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Another alternative would be a Divine Tracker ranger combined with a Cleric. This way he gets both domains and blessings. He gives up hunters bond, and wild empathy of the ranger for the blessings of a war priest.

He can still get the combat styles of the ranger for two weapon fighting. He will be giving up sneak attack, but will get favored enemy.

Weapon Focus and Point Blank Master would be useful. You have to use your 6th level bonus feat for Point Blank Master and it requires weapon focus even when a ranger uses his bonus feat.

Point Blank Master allows him to use a bow in melee without provoking an attack or opportunity.

If you are going human than I would suggest a slayer/cleric instead of slayer/oracle. I would still avoid the prestige classes as they give up more than you gain. At 10th level the slayer can pick up assassinate as a advanced slayer talent which is better than the death attack of the assassin. The assassin has to spend 3 rounds of standard actions, where the slayer only has to spend one standard action so can attack 2 rounds earlier. Also the slayers capstone ability allows him to make a death attack without having to spend any rounds studying the target. While the DC for the save may seem to favor the assassin they are actually about the same. 10+10+INT is the same a s 10+(20/2) +INT. Factor in studied target and the slayer actually comes out ahead by +2 DC.

The slayer can by 10th level have greater two weapon style with a 10 DEX. Assuming you are going into assassin as early as possible you won’t get your second attack with your second weapon till 11th level and the third does not come until 20th. You can of course pick them up with normal feats, but then have to meet the prerequisites. You are also lose 2 point of studied target and don’t get quarry. That is a total of +6 to hit you just gave up.

Your sneak attack with the slayer will be 2d6 less at 20th level, but you also will not have hunters surprise. Being able to once a day you can declare a person next to you as the target. All your attacks against that person are sneak attacks even if he is not flanked or flat footed.

At 20th level you could attack a person 7 times with a bonus of +27/+27/+22/+22/+17/+17/+12 not including any stats spells or enchantments doing an extra 6d6+5 points of damage each hit.

One thing you are forgetting about judgments is that they are sacred/profane bonuses which means they stack with just about anything. The thing that makes the inquisitor powerful is the ability to stack bonuses. The Inquisitor is one of the few classes that can have a moral bonus, sacred bonus and a luck bonus all going at the same time from class abilities alone.

I would recommend against the prestige classes. Slayer gives you full BAB, studied target, sneak attack and slayer talents. Use the slayer talents to pick up two weapon fighting without needing to max out DEX. Slayer will also allow you to pick up the advanced talent Assassinate at 10th level. Cleric would normally be a good second class, but you want to play a fetchling but they have a penalty to WIS. Oracle of lore could work pretty well. Take Sidestep Secret and feat Noble Scion of War and your CHA gives you AC, reflex saves, and initiative. Spontaneous Symbbology and Arcane Archivist will give you access to a lot of different spells that oracles usually don’t have.

This also gives you full BAB, all good saves, 9th level spells, studied target, sneak attack, and slayer talents.

Why are you doing something like this as a race? Obviously this is not intended as a PC race so why not just write it up as a monster. This seems more like a Djinn or other monster “Race” than an actual race.

Multiclassing is generally a mistake in Pathfinder. Assuming you have a decent CHA your saves are probably already good so the extra on the saves is not that big of a deal. If your CHA is not high invest is a headband

Assuming you did not dump INT and put your favored class bonus to skills you should have the skills you really need. A single level dip is not going to give you enough skill points to matter. Many skills don’t really matter to a paladin anyways. If you are wearing heavy armor you are never going to be good at stealth so why try. Also skills like bluff, disguise and such don’t really fit the paladin and using them too much could cause problems with the paladin’s code.

I would also recommend against retraining power attack.

Any divine caster can use their weapon as a holy symbol if it is a reliquary. It only cost an extra 250 g.p. and counts as a permanent fixture for Consecrate .

Flying Grayson wrote:
Okay, neat. So level 16 should be good? Is there anyway to keep them relatively hidden or conceal their efforts from divination?

Bards have a lot of spell to hide from divination. Misdirection is only a 2nd level spell for a bard and shuts down a lot of detects.

If the characters are well optimized and work as a team you will probably want them lower level than the party. Build them on the same rules and wealth by level as the party but probably no more than 12th level is needed.

When you are writing up a team you can use one character to cover the weak spots of another. The synergy of this can mean that the lower level group is more powerful.

