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The nice thing about bless weapon is that the duration is 1 min. per level. It is a good spell to use when you have enough warning to prepare. Its other use is when you are facing a long drawn out battle with a bunch of minions. It is a situational spell, but in the right situation it can be incredibly useful.
Improved critical has one advantage over keen for a paladin. Improved critical will work with the spell bless weapon, but not with magical effect like keen. Take improved critical with the falchion and you will increase your damage vs evil considerably even when you are not smiting evil. The ability to auto confirm critical vs an evil opponent is often over looked but is incredibly useful.
Another reason to go with improved critical with the falchion is because of the spell bless weapon. Bless weapon allows you to automatically confirm a critical hit vs. an evil opponent. While it does not work with magical effects like keen or vorpal, it does work with improved critical. Bless weapon is a first level paladin spell that lasts 1 min. per level which is long enough for almost any fight.
If you want a truly terrifying opponent take 2 levels of anitpaladin, and then the rest as an oracle. You get CHA to save proficiency with martial weapons and heavy armor, smite evil once a day. As an undead you can use your touch of corruption to heal yourself.
For mysteries flame and wind are obvious choices for what you are looking at. Battle would work for acid since you wanted a more martial build. I used a similar build with an oracle of bones for a lord of the undead I am working on.
While the sample graveknight is lawful evil, the template works with any evil.
Now, I know you're into the half elf thing, but hear me out. There's a half orc alternate racial trait that grants a +1 luck bonus to all saves, this coupled with fates favored equals +2 to all saves. I'm not sure if this is legal, or what books are required, but +2 to all saves is beefier than skill focus.
That will not stack with Archeologist Luck since they are both luck bonuses.
As a bard you get very few spells so you will want to make them count. Unless this is going to be a one shot low level adventure you will want spells that remain useful at all levels. Sleep becomes useless one you reach medium to high level so is a bad choice. Cure light would not have been my choice, but is fine. Also if you choose spells that do not require a save your charisma only needs to be high enough to cast your spells.
Expeditious Retreat can be a great spell for an archeologist. Running away faster is always good, think of the opening scene in Raider of the lost ARC. Equally important is using it for stealth. Since it effectively doubles you move it allows you to make a full normal move while using stealth at no penalty.
A ranger is a prepared divine caster so they have access to their entire spell list. Each day they have to choose which of spells they memorize. Alarm and Residual Tracking are decent all propose spells but be aware you are able to change them as needed.
Aspect of the Falcon and Gravity bow are also going to be very useful for an archer. A good strategy is to have a couple of different spells choices based on what you expect to encounter. You have access to a decent amount of utility spells, but a lot is going to be dependent on what other spell casters you have in the party. For example if you have just finished an adventure and have a lot of loot but it is too much to carry Ant Haul cast on the two strongest party members will allow you to take a lot more than you would normally be able to carry.
Precise shot is good to have but not as necessary as it may seem. If you are fighting something one on one you can take a five foot step back and you are no longer firing into a melee. On the opponents next turn they will of course take a five foot step and full attack you, but you can still get off your full attack without any penalty. At low levels you function as a switch hitter using an elven curve blade instead of a rapier for massive damage.
The ranger’s advantage is he is able to function better at lower levels than fighter. He is also a lot more versatile than the fighter. If you were going to stay a fighter and not multiclass than the fighter may be stronger, but since you plan on going into lantern bearer you are not gaining that much for what you would get as a ranger.
Also keep in mind that your favored class bonus is more than hit and damage. You also get it on bluff, knowledge’s, perception, sense motive, and survival. You are also allowed to make knowledge checks untrained. With Perception being a class skill, having a decent Wisdom and being an elf you will spot almost any demon unless it is invisible. Also tracking a demon is going to be ridiculously easy.
