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Mysterious Stranger's page

2,568 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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Have you considered a paladin/bard combination? Use any archetype that you want for the paladin side, as long as it does not trade away smite evil. Use the archeologist bard to get skills and rouge abilities. What you end up with is basically Batman. Use a mithral breastplate and go weapon finesse with something like slashing grace or fencing grace.

As Louise Bishop mentioned a unchained monk/inquisitor is also very strong. Flurry of bane is incredibly good. That alone would be enough, but the combination actually gives you a lot more.


I think the idea of a cleric needing a spell book does not make a lot of sense. Clerics draw are granted their powers by their deity not by learning. You may be better off eliminating the class completely instead of having them use spell books. European mythology does not really have a lot of spell casting clerics anyways. This could work into your idea of merging divine and arcane magic. Druids and oracles could be used to fill the role of the cleric. Druids would be the leaders of the “old ways”, and oracles would be the equivalent of the saints.

The bard will actually be more powerful because of using s spell book due not having a limit on the number of spells known. But other than that I don’t see a problem

I think that paladins would be better off as spontaneous casters instead of having a spell book.


Being a one trick pony is never worth it. At 7th you do 1d8 damage with your unarmed attack that is on the average 1 point of damage more. For that point damage you give up +3 AC +1 save, 1 point of Ki, and 1 DC on any monk abilities requiring a saving throw. This is assuming you are purchasing equipment similar to what Possible Cabbage suggested.

As to the gauntlet that has pretty much been ruled out by Paizo. The monk does not really need the amulet of natural armor as much as you might think. If you are using the unchained monk or the Qinggong monk you can get barkskin as a Ki power. This allows you to get a natural armor bonus long before you normally would and at a higher bonus. This also helps pay for the amulet of mighty fists since you no longer need to spend gold on the amulet.


You also may want to look at the old dark suns setting. There arcane magic drew off the life force of creatures. Preservers learned how to draw the power by spreading it out so as not to harm the environment, defilers on the other hand just drew whatever power they needed. This was one reason so much of the world was a wasteland.

One thing you could do is to eliminate prepared casters. Maybe the ability to do magic is something that you have to be born with, not something you learn. This would mean that most casters are killed when they are discovered. Those that are not will tend to hide what they are from the public. Of course once they gain enough power they can pretty much do what they want. Ranger and paladins would probably have to be spell less but there are a couple of archetypes for those.

Arcane magic if fairly easy to limit like this but divine magic may be tougher to explain. One way to limit divine magic would be to have it draw from the casters life force. Maybe each spell does damage to the caster based on the level of the spell. Casting spells above a certain level (say 6th) may be fatal. Sure the high priest can cast miracle but only at the cost of his life. Maybe an arcane caster can draw on the life forces of others or even their surroundings.


Other than having the class ability of favored enemy why would you think that they are aobut genocide/ethnic cleansing? I don’t have the path of prestige so all I can go by is what is written on the website. The list of their favored enemy choices seems to be those most likely to be encountered in the homelands.


They are completely different things. A creature with lowlight vision can see twice as far in areas of dim light and retains the ability to see color. How far they can see is dependent on the light source. Darkvision allows you to see in black and white for a set range.

So a creature with both would take the more favorable circumstance. So if the creature had both and was carrying an everburning torch they would be able to see clearly for the first 20’ and also see color. They would be able to see from 20’ to 30’ clearly in black and white, or dimly in color. The would also be able to see up to 80’ dimly in color.


Simply put you don’t. You are the worshiper not the deity so what you want is not that important. Any circumstance where a deity is helpless a PC is going to be completely useless. In pathfinder deities are not stated out for this very reason. Compared to any kind of true deity nothing your character can do will make a difference.


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What should be roleplayed is the trait not the title of the trait. For example the dwarf trait hatred gives you +1 to hit vs orcs and goblins. This is due to the training that dwarves are given not necessarily actual hatred. While most dwarves probably do hat orcs and goblins this is not true for all of them. But someone with the trait has received extra training on fighting them so will usually be a least a little suspicious of them. If you want to completely ignore it then trade it out for something else.

The same is true with other traits. The trait greed does not necessarily mean you are actually greedy. For one thing it only applies to nonmagical goods that contain precious metal or gemstones. It simply grants them a +2 on appraise checks to determine the value of the goods. What this implies to me is that dwarves value these types of goods above others. So a dwarf given the choice between a wood carving and a gold ring is going to go for the gold ring. The wood carving may actually be more valuable but to the dwarf the ring is ring is better.