The enchantment focused sorceress is a good idea. For the bard use the archeologist archetype for a magic rogue. The inquisitor is basically a combination of rogue and cleric, but is one of the best self-buffing classes in the game. The investigator is a combination of rogue and alchemist. Both the Inquisitor and the investigator can buff up for combat, but will probably not match your party straight up. If they work together and assist each other they will be a challenge.

With these characters all of them can cast invisibility so their stealth rolls are going to be difficult for event he ranger to beat. Detect invisibility will counter that but these characters also have mundane stealth that detect invisibility and true seeing do not counter.

Remember the idea is to create a challenge that the party can’t just fight its way through. This group is incredibly subtle and will avoid direct confrontations with the party.

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Why do you need to use a ninja? While they are better than a rogue they are still a lower tier class. Also instead of a group of identical characters diversify the group. Most parties don’t have multiple of the same classes and for the most part the enemies should also have a mixture of classes.

Sow thought is a 1st level spell for both bard and sorcerer. It allows you to implant an idea that the target thinks is their own. That spell alone could wreak havoc for the party. Throw in a couple of other spells like misdirection, suggestion, charm monster, dominate person, and modify memory and the party is going to have a rough time finding out who the enemy really is. All of these spells can be cast by a bard of only 10th level.

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Instead of having a single high level character as the opposition you would be better off having multiple lower level characters. This allows you to create a team that can work together. This is always a lot more efficient than a single opponent. In a social challenge the opposition does not even have to be that high level. I could create more of a social challenge with 4 10th level characters than I could with a single 20th level character. The only thing you need to have high levels for is for combat or to counter act the players spell casters. The only real spell caster you have is the wizard. While the magus can cast spells most of his spells are gear towards combat. Look over what spells the Wizard has for gathering information and protection. As long as he does not have a lot of divination spells then you may not need all that much in terms of spells to counter him.

A team of a bard, inquisitor, investigator, and a sorcerer would be pretty decent. Use a lot of enchantments spells and misdirection. An Archeologist bard is about the best “Thief” in the game and at that level very difficult to stop. An enchantment focused sorcerer could wreak havoc on the party by controlling people and altering their memories. The investigator has a lot of skills and can use potions to physically turn into different creatures. The inquisitor can buff himself to hell and they can uncover things like no one else. Make them the leaders of a spy organization with plenty of disposable minions and you should have a decent challenge that they cannot simply fight their way out of.

I am not sure you realize what a 20th level character really is. The vast majority of people never achieve higher than 6th level. Between 6th level and 12 level they are supposed to be the mover and shakers of a kingdom. Characters above 12th level are supposed to be extremely rare. Typically there are no more than a handful of such powerful characters in the whole world. So a 20th level ninja should be the most skilled and deadly assassin in the world. He did not get to where he is by making stupid mistakes so he will be extremely deadly and not play around.

Your group is already in the world class characters so anyone trying to take them down will not be fooling around. The first thing the Ninja is going to do is to take down the Wizard. The only way to take out a high level wizard is to catch him completely off guard. A ninja of this level of experience is going to realize this and act appropriately. With Hidden Master, 10d6 Sneak Attack and three attacks per round this is not going to be hard against someone who is not expecting it. The Ninja is going to wait until the characters are alone instead of a together in a group.

You are also making a classic rookie mistake of trying to use a single more powerful character against the group. When you want to challenge the players you don’t go up against their strong point you look to where they are weak and attack that. From the look of your party they have a lot of power in combat, decent magic ability but very little in the way of social ability. You also want to create a challenge that they can’t just stab away, but are setting up another combat oriented character as the main villain.

What I would suggest is to start throwing some social challenges at the party. Use a bard, or cleric or other social class as the main opponent and have them start throwing obstacles at the party. Make the main opponent someone who they can’t just outright kill. Maybe the high priest of the local religion decides they are a threat to his power, maybe the court bard has it in for you. He does not act openly but always through a proxy. The first thing he does is turn the common people against the party, probably by spreading rumors. This character does not have to be a high level character, just one with decent mental stats and a good position.

Dual path is definitely the way to go. The Champions strike fleet alone is enough reason to pick this path. By spending a mythic point you can as a swift action move up to your speed and make a single attack in addition to any other attacks you can make. This allows you to make a full move as a swift action instead of a move action and still get a full attack with an extra attack.

Combine impossible speed with the monk’s fast movement and you will be able to move the equivalent of most characters full out run and get a ridiculous number of attacks. This also gives you the ability to take a triple move and still get in a single attack.