If all you are interested in is feats than actually a Zen Archer has both a ranger and a fighter beat. By 6th level they will have just about any archery related feat you need except rapid shot, and many shot. In reality they don’t actually need those feats because they have flurry with bow and the ability to use add an extra attack by using a ki point. The Zen Archer will have improved precise shot which even a fighter cannot get until 11th level. They have weapon specialization which the ranger does not get. They also have perfect shot and can use it 6 times per day which a fighter can never have that many uses per day.
Favored enemy is normally a very situational ability, but the adventure path you are on will have a ton of evil outsider’s encounters. When you are almost guaranteed that you will encounter your favored enemy frequently it becomes incredibly useful. If you were on a different adventure path than maybe I would be hard pressed to choose between ranger and fighter, but in Wraith of the Righteous it is hard to pass up.
You can pick up point blank master as a fighter, but you will not get the extra +4 favored enemy on evil outsiders. You also lose all the other ranger abilities like spells, and the ability to share half your favored enemy bonus to the rest of the party.
Rangers also get a lot more skills and more class skills. Many of them become class skills when you become a lantern bearer but that is not till at least 6th level. Having perception and stealth as class skills from 1st level is a huge advantage at low levels.
At 6th level a fighter has 3 bonus feats and one of them has to be used for point blank shot, and the other for weapon specialization to qualify for point blank mastery. A ranger has 2 bonus feats and does not need point blank shot. The fighter does have weapon training, but ranger has favored enemy bonus of +4 to hit and damage. The fighters extra feats are not that important at low levels. If you were going as a strait fighter it would make more of difference.
I would go with the ranger till at least 6th level and pick up point blank master and then never put down the bow. Keep in mind that favored enemy from both class stacks so by 8th level you will be +6 vs. evil outsiders and can take the mythic path ability of endless hatred to increase that by 2 and bypass all damage reduction.
If you are playing an elf just use an elven curve blade.
Wands are a little bit different because they are casting an actual spell. What I am suggesting is that both spells be treated as a single unit. This they can be dispelled as a single effect and when one ends so does the other. So when the last image is gone the blur effect also disappears. I can see the cost might increase, but I would not have a problem with both effects being triggered by the same action.
Actually I don’t see a problem with them being both activated at the same time, as long as they both always go off at once. With two separate command words you have an item that can use them separately. You could for example use only the blur and not use the mirror image. This means the item can actually be used 6 times a instead of 3. I would only allow this if the effects did not involve an attack. If you want a wand that allows you to throw two fireballs than have the second one be a quickened fireball.
Since both spells are a single effect I would use the most restrictive element of either spell. So if one spell has a duration of 1 round per level, and the other has a duration of 1 minute per level, the effect lasts for 1 round per level.
Use some traps to lay down a false trail. For example have the party come to an intersection where one of the ways has a trap. At this point most people will disarm the trap and follow that way. So instead of the trapped way being the correct way, have the other way be the correct way. The trapped way leads to a wild goose chase.
Another thing you can do is to have the act of disarming a trap cause something else to happen. Maybe when he disarms a trap it arms a second trap behind it so the other players stumble into it. Since the second trap is more than 10 feet away he does not get a perception roll to spot it. Or maybe disarming the trap causes a wall to shift blocking the way back.
You could also create a situation where to progress the trap needs to be triggered. Teleport traps work very well for this. Maybe the only way to reach the BBEG lair is to teleport in through a teleportation trap. Another interesting variation is to use benevolent traps. Maybe the gaseous cloud the trap releases is actually a potion of fire resistance and the next part of the dungeon is through an area of fire.
When a trap is just a trap it is a trap, but when a trap is something else it becomes interesting.
Each spell is completely independent of any other spell so unless there is a mystic version of the greater spell you cannot learn it. Personally I think there should be more mystic spells but I understand that having a mystic version of every spell would have required several books and more time than the developers could spare. If the GM is willing you could research mythic versions of any spell you want, but this would be in house rules territory.