I think that looking over your racial traits and figuring out why you have them makes for a lot better roleplaying than just ignoring them and only using them when the relevant situation come ups. Each player may have a different interpretation for any particular racial trait and this is fine. I may play my dwarf’s greed as valuing precious metal and gems, where someone else may interpret it as actual greed. Both are valid ways to roleplay.


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From the core rule book on divine spells

Spell Selection and Preparation: A divine spellcaster selects and prepares spells ahead of time through prayer and meditation at a particular time of day. The time required to prepare spells is the same as it is for a wizard (1 hour), as is the requirement for a relatively peaceful environment. When preparing spells for the day, a cleric can leave some of her spell slots open. Later during that day, she can repeat the preparation process as often as she likes. During these extra sessions of preparation, she can fill these unused spell slots. She cannot, however, abandon a previously prepared spell to replace it with another one or fill a slot that is empty because she has cast a spell in the meantime. Like the first session of the day, this preparation takes at least 15 minutes, and it takes longer if she prepares more than one-quarter of his spells.


Even if you could you would be better off purchasing a +2 belt and a magic weapon. If you are playing a monk then get an amulet of mighty fists. A +2 belt and a +1 amulet cost 8000 gp and give you the same bonus to hit and damage. Also consider that a belt does not make your attacks count as magical so they don’t overcome DR.


LucyG92 wrote:

Thank you for the suggestions! Lots of options there. Will definitely get some smelling salts and the folding pole (we don't have a Rogue).

Ah, I probably should have specified I'll be on a pirate ship, so stuff like bedrolls and cookware won't be necessary. I'm also not sure whether a waterskin is. The hip flask is there to hold rum and such ;)

I love Alchemist's Fire but am not sure whether that's okay on a ship?

I would still get them because you may go off ship. They don’t cost much but if you don’t have them you will want them. Who do you think is going to be going ashore when you find an island?


The way I handle it in my game is that if the combat is over and the player has time they will usually find most of their arrows. In one of my campaigns I ran I had an elven ranger specializing in the bow that could get up to 5 shots a round at 9th level (6 if using many shot). Even with an efficient quiver carrying enough arrows can be a problem. Before the player started using durable arrows they often ran out during the game. The game involved long periods of travel and even travel to other planes so just buying new arrows was often not a valid solution. They did have craft bow which I let them use to make arrows but that takes time which the often did not have.

To see how many arrows the ranger was able to find I simply had the ranger make a perception roll vs the AC of the target with modification for things like cover and concealment. For every point over the target number the ranger was able to find 1 arrow. If it was a long battle with a lot of foes than the number she found became a percentage of the arrows. Considering the ranger had an extremely high perception roll they found most of the arrows. This was just a rough method to allow some chance of a missed arrow.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
I can understand people not wanting to stereotype a race and artificially limit their character, but often this leads to people ignoring their race. Part of the problem is that I think Paizo actually did a really great job when it came to humans. Previous edition going all the way back to D&D always assumed that humans were the baseline and did not have any real racial abilities. In AD&D humans got absolutely nothing expect they could play any class and had no level limits. Other classes were limited in what classes they could play and how high of a level they could achieve.

On the other hand, this was a really big deal, so unless you were going to play a Thief (what AD&D called Rogues back then) or you knew that the campaign wasn't going to get past the low levels, you really needed to be a Human.

Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Other races do not have the same adaptability as humans. For the most part every member any other race except human has the exact same abilities. Those that do have different are either changing cultural traits or playing a sub race. Every elf has the same ability adjustments, they also the same vision and bonus to perception. Two elves from different planets will have similar physical abilities despite not being related.

{. . .}

Things changed with recent supplements -- apart from the Half-Human races also being able to put their +2 anywhere they want, all the Core Races and several other races get to trade out various racial traits, including ones that influence vision and perception more generally.

I understand that with the newer books you can swap out racial traits, but I covered that in my post. Usually when you are trading out a physical trait it is because you are playing a subrace, or have a mixed heritage. That should also be factored into how you role play your character. But even so the fact remains that humans are a lot more adaptable than other races. Half elves for example get an extra feat but is it skill focus not the ability to choose any feat. There are of course exceptions to the rule especially for partially human races. But your race should still influence your character.

I also specify stated that if you don’t want to roleplay an aspect of the characters race it should be traded out. The alternative racial traits are the mechanism that allows this to be done. My whole point is that if your character has the ability on his character sheet it is part of the character and should be factored into how you roleplay the character.


