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Not all touch spells target enemies. Being able to deliver buff and healing spells at range can be very useful. Most buff and healing spells are touch spells. Being able to cast protection from evil on the fighter at range to prevent him from being controlled is pretty good. The same with spells like bull’s strength, heroism and protection from energy. Even some high level spells are touch spells. Communal mind blank at range is pretty dam good.
If you are playing an elemental sorcerer you can effectively double the number of combat spells known. Since you can convert any spell into your element you never learn spells of your element. If you pick up elemental spell you can further increase your versatility and be able to target almost any element. Now instead of being able to spam just fireballs I can spam fireballs, lightningballs, and coldballs.
Sorcerers in my opinion make better combat mages, but wizards out do them in utility spells. Being able to memorize spells depending on the situation is not a sure thing. Unless the GM never has any surprises and the party always is able scout out the enemy you are not always going to be able to prepare suitable spells. Yes you can leave open a few slots and prepare as needed, but not during an ambush.
Why not simply go for a STR build. STR 15, DEX 12, CON 16, INT 15, WIS 15, CHA 19. With rolled stats the efficiency of placing your racial bonuses is not the same as with a point buy. Since you don’t have to dump anything you don’t need to worry about maximizing your effort to get your preferred high stat.
Put your 4th level bonus into STR and then the rest into CHA. Not only will you have better damage but you will also be able to carry a decent load. Having only a 13 STR for a martial character is often quite limiting as to armor and weapons as well as other gear.
If you are going to go for DEX over STR figure out some way to get DEX to damage. Smite evil is good, but you are not a full paladin so will have less uses and less of a bonus. Also if the creatures are not evil you damage will really be limited.
If you are going DEX based look into slashing grace for DEX to damage. Drop power attack (for now) and arcane strike and take weapon focus and slashing grace. This would get you +6 to damage with elven curve blade. Pick up power attack next and you will be doing a lot of damage in melee especially when you have archeologist luck and heroism going.
As several people have already said the best time for healing is out of combat. This means that a cleric is no longer absolutely necessary for a party. Also what books are allowed in your campaign? Unless you are using only the core rulebook there are a lot of classes that can heal as well if not better than a cleric.
Healing HP is only a small part of what a healer needs to do. As Dave Justus mentioned condition removal is actually more important. While healing HP is more common it is also the easiest to replace or supplement. Wands of cure light wounds are pretty much a staple of the game and are the most economical healing available. Even for condition removal potions and scrolls should be a big part of your healing strategy. If the party is smart they will pool their resources and purchase appropriate magic items. This way the healer is using all his resources for what really should be a group expense.
The life oracles are actually considered to be the best healer in the game. He can out heal even a dedicated cleric without much trouble. Alchemists, Hedge Witches and some Paladin Archetypes can also replace a cleric as the primary healer. The other thing to take into account is that a lot of classes make decent secondary healer. Bards, Inquisitors, Oracles, Rangers, Paladins, and Witches can all heal to some extent. While none of these will be able to carry the entire burden of healing working together they can often heal well enough that a cleric is not needed. Especially if the party is pulling together, to purchase appropriate magic items.
If he is using a bastard sword one handed he still needs the exotic weapon profecency. As Greg.Everham stated a bastard sword is a one handed weapon that has special rules allowing it to be used two handed as a martial weapon.
Description of a Bastard sword
Note that normally you can't wield a two-handed weapon in one hand. A bastard sword is an exception to that rule that you can't wield a two-handed weapon in one hand, but you must have special training to use the bastard sword this way. Without that special training, wielding a bastard sword one-handed is as impossible as wielding a greatsword one-handed. (The same goes for other weapons with this one-handed exotic exception, such as the dwarven waraxe.)
It is pretty clear that to use a bastard sword in one hand requires the exotic weapon proficiency. RAW a medium character using a small bastard sword without the exotic weapon proficiency still has to use two hands.
If all you want to do is to is to pick up a few social skills why not just pick up the social skills. There is nothing in the rules that state you cannot put more than one rank into a skill when you level up. Rangers have plenty of skill points so at your level you could put +6(+7 with favored class bonus to skill) skill points into diplomacy when you hit 8th level. When you hit 9th level use your feat to pick up diplomacy and maybe another social skill as a class skill.
