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Since some spells count as weapons it should be possible to perform a Coup de grace with a spell. As long as you have a spell that qualifies as a weapon you can use that when you can’t find anyone to do your dirty work for you. Even if you specialize in enchantment you should have something you can do when they don’t work. If you can get a staff of some sort with a qualifying spell that would be the ideal solution, if not wands and scrolls will work.

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
there is no +2 caster level traits afaik.
Yes there is - Magical Knack. It's worthless for primary casters as it maxes at your hit dice. But it's awesome for gishes (Eldrich Knight/Dragon Disciple etc) and solid for rangers/paladins as their caster level is only 1/2 their class level.

Actually a paladins caster level is paladin level -3, not half.

As a general rule you don’t lose a classes ability if you no longer qualify for it. There are of course exceptions to this rule. The first is if a barbarian turns lawful he loses his ability to rage. The second is a divine character whose alignment changes to something the supporting deity or power has problems with. The first case is unique as far as I know, the second is pretty common. If the class is drawing power from a source that will no longer support him due to his new alignment he loses those abilities powered by said source but keeps his other abilities. This may not be RAW but it is RAI.

Are your bosses alone, or do they have minions? Any boss worth the title will have lots of minions. If the players are able to get to the boss in the first couple of rounds you don’t have enough minions. The minions should also be going after the witch. If she is able to stay back and cast or hex without worry you need more minions. If one of the characters has to stay back and protect the witch your boss effectively increased its hit points by a 25% and his attacks vs the players by a third. If you don’t want to have a horde of minions consider two lesser bosses instead of just one big one. The single boss will usually lose when faced with four to one odds.

What type of bosses are you throwing at them? The single most effective boss is a spell caster or similar creature instead of a melee brute. Your party is geared towards melee so instead of trying to meet them on their terms, attack them from a different angle. Use ranged combat and spells to make the players work for it.

Courage is not the utter lack of fear, but rather overcoming your fear and not letting it dictate your actions. I still have paladins role saving throws vs. fear effects, but if they fail they are not affected by the effect. At this point I tell them that they feel the fear, but their god, faith or whatever is appropriate blocks it.

The flight or fight syndrome will still affect the paladin, but now it is under his control. There will be times when the best thing to do is to flee. Retreating vs an unwinnable foe is something a paladin should have no problem with. Sarenrae’s paladin code actually requires this.

If you use the race builder for the nonstandard races simply allow the humans to pick extra abilities equal to those that the other races get. The most likely choice will be extra stats instead of magical abilities. Require them to have all the normal human traits and just add to what they have. The other races will probably not have the extra stats the templates give and have scaled down power so everything should be about equal.

Keep in mind that none of the players is going to be a normal human. The extra abilities could be from a royal bloodline or something similar. Plenty of characters in fiction are depicted as having greater than normal human abilities due to a birthright. The whole idea is to keep the characters roughly equal in power so that one player does not end up playing the spear carrier.

Don’t limit what the humans can choose let them have full access to anything the other races can pick. These abilities can represent their own individual heritage, not a racial ability. A sorcerer could have arcane focus because he is the last descendant of a sorcerer king. The fighter could have sword training because his mentor taught him more than most. Just come up with a background reason for the character to have the ability. It does not have to be racial even though you are using the race builder.

I would suggest being very careful about any templates. They add a lot more power than you realize. Also if you are going to allow templates all characters should have the template, and use the same template for all. This of course does not include NPC’s especially villains.

Just because someone has a cool idea for a concept does not mean you have to let them have anything they want. If they want to be descendant from a dragon or outsider have them take the feat Eldritch Heritage or some other similar feat. There may be ways to balance the templates, but to be honest it is probably more trouble than it is worth.

In 3.0 I convinced the GM to let me come in with a half celestial druid and he total outclassed the rest of the party. 3.0 used level adjustments so I was around 3 levels lower than the rest of the party, but the other players were still totally outclassed by my character. I came in to the campaign late and killed it because the other players were not having fun anymore.

