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Obirandiath's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 162 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Scarab Sages

My current RotRL campaign has:
human Paladin- tank build
human Fighter- two handed fighter build
half elf Arcane Archer
half elf Mystic Theurge
halfling Shadowdancer

Two of the characters have cohorts, bringing another healer and another archer. Overall, I find the group is light on magic. A straight Wizard would be excellent, or at least a Sorcerer.

It looks to me that your group will suffer in the same way, since you have only a Magus as a caster. While the Magus will have plenty of combat spells, the broad utility that a Wizard has will be missed. You could make up the difference with another limited caster - a Bard, for instance. Or a Sorcerer who carries plenty of scrolls and wands could probably do the trick.

As a side note, I'd advise you to impress upon everyone the usefulness of ranged combat. Everyone should (unless the unarmed Monk is prohibited) have a missile weapon handy, especially if you have no dedicated archer.

Scarab Sages

Depending on how close your character ties to his church, his personal search may be for religious artifacts. If you suggest that to the GM it seems reasonable to include a few, and perhaps the backstory to expect them to be there as well. That'll give your character a reason to go along in the first place.

For a more temporal paladin, the search could be for dwarven artifacts, things to revitalize his clan, or items that need to return to proper dwarven hands. Again, the story should include some hint of these things so that your character will have a reason to participate in the first place.

Scarab Sages

Odraude wrote:

Indeed. This reminds me of a game that caused me to stop playing divine characters. I had a paladin with a group that was taking on a devil worshiping cleric. We defeated him and foiled his plan and the cleric begged and pleaded for mercy. I obliged and though I did restrain him so he could be sent to the kingdom's judicial system, I did not harm him and in fact, I tended his wounds.

However, the skies opened up and an angel came down before me and with quite a bit of disdain, told me my god disapproved of showing evil mercy and stripped me of all of my powers. Mind you, I have shown mercy to all evil doers we had come across and my cohort was even an ex-demon worshiper I turned to good. My god (Pelor) also preached mercy. Needless to say, I was displeased. Worse still was the fact that now, the angel wanted to put my paladin on trial, penalty of death for allowing a diabolist to live. So, my paladin was taken to heaven and tried and sent to Hell to, as my GM so eloquently put it, "fraternize with the devils I love so much".

I don't play paladins anymore because of this. Don't make the same mistake.

That sounds like the most asinine GM on the planet. I wish I could say so to his or her face, too (online writing is too detached for something that deserves a good punch in the face). Your Paladin did exactly what was proper for a lawful and good being to do. Clearly the GM had no idea what is appropriate behavior and furthermore is a moron for being so far off base. Hopefully you're not still playing with that group, or at least have a different GM.

Scarab Sages

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I'll add my thoughts without reading all of the previous posts. Sorry if there is some redundancy here.
One of the best roleplayers I've ever gamed with would develop a character based on a single strong trait. Everything that character did was determined by how someone with that trait would act in any particular situation. The characters were memorable and consistent. For instance, one character was "real mad." They guy was always angry to some extent, from merely grumbling to all out attacks. Another character was always happy, even when the situation sucked. You get the idea.
Another method to develop a character is to use the method many writers use, that of goal-motivation-conflict, or GMC. The goal is what the character wants, the motivation being why he wants it and the conflict being the obstacle in his way. Every character in a story has a GMC, both internal and external. For game purposes the external GMC will largely be dictated by the GM and the adventure. Internal GMC is something most GMs are happy to work with you on, especially if you're using APs and have traits to back it up.
You can also try characterization through the "job interview" method. Look up some common job interview questions on the internet and answer them in the manner that the character would. Keep the list handy and review it before each session.
All of these ideas are how to chreate a character, but not necessarily how to roleplay one. Roleplaying is largely a matter of style. Some groups prefer that players speak in character all the time, while others never do. The groups I play in generally speak in character occasionally, mostly for humor. Each group and individual will have a comfort level. Just find yours.
I agree with the poster who said that it is often best to state what your character says or does out of character. After all, as much as I would like to have a 20 Charisma, I'm not nearly such a smooth operator. A character with a 20 Cha will say things far more convincingly and appropriately than I ever could. The same goes for a charcter with a very high Intelligence or Wisdom score. I may be smarter than your pet rock, but I don't measure up to the knowledge of a Wizard with 12 ranks in Spellcraft and three other Knowledge skills. This same example can be applied to very low ability scores as well. Not many people are that gimped as to have a 7 Cha. Tell the GM the message you want to get across and let the die rolls determine how well you did it. Of course, that's just my view. I've played with others who allow 1st level 10 Int and 10 Cha characters to know and act in ways far beyond the characters ability simply because the player could speak well and think up things to say quickly. You'll have to determine what works best for you and your group.