I would also see about retraining your favored class bonus to skill points instead of HP. If you did that you could actually max out diplomacy at your current level. Going from a -2 diplomacy to a +5 is a pretty big jump, but if he is really trying to learn better social skills that is not that unreasonable.
Like Etonwan said presence is important in a bodyguard. Equally important is the ability to spot and handle a dangerous situation. To spot a dangerous situation you are going to want decent bonus in both perception and sense motive. While you can get DEX to damage various ways good old fashion STR is going to be hard to beat.
For the race I would suggest something with a bonus to both STR and DEX. Two races come to mind the first being the Nagaji which get a +2 bonus to perception and +2 saves vs mind affecting and poison. Both of these are going to be very useful in a bodyguard. The other race would be a Suli. They get a +2 bonus in both diplomacy and sense motive, they also 5 points of resistance vs all four of the traditional elements and the ability to add elemental damage to any attack.
For class a Bloodrager would be pretty good. The Abbysal bloodline allows you to grow to the next size category when raging which not only increases his combat ability it also is very impressive. Take intimidating powers and you will have an intimidate score through the roof.
The Suli Bloodrager will be better at social situations as it will have decent scores in diplomacy, intimidate and sense motive. If you take traits to get sense motive and diplomacy as class skills then it hands down better in social situations.
Survival should be able harvest meat from an animal. The skill butcher will allow you to do a better job with less waste and properly prepare the cuts. If all you want to do is to eat the meat survival would work. If you want to be able to sell the meat for a decent profit than butcher would be the appropriate skill.
Considering the Hellknights actually worship several gods, two of which are good. This would indicate that simply working with the order is not enough to cause a paladin to fall. Now if the knight in question is a worshiper of Asmodeus that may be a different story. Helping to build a temple to an evil god would cause a paladin to fall.
Although the Godclaw venerates aspects of Abadar, Asmodeus, Iomedae, Irori, and Torag, it is unclear from which of these gods it draws its power.
The Hellknight could just as easily have Abadar as a patron as Asmodeous.
What you are describing is taking 20. This is also what any detective would be doing so your point about the detective is kind of pointless. You can only take 20 when you spend the extra time, and are not in danger. If for some reason the GM does not allow taking 20 then that is something you should talk over with the GM.
If you tell the GM we are carefully searching the room that should be clear enough. If he does not get it tell him straight out you are taking 20.
For a quick search you should not know the quality of your roll just the results. Once you start rerolling you are essentially taking 20 except you are actually rolling, and not being guaranteed getting the 20. If I don’t find my keys I don’t know that I rolled a 1, I just know I did not find my keys. At that point I start searching (take 20).
If you want to be more realistic you could actually roll to see how long it takes to get the 20 instead of just taking 20 times as long. To me that would end up slowing down the game too much.
Pulling the flask of his belt may not require patience or concentration, but opening a sealed flask would. I am assuming that any flask or other alchemical item has some sort of closure to prevent it from being spilled or evaporating.
I understand what you are trying to do, but I don’t think you can do it. The problem is that barbarian’s actions while in rage are limited. It seems to me that retrieving an item from your backpack (or haversack) and using it falls under the “requires patience or concentration”. I don’t think you are going to find any kind of nonmagical healing that a barbarian can use while maintaining rage. I would not allow any barbarian to use any healing item in rage that requires any kind of action on his part. If someone uses the item on him that is different, but the superstitious rage power limits that.
While in rage, a barbarian gains a +4 morale bonus to her Strength and Constitution, as well as a +2 morale bonus on Will saves. In addition, she takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase to Constitution grants the barbarian 2 hit points per Hit Dice, but these disappear when the rage ends and are not lost first like temporary hit points. While in rage, a barbarian cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration.
Other than a few rage powers that have been mentioned or items that provide continuous healing you are not going to be able to heal in combat. The only exception may be something that is not spell based that you take before you start your rage.