Another thing you could try doing is building a custom race for the player who want something different. Build the race yourself using the race building section. Do not allow the players to build their own race or it will not be balanced. Also use about 10 point for the race which is about the same as the standard races.

A bards spells could be based on oratory instead of music. Make sure your spells are language dependent and avoid utility spells. You may want to also look at the words of power spell system. Many stories have magic based on an elder language that is the basis of all other languages.

For a new player you want a class that is simple to play, but is still fun and effective. Some classes are simple to build but playing them effectively is a lot more complicated. Most prepared casters fall in this category. Other classes may be difficult to build, but simple to play. A spontaneous caster is may be fairly difficult to build, but actual play is a lot easier. If you are building the character these are fine. What you want is a class that everything they do is on their character sheet, not buried in a rule book.

The rogue sounds like it would be a good idea for a first time player, but it is really not. It actually takes a lot of system mastery to play an effective rogue. Setting up a sneak attack is something that is difficult enough for an experienced player, much less a beginner. The rogue is also considered the weakest class in the game for a reason so the new player may not have as much fun.

Barbarians, Bloodragers, Oracles, Paladins, Rangers, Sorcerers will all be fairly easy to play.

What race are the monks? A skirmisher ranger with a maxed out favored enemy vs. their race would probably work well. Try and setup a situation where you can control the terrain type of where you encounter the monks. Max out that terrain as the rangers favored terrain for an even bigger advantage. Max out perception to make sure they don’t sneak up on you. Also take animal companion for your hunter bond and pick up boon companion. Take archery for you combat style and go for a switch hitter.

The ranger is going to be +6 to hit and damage the monks with any weapon. He also gets a +10 perception to spot the monks (if in maxed out favored terrain). None of your abilities are magic so you loose nothing in the anti-magic field.

Since an elemental bloodline sorcerer can convert any energy type to his energy his best strategy is to pick all his spells of a different element than his own. This allows him the ability to cast effectively two spells for every spell. So instead of taking fireball for his 3rd level spell he takes lightning bolt and can cast it as either fire or electricity. Only his first two bloodline spells are actually damage spells that are restricted to his element. The fire resistance his bloodline gives him will probably be very useful for the due to fire damage being the most common type of energy damage. Having an extra 30’ of movement is always good. True his elemental blast may not be as useful but still works against normal humans which are not normally resistant or immune to fire.

Make sure he has a variety of different types of attack spells and also some battle field control spells of some sort and he will be fine. In all honesty air is probably a better element because devils are immune to fire, but have no resistance vs electricity. Being able to fly is also better than extra ground movement. There are also a lot of good fire spells so choosing another element would actually make his spell selection easier. If he took air as his element he could choose the fire spells and be able to convert them to electricity.

To be able to withstand magic you typically need a couple of things. First and probably most important are good saves. Will and fortitude are more important than reflex, but reflex is still needed. Second is a high touch AC. Many spells like rays target touch AC. Since most caster don’t have the huge bonus to hit martials have it does not have to be supper high, just high enough for the touch attacks to fail. If your touch AC is about equal to your normal AC you should be fine. Evasion is also something that can be useful to resist magic. Last but not least is magic resistance. Magic resistance can shut down a caster trying to affect something pretty quick.

There is only one class in the game that gets all these and that is the monk. A monk can be a casters nightmare. While the monk does have problems going up against level appropriate challenges, he does quite well vs wizards. The monk usually has problems hitting his target, but a caster usually has a much lower AC. Even if he can hit the monk often has trouble doing enough damage to be a threat, but the wizard usually has a lot less HP than an appropriate level challenge. Most level appropriate creatures also have way to high of a CMD for grapple to work, but wizards usually have crap for CMD. All in all a monk can be a wizard nightmare. Make it a dwarf monk with both steal soul, and glory of old and there may not be much the wizard can do to him.