Scarab Sages

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I'm not sure a penalty is in order here. Asmodeus is a lawful being, and putting the group before the individual fits his ethos. Further, the evil dieties definitely want people to know that their followers get power. Go ahead, brag about the spells and other benfits you get. Spread the word. That's the real attraction to worshipping an evil diety, after all. You sell your soul into eternal damnation so that you can do things like turn invisible and smite anyone you like with the evil power granted by Asmodeus. Perhaps the player should have said, "I don't need this. The might of Asmodeus flows through me! His power can easily duplicate that of a simple magic potion. Let Lorastine use it instead. He is bereft of such gifts. Besides, it would make achieving my goals, and Asmodeus' glory, that much harder if he was caught." Regardless of the wording, I think evil dieties have thick skins and expect that some of their followers don't like what they have to do. That's all right, as long as they obey and do it anyway.

Scarab Sages

As someone who has played a Sorcerer/Oracle/Mystic Theurge, I have to regretfully advise against it. While the vast array of spells to choose from would make a high level wizard jealous, your spells will simply lag too far behind the party level to pack the punch you'll need. Between the problem of beating spell resistance and not being able to pull out a really high DC spell on a target when you need it, you're left with being a healer/buffer and perhaps debuffer. If you're OK with that, then go for it -- that was the character I created. However, it gets boring at times. It sounds like you have an interesting character concept and are doing well with it. I'd say stick with it and go Sorcerer all the way.

If you're still set on the Sor/Or/MT, then the level progression is obvious: 4 levels of Oracle followed by 10 levels of Mystic Theurge. The last two levels, if the campaign goes that far, can be either Sorcerer or Oracle, whichever one you have grown to love more. Spell selection will be the same for your Sorcerer spells, though you should lean towards spells that allow no save or buff you or your group. The same goes for Oracle spells, though you'll have plenty of buffer spells to pick from.

One small, amusing benefit of the Sor/Or/MT is the high number of 0-level spells you get. By 10th level or so you can detect just about everything and do a ridiculous number of minor magical things. It rarely helps in combat, but for roleplaying situations and for creative players having that many 0-level effects at will is a good time.

Scarab Sages

I'd agree that it isn't an evil act, just a chaotic one. A single instance should not change alignment, however, so this one case should simply be noted for future reference. If the pattern continues, tell the player that he's actually playing a CG character. He can make the change to NG (at least) and keep playing the way he plays. If further actions are representative of a chaotic character, then make the shift to CG.

I also agree that the real evil in sex occurs when it violates an oath -- such as a Paladin's oath or the oath of marriage. There are other possible oaths, too, such as a vow to destroy evil outsiders, that could come into play here. If there was no such oath, then there is likely no evil.

This is a chance to have some plot twists, too. The succubus should become a recurring NPC, following the weak-willed ranger and trying to turn him to evil or chaos. Note that charm magic could work well here if the demon does not use it right away. After the character knowingly associates with the succubus for a while, then the consequences of that relationship, even if charmed, become the character's responsibility. After all, he knows exactly the kind of creature he is dealing with and yet continues.

Finally, consider the possibility that a child is born. An alu or cambion child of the character could become a major plot hook, depending on how long the campaign runs.