Normally it would not matter because from a mathematical perspective they are the same. There is on case where it does make the difference and that is when you use maximize spell on a empowered spell. There was a ruling that only the base damage of the spell is maximized. So if you had a empowered maximized Fireball(an 8th level spell) you would do 80 points plus 5d6+10 points of damage. That would indicate that the correct way for the 5th level sorcerer would be to roll 7d6+15.
When I run I use most of the rules especially encumbrance and ammo. Since fighters who dump INT lose skill points it is only fair that rouges and wizards who dump STR are also penalized. This also forces clerics and other secondary combatants to devote some resources to STR to avoid being encumbered by their armor and weapons. Using ammo is a way of keeping archers in check.
For things like rations and other minor equipment I simply have the players spend a monthly upkeep fee and consider it taken care of.
I use Hero Labs and have a copy of all characters so it keeps track of the encumbrance for me. Past first level most archers simply get durable arrows to minimize breakage. This means that they only really have to worry about ammo in two cases. The first is if they have to run before being able to collect their arrows. The second is in a very long battle. Having to pay 1GP per arrow rather than 1 per 20 arrows is not that big of a deal.
The rage power states they cannot be a willing target for a spell. To me this also means they cannot even willingly drink a potion. So unless someone else is force the potion down the barbarian’s throat they cannot use a potion while under the rage power. If someone did manage to force a potion down a raging barbarian’s throat they would be required to make a saving throw vs the effect.
Since the players are not actually able to see the seen they are relying on the GM description for everything. No matter how well you describe the scene you cannot convey every detail. This is why you should generally give the player the benefit of the doubt. If the information from the skill check is something that is not hidden or concealed you should generally ask for the appropriate skill roll.
A good rule of thumb is that if a character with the appropriate skill can make a check without having to move or having to do anything give them the roll. If the skill check involves any kind of action then wait until they actually take the appropriate action. Most knowledge skills and other informational skills will usually get a roll.
If the player specifically states they are ignoring something then I would not give them a roll. So if you tell the players they found a camp and they interact with it in any way they would probably get a roll. If on the other hand they we ignore it and move on then they don’t get a roll.
Bless Weapon specifies that the automatic conformation of critical hits do not apply to any weapon that has a magical effect related to critical hits and mentions keen by name. This is why I suggested improved critical. He already ignores all damage reduction when using smite evil.
Since you are going to be going up against undead you may want to memorize lesser restoration. Paladins get it as a 1st level spell.
Also consider picking up improved critical and using bless weapon. Auto conforming a paladins smite evil on a weapon with a 15-20 crit range is incredibly powerful.
Ghostbane Dirge is also going to be useful vs Incorporeal undead.
Bulls Strength is a good go to second level spell. Since you don’t have any wondrous items this is even more useful. Eagles Splendor would also be useful especially for saving throws and bonus to hit on smite evil.
Litany of Righteousness is also a good spell for a paladin. Declare smite in the first round and then use Litany of Righteousness in the second.
Blade of Bright Victory is another good spell for dealing with incorporeal undead.
For first level spells memorize Hero’s Defiance. This spell is only used as a reaction to going below 0 HP and is cast as an immediate action.
You could also memorize healing spells to take up some load of the primary healer. Paladins get lesser restoration as a 1st level spell. Also spells like Endure Elements or Undetectable alignment have all day duration but most other casters have better spells.
Casting undetectable alignment on yourself every day would make you less likely to be spotted by detect good.
What makes an inquisitor unique is the ability to stack buffs. Judgements are sacred/profane bonuses; they also get access to divine favor/power which is a luck bonus, and also heroism for a morale bonus. All of these stack with Bane. All of these work equally well with both melee and ranged combat. While you may be going for an archer it is nice not to be completely nerfed when you cannot use a bow. Many archer builds are useless when not using a bow the inquisitor is not one of them.
Inquisitors already have good will and fort saves and can boost them further with judgements if needed.
Are you more interested in being an archer or an inquisitor? If you want to be an archer there are classes that do this better than the inquisitor. Zen Archers are some of the best archers but to make it worthwhile you need to take too many level in monk.
Without the ability to fire a bow without provoking an attack of opportunity you will also need to be able to handle melee. The inquisitor class abilities work equally well on melee or ranged combat. This means that you are not completely shut down if you are not able to use your bow.