Actually I prefer half orc for a paladin because of ferocious resolve. Adding a bonus to your lay on hand equal to your level is good, but being able to function at negative HP is also good. With ferocious resolve you have to actually kill the paladin to put him down. It’s really a matter of personal preference which is better. All the other advice has been good.

The widened fire ball can probably take out around 500 troops without too much trouble. There are a lot of spells especially higher level spells that can devastate an army. Control weather has a 2 mile radius area of effect so would be able to cover almost any army. A few summoned creatures can cause massive damage especially if they have special defenses or attacks. A shadow demon could probably tear through an army that did not have magic weapons. Illusions and enchantments can wreak havoc with tactics.

Also most armies are not going to stick around when things they can’t handle start happening. PC’s can and usually do face seeming impossible odds on a daily basis. An army is likely to retreat when a single attack destroys a large portion of its forces. The widened fireball that just took out ¼ of the army may cause a rout.

Also most high level casters have defenses that are going to make it hard for the army to effectively attack them. Wind wall will shut down archers and crossbowman completely. As multiple people have stated fly puts you out of melee range, so the only way to attack is with magic. A lesser globe of invulnerability will shut down spells lower than 4th level, which is about all the army will probably be able to muster.

The whole point is that an army without a high level spell caster of its own can easily be overcome by a high level caster. Most armies are not going to have the high level caster available to them. The PC’s are supposed to be hero’s not just employees.

Keep in mind some basic assumptions of the game. The majorities of people are 5th level or lower. A kingdom will have a handful of characters between 6th and 12th level. These will be the leaders and other movers and shakers of the kingdom. Characters above 12th level are supposed to be extremely rare, with a hand full in the entire world. These are the baseline assumptions of the game.

I would also suggest that martial characters are probably more common than spell casters. So your big bad general of the kingdom will be a martial class between 6th and 12th level with NPC wealth by level. His spell casters will probably be 5th level or lower. The court wizard and high priest will probably not be in the field with the army, but rather back in the capitol advising the king.

So let’s look at the numbers assuming the army is composed of elite veteran they will be about 3rd level warriors with about 24 HP. Normally I would say that most troops will be 2nd level warriors with about 14 HP. Assume the leaders of the army are 5th level fighters with 49 HP. None of the troops have any magic items but the leaders may have some minor items. Assume there are about 100 troops and maybe 5 leaders.

Take a 14th level wizard with an intensified, widened fireball. This is a 7th level spell so will use one of his highest spell slots. It does 49 points of damage or 24 points if they make their save. It will cover a 40 foot radius spread. This will be wide enough to cover the whole army with a single spell. Any of the troops that fail the save are outright killed. If they make the save they are reduced to 0 HP and will probably die anyways. The leaders who fail the save will also be reduced to 0 HP and in danger of dying, those that make the save are severely wounded. All mounts are also killed and most of their equipment is either destroyed or damaged.

Keep in mind that the armies are not going to be composed of PC level characters. They are much lower level and not anywhere near as well equipped. Even a standard 3rd level fireball will be devastating to a normal army. 35 point is enough to kill off most of the troops and severely weaken any who do manage to make the save. High level characters are rare so the opposing army probably does not have casters able to match the PC class characters.

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Actually I think planning out your character make a lot more sense than just taking anything that catches your interest. Most successful people figure out what they want to do early and spend a lot of time preparing and training to achieve their goals. This happens in real life too, not just games. You don’t just decided to become a professional athlete or a nuclear physicist by accident. It takes years of dedication and sacrifice to achieve high levels of competency.

Do you want to play someone who is supposed to be the best at what he does, or do you want to play the person who dabbles in everything but is good at nothing. Personally I would rather play Rambo than Ralph the mouth.

Heroism gets a +2 on all skills so that can also be used. Considering it lasts 10 Min. per level it should last a fair amount of time.