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Durable arrows are worth the price so that you can collect them after the battle. If you track ammo an archer can go through a ton of arrows every battle. If you are not in an area where you can replace them you end up running out of arrows.

Also while the recipe includes cold iron I don’t think it makes the arrow cold iron. Durable arrows are created by treating the shaft of the arrow not the arrow head. I don’t see a problem making cold iron durable arrows but it would increases the cost.


If you are playing a half orc paladin Ferocious Resolve is extremely useful. Combined with Fey Foundling it makes the paladin incredibly tough to take down. Improved Sunder can also be good for a paladin because it gives more options than just killing someone. Use to shut down spell casters without killing them. A cleric without a divine focus or an arcane caster without a spell component pouch is really limited in what they can do.


You should have a couple of waterskins. The hipflask only hold 8onces of fluid which in not even a single days’ worth. You should also have blankets and a bedroll or you will have a hard time surviving while traveling. Having some rations is also helpful for traveling. If you have an animal companion you might need some sort of food for it. You can use survival to live of the land but that does slow down travel and there may be days that you fail the roll. Also some cooking gear and mess kit would complete your basic necessities. Depending on your race you may need some sort of a light source.

Every character should have a dagger or a knife of some sort. Not as much as a weapon but as a tool. A spell component pouch will also be needed. Most druid spells have a DF instead of a material component, but some do have a material component. A whetstone to keep your scimitar and dagger sharp would also be a good idea. A rope is a useful thing to have.

Also make sure to keep back some gold so you are not completely broke at the beginning of the game. You may need to pay for food and lodging during the game. Likewise you may need to purchase something or bride someone once the game has started.


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I can understand people not wanting to stereotype a race and artificially limit their character, but often this leads to people ignoring their race. Part of the problem is that I think Paizo actually did a really great job when it came to humans. Previous edition going all the way back to D&D always assumed that humans were the baseline and did not have any real racial abilities. In AD&D humans got absolutely nothing expect they could play any class and had no level limits. Other classes were limited in what classes they could play and how high of a level they could achieve.

Humans are incredibly adaptable in real life and now the game reflects this. Every one of the human’s base racial traits is adjustable. You could have identical twin humans that end having different racial traits. Take a set of identical twins one raised by barbarians in the wild and the other raised in a city by a wizard. Assuming identical base stats they will probably have different stats. The twin raised by the barbarians will probably put his stat into STR and his extra feat will probably be either a combat feat or something to help him survive. The second twin will have a higher INT and probably use his extra feat for something related to magic or knowledge. Even the extra skill point will be in a different.

Other races do not have the same adaptability as humans. For the most part every member any other race except human has the exact same abilities. Those that do have different are either changing cultural traits or playing a sub race. Every elf has the same ability adjustments, they also the same vision and bonus to perception. Two elves from different planets will have similar physical abilities despite not being related.

The way I look at it is, is that if you have the racial ability you should factor that into how you roleplay your character. So if you are playing a dwarf with greed that should factor into how you roleplay your character. If you want to ignore part a characters race than you should for the most part trade out the relevant ability. If the ability is a physical one including stat adjustments that cannot be traded out this is something I expect my player to factor into their characters. If the ability is a cultural ability then there is a little more leeway. For example I would not have problem with a dwarf keeping the racial bonus from hatred vs orcs and goblins if he had some sort of a backstory that explained why he no longer hated them. Maybe an orc saved his life or something like that.


Actually if you are going for a Zen Arche the best combination is probably Zen Arche/Inquisitor. Both classes rely on WIS so this reduces the number of stats you need. The synergy between the classes is incredible. Flurry of bane is ridiculously good, but add to that judgements and buff spells and this becomes one of the strongest ranged characters in the game. There are even a couple of ranged teamwork feats that the inquisitor can use with solo tactics.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Nope.

Likewise, if you throw two weapons, you can't draw two new weapons and continue iterative attacks with those weapons.

Actually with quick draw you can draw two new weapons and continue iterative with those weapons. Drawing a weapon is a free action for someone who has the feat quick draw. It specifically sates that in the feat.


Weapon Focus (Combat)

Choose one type of weapon. You can also choose unarmed strike or grapple (or ray, if you are a spellcaster) as your weapon for the purposes of this feat.
Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected weapon, base attack bonus +1.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on all attack rolls you make using the selected weapon.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon.