Inquisitors already are behind in gaining spell levels and only have limited number of spells per day. Multiclassing makes this even worse. Assuming a 3 level dip, at 12th level your highest level spell is 3rd. A straight inquisitor has 4th level spells and the cleric has 6th level spells. Your caster level is also way nerfed so the spells you do have are less effective.
To make the Zen Archer worthwhile you need to max out WIS, but you still need at least a 13 DEX. Any archer needs Deadly Aim and it requires at least a 13 DEX. You are also going to want to go to at least 3rd level for both Point Blank Master and Zen Archery. This basically means you are almost useless for the first two levels.
At 5th level the straight inquisitor picks up bane and a teamwork feat (Coordinated Shot). He also can use judgements twice a day, and the bonus for judgement of Justice is +2 compared to the +1 of the multiclass inquisitor. At this point the straight inquisitor when fully buffed will be much better than the multiclass. The Multiclass will have a slight advantage in a long fight with lots of different opponents, but for taking down the BBEG the straight inquisitor much better. He also has second level spells like Invisibility and Flames of the Faithful.
For a monster hunting campaign a inquisitor would be very useful. A combination of inquisitor for spells and special abilities and fighter for BAB and feats would be very powerful. The inquisitor can almost match a fighter for short periods of time without gestalt. Take the feat improved monster lore and put at least a single point into each monster related knowledge skill.
The best advice I can give on multiclassing an inquisitor is don’t do it. The inquisitor has too many level dependent class features to make it worth dipping into another class. Spells, Judgements, Bane, Stern Gaze, Tracking, and Discern Lies are all level dependent. They also gain multiple other abilities as they level up. Seriously the inquisitor is the absolute worst class to multiclass.
These types of rolls are best done by the GM not the player. The trick is you only need to worry about the roll if there is an actual trap.
If you are using dice get in the habit of idly rolling dice while you are doing something else. The trick is you only have to pay attention when there is something actually going on. Most of the time you are simply flipping dice and ignoring them, but every once in a while pause as is you are looking at something. Then when a situation like a trap comes up it will not be an automatic give away.
I use a computer and hero labs when I am running. It has a built in dice roller so I can roll 99 rolls with a single click of the button. Since I am constantly checking things on the system and my players cannot see the screen they have no clue if I am looking up something or actually rolling a check of some sort.
Considering the original poster specifies they character has the trapfinder trait, and has an equally high disarm device it is a logical assumption that he is the one disarming traps.
If a player is investing as much as this one has in dealing with traps the GM should use them. If the GM simply ignores traps, that is as bad if not worse than arbitrarily adjusting the difficulty.
As to it slowing down the game there are things that can be done to speed this up. If the player states that are looking for traps simply slow down their progress without slowing down the game. Telling the players that it take twice as long to walk down the hall does not really take anymore game time than telling them they walk faster. While I am not a fan of the GM rolling for the player this is one time I would do it. If there are no traps just roll behind the screen and pretend to read the dice, if there is a trap then pay attention to the roll.
What kind of armor are you wearing? Most medium or heavy armor include gauntlets which count as weapons and will allow you to make an attack of opportunity.
The big downside of multiclassing is the delay of your class abilities. The question is, is an extra 1.5 points of damage worth delaying your samurai class abilities?
Does he have the trap spotter talent or something similar? If not the perception rolls are not automatic and he has to actively be looking for the trap. If there is no danger when he encounters the trap this is probably not a problem, but if he encounters the trap during combat that is another story.
Another option is to have a trap that is multistage traps where disarming one arms another in a different location. Maybe the trap on the treasure room activates the one on the dungeon entrance/exit. This way he can find the first trap that is already disarmed so he forgets about it. After disarming the second trap the first trap is now armed. Since he already knows about the first trap he does not get another check unless he looks. If the trap is magical the first trap may not even be in existence until triggered by the second trap so there would be no roll the first time through. Be careful not to overuse this as other have stated the player invested a lot of resources in being able to find things so he should get to use what he paid for so to speak.