Has he considered using the slayer? They get studied target and sneak attack as well as full BAB. They also get enough skill points to take all the ninja type skills. The Stygian Slayer archetype adds in a little magic to give it a more ninja like feel.

Go for a STR based build and take power attack and use a two handed weapon with a good crit. range. The ability to put down an opponent quickly is going to be very important.

I would say unless the ability specifically states it allows others to also act your familiar is unable to act. While your familiar acts when you do, it is still has to have an action to use. The idea behind the familiar acting on the characters turn is to keep the number of turns reasonable. Say for example you had a party of 6 characters all with familiars or animal companions and they all got separate actions it would bog down the game.

To be able to use a teamwork feat both characters must have the teamwork feat. This means obviously your familiar has the lookout feat or it would not matter. If you have the ability to act in the surprise round and both of you have the lookout feat you both can act if either one of you can act. So if your familiar is aware then you can both take full actions. This is part of the feat and has nothing to do with the fact it is your familiar. If your familiar is not aware then both of you can act, but neither of you can full attack.

voska66 wrote:
Alasanii wrote:

Thanks guys. Yeah, I am going to focus mainly on melee with an okay archery skill. I am going to be the party sneak and face so I am taking the heretic archetype with the conversion domain.

I will take half-orc and use a falchion. We also have a monk and a paladin so we will have melee pretty much tied up. I am guessing the other members are going to be casters.

Stats array
Str 15, dex 16, con 13, int 12, wis 15, cha 11

Any suggestions on first level feats? Improved initiative? Judgement surge?

Thanks again guys I really appreciate the advice.

Put you 12 on Wis and put the 15 CHR is you want to be the party face. Put you stat boost at 4th, 8th, 12th and 16th on Wisdom. This will keep inline with the stat able to cast the spells when you get them.

I'd got STR 15, DEX 15, CON 13, INT 11, WIS 12, CHR 15. The higher CHR means you will be better at the social skills. Divine Protection for you saves is good with +2 from Chr at 5th level. Also it stack Sacred Tatoo and Fates Favored from the Half Orc which is good choice to take. Divine Favor is Luck bonus too so +1 to that as well. +4 to your saves is awesome on Inquisitor due to Stalwart at level 12 and headband can increase that to +7.

His archetype and inquisition allow him to use WIS for most of his social skills. CHA is not needed.

StrangePackage wrote:

I'm not familiar with any of the lore of Ustalav that makes them particularly hostile to half-orcs, other than their proximity to the Hold. Even still, you're a skillful character (6+INT/level) and with your stats, you didn't take a hit to CHA like most inquisitors. A simple trait to bump your Disguise checks would probably be a lot easier than taking a whole feat dedicated to replicating the 1st level spell "Disguise Self", which you also have access to.

Unless there is a specific reason to be suspicious, most people don't even get a check to notice according to the Disguise Skill in the CRB, and even then it's assumed they're just taking a 10, so you're looking at something roughly about a 15-16.

I'd find a different feat.

If the person giving him the warning is the GM he would be well advised to heed the warning. He is also planning on being the party face so will probably be under closer scrutiny than most characters. A trait gives you +1 not +10 and he still takes the -2 for disguising himself as a different race the feat also allows him to take 10 which means he does not have to roll. With the feat he has a 24 disguise (Taking 10) at 1st level, without it he has between a 4 and a 23 with an average of 13.5. Once his cover is blown it is going to be hard fool anyone.

Helikon wrote:

Now... I would highly hint that you go the ranged route.

Why? You have 2 melees and it is sometimes hard to get a third one down the line. Second you get bow for free.
I play an inquisitor of besmara with bow or underwater crossbow and it pays off VERY well. Especially as most monks are bad with ranged weapons, and you can deal a world of hurt without problem.
And nothing is as bad as sitting there, unable to do a thing because the first two spots are taken!

With his feats and race he can do either melee or ranged equally well. All he needs to do is carry both weapons and use whichever one is appropriate at the time. When they need an extra front line combatant he steps up, when they need someone to shoot something he draws his bow. That is the essence of a switch hitter. As I said earlier most of his class abilities work equally well on both melee and ranged.

Not every archer needs to be identical with the same feats as every other archer.