Since this is only for a one night I would suggest a gnome pyromaniac fire sorcerer. The only thing this party seems to be lacking is someone throwing around lots of fire power. While blasting may not be optimal it can be fun. Sorcerers are fairly simple so you don’t need to spend a lot of time creating the character or planning on what to do. You can just jump in to the game at full speed.

Probably the best way to have this happen is with a magic item. A magic item capable of covering a whole city will probably be a major artifact.

If it were not for number 4 an inquisitor would be the best bet. Dump CHA to the floor, boost WIS to the max, and pick up either the conversion, or heresy inquisition. This allows you to be the party face with no CHA. 10 INT is enough for a decent amount of skills so the rest of the stats can be higher. Pick a deity with a good melee weapon because you already have all the good ranged weapons. Judgments allow you to cover any need so you are good there. Your spells will boost your combat ability to be able to deal with almost anything. Your only weak save is reflex which is the least important save of the game. Bane and latter greater bane can be adjusted to any creature as needed, and works with any weapon. Divine pursuit allows it to pursue burrowing, climbing, flying or swimming targets. Even without dumping CHA they are still very strong.

Have you looked at the war priest from the ACG? This gives you everything you want.

Always be up front with your players about the type of campaign you will be running. This is probably the single most important thing you can do as a GM. If any class, race or concept is going to have trouble warn your players about it.

A campaign with that low of resources is going to have a lot of issues. Most martial classes will be crippled unless you adjust the prices on everything. Martial classes will not be able to afford any weapons or armor. Spell casters will not be able to afford material components or focuses. If they are just starting at this level of wealth and then going to normal wealth once the game is underway that is not so bad. Low wealth actually hurts martial classes more than caster classes.

I would have the spell create a set of masterwork armor that he has proficiency in that has no arcane spell failure. If the player is wearing armor currently I would have that suit of armor not have any arcane spell failure. In either case the special ability only works for him. Any other caster has the suffers the full effect of the armor.

The party is a group of undead hunters sponsored by Sarenrae. They will be optimized to deal with undead so the opponents can, and should be deadly. A big part of the campaign will be investigation so most of the Boss types will be humanoid of some sort. Undead will always be evil, but not always obviously evil. What I am having trouble with is coming up with ideas for the leaders. I am trying to avoid the obvious stereo types and would like to throw some unusual combinations of class and templates at the party.

I like the idea of the skeletal T-rex and will be using it just not as a leader. Probably have one of the leaders animate it as a diversion.

A Ravener is also a good idea but probably for later in the campaign.

I am running an undead hunting campaign and need some ideas for some interesting undead bosses. Mostly what I am looking for is unusual but still effective class and template combinations. I already have an antipaladin/oracle of bones gravekinght, and a vampire oracle of flame. Anyone have any ideas on cool combinations?

A critical hit is only a critical hit once the threat has been confirmed. Bless weapon automatically confirms a critical hit vs an evil opponent. Since the fortification nullifies an actual critical hit, not a threat fortification works normally against bless weapon.

Any good cleric can heal so there is no need to take the healing domain. The extra healing from the sixth level domain power may seem good, but other than that you don’t get much. Most of the spells are ones you get anyways and the first four you can spontaneously cast.

If you want to go for the archeologist angle I would suggest Nethys. He is true neutral so you can still be neutral good. Being good you will also still channel positive energy so will still be a decent healer. This gives you access to the knowledge domain which fits better than healing.

Looking at what you already have your group seems to be lacking two things. Magic and skills are your weak spots. Healing falls under magic and that is also something you are going to need. This would suggest a class with decent skills and good magic that can do at least some healing. Alchemist, bard and inquisitor are probably you best choice. An alchemist could work, but will not be able to affect others with your extracts unless you chose infusion. Bard would also work but lacks most of the condition removal spells that a healer really needs. An inquisitor has all the spells to fulfill the role of a healer, but has a limited number of spells know so you may be stretched thin at lower levels. Scrolls and wands will be the best way to take care of the healing anyways.