If you are going strictly by RAW notice the benefit of the feat specifics that you get the bonus to the selected weapon. The definition of a weapon is in the weapon tables. Since weapon I am using is not listed in the table it cannot be used with these feats.

Also the reason they used the word type is because without it could be read that it applies only to a specific weapon. By specific weapon I mean a particular long sword, not all long swords. That would mean if you pick up another long sword the feat does not apply. Considering how often an adventure upgrades or replaces weapons this would basically render the feats useless. In this case type is actually being used to expand what the feat can apply to. Under this interpretation weapon focus would apply only to the weapon you were using when you pick up the feat. If the weapon is broken or lost you lose the feat. Obviously this is not the way the feat works, but that is why the used the word type.


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Your characters race is part of what makes him unique and should be incorporated into the way you role play it. I think part of the reason there is a reluctance to play to racial stereotypes is because it makes you seem to be racists. The thing to keep in mind is that in the real world we are all human, but that is not the case with races in the game. A dwarf is not just a short human he is a member of a completely different species. Species would have also been a better choice to use instead of race when describing a character, but race has been used for so long that is not going to change.

Your racial abilities can be broken down into two categories. The first category is the physical differences in your race. These for the most part are present in all members of the race and should have a profound influence on your character. For the most part these are things you cannot change and have always had. To you they don’t feel special they are what you consider normal. The second category is the cultural abilities these are learned behavior that not every member of the race has to have and can are easier to ignore or change.

Using the dwarf as an example their physical abilities are going to be slow and steady, darkvision, hardy and stability. For the most part racial stat adjustment will also be considered physical abilities. Your cultural abilities are going to be defensive training, dwarven weapon training, greed, hatred and stonecunning.

So what does that tell us about dwarves? First is that they are work horses capable of tremendous amounts of work. They are also incredibly resilient and can keep going when other races cannot. They also lack empathy with others and often don’t consider other people’s feelings. They also are comfortable working in dark so night and day are don’t really mean all that much to them. All of this is based on the physical abilities not that cultural. This is kind of the baseline dwarf that all dwarves will be like regardless of where they are raised.

Looking at things from the perspective of a dwarf most other races are slacker that don’t pull their weight. Other races don’t work as hard or as long as a dwarf does. Is it any wonder that dwarves have a reputation of being bad tempered and grumpy.

I used dwarves as an example but a similar breakdown can be done for each race. If you really want to roleplay your character you should do something similar for any race you play. In some cases the physical abilities may influence the cultural ones. The dwarven ability greed could be considered an outgrowth of the baseline dwarf I presented above. When you get together a bunch of hard working people with little empathy for each other they tend to be a little on the greedy side.


Perception would be my vote. Being able to notice things farther away is incredibly useful. Reducing the penalty for being asleep means you will notice things while sleeping that other characters miss while awake. Perception is the most used skill in the game so anything that improves has a huge impact. At high levels a sleeping rogue with the skill unlock for perception will notice the invisible assassin before the assassin notices him.


If you want to go pure strength focus you may want to look at a dwarf barbarian/warpriest. The barbarian gives you full BAB and rage. The warpriest gives you heavy armor and extra feats including fighter only feats. You also get spells that can buff your combat ability that can be cast as a swift action and self-healing that can also be done as a swift action. Pick up steel soul and glory of old to boost your saves. If you really want to go over the top take fey foundling as your first level feat to boost your self-healing.


Bestow Curse is a cleric spells so you could use that on a player to lower his save. The problem being is that he gets a Will save vs Bestow Curse. After you remove the mask you can always remove the curse.

As to the meta gaming BlackPickle specificly asked not to be told any spoilers. Usually people who ask that are not meta gamers. Without knowing what happened in the game we have no way of knowing he is using out of character knowledge. He could have easily made a good knowledge roll or found information in the game.

Another option for getting around saves is to trick the person who you are casting the spell into voluntarily failing his save. Pretend you are casting a beneficial spell. If the other character is a caster and or has high spellcraft this may be a problem. This is also kind of in the realm of GM’s option so check with you GM about how he handles this.


Is there anything in the rules that say a wand cannot be created in the shape of a flute? If so simply add the restriction that you have to play the song as a command word. I will leave it to others to decide if this would reduce the cost of the wand.