I think the problem is that your player wants to play Pathfinder, and you are more interested in creating your own game. A lot of players like being able to plan out their characters and unexpected house rules often interfere with this. Nothing is more frustrating to a player than having his character constantly altered with no notice. Changing how survival works may not seem like a big deal to you. But if the player invested skill points in to it with the assumption that he would be able to do certain things it can be frustrating. The same is true with spell craft. The person who invested a lot of points in the skill with the assumption that he needed them to learn spells may feel ripped off when the guy with only one rank now learns spells just as quickly as he does.
House rules should for the most part cover things that are not covered by the rules, or that need clarification. They are also good for altering the campaign to create a specific setting or feel. In at all possible they should be stated before the campaign begins so the players are aware of them and can plan their characters accordingly.
A god is more than just a personality; they are the embodiment of an idea. Many divine characters follow the idea more than the personality. A follower of Iomedae could be following the idea of justice and honor as much as they would be following Iomedae herself. This is not to say that the deity in question is not important, after all they are the living embodiment of the idea.
A divine character that ascends to godhood will often still be an important part of the sponsoring religion. At this point they have become more of a partner then an employee. This is even more likely in the case of a good deity than an evil one. Now instead of having someone you need to provide power to, you have someone who bring more power to your cause.
To be truly effective you are probably going to need more than one source of control. You could start with the state control of casters as suggested by Gregory Connolly. Have each caster wear a collar that acts like a Ring of Dungeon so the higher ups can keep track of spell casters. This item could also allow enchantment spells to be cast through the item and even bypass saves.
Then add in a readily available addictive drug that only affects casters. The drug boosts the casting stat of the user for a short time, but once addicted they literally have to have it or die. Keep the addiction part a state secret so that visiting casters will try the drug and be enslaved.
Are you talking low magic campaign or no magic campaign? There is a huge difference between the two. If you are looking at a no magic campaign I would honestly recommend another system. A low magic campaign on the other hand is doable.
In a low magic campaign there will still be magic items and spell casters, but they will not be as common. The easiest way to achieve this is to increase the value of magic items. If the value of all magic items are multiplied by 5 this would significantly restrict their availability to the party. If you altered the masterwork rules to allow them to provide full bonuses instead of the limited bonuses they currently do that would also work. I would suggest allowing a maximum bonus of +2 for non-magical equipment.
Damage reduction can also be handled without magic. A lot of damage reduction is already based on special materials this could easily be expanded. Invent some new material that replaced magic damage reduction. You could also allow weapons to be aligned without being magic. Allowing non-magical weapons to be consecrated should not be that big of a deal.
Despite some of the advice given full casters should be allowed. Just increase the cost to create magic items by the same factor as purchasing them and you should not have a problem. This also gives the party access to spells that can replicate a lot of magic items. Spells like Mage Armor and Owls Wisdom become a lot more valuable. This will also tend to keep the spell casters in check because now they have to use some of their spells for things that magic items normally provide.
Personally I would recommend the druid over the antipaladin. While most abilities of antipaladin are equally useful as their paladin equivalent, the touch of corruption is noticeably weaker than lay on hands. A touch attack that does ½ your level in D6 damage is simply not as powerful as the ability to heal yourself as a swift action. An antipaladin does not usually have problems dealing damage so having another way to deal damage does not increase the power of the character significantly. It is also the reason that an antipaladin is weaker than the paladin. At least with channel negative energy you can pick up use it to command undead if you spend the feat.
An antipaladin has the charisma to be the party face, but since diplomacy is not a class skill they will not be able to pull it off as well as the paladin. They also get stealth as a class skill, but tend to wear heavy armor so have a hard time actually sneaking up on things. Since they only get 2 skill points per level and INT is usually not a priority they actually come out worse than a paladin. A paladin can pump diplomacy and sense motive to obscene levels and have the ability to talk his way out of a lot of things. An antipaladin will probably want to split his skill between bluff, disguise, sense motive and maybe stealth.
Don’t get me wrong the antipaladin is still a strong class and will tend to deal huge amounts of damage. But overall is probably slightly weaker than a paladin. The big advantage they have is that they can go all out in combat without having to worry about falling like the paladin does.