The other thing you are forgetting is once you start teaching someone how to use magic they will want to learn more. Next thing you know the peasant you invested all that time in moved to a new city where he can make more money by using what you taught him. You would be better off training fewer candidates to become real mages instead of a bunch of minor talents. Use the same money you planned to tech the peasants to fund a school with the stipulation that anyone trained in the school has to server you.

STR is going to be more important than DEX for a melee build so swap those like rorek55 suggested. I would put your level 4 stat increase in WIS instead. WIS is going to be more important than DEX. It gives you more benefits in the long run. Use 8th level for DEX.

Antagonize is a good feat for an inquisitor, but may be too good. Many GM’s ban the feat for a reason. Cornugon Smash is a great feat for your character, but since it requires 6 ranks in intimidate you can’t get it till 7th level. Pick up power attack at 5th and if you really want to go insane take intimidating powers at 3rd. Also make sure to take Blistering Invective as soon as you get 2nd level spells. Being able to use intimidate on all enemies within 30’ is worth a spell.

Inquisitors actually make decent switch hitters because most of their abilities can be used either with melee or ranged attacks. Both Judgments and Bane work equally well with either type of attack, as do most of their spells. The fact that their domain may or may not increase this is not all that important since they have many other ways to improve their combat abilities. The key to being a decent switch hitter is having proficiency in a good two handed melee weapon. The inquisitor already has proficiency in most ranged weapons. So either your deity or race needs to provide proficiency with a good melee weapon.

The best two handed melee weapon is the falchion so this gives the half orc the advantage. They can also choose either the human or half orc favored class bonuses both of which are very good. The human gets extra spells which is incredibly valuable to a spontaneous caster. The half orc gets a bonus to both intimidate and monster lore. Combine this with improved monster lore and you get your level as a bonus to identifying monster. The bonus to Intimidate means the half orc inquisitor can have the equivalent of double his level in skill point to intimidate.

The dwarf is a good choice also but probably not as good as the half orc. All the weapons you get proficiency in are martial one handed weapons. They all have a good critical multiplier they also all only critical on a 20. Getting more critical hits is better than having a higher multiplier. The extra damage from a high multiplier is fun, but most of the time is wasted. It can be dramatic to totally destroy something but most of the time it ends up being the minion instead of the boss that gets destroyed. The bonus saves for the dwarf is nice but you will already have good saves, and can also get some bonus as a half orc.

Fate’s Favored is a good trait for an inquisitor especially a half orc with sacred tattoo. Just make sure to take divine favor and latter divine power.

All you really need for a healer is someone with the right spells on their list. An inquisitor has most of the spells needed so can work quite well as the healer. The best way to deal with healing is with wands, scrolls, and potions. Take a couple of “Healing” spells to give you the ability to deal with emergencies as they come up.

The inquisitor has plenty of other abilities so that unlike the cleric he does not have to depend on his spells to contribute to combat. Between bane, judgements and other abilities he has a lot of things he can do in combat besides cast spells. Looking at your party you have two characters maybe three that are going to want to avoid frontline combat. That means your character and the monk are your primary melee combatants. If you are in the middle of combat you are probably not going to be casting a lot of combat spells anyways.

If you play a human inquisitor you can use their favored class bonus for extra spells and you will have plenty of slots for other spells. This will allow you to pick up the healing spells you need and still have other useful spells.

If the rouge is not going to be the party face take either the conversion, or heresy inquisition and you can dump CHA and still be the party face.

The last thing to consider is that inquisitor is one of the best skill based characters in the game. The 6 skill per level may seem less than the rogue, but they get more bonuses than anyone except a bard. They are almost impossible to fool due to a ridiculous sense motive. They can match a ranger when it comes to tracking. The bonus to intimidate means no one is better at it then they are. And if they take improved monster lore they can identify monsters better than a bard.

For dealing with undead the inquisitor has much better spells. They get disrupt undead as a 0 level spell. While 1d6 may not seem like much it is a ranged touch attack that can be used all day. Since Ray spells can be considered weapons you should be able to add bane to it once you get that. A 3d6 positive energy touch attack is pretty good. They also get hide from undead which is insanely good in an undead heavy campaign. Only intelligent are even allowed a saving throw against it. They also have access to protection from evil which can shut down cold many spells like dominate.

The bards spell list is actually more versatile over all. Early access to heroism is hard to pass up. The bard spell list is probably better at boosting your stealth and thieving abilities than the inquisitor. Being able to turn into a gaseous form or teleport is also useful.