Weapon focus actually does say “Choose one type of weapon”. Greater weapon focus says “Choose one type of weapon for which you have already selected weapon focus”. Neither of these feats allows you to change the type of weapon. Ancestral weapon master allows you to sometimes gain weapon focus with a single type of weapon but also allows you to change that. The weapon I choose today is not a valid type of weapon so cannot be chosen by either feat. Ancestral weapon mastery allows you to change the type of weapon that weapon focus applies to but you still must choose a weapon type.


Vital strike is not that good with natural weapons because the dice are so low. You may want to look at improved natural weapon instead. Take this on the claws and now they do 1d6 instead of 1d4. This would not only increase the damage on a single attack it would increase it when you can make a full attack.


If it is a wizard spell it is also a sorcerer spell because they share the same spell list. Sorcerers are proficient with simple weapons. Just because the spell is not ideal for your character does not mean that it is useless. As Claxon mentioned wizards are not the only one who can cast this spell. Personally to me it seems more like a bard spell than a wizard spell anyways.


AS the GM you can pretty much do whatever you want, but there are probably better ways to boost a demon than granting it a redundant template. Instead of trying to boos up a creatures abilities so it come overcome a characters strong point attack them on their weak point. If the players AC are too high find a way to attack them that does not target AC.

Nalfeshnee have fly and have several at will spell like abilities including call lightning, feeblemend, greater dispel magic and slow. Are you using these abilities? Start out with a greater dispel magic using the area this may bring down the players AC without having to add any abilities to the demon.

Instead of attacking them based on AC use combat maneuvers. Nalfeshnee have improved bull rush which may not be all that good. Instead of giving a template simply change that to another feat. Improved sunder could allow it to destroy magic items. Another option would be to give it improved grapple but that would mean also giving it improved unarmed strike which is still less than giving it a template. If your players CMD is not as high as their AC this will allow them to be grappled.


I am usually more interested in the feats and spells from a lot of the books. I have purchased a lot of content through hero labs that I don’t have books or PDF’s for. Usually I get them when they are bundled and on sale. I do not play PFS so I don’t have to have a copy of anything to use it for my games. I do purchase the major books and other content but only if I feel the book has more than just extra feats and spells. Since the content is licensed from Paizo I feel this still gives them revenue. I have also bought a couple of books because I liked what I found in the data package.

Many people may consider this to be doing it backwards, but it works for me. To me this seems to be the more economical way to get what I want.


There is a great deal of similarity between certain types of huskies and wolves. If you are not familiar with the breeds it is not that difficult to mistake them. The main difference is wolves are leaner and their muzzle is longer. This is because the species are actually quite close. The latest scientific research says that all dogs are decedent from wolves. Some breeds have branched off a lot more, but others are a lot closer.

While wolves may be fairly common they tend to avoid humans and probably other humanoids. They also have very good stealth. For this reason I would put the DC to 11 instead of 6 to identify them. Goblins attack humans on a regular basis and often wage war on humans, wolves do not. Other than at the zoo how often do people see wolves, especially those in urban areas?


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Doke Many of the things you say are simply untrue.

Multiple spell books are easy to do they are listed under gear. They even include the spell books from ultimate magic. You can also set them to show in your list by a drop down menu.

When you choose a invalid option it show up in red. Anything including feats has a circle with a question mark in it next to it. Clicking on it gives you the details of the thing including missing requirements. You can also click on the red diamond with an explanation mark in it to view the validation details for the entire character which will also list any missing requirements.

Adding a wand you found with a limited number of charges is simply a matter of clicking the buy for free box when adding the wand and then going in and adjusting the number of charges used. Standard wands always have 50 charges when created. The fact that when you found it, it only had 5 left does not change the fact that 45 charges have been used.

There are actually multiple ways to export the sheet including AnceintOne’s Customizable Pathfinder Sheet, Armidales Pathfinder Sheet, d20 Pro output, Fantasy Crounds, as well as basic HTML, and XML. This is in addition to printing to paper or saving to PDF.

There is also an editor that allows you to create almost anything you can think of and save it off or later use.

The program has a lot of features that you do not seem to have bothered to learn how to use.


I think both DarkSol and Magnus both have points. The core rogue is extremely weak which is why they came up with the unchained rogue. They did an excellent job on the unchained rogue for numerous reasons and anyone wanting to play a rogue should be using this version. Just getting weapon finesse and DEX to damage really improved the class. Cleaning up the rogue talents and giving them more class abilities was also needed. Skill unlocks finally gave the rogue a chance to be better at skill than other classes. But even so knowing that the class like any other has some weaknesses built in can help you not only in building the character but also choosing appropriate tactics.