The druid on the other hand is an incredibly versatile class. They are a full caster and can summon huge amounts of creatures to fight for them. Their spell list includes a little bit of everything. While they may not be able to heal as well as a cleric, they can still heal. They also have a decent amount of combat spells, but not quite as good as a wizard. While their spell list is not the best at any one thing they can do everything reasonably well.
Wild shape gives you a lot of options both in combat and out. The obvious thing to use it for is to shift into a combat capable form and attack your enemies, but you can do a lot more with it. A druid with natural spell in the form of a bird flying above the battle casting spells can devastate the enemy. It can also be used for spying and scouting. Who really pays attention to every bird flying by, or every squirrel in the forest?
Overall the druid is going to give you more options, while the antipaladin will be more powerful in combat.
Not all combat needs to be challenging. When your players know that every combat is going to be serious they tend to prepare for it. This leads to a situation where all the resources of the group are geared for high level encounters. When all you have to deal with is high level encounters you stop preparing for the trivial encounters. This is particularly common at high levels
If the players have to waste high level spells to deal with low level threats this reduces their resources significantly. After this happens a couple of times the players will probably start to prepare some of their spells to deal with the lower level threats. This means that they have less resources to deal with the high level threats so you can actually scale back the encounters and still have them be challenging.
The whole idea is to not let the players have all their resources available for the big fight. At high levels the characters have a lot of resources and if you don’t drain away some of them they will overpower most things. As strange as it may seem having more trivial encounters may speed things up considerably.
The code idea is great, but limiting it to paladins is not the way I would go. Every character should have a code.
While a lot of classes should have codes only the paladin and cavaliers lose class abilities if the violate them. With paladins regaining those class abilities can be a real pain and often take time and money. Cavaliers only temporarily lose their class abilities. Having the paladin’s player define and writing down the code is the best advice for any new GM with a paladin player.
I would say probably less than half the characters will have any kind of formal code. Mostly the lawful types will have codes. The chaotic ones tend to make things up as they go along, which is perfectly acceptable.
I would limit what races, classes, and archetypes that are available to the material you actually own. The thing you need to make sure is that your players tell you what they are going to be playing before the game starts. Concentrate on learning the races and classes your players want to play instead of trying to learn everything. If you have physical access to the material it is a lot easier to kick back and read it than if you are reading it on a computer.
If no one is playing a druid, but one of your players wants to play a witch you can skip over understanding how a druid works and concentrate on the witch. The same is true for races and archetypes. Just make sure to look over the adventure path and see what classes the NPC’s are so you can also understand them.
Understanding the basic rules of the game is often more important than understanding how every class works. Make sure you understand how combat works especially combat maneuvers. Also be familiar with the skills and what they can and cannot do. To start out you need to understand what all characters can do, and then what your players can do. After that you should know what the NPC’s in the adventure can do. Everything else is not important. If a monk never comes up in the game who cares what they can do.
Saigo Takamori wrote:
You do realize that all these spells are on the bards list? Also to get these by 5th level you have used all your feats which nerfs your combat ability. Also this archetype loses trap finding which is kind of useful for a scout. If you want a magical rogue an archeologist bard has everything the rogue has and more.
From what I understand the vast majority of people are under 6th level. 6th to 12th level characters are supposed to be the movers and shakers of the kingdom. Characters higher than 12th level are supposed to be characters of worldwide power and extremely rare.
The way I figure it characters above 12th level are like the extremely wealthy in real life. I figure this means that about 1% of the population is above 6th level. Figure that a similar 1% of this number are above 12th level. I figure that there are probably at least 4 times as many characters than the level below it. This works out to about 1 or 2 characters of 15th level, 6 characters of 14th level, and about 24 of 13th level. There is about a 40% chance of a character of 16th level and a diminishing chance of higher level characters. So the chance of a 20th level character would be about .15%
Have you considered an archeologist bard? They have enough skill points to and class skills to cover any skills you will need. With spells like invisibility, gaseous form and dimension door they can get to places like no one else. Since they get a straight bonus to all perception rolls instead of just for traps they will spot things other characters miss. The cantrip message is great for reporting back to the party.