For players with poor social skills I allow them to use the better of the roleplay or the skill roll. The roleplay does determine what they are looking to get. So if they ask for the wrong thing then they may not get what they want, but the success is based on the skill roll.
For players with good social skills playing a character with poor social skills I do the opposite. You should not be able to use your own skills to compensate for skills your character does not have.
You could use the spell Spell Immunity and the greater version for this. As long as the method of blocking allows spell resistance it will work. This would work on an individual spell but not work on everything. I agree with Claxon that a single spell able to defeat multiple different spells and abilities should be high level and his estimate on the level sounds about right.
Normally you cannot explicitly block in pathfinder. There are a few abilities that let you do so and some of them can be done unarmed. Crane style is probably the closest thing to what you are looking for. As Blymurrkla stated you can consider a high AC to include blocking especially if you have a high DEX.
If you are looking for a game system with a more detailed combat system then Pathfinder is probably the wrong one. Pathfinder abstracts a lot of thing including combat. Hero System has a very detailed combat system including allowing for things like blocking, dodging and other actions in combat.
The primary job of a paladin is not to smite evil, but rather to protect the innocent. If you look at the breakdown of the class abilities you will notice that all offensive class abilities are limited in the number of uses per day. Even lay on hands which can be used offensively vs undead is limited. By contract all defensive and informational abilities (detect evil) are either constant or can be used an unlimited number of times per day.
Trying to use super hero ethics in a fantasy setting is not a good idea. Most super hero’s use non-lethal attacks because they are super heroes. Capitan America would be a brawler so he takes no penalty for using non-lethal damage.
Also Punisher is Lawful Evil, not Lawful Good. He uses the same tactics that he fights against, but limits his targets based on his code, hence the lawful.
Feats are learned behavior not physical trait. They are defiantly not racial traits even if the prerequisite is being a certain race. A human would keep his bonus feat no matter what the feat is. He may not be able to use the feat if he no longer meets the prerequisite , but he still has it. Just like the Halfling still has Adaptable Luck, but is not able to use it. Toughness has no prerequisite so the reincarnated human would still retain the extra HP, and continue to gain extra HP as they level up.
There are a couple of tricks to running this kind of combat. First is to limit the different kinds of creatures. Having a couple of different types of undead is fine but the vast majority should be a single type with identical stats. A boss with a few lieutenants is fine, but don’t have a dozen different types each with their own individual stat blocks. Use group initiative instead of individual for the monsters.
Know how much damage your characters will be doing and figure out how many hits it will take to kill the monster and use that when you can. So don’t roll for damage if the player does +25 damage and hits twice on a 40 HP monster. If he hits one then go ahead and roll the damage but otherwise just figure out the kill point. The same is true for spells. If the fireball is going to kill the monsters even if it makes the save don’t bother rolling the save.
The most important thing is to delegate out some of the work to the players. For example have one of the players keep track of HP instead of doing yourself. Have the players move the some of the monsters instead of doing it all yourself. When you have 2-4 people moving figures it takes a lot less time. This also keeps the players interest and prevents them from getting bored
For rolls use a computer instead of actual dice. Hero Labs has die roller utility built in that allows you to make any roll you need including bonuses. It even allows multiple rolls so you can roll 99 saves with a single click of the button.
The biggest thing is don’t sweat the details. If you are off a few HP on the monsters who cares?
I use a 25 point buy in all the games I run, but I add a couple of conditions. You are only allowed a single dump stat and no stat below 6, or over 20 including racial bonuses. This leads to more rounded characters and avoids the typical village idiot type characters. I have had one player who wanted two dump stats for a concept, but I did not give him extra points for dumping the second stat. This allows players to play M.A.D. classes but Keeps the S.A.D. classes in check.
I generally prefer powerful characters in games I run so I don’t have to treat them with kid’s gloves. My monsters tend to use tactics and strategies when appropriate and often the players make poor decisions so this gives them a needed edge.
Here's another argument: the paladin code of Sarenrae, goddess of honesty, nowhere mentions honesty. I'd expect it to be in there somewhere, unless it's already included via the standard code.
Other than this line.
I am fair to others. I expect nothing for myself but that which I need to survive.