An alchemist will add a lot of versatility to the group, but most of your magic will be limited. Bombs will be a good source of extra damage and can be useful for swarms and groups of low threat minions. Your mutagen will allow you to supplement the party’s melee combat, not that you really need it. Extracts can be useful, but even with infusions extracts lack the versatility and utility of spells. They only affect a single target even if the spell normally affects multiple. They also tend to focus on self-buff and transformation type spells.

A bard will add a lot of utility and skills. Bardic knowledge and lore master can be a great help in figuring out things. Your combat will be ok, but not great. Bards make ok archers, but will fall behind most other archers due to lack of feats and BAB. Archery is also pretty feat intensive so it may take a while before everything comes together. Most of your magic will be buffing, deception and divination based. You will be able to heal HP, but not remove conditions. Your main contribution to combat will probably be performance.

The inquisitor will probably be the strongest combatant of the choices, but only for a limited number of times per day. They have better weapons available than either alchemists, or bards. They have good skills and bonuses to several skills including monster lore. They have a lot of useful spells, but only know a limited number of spells. Their biggest advantage is they have more flexibility than any other class. There is a judgment that will give you almost any bonus you need. They get bane so can deal extra damage to anything they fight. They are the best class in the game when it comes to investigating things. Between detect alignment, discern lies and stern gaze they are incredibly difficult to fool

While the extra performance per level would be nice, the archetype is fine as it stands. Many classes and archetypes have a feat tax so having to pick up lingering performance for an archeologist is not really that bad.

Oracle of bones makes a great armored necromancer. If you want to use heavy armor and martial weapons dip two levels of antipaladin. Otherwise just go with oracle of bones and pick up the feat Divine Protection for CHA to saves.

From a game mechanics point you are giving up a lot of power for some minor advantages that can mostly be duplicated or exceeded by spells. Judgments are often situational but when the right situation comes up they are very useful. Since you can select whatever judgment you need this is actually a really good thing. Having an extra +3(+7 total) caster levels to penetrate spell resistance is very useful when trying to deal with high level creatures. Greater bane combined with judgment of destruction will mean on the average a bonus of +14 points of damage per hit, that multiply on a critical hit. Since you are losing your third judgment you could have justice, destruction and one other running. You also lose 3 judgments per day.

As long as you realize what you are giving up its all good. In the end this is your character, and as long as you are happy with it that is all that matters.

Keep your plots simple and allow players to contribute. I usually have a basic outline of my plot and then let it unfold by way of player actions. Often the players think up things I would have never thought of and a lot of times their ideas are better than mine. When this happens steal the ideas from your players.

Always remain fluid in your plots. Don’t be afraid to move things around if your players don’t do what you expect. It really does not matter which room the encounter takes place in, just that it takes place. If your players missed finding the note with the clue in the drawer, move it to the chest with the treasure.

Not everything needs to be part of the plot. Feel free to include some seemingly random encounters just to mix things up. Truly random encounters are usually a bad idea, but something planed that has no bearing on the plot is fine. This is also a great source of future plot hooks. If the players react well to the encounter then fell free to use in the future.

When you need to adjust the plot try to keep it subtle. If the players don’t realize you have rearranged things all the better. This means you need to keep track of your changes so things are consistent. If you rearranged something then you want to make sure if they go back to the area it is as they remember it. If you steal an idea from the player make it seem like they figured it out, and don’t tell them you changed things.

Just have different aspects of God being worshiped by different religions, just like in the real world. Jewish, Christian and Muslim all branched off the same religion originally. Over time they grew into seemingly completely different religions. Also within each religion there are various sects and orders to further separate things. God being infinite and man being finite it is almost inevitable that this will happen.