The fighter is a little different. Their combat ability is not really the problem it’s what they cannot do out of combat that is the problem. With very few skill points and no out of combat class abilities all they can do is combat. The sheer number of feats and the long list of feats actually make it one of the more difficult classes to build. Sure they are easy to play but without knowing all your options it is difficult to build a character as effective as it can be. While there are a lot of good feats there are also a lot that are crap. The other thing that can make the difference is the books available to build the character. Many of the latter books gave options that fixed a lot of problems, but without access to those it is difficult to build an effective fighter.

A couple of things to keep in mind is that to survive you need to shore up your weaknesses. Both the fighter and the rouge have two bad saves and this can be a problem. Look for things to increase your saves. If you are playing a fighter consider picking up iron will for a +2 on will saves. Also look at traits and races that give you bonuses to your saves. For fighters don’t ignore your touch AC many spells target touch AC and don’t allow a save. Ray of Exhaustion can absolutely shut down a fighter.

Watch your stats and be careful what you dump. All characters should invest in CON as it not only determines HP but also improves your fortitude saves. WIS should rarely be dumped and never by a fighter or rogue. The penalty on Will saves means your character is easy to control. WIS also affects perception and sense motive and failing to notice something can kill your character. If you are playing rouge make sure you have enough STR to carry any gear without taking encumbrance penalties. Having a high DEX bonus does not help your AC when you cannot use it.


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If by half casters you mean paladins and rangers they are not designed for offensive spell casting. Their spell list simply do not have a lot of offensive spells and those that they do get are hampered by the fact their caster level is 3 lower than their class level. The reason they have spells is not to kill things with magic it is to support their roles.

Paladin spells are mostly combat buffs, defensive spells and healing. They already have good offensive (especially vs evil), and some of the best defenses in the game. They have no real offensive spells that are actual attacks. Almost all of their offensive spells are designed to work with normal combat not against it. Having a paladin use CHA to hit and damage would actually weaken the class. Smite evil allows you to use both STR and CHA to hit. Since you cannot apply the same stat twice to a roll this would decrease the value of smite evil. On the other hand allowing CHA to hit, damage and AC as well as saves would be completely unbalanced. Right now paladins don’t really require much in the way of INT , WIS or even DEX. All a paladin needs is a good STR and CHA with moderate CON and an average or slightly above average (12 or 13) DEX. They are one of the least MAD characters in the game.

Ranger spells are mostly utility spells, and buffs, with a few crowd control and summoning spells. They also lack any real attack spells. Many of their spells are designed to complement their fighting styles. Lead Blades and Gravity Bow are good examples of this. Spells like Pass without Trace and Endure elements allow a ranger to function in his role a lot better. Besides the best high level ranger spell is instant enemy. The ability to gain your highest favored enemy bonus on a target is almost overpowered. Getting +6 to hit and damage on the BBEG is a lot better than anything a 3rd level ranger spell can do.

Also consider that if you are going to change the lower powered spell casters to match the full casters you should be changing the full casters to match the lower powered casters in the area they are weak. That would mean giving wizards full BAB and d10 HP. Game balance may not be perfect but if a character is getting more in one area they should get less in another. So classes with less power in spells get more class abilities for reducing their spell casting abilities.


A swashbuckler needs 2 + the number of panache spent on deeds. You never want to spend your last point of panache if you can avoid it. Ideally you should be at one less than your maximum panache. This allows you to regain panache when you critical or kill something with an appropriate weapon. Figure out the net amount of panache you spend in a combat and add 2 to that number.


The weapon bond is usually considered stronger because of the lack of opportunity to use a mount. If you are playing a medium size race that means your mount has to be large. Trying to get a horse in a dungeon or in a building is often difficult or impossible. This means the divine bound is severely underused and in some cases almost useless. Mounted combat also requires investment in feats and skills, both of which a paladin has in short supply. The weapon bond on the other hand can be used with any weapon so always available. If your GM is allowing you to expand the list to include animals that you can easily take with you this changes things.

Another thing to consider is that even with the 6 INT from being a bounded mount your companion is still an animal. This means that you need the skill Handle Animal to get to push it perform a task not covered by one of its tricks. This is a DC 25 but it is a CHA based class skill, and you do get a +4 to the roll for it being your animal companion. Paladins don’t have that many skill points and playing a race with a INT penalty means you probably have less than normal. If you have not been investing in handle animal you are going to need to pumping that as high as you can. Handle Animal is a trained only skill so if you don’t put points into it you only get a straight CHA roll to push it.