The way I see it a paladin must follow both the standard paladin code in the core rule book, and their deity’s code. But if there is a conflict the deity’s code takes precedence over the standard code.
I am not seeing anything in Erastil’s code that really contradicts the standard paladin’s code. The only minor change seems to be the section on how you help those in need. The standard paladin would have no problem doing the work for the people or even just giving them gold to handle the problem. A paladin of Erastil is instead required to teach the person how to do it for themselves.
Torag on the other hand has a couple of differences that stand out.
• My word is my bond. When I give my word formally, I defend my oath to my death. Traps lie in idle banter or thoughtless talk, and so I watch my tongue.
• I am at all times truthful, honorable, and forthright, but my allegiance is to my people. I will do what is necessary to serve them, including misleading others.
• I respect the forge, and never sully it with halfhearted work. My creations reflect the depth of my faith, and I will not allow flaws save in direst need.
• Against my people's enemies I will show no mercy. I will not allow their surrender, except to extract information. I will defeat them, and I will scatter their families. Yet even in the struggle against our enemies, I will act in a way that brings honor to Torag.
Paladins or Torag are a lot more ruthless than other especially those of Sarenrae. A paladin of Sarenrae is expected to show mercy to his enemies, but a paladin of Torag tends to be more brutal and is not only allowed to deceive his enemies but actually almost required to.
Since there is no reason a wizard cannot actually be a thief I assume you mean rogue not thief. You also specified wizard instead of spell caster so that leaves out the obvious solution of the archeologist bard.
A wizard because of his INT will have near as many skill ranks as rogue but usually spends them on knowledges and spell craft. For the most part they also lack the proper class skills. The thing is there is nothing preventing a wizard from putting ranks into any skill he wants. If the skill in question is not a class skill all it means is they don’t get the +3 bonus. While being behind 3 points on a skill seems like a big deal it really is not for one reason spells. Many spells the wizard gets give huge bonuses to specific skills. The best example is invisibility giving a +20 to stealth, but there are also other spells that can not only overcome but actually exceed the class skill bonus. One spell also deserves special notice which is Heroism. Heroism gives a +2 bonus to all attacks, saves and skill checks, and it lasts 10 min. per level. This one third level spell almost makes every skill in the book a class skill.
Anyone with disable device can find and remove traps. To use disable device for magical traps requires Trapfinding or something similar. The thing is why would a spell caster even bother using disable device to overcome a magical trap. Wizards get the cantrip detect magic which can be use an unlimited number of times per day so they are actually better at detecting magical traps than a rouge. Simply take three rounds and you have located any magical traps. As to disabling them that is what dispel magic is for.
The only other class feature that the wizard needs to emulate is sneak attack. Instead of trying to simulate a sneak attack let’s look at what sneak attack really does. Sneak attack is designed to allow a rogue to take out a target that he surprises. There are plenty of spells that can do this starting with sleep, various touch attacks spells can also be used. Throw in a few meta magic feats like silent spell, and still spell can allow you to cast a spell without drawing attention to yourself. Yes if someone sees you casting they may still be able to figure it out, but if you cast without them seeing this will often be enough to avoid drawing attention to yourself.
If the wizard really needs to cast a spell and cannot avoid being noticed then simply hold a piece of paper or a stick and pretend to use the skill use magic device. They could also carry colored water in potion containers and pretend to drink a potion. Use the cantrip prestidigitation to make the tip of the stick glow purple so people really think it is a magic wand.
Considering you are going into mystic theurge to get arcane spells giving up two schools may be counterproductive. You may want to consider an archetype that replaces schools. Spell sage might work. You give up arcane bond but once per day can cast a spell as if you were 4 levels higher. It does not stipulate the spell has to be a wizard spell so you could use this ability on a cleric spell.
Spell study allows you to use two of your own spells to cast any spell from the cleric, bard or druid list. If the spell is on multiple lists you use the lowest level. Again the description does not state you have to use wizard spells so you could use two cleric spells. You already have access to the cleric spell list but this would allow you to cast a spell you did not prepare. Also bards get early access to a lot of spells so you may end up being able to cast some wizard spells before you can as a wizard.