The other thing that will allow more religions in a monotheistic setting is allowing philosophies to power divine spell casting. A real world example of this would be Buddhism. This would work well for the neutral religions. God would be the source of the good religions. Satan would be the source of power for evil. Philosophies would be the source of neutral religions. Because there are no neutral gods the main conflict will still be between good and evil. While a neutral divine caster can be individually powerful and persuasive, there will be no unifying force to unite them.

The difference the campaign world would have from the real world is that magic works. This means that God or his agents have more influence and will probably intervene if things get too out of hand. This will mean that while there are religious differences outright religious wars between the good religions will probably be kept at a minimum, if not prevented completely. It is kind of hard to call for a crusade against the infidels when God tells you to knock it off and behave yourself.

Wearing a chain shirt under clothes should not be a problem. People may still be able to figure out you are wearing it. Making the chain shirt out of mithral should help, and you can probably have clothes specially tailored to do a better job of hiding it. Someone touching it will probably be able to figure it out even with that.

The skill disguise could also allow you to cover the fact you are wearing armor. All of this is of course up to your GM so talk to him about it.

What you lose for 1 extra attack is 10 caster levels, 5th and 6th level spells, stalwart, greater bane, and the extra bonuses from judgments. Your Reflex saves improve at the expense of your fortitude and will saves. Reflex saves are the least important save of the game so that is probably a bad trade. Your actual chance to hit actually goes down with the judgment of justice because you lose slayer which lets you treat it as if you were 5 levels higher.

The inquisitor is already one of the most versatile classes. Multiclassing is not going to add versatility, but rather weaken the character. There is nothing the duelist adds to the inquisitor that equals what you lose by multiclassing. Too many of the inquisitors class features are level dependent to make this a good idea. Also delaying getting greater bane or other inquisitor abilities is actually going to make you weaker. The thing that makes the inquisitor deadly is synergy. Individually the buffs don’t look that strong, but they almost always stack with each other. Judgments by themselves may not look strong, but add in spells and bane and they become very strong.

memorax wrote:
Don't get me wrong Mysterious Stranger. I enjoy the archtype. To me I would rather play it then a standard Rogue. I do agree that the he rounds per luck increased to +1 per level is needed imo.

I agree that it would be nice, but at the same time as long as I can take lingering performance to triple the rounds it is good. I favor the half elf for this archetype just to because I can use ancestral weapon to get proficiency with scimitar. I built a dervish dance archeologist that was more powerful than the rest of the group. Part of that is that I tend to utilize my characters abilities and tactics better than most. With this archetype I have so much to work with that it is not funny. Most people don’t realize how powerful synergy can make your character. The only other class that beats the archeologist for synergy is an inquisitor.

The way I run it is that if you are a leader of an organization you gain followers as appropriate to your situation. They obey you when it comes doing their job, but nothing else. So if your followers are soldiers they will fight for you, but don’t do what you want when they are not on duty. Also since they are essentially being paid to be loyal they may desert if the danger is too much, and can also easily be bribed or bought off.

Leadership on the other hand gives you a group of loyal followers who will remain loyal no matter what. If your actions change your leadership score you may have some desertion but those that remain are still loyal. They will willingly follow you into dangerous situations, and will not betray you.

I also allow both to be used simultaneously. A character with leadership who is also a leader of an organization has all the followers his position would normally have, and has a group of loyal followers who may or may not be part of the organization. If they are part of the organization they still remain loyal even if you lose your position.

Channeling energy causes a burst that affects all creatures of one type (either undead or living) in a 30-foot radius centered on the cleric.

Magical effects that heal living creatures slow a bone golem (as the slow spell) for 1d4 rounds (no save).

Normally golems are not affected by channel energy as they are neither living nor undead, but Bone Golems are specifically called out as being affected by magical effects that heal living creatures. This would indicate they are affected by channel energy. Since you can only channel energy to affect either the living or undead bone golems would be affected. You actually cannot target them separately because they are not living or undead.