The archeologist can also fill two other important roles. As a charisma based skill monkey they can easily fill the role of the party face. Bardic knowledge allows them to cover all the knowledge skills with minimal investment of skill points.
Is the ranger the only one with a horse in the party? If so have the druid replace an ordinary horse instead. As multiple people have pointed out there will be plenty of ways for the ranger to figure out this is not an animal companion.
Unless you have a druid player character the ranger is probably the one most likely to recognize that the druid is not a normal animal. If the druid is smart he is going to avoid being around the ranger as much as he can.
Work with your GM and have him cut you some slack. Maybe he will allow you to reconsider what you say, or some of your actions. Allowing you to reconsider a number of actions per game session equal to your WIS bonus would work. If so I would limit it so you can only undo an action on the same turn to keep it from getting out of hand.
Another thing you can do is to take a moment to think before you do or say anything. Just take a deep breath and think to yourself what you are going to do or say before doing it. A lot of time if you “hear” what you are going to say you will realize it is foolish. If this is the case ask for some time to think things over. Just don’t carry it to extreme and take an hour mulling over every decision.
Also ask the advice out of character of the other players. A lot of characters have stats higher than their players and any GM will recognize this and allow some help. No one expects the 98 pound weakling who is playing the barbarian to be able to be able to perform amazing feats of strength. Why should the person playing the wizard with the intelligence of Steven Hawkins be expected to perform similarly amazing feats of intelligence.
I apologize if I came off as mean that was not my intention. What I am trying to say is that in a world where magic is real scientific theory will probably not be that well developed. If your character is from the modern world or some other culture that would work better. A native scientist is going to be unlikely because magic alters too much. Without understanding magic a native scientist is going to be like a modern scientist who ignores physics. Christopher Stasheff has a couple of series that deal with this, and I highly recommend reading them.
In a world where magic actually works why would someone study science? A 1st level cleric can instantly heal a deadly wound that may otherwise kill someone. By 5th level they are restoring a blind person’s sight and curing cancer. By 7th level they are able to neutralize poison and cure almost any medical condition except for death. In a world where magic works traditional doctors are going to be for those who cannot afford magical healing.
Magic has the ability to alter just about anything so its laws obviously triumph the laws of science. The goal of a true scientist is to figure out the way the universe works. In order to do this the scientist must also understand the laws of magic or he is no true scientist. It is pretty clear if you want to be a scientist in the game you need to play an intelligence based class that has every knowledge skill as a class skill, and that studies magic. The obvious choice would be to play a wizard.
Probably the same thing will happen in the game as happened in history. Armor will become obsolete and anyone without access to a gun will be at a severe disadvantage. Guns will become the dominant weapon and other weapons will be ignored or relegated to ceremonially use.
A rifle does 1d10 points of damage, has a x4 critical multiplier and a range increment of 20. It targets touch AC for the first 5 range increments, which means anything within 400 feet is pretty easy to hit. At higher level AC goes up fairly quickly, but touch AC does not keep pace. In many cases the touch AC actually goes down instead of up. This means that a gunslinger will hit just about everything he aims at. It also means that most critical threats are easily confirmed.
At lower levels this is not going to be that big of a deal. As the party levels up the gunslinger is going to steadily outpace most of the other characters. Normally two things keep the gunslinger in check. The first is that using early firearms only the first range increment targets touch AC. The second is that his rate of fire is limited by needing to constantly reload. Modern firearms removes both of these limitations.
Saving Throws and Illusions (Disbelief): Creatures encountering an illusion usually do not receive saving throws to recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with it in some fashion.
As you can see you do not need to interact physically. Any interaction will allow a saving throw, as will studying it closely. You do not need to physically touch something to study it.