If you have not already put any points into it your roll will probably be around a +8 without the bonus for being an animal companion. This is going to mean your pet is not going to be well behaved and you will have trouble controlling it out of combat. Controlling in combat is probably going to be ok because it will have enough tricks to allow you to control it. So you should be able to prevent your animal companion from eating the prisoner, but it may decide to “Mark its territory” at inappropriate times and places. This is assuming you do put some skill point into handle animal. If you don’t it will probably be a lot of trouble out of combat. Once you get your roll to +15 you should be able to take 10 on most out of combat pushes so it is no longer a problem.


Ancient Dragon Master wrote:
Blymurkla wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:
It's biggest weakness is saves, which compared to a paladin is really bad.
Yeah, but isn't Paladin like the class when it comes to saves?
Nah monks are better

If you are looking at the core monk they do have the best saves in the game, but the unchained monk took a hit on will saves. The slow progression on will saves is offset by the fact they tend to have a high WIS so they usually end up with good will save. The core monk has much better will saves almost to the point of rendering will saves nearly useless against him. The unchained monk ends up with his will saves about the same as his other saves so still comes out ahead of most classes.

The paladin has two good saves but they are the more important saves. Reflex saves tend to be about how much damage you take instead of avoiding the effect causing the save. Being able to add your CHA modifier to all saves is more powerful than it looks because a paladin is going to have a decent CHA because many of his class abilities run of it. Almost all paladins are going to invest in CHA boosting magic items to bring it even higher. Paladins also gain immunity to many different effects. By 8th level a paladin is completely immune to fear, disease and charms, and at 17th level compulsions are added to the list.

Using either of these classes as a standard for saving throws is foolish. A ranger or a slayer would have been a better comparison.


It has always been 1 spell known per level. Also keep in mind the spell has to be one level lower than the maximum spell level you can cast. That means that you don’t get an extra 1st level spell until 4th level. Before that you can only get cantrips.

The 1/6 of ability are usually things like rogue talents or rage powers that can give you more things that your character can do. Having extra spells known does not actually allow you to cast any more spells than another sorcerer they just give you more choices of the spell you can cast.


You only get access to the bonus spell slot when you are high enough to cast that level spell. At first level you only get your bonus 1st level spells. You gain your 2nd level bonus spells when you gain the ability to cast 2nd level spells and so on. So say you had a 20 INT you would gain 2 1st level bonus spell slots at 1st level, but you would not gain any bonus spells of level 2nd or higher. If the chart for your spells says 0 you only gain your bonus spells. A dash on the chart is not the same as a 0. The only classes that get a 0 on the chart are paladins and rangers.

Until your class gives you a spell slot you don’t have the ability to cast spells of that level so nothing can increase them. If you are familiar with computer programing think of a dash as being a null. You don’t have the ability so nothing can improve it.


As a GM I actually like it when my players create a powerful character. For me part of the fun of being a GM is building interesting challenges for my players. A good GM can adjust the challenge to suit the party, but I would much rather be able to go all out when designing encounters instead of having to scale down everything I create. The only time it really becomes a problem is when one character is at much higher or lower level of optimization than the rest of the group. Even then the conflict is more between the players than the GM.


It seems to me that the Aboleth must have been a whole lot tougher in the past. Other than the ability to cast Dominate Monster 3 times a day they are not really all that powerful. Sure they have a lot of at will illusions but is that enough to totally dominate a planet? They were supposed to have experimented on humans and created the Azlanti race. Considering how powerful the Azlanti grew it seem that if they did create them the experiment quickly got out of control. To me this suggests that modern Aboleth have degenerated from what they once were. Morlocks are supposed to be the degenerate descendants of the Azlanti. Modern Aboleth are seem to have fallen about the same amount.

If this is true than the goals of modern Aboleth probably have absolutely nothing in common with what their ancestors did. After all how much do the goals of the Morlocks resemble those of the ancient Azlanti?


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Have you considered an archeologist bard? They are probably the best skill monkey in the game and get spells. A spontaneous caster is a lot easier for a newbie to deal with since they don’t have to learn the entire list or worry about which spells to memorize. The have a limited number of spells that they can cast and those are the only ones the player needs to learn. Basically they are rouges that trade out sneak attack for spells.


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Having a character that can come back from the dead is not really a big deal. Any character with sufficient wealth and access to the right spell caster can do this. What would need to be done is to balance it out so that the character is not gaining an unfair advantage.