The whole idea behind the archeologist bard is that he a rogue with magic. It does have a feat tax built into it, but so do a lot of classes. Even without playing a race that gets additional rounds of performance per day you can still get around 18 rounds of luck at 1st level. This archetype is about synergy so it does take some system mastery to pull off, but what you end up with is worth it. Dipping for two levels of rogue is not worth it because it delays your spell casting. Also the archeologist gets a flat out bonus to perception not just for traps. At 2nd level he gets the equivalent of 2 rogue talents Fast Pick, and Quick Disable, at 4th level he can pick up trap spotter. Once he gets fast stealth he will have all the rogue talents he needs.

The question is not would you rather have a standard bard or an archeologist bard, but rather would you rather have a rogue, or an archeologist bard. Just look at any of the rouge threads and almost inevitably the archeologist bard is suggested as a better alternative. The archetype also replaces the arcane trickster prestige class.

I would love to see the rounds per luck increased to +1 per level, but even as it stands it is still a very strong ability.

Archeologist luck combined with lingering performance and a race that gets performance rounds per day as a favored class will have plenty or rounds of performance. Add in Fates Favored trait and you have an incredibly strong ability. Luck bonuses are the rarest type in the game so this stacks with practically everything. It increases your chance to hit, damage, saves, and skills, combine this with the spell Heroism for a +4 to just about everything you do for around 30 rounds at 4th level. This is one of the strongest archetypes because of this ability. You also get an additional +2 to disable device, perceptions and all knowledge skills. At this point you are not a bard, but a magical thief who makes a normal rogue look like a commoner.

I have to agree that Voice of the Spheres is the worst trade of any ability. The thing that makes it impossible to beat is you may already have this ability and if so you gain nothing. If I play an aasimar I already get celestial as a language. Since it states you gain this only if you don’t already have it I end up with nothing. Unless another archetype gives some sort of penalty with nothing in return this will always be worse.

Davor wrote:
I think stats are going to define what your characters can do. Since Aasimar have no racial penalties, and a bonus to your primary paladin attributes, I'd recommend going with 20, or even 15, point buy. This means that the way each character allocates their stats defines their capabilities. Wanna be a good spellcaster? You need to put more points into those attributes, which means you will naturally be less combat capable UNLESS you decide to spread yourself thin. It means spellcasters will be less jack-of-all-trades kinds of characters, but will still get the benefits of lay-on-hands and smite evil they want. If you really feel the need to force specialization, go down to 10 point buy.

I get the impression that this campaign is supposed to be a high powered over the top campaign. These campaigns can be a lot of fun if done properly. Using a low point buy defeats the purpose of giving the extra powers. The GM will need to make sure the enemies are equally tough and not just use the standard CR recommendations. I would adjust all encounters by at least 2 CR minimum, by 11th level that should be around 4 CR. I would not recommend running such a campaign every time, but it makes an interesting change once in a while.

I would still do a 25 point buy, just make the enemies tougher. I usually like high point buys for my players because it allows me to pull out all the stops. Just let the players know that this will be a very deadly campaign. When creating the opponents use the same point buy you give the players.

Instead of gestalt paladins why not give everyone the half celestial template. That would seem more like angels than paladins. This would also allow a more diverse group. The way I see it the all the characters are going to be very similar. Most will be going for some CHA based caster of some sort, but will want good physical stats. I figure you will have a bard, oracle, sorcerer, and a summoner for the other class.

Oliver McShade wrote:
Mathius wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

What does in mean to a kingdom to have even one caster who can use 6 to 8th level spells?

Movers and shakers are in the 6 to 10 range and the availability of spell casting services would mean that spellcaster in that range are available regionally at the very least. Based on settlements you would have casters capable of casting 4th level spells in every small town.

I think most world changing thing would be having a 1st level spells and cantrips available even in Thorps. That would mean that 1 in every 10 to 20 people is a capable of casting of some sort. About 1 in 50 or so can cast 2nd level spells based on hamlets.