If you are looking for combat spells especially against undead the inquisitor has a much stronger spell list. If you are looking for general utility spells and boosting your “Thief” abilities the bard has the better spell list.

What makes him think that the other thieves in the guild will not rob him blind while he is gone? To expect honesty from thieves is kind of silly.

As an oracle your most important stat is CHA, as a paladin your most important stat is STR. Do you see yourself as more of a paladin, or more of a oracle. If you see yourself as more paladin put the +2 to STR, if you see yourself as more oracle than put the +2 to CHA.

Another alternative is Bard. They have most of the illusion and enchantment spells but no real damage spells. This also gives you a more skill points and a bunch of other abilities.

Have you considered a Skald? They can cast in medium armor so if you use mithral plate there is no spell failure. You also get the ability to boost the rest of the party and a lesser version of the barbarians rage. You can also use it to become a dragon disciple without having to be a sorcerer.

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From a purely physical stand point this would probably not work. A normal longbow is around the same length as the person wielding it. Part of the bow is higher than the person because it is held in the middle. So if a medium long bow is about 6’ a large longbow is about 12’. Even if your arms are considered large the rest of your body is not. Your point of aim is still the same as a medium creature. Having the bottom of the bow rest on the ground is going to make aiming it nearly impossible. Also using it in a dungeon environment may also cause problems. Anything with less than a 12’ or higher celling is going to make it impossible to use. I would say you probably need more like 14’.

You could use a composite shortbow for this but the damage for a large shortbow is the same as for a medium longbow.

If you are a mounted archer you don’t really need the mounted combat feats. You stay back and use the bow instead of charging into melee. This actually works pretty well because your mount can retreat and you can still get your full attack.

Your stats should be changed; I would suggest the following STR 12, DEX 18, CON 12, INT10, WIS 8, CHA 16. You will be taking a lot of penalties to hit especially at low levels so you need to be able to hit. Your CHA is important but your chance to hit is more important. There is not functional difference between a 9 and a 8 so dumping two stats by one point is a bad move. A Halfling paladin is going to have great saving throws once you get to second level so WIS is less important, but if you want the save swap INT and WIS.

A dog actually makes a better mount than a pony. It only gets a single attack, but the bite does a lot more damage. With a pony you have two attacks at +6 doing 1d3+3. The dog has one attack at +7 doing 1d6+6.

Your damage when you are not smiting evil is going to be low so you may want to go for an oath of vengeance to get more smites. Also keep in mind that this build takes a while to come online. Until about 5th level you will not be doing a lot of damage even with Smite Evil. After that you should be ok.

Why not just use a medium scimitar? It has the same specs and is a martial weapon.

To defeat the enemy one must actually hit them (After missing due to the penalty of power attack)

Block with your weapon not your body (After being hit)

They say ignorance is bliss; it must be nice to be so carefree and happy.

What are you looking to play? If you are looking to play primarily an archer who can survive melee than Point Blank Master is the better way to go. If you want to play a melee character that is good with a bow then the switch hitter is actually pretty decent. This works better for a ranger than a fighter since you can ignore the prerequisites for your bonus feats. Even though a fighter gets a ton of feats it takes a while to get all the feats you need. With a ranger or slayer you can pick up just the feats you want and ignore the rest.

Keep in mind that all characters should be able to function both at range and in melee. I have seen too many people ignore ranged and then become useless when they can’t reach the enemy. By the same token it is quite easy to shut down a ranged character. Even with point blank master you can still run out of ammunition. Any martial characters should at least have both a ranged and melee weapon. They don’t necessarily need to spend feats on both, but should have both available to them.

The archer has the advantage that they get to make more attacks. The disadvantage is they also have more penalties to deal with. If you are going full archer you will probably spend all your feats on archery with nothing left over for anything else. With Melee all you really need is Power Attack.

The DR is actually a lot better than it looks. Assuming that your party is good and most of the enemies are evil that is. Most evil characters don’t carry holy weapons and evil clerics can’t cast good spells. This means that the DR is going to be a lot harder to overcome. While the damage resistance does not stack with other damage resistance you do take the higher of the two. This means that if you summon a celestial creature of 5+ HD your weapon needs to be booth good and evil to overcome its damage resistance.

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The feat Point Blank Master made switch hitting a lot less useful. Now a Ranger or fighter can use a bow even when surrounded by enemies without having to worry about AoO. While switch hitting has not diminished in effectiveness there is now a more effective strategy.