One thing that would help is for it to take a significant amount of time to come back from the dead. Probably around a month would be about right. This prevents you from getting killed and coming back the next day fully ready to go. This is also about the amount of time it would take to get another character raised from the dead. You could also make it so that each time you die fate penalizes you in some manner. Basically you lose money and items equal to the amount you would have to pay out to be raised from the dead.

This concept also works best if it happens at a higher level. Having a 1st level character cursed by a god is a little bit too much. A 9th to 12th level character would work a lot better. I don’t see a deity cursing a teenager before they actually do anything. An experience character that angers a deity is a different story. Talk to you GM and see if maybe he is willing to work this into the campaign instead of just giving it to you at 1st level.


Generally speaking things that require an attack roll do not get a saving throw. Both are simulating chance to avoid the damage so you use one or the other. There are of course exception but those are usually for balance reasons. As Firebut pointed out the damage from an continuing damage from the explosive bomb is not that much.

Also consider the alchemist spent a discover on this. A discovery is the equivalent of a feat. Compare how effective this is to a two handed martial character using power attack and it is way under powered.


True there are some mindless creatures that may use suicidal tactics, but being mindless means they don’t realize they are going to die. Also since they are mindless you really can’t communicate with them so they still would not obey suicidal orders because they are incapable of understanding the orders.


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The spell specifies that the creature attacks to the best of its ability, not attacks as you direct. You can choose the target of its attack and for it not to attack certain targets, assuming you can communicate with it. The summoned creature still has instincts and tactics it uses and will use them in combat. I don’t know of any creature that uses suicidal tactics in combat. The summoning does not override its instincts or the creature would not be able to fight effectively.

The line about other actions allows you to direct it to do things other than attack. But even then it still has some choice on how it acts. You could have the summoned creature walk down a hallway to check for traps, but it will still try and avoid the trap if it is hit with it.


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One solution to the problems is to allow more out of character talk. I know this may be considered bad gaming by a lot of people but it does not have to be. People often like to play characters that have skills they lack, or lack skills they have. Playing a character that can do things you cannot, but wish you could is normal. Often what happens is that someone else in the group does have those skills, but his character does not. This is where out of game talk between players can be useful.

Let’s say you have two players in your group. One is an engineer in real life that is playing a paladin who dumped INT and WIS to the floor and took no knowledge or professional skills. The second is someone who is playing a wizard with a good knowledge engineering, but who personally has absolutely no knowledge in engineering. Drop out of character and discuss the plan let the engineer explain the best way to handle the problem and get the input of the rest of the group. Once the whole group has come up with the plan go back into character and roleplay out the scene letting the Wizard present the ideas as his. Just because the engineer came up with the plan does not mean that the paladin came up with the plan.

Doing this not only improves the game, it also gives the other players a chance to learn something. By limiting a players contribution to only what both the character and the player can do you lower the quality of the game. By allowing the input of the other players it not only improves the game it gives the players a chance to learn and grow.


If you read the section on domain specialization you don’t even need to choose a domain that you gained from being a cleric. You could choose another domain that your cleric grants that you do not even have. This would indicate that it does not matter what domains you have because of being a cleric. But it does need to be on the list of domains granted by your deity.

While the power from the outside domain is indeed coming from your deity it is not granted by your deity. I look at the second domain as more of the separatist exchanging powers they were given. If I give you a present and you take it back to the store and exchange it for something completely different I did not give the item you exchange my present for.


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Do a web search on castle plans in your favorite search engine and you will get dozens of examples.


I am not sure even a summoned creature is going to commit suicide just because you summoned it. Fighting to the death is one thing but deliberately committing suicide is not something that intelligent creatures are normally willing to do.

Dive bombing a creature will require an attack roll. I would say it would be considered a combat maneuver so it would be CMB vs CMD. The -12 penalty seems about right so that would be a CMB at -12 vs the targets CMD. When the targets hits it should also get any damage reduction it has. Spell resistance or energy resistance does not apply, but it is still a physical attack so should get damage reduction. A giant eagle has normally has a CMB of 9 which drops to a -3 after penalty. This means the giant eagle needs to roll a 13 or better to hit a 1st level commoner with no STR or DEX bonus. To hit a typical 1st level fighter with an 18 STR and 12 DEX will require a 19 or 20. VS a higher level character you probably need to roll a natural 20 to hit.

Also a simple protection from good will stop this combination cold. The eagles will bounce of the protection from evil like a bug on a window.

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