Many high level spells only need a few casters willing to use them often to change the world. Teleport, lessor planar binding, wall of stone, permanency + blood money + (wall fire or gust of wind, shrink item), fabricate, scrying, are all available on regional level.

At a local level it is easy to find levitate, invisability, air bubble, create food and water, create water, purify food and water, fly, unseen servant. Levitate plus a high str and ant haul...

What it means, is that if the number of people who can use magic is that small... then there is no reason to use magic.

You just can not find people to do the magic. It is too rare to be used reliable. Those who can use it, are in too great of demand, which makes them a threat, which mean they are the first once to be targeted by assassination, if they take the job.

Which is why, when 5% or less of the world can use magic, that they hid in far off wizards tower, in the large churches, hiding in the crowd.


The moment you set up that magic is rare, you end up creating this problem

If on the other hand, you figure that Melee class are rare or 50% of the population, and that Caster make up the other 50%... then you swing the gate the other way: Most people use magic, many caster higher themselves out for job like fixing roads, build...

I think your reasoning is a little off. According to your theory we should be assassinating medical doctors in the real world. People able to use magic are probably about as common as doctors. The majority of those able to use magic will be low level, just like the general population. Powerful spell casters are probably about as common as brain surgeons, or nuclear physicists. Really high level casters are the Steven Hawkins, or Albert Einstein’s of the world.

The designers don’t use the race builder is how they do the math. The race builder is not really that good. It is a GM tool to create races so should only be done by the GM who can overrule anything he needs to.

thegreenteagamer wrote:
I do think the bard is a little annoyed that the investigator is trying to get all up in his best-at-skills kool-aid.

Yea but bard spells are better than investigators extracts. Early access to heroism also gives a big boost to skills.

I usually do a 25 point buy with a hard limit of 18 after racial adjustments. I feel this does more to balance the characters than anything else I can do. A wizard with a 13 STR is not really any more powerful than a wizard with a 7 STR, but a wizard with a 20 INT is more powerful than a wizard with an 18 INT. Since most of the lower tier classes tend to be M.A.D. it gives them what the need, without boosting the power level of the higher tier classes. Some classes are still underpowered, but you can only do so much. For rogues I have a couple of house ruled talents that helps them more than any stat will ever do.

I think this is a bad idea for several reasons. First is that Stats are more important at the early levels. Those are also the levels that wizards and other top tier classes have problems. Past 5th level the class makes more impact than the stat. Consequently many lower tier classes actually do better at low level because they don’t get as much when they level up. This only makes the situation worse instead of better. Now the lower tier classes are significantly better at low level, but still do just as bad at mid to higher levels.

Second this is just going to encourage more min/maxing than ever. You have pretty much guaranteed that every wizard is going to have a 7 in both STR and CHA. The other effect will be for single first level dips in classes. Now almost everyone will take his first level in rogue and then take the rest of the levels in the class they want. This was very common in 3rd edition due to getting 4 times your first level in skills at 1st level.

Third is that the skill of the player often makes more difference in the power level of a character than anything. I have often been requested by the GM to tone my characters down because they are highly effective, where as someone else in the group is giving a lot of leeway on their characters. My characters are always within the rules, but we often bend the rules for this player. My characters are always more powerful even when hers should be. Even when I design the character to be fully optimized the other person does not fully utilize it.

A Zen Archer/Inquisitor would be a good start. Flurry of greater bane is ridiculous. Take the conversion, or heresy inquisition and you can dump CHA completely and still be highly effective.

An Archeologist Bard/Oracle of lore would be good for gathering information and investigation. A catfolk with the bards favored class will mean you know just about everything.

Another good combination would be a Ranger/Warpreist. Full BAB, all good saves, lots of bonus feats including some fighter only feats, and decent magic.

Just to have the odd man out a Slayer/Wizard for arcane power. This gives you some needed utility to cover what the other characters do not.

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