Suli Paladin with the unscathed trait is pretty tough. +2 bonus to both STR, and CHA, 7 points of resistance vs. acid, cold, electricity, and fire, and the ability to add elemental damage to your attacks.
Ifrit fire sorcerer works very well. Swap out elemental resistance for wildfire heart, and swap out spell like ability for efreeti magic. Wildfire heart stacks with improve initiative, so you will can get absurd initiatives.
This character has turned evil. Originally she was good, but at some point she crossed the line and became what she hates most. Killing the drow who raided the town is fine, even chasing them down after the raid is not really a problem. Killing the children and torture is when she starts to become corrupted.
Two things staves give are flexibility and endurance.
Flexibility comes from the fact it allows you to cast spells you may not otherwise have access to. If you are a sorcerer then it in effect expands your list of spells known which is incredibly valuable. If you are a wizard it allows you to cast spells you may not have prepared. In both cases you have access to more spells than you normally would.
Staves also act as a battery allowing you to store power when you don’t need it for times you do. If are in a long drawn out adventure having even a limited number of extra spells can save the day. It is a reserve of extra energy and like any reserve you should be using your regular resources first and tapping into the reserve when you need to. If you have a fireball memorized use that first and save the charge for when you need it.
Wands may seem like a better deal and in some cases they are. Wands are good for low level spells that do not depend on level, or require a saving throw. A wand of cure light wounds is probably better than a staff of cure light wounds. A staff of charm person would probably be better than a wand because of the saving throw.
Keep in mind that for the most part if person is not sufficiently high level they do not have an aura to begin with. Clerics or paladins are the only classes that have an aura at low level. A paladin always has an aura of good, but the cleric has the aura of their deity’s alignment.
There is a word for a person who is good at heart, but turned to evil, and that is corrupted. This person is no less evil because he started out good. Many truly evil villains started this way including many anitipaladins.
The wizard on the path of redemption may not be evil anymore. If he is truly on the path of redemption his alignment probably shifted to neutral on the good/evil axis. At which case he no longer has an aura of evil. He may not have become good yet, but is probably no longer evil.
The elven archetype spell binder allows you to swap out your prepared spells for a chosen spell for each level. Take summon monster for this spell at each level and you never have to prepare any summon spells, but can cast them when you need to. This would mean that you have to be an elf, but elves are native to the region.
In a world with limited magic any magic will be powerful. The opposition does not have to be what would be considered powerful wizards in any other campaign. They could actually be pretty weak and still be a challenge to the party. What you are essentially doing is scaling back the power of everything. It could lead to a situation where the wizards have become lazy and don’t exert themselves any more than they have to. So instead of powerful high level casters you have a bunch of low to medium level casters with lots of mundane backup.
Wizards would be considered something akin to the gods, if not considered actual gods themselves. Why would they want to deal with mundane problems when they are obviously meant for better things? Dealing with a bunch of unenlightened barbarians is beneath them, after all that is why they have servants. Most of the opposition would also be mundane with the occasional spell caster acting as the BBEG.
One thing that may make things a little easier is to limit the amount of magical creatures in the world. In the typical pathfinder settings there are a lot of magical creatures and races out there. These are what usually require magic to deal with. If most of the things they are fighting are mundane then they will not need the same resources as a normal party. For this to work it would also require that there be no summoning spells.
Maybe there is a religious reason behind the restrictions on magic. It could be something similar to the Kingdom of Man from Golarion. If Divine magic is consider heresy then that could allow some divine spell casters for the party. This would probably work best with partial spell casters as they can pretend they don’t have access to magic without being too obvious.
Another option is to allow the payers to be renegade spell casters. Maybe a wizard realized how unjust the system is and decided to work against the government.
Strength penalties affect the total damage not the individual dice. You always do at least one point of damage on a successful hit. So in your case if you rolled a 1 on both dice the damage would be one point, if you rolled 2 on both dice the damage would be one point, if you rolled 2 on one dice and 3 on the other you would do two points.