I have to agree that the only downside is really the expense. I purchased it before all the extra books came out, and I purchased the new books as they came out. This softened the blow because the cost was spread out over time. One nice thing is that you can install it on two devices so if you have more than one computer it can be put on both.

The tactical console is great if you are the GM. It really simplifies running combat as you can keep track of both characters and enemies. You can apply the conditions, spells, and just about any other game effect on any character. It automatically rolls for and tracks initiative, which is great for large encounters.

The dice roller is helpful when you need roll lots of saving throws. It also comes in handy when you need to roll without the players knowing you are rolling. A couple of clicks of the mouse and I can roll perception rolls for the whole party without them realizing it.

It speeds up character generation considerably. This is helpful when you want to compare builds to see how they stack up. If you are not sure what class or archetype you want to go with simply build both at a the level you want to compare and see how they stack up. This also allows a GM to quickly build NPC’s.

Ranger with aberrations as favored enemy, and underground as favored terrain would work well

I don’t think it would work like people seem to think it would. Just because spell casters can cast cantrips again and again does not mean anyone else can. Most talents, traits or feats that allow a non-caster to use cantrips usually limit them to three times per day. So even if every villager could cast them they would probably be limited to the same three times per day.

The other thing is that the ability to cast spells is probably not something that can be easily taught. Spells are a class feature not something everyone has. Everyone has the capability to use some weapons. Learning to use another is just a matter of training on the specifics of the weapon. Every creature in existence has a BAB of some kind, even if it is at a penalty. Most creatures on the other hand do not have a caster level. This is a class ability that only certain classes have. If it is possible to teach someone a cantrip without having an appropriate class level it would be possible to teach then to channel energy, or rage without the appropriate class.

To teach someone to cast a single cantrip will require that they have a caster level. The way I see it having a caster level is more than just knowing a single spell. It is more like learning to write a computer program. Even the simplest program requires a lot of specialized knowledge and equipment. The feats and traits that grant cantrips all state the person has studied magic and managed to retain some of the skill.

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I did not see the OP saying he was not allowed to do anything at all. Just he was not allowed to kill or harm the rogue. I am not suggesting he harm him, just take his stuff back. He knows who is doing it so just check his gear every morning and take back anything that is missing. If the rouge tries to stop him let the rogue attack first. Be completely open about it, don’t try to sneak and hide what you are doing.

He could also start warning everyone in town the rogue is a thief. Follow the rogue around and tell everyone to watch out for this guy because he steals.

Since the GM is allowing him to steal from you he obviously allows a certain amount of PvP. So turn the tables on him. Every morning when you wake up simply forcibly search him for your gear. Hold him down and take back your stuff and let him go. Don’t kill him simply take back your gear. Don’t harm him more than is necessary just be very firm with him.

Anytime something is missing search him. Purposely misplace something and blame it on him and search him. Think of it as a roleplaying opportunity instead of a problem.

Instead of coming up with level appropriate skill checks you need to come up with level appropriate challenges. Most skills have a set difficulty instead because they represent basic things anyone can do. The only exception is opposed skills. The DC to climb a cliff does not matter if you are 1st level or 20th it is the same. Where the difference comes in is that the 1st level character may need to climb a natural cliff with lots of hand holds. The 20th level character may need to scale the smooth walls of a magically created glass tower.

Opposed skills are based on the HD or level of the opposing creature and how many skill ranks they have invested. The 10th level bard will be able to bluff the city guard a lot easier than the head of the thieves’ guild. T

It is probably not types of magic like certain schools, or animating undead. It would probably be more uncontrolled magic or casting methods that endanger the world. Someone using prescribed tested methods to cast spells is fine, but wild experimentation could be considered dangerous. If there is a chance that the magic can get out of control and endanger the world or at least a significant portion of it, it is forbidden.

Also calling on some sources of power may be considered inherently dangerous. If your world has something similar to the dark tapestry than calling on the powers from there may be forbidden. Normal demons or devils could be fine, just not horrors from beyond the stars that want to destroy the universe.

If this is his first time to GM cut him some slack. Since you are the normal GM and his friend you may want to talk to him alone about the game. Give him honest feedback about the game, both good and bad. You probably want to start with what you did like, before diving into where he went wrong. He also sounds like he spent too much time planning out the campaign without having enough experience running things. I usually recommend the first time someone runs that they runs something short and easy. Think of it as training wheels. This is a common mistake for many starting GM’s.

