at high level. Second your caster level is not keeping up which means that your spells are not as effective as they should be. Any spell that requires a caster level check is going to be a problem. Also monsters with spell resistance become extremely difficult to affect.

What the variant multiclassing does is allow you to pick up some of the defining class features of the other class while not sacrificing anything the primary class gives you. A sorcerer using the variant multiclassing rules would gain some rogue abilities as he leveled up but without sacrificing anything (except feats) for them. He has not lost any spells, caster level or bloodline powers to gain trap finding, sneak attack, and evasion.

With it you can create some interesting characters like a paladin with the sorcerer’s bloodline, or a cleric with a familiar. As previously mentioned some combinations are better than others. What you cannot get is a fighter that picks up the ability to cast wizards spells like a wizard.

Some of the items could require specific classes, alignments or races to function. Just don’t over use this or it will get old really quickly. Another way would be to have a permanency spell used on things that duplicate spells.

If your path is either champion or guardian you can pick up the path ability armor master, but it will require multiple choices to use heavy armor. You could get mithral plate and only need to choose armor master twice to get your full DEX. You could also pick up the mythic feat dual path to get access to armor master.

In my experience game balance is more about the players than the characters. What I mean by that is that the effectiveness of the same character can different widely depending on the player controlling them. Someone who has never played a game before playing a wizard will often be less powerful then someone who is an experienced veteran gamer who knows the system completely playing a rogue. Even amount equally experienced players with the same level of expertise in the system some simply have a better tactical sense than others.

Another thing that can be important is the types of characters the party is playing. A party full of nothing but fighters and rogues is a lot different than a party of witches and wizards. Some encounters the first party will curb stomp will actually be a lot harder challenge to the second party. Many people on the forums will find this hard to believe, but it is true. The party of witches and wizards will have a lot more difficulty vs a golem than the more mundane party.

So when you are looking to balance the game is to first look at the players and figure out what kind of players they are. If your players are casual gamers with no mastery of the system and tactics you may not need to do anything to balance the extra party members. If on the other hand your party is a group of veterans who not only build optimized characters but build them as a team you may need to adjust your encounters if there are only three of them.

What you probably want is a class with a good amount of skill points, magic and decent combat. To me the ideal group would include an inquisitor, a bard, and a ranger. The inquisitor gives you divine spells and flexible combat options. If you go archeologist for the bard that covers the role of rogue with some arcane magic and can act as the party face. The ranger brings good combat and scouting skills as well as some minor magic.

Make sure your players understand their mythic abilities. Most people on the forums are the type that really get into building characters and usually don’t have a problem. There are a lot of people who game that are a lot more casual and don’t spend time studying the game. If they don’t understand their new abilities they will not use them.

The mythic rules add a certain amount of complexity to the game. Many of the mythic abilities require spending mythic points. If some of your players don’t understand this they will be significantly less effective than the rest of the group. Nothing is more frustrating than listening to a player complain the foe is too tough when the right use of a mythic point would have made it a lot easier.

I don’t allow templates because it is too difficult to balance the party when one player has one and the others do not. If a character gains a template it usually means it becomes an NPC. The exception would be something like lycanthropy where the player is not in control and that can be removed. When the lycanthropy changed it would become an NPC. I would probably still let the player run it in combat vs the other players as long as he was playing the curse properly. Since I also only run good campaigns any character not looking to remove the curse would become a NPC.

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Even if the Noachi cut through stone like butter it still weighs 8 pounds. Tell your player if can dress up in heavy clothes and swing around an 8 pound weight as hard as he can for a solid twenty minutes without breaking a sweat he may have a point. While he is sure to say that he does not have the STR of his character remind him he is also not wearing armor or carrying the other gear the character is.

It would really depend on the source of the spell like ability. If I have a trait that says I spent time in the temple and learned to cast a 0 level cleric spell as a spell like ability that would be divine. If I had a trait that said I was a failed apprentice to a wizard and learned to cast a 0 level wizard spell that would obviously be arcane. If this is a racial ability more than likely it is arcane.

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Only the edge of the blade actually cuts things. Even an adamantine blade can get stuck in stone. The Nodachi has a triangular blade with only one sharp edge. The blade will end up getting wedged in the cut made by the blade because of the shape of the blade.

According Greek mythology Hercules would have had two separate versions. The first would be before he died and Zeus made him a Demi God. The second would be after he ascended to Olympus. The second does not require a stat block and should not have one.

In game terms the first version would be a mythic character. I assume this is for an NPC so I would simply use a 20th level barbarian with 10 mythic tiers. While Hercules did solve some of the labors using his wits he was not known to be particularly wise or intelligent. I look at those as more being the moral of the story that even someone with great strength can use his wits.

The original poster has already stated he thinks he is doing things wrong and is asking for help. He came to the forms specifically to seek advice about how to improve his game. There is no one right way to run a game. Each group and even campaigns with the same group has its own style. If everyone including the GM is having fun than the GM is doing a good job no matter what he is doing. Obviously this is not what is happening.

The most important thing a GM can do is to listen to his players. He may have a really cool idea for a campaign he thinks would be really fun to run, but if the players don’t want to play that type of a campaign no one is going to have any fun. The absolutely least fun thing for a GM is when his players are b%+&*ing and complaining about how bad he is. It turns all the fun of planning and creating a game into sheer miserly. This seems to be what is happening with the original poster.

Telling him that he is right and your group loves this type of stuff misses the point. His group does not like what he is doing. His choices are simple change or find a new group. It seems pretty clear which choice he is making.

The best advice I can give to any GM is to listen to your players. Communication is a two way street. If you ignore your players for whatever reason don’t be surprised when they do the same to you. While as a GM your word is finial don’t abuse this.

When changing a rule you have to be careful that you are not invalidating characters abilities. The example you gave of the horde of zombies is a perfect example. Using channel energy to attack undead is usually a pretty ineffective strategy. About the only time it really works is in a situation like you described. Now instead of the paladin having his moment of glory he kind of fizzled out. So now the archer lets lose a couple of arrows that somehow manage to slay 50 creatures at once. If I were playing the paladin I would have been pretty upset about that. Creating unique abilities for monsters is usually ok but changing the rules without considering their impact is where the problems usually occur. Taking things from other games or editions is usually the worst.

Things like gestalt and templates only work if all the party uses them. Trying to have a mixture of those type of options is going to be incredibly difficult to balance. While gestalt does add a varying amount of power to a character what it really does is add an incredible amount of versatility and endurance to the character. A sorcerer/oracle can’t cast more spells per round than a single class caster, but he has access to a lot more spell.

The Zen Archer cannot be taken for the unchained monk.

A group of archer based rangers with favored enemy undead and abundant ammunition will last the longest. Maybe include a single cleric for buff spells and they will slaughter everything.

The section on skills specifically states which skill take armor check penalties. While the section on equipment says that the armor check penalty applies to all dexterity and strength based skills. Since the specific (skill description) overrules the general (equipment) RAW any skill that lists it takes an armor check penalty in the description does so regardless of the stat currently being used. If there were a new skill that did not list it as taking the armor check penalty in the description of the skill it would not.

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