If he is not willing to listen or does not change then your group has to decide if you want him to continue running. Be careful because it is likely he could get upset when people don’t want to play after he spent a lot of time developing a story.

Also many players do not have all the books so if he does not have any books lend him yours so he can at least read them.

The Dragon wrote:

Also, Aasimar(that bit is important for the 3rd level SLA) Sorcerer 1/Fighter 1/Eldritch Knight 10 is a nice and legal way to do what you want while actually being half-decent at fighting. It does give up sorc bloodline and stuff, but you're in it for the buff casting, not the bloodline.

Once you're full up on EK, go back to sorcerer for the remaining 8 levels.

You will have 9ths at level 20, and a base attack bonus of +15, so equivalent to a cleric.

The recent FAQ killed using SLA for early entry into prestige classes.

Unless you are starting at high levels planning you character based solely on high level abilities is a waste of time. What level are you starting at? Some builds don’t come online until much high level and if you are past that point than they may work. If you are starting at 1st level that is a completely different story.

An oracle of battle actually fits your concept better than a sorcerer. The curse is a result of being cast down. Having proficiency with heavy armor and martial weapons is going to be a huge help (Skill at Arms revelation). The other revelations are also going to boost your combat abilities even further. The cleric spell list has the best combat buff spells of any class. Divine Vessel gives you the equivalent of several spells in one. If your alignment allows it Bestow Grace of the Champion gives you many of the abilities of a Paladin including Smite Evil of half your level, and CHA to saves. A 20th level Oracle of Battle buffed with his spells can actually outfight almost any martial class.

If by melee sorcerer you mean a sorcerer who uses melee attacks to do damage it is not going to work well. The problem is that you simply do not have the right abilities to pull this off. Even with a bloodline that gives you claws you are at a severe disadvantage to any semi competent martial build. Even if you use spells to buff yourself this will be difficult. You will need to spend several rounds casting spell to get yourself ready for combat and by that time the fight may be already over. Either the party will have won and you will be all dressed up with nowhere to go, or they will be down and you will have to face the enemy by yourself.

While not optimal you could have a sorcerer specializing in touch spells instead. Spells like shocking grasp or ghouls touch could work ok. You are still going to be incredibly vulnerable because you don’t really have a way to get your AC up and may have trouble getting spells off when you are in combat. If you want to play a sorcerer this would still probably be the best route to go.

A Magus, or a Bloodrager would be a lot better for this concept. Neither of them will get 9th level spells, but you really need to figure out what you want to concentrate on. A Magus has a much better blend of magic and combat so would probably work best. If you really want to combine magic and melee they are the ones to do it. They can go nova and deal huge amounts of damage, but only limited times per day.

Ferocity allows a creature to remain conscious and continue to fight when he is in negative HP. When you your non-lethal damage exceeds your current HP you fall unconscious. If I have a character with Ferocity and he is at negative HP but not dead he remains awake. But if his non-lethal damage is greater than his HP he is knocked out. It seems strange that a character who can take a full hit with the edge of a sword is knocked out being hit with the flat of the sword.

Is there any rules on how ferocity interacts with non-lethal damage?

For the most part if the monster is so far below the party it is not a challenge then you have a couple of options. First is to do what Ascalaphus said and just narrate over the encounter. The second is to make some unusual specimens of the race. Normal Orcs are not much of a challenge but a couple of levels of barbarian will boost them up. The last thing is to throw a large army of them at the party. While 10 Orcs may not be a challenge 200 may wear down the party. Sure you kill on in a single hit but there are so many of them. Throw in a couple of mid-level spell casters as leaders and they may be a bigger threat than you think.

I use the first option most of the time. The second option is rare but still happens. The last option is something that I would plan out as part of a campaign. This happens in books and movies all the time, but rarely in a game.

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The Archeologist bard is a magical rogue. Their spell list has many utility spells that further boost their ability for trickery and deceit. Instead of combat spells they have illusion and enchantment, but that actually works better. Being able to go invisible, teleport and turn gaseous makes for an almost unstoppable thief. Combine Heroism with Archeologist Luck and lingering performance and they become the ultimate skill monkey.

How about an inquisitor? They have enough skills that they can cover the sneaky stuff and anything else you need. They can take healing spells so can cover any healing, probably through the use of wands and scrolls. Between Judgments and Bane he will more than hold his own as far as damage. Inquisitors also have good ranged weapons which you seem to be lacking.

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