Scarab Sages

A player asking to roll to determine the extent of character knowledge is definitely not metagaming -- in fact, it's avoiding metagaming. Once the player rolls, the results of the knowledge check can be used to determine what the character knows. Thus, the player will not use knowledge beyond what the character should have when making decisions. Matagaming averted.

There are all kinds of analogies that can be applied from the real world to the in-game prospect of using knowledge without actually facing whatever it is you're talking about. Physicists and astronomers constantly use theory to make determinations on things that no one has ever encountered. If science had to wait for a human to interact with something before being useful, we'd likely still be using 1930s technology, or worse. In game, I always treat magic similar to a science, with theory and application. Wizards can talk about things far beyond their ability to perform in the same way a chemist can determine the result of a reaction without access to a sophisticated lab. Or the way a physicist without a particle accelerator can read about smashing atoms together and discuss the results and the next step with his peers.

Along those lines, I'd allow a Knowledge (Arcana) check to see if a caster knows anything at all about the theory behind a particular spell. For example, a wizard who hasn't studied Fireball may well still know the fundamentals of fire spells and understand how to go about devising the spell, even if he never does it. I'd also allow a Spellcraft check to see if the wizard actually knows anything at all about the Fireball spell. Perhaps the wizard had seen one in the past, or perhaps the casual research that all wizards do as they level has led him far enough along the path of Fireball that he can recognize it, even if he opted to finish other spells instead.

Scarab Sages

I agree with your evaluation, though I admit that I never thought of it any other way. I can only presume that you have some issue with vorpal weapons in your home campaign that brought it up.

Scarab Sages

Since RotRL is being officially converted to PF and published in July, you can just suspend the campaign until then. Start a new AP and get RotRL when it is published. The new AP group won't have this problem, as you can dictate the point buy and other aspects as you see fit. When the campaign wraps up, you can return to the new and improved RotRL campaign. By then, the players should be more amenable to tweaking their characters for play balance. Perhaps they will have even come up with completely new character concepts in the meantime that they want to try.

Scarab Sages

I agree that the Sylvan/Verdant bloodline would mesh best with this character concept. There are a couple others that will work, too, depending on the flavor you like. The Starsoul and Stormborn bloodlines both have heavy elemental aspects connected to nature. Neither has tie to plants that Verdant or Sylvan does, and Sylvan is the one that advances your animal companion. So, it looks like the Crossblooded Fey/Sylvan is the one you want.

Scarab Sages

To the OP, you need some other form of magic to get back and forth between planes, as usual. Or you can use a permanent portal.

When Plane Shifting to a demiplane we always rule the spell brings you to the plane targeted as long as you have been there before. You can't use it to get to an enemy's demiplane when you've never seen it. Since most demiplanes are much smaller than the miss distance indicated by the spell, you'll just land closer to your intended destination, even if you are at the very edge of the demiplane.

Scarab Sages

Yes, you can take the Additional Traits feat and pick up two new traits. Remember the limitations on taking only one trait from any particular category.

There is also a way to increase caster level in PFS based on PP, though it takes quite a few of them and you won't be getting it anytime close to 4th level when you start learning spells.

Scarab Sages

I see this as working best with a high level (10+) established party that has made a name already in Cheliax. After getting enough fame and support they become the very sort of rival the government can't just execute outright, so they are imprisoned. Higher levels will allow PCs a true fighting chance against demons and other vicious prisoners when unequipped.

I was also wondering about the ability of outsiders to teleport. What is keeping them in? What is keeping people on the outside from using magic to contact or locate their friends or loved ones in the prison? It could be that nothing is preventing any of that. If so, the challenge becomes surviving long enough to gain enough levels for the party sorceress to learn the Teleport spell.

Scarab Sages

I give xp for a trap if the party triggers it and suffers the effects or disables it. If the party walks past a trap somehow without ever realizing it was there, I award no xp since it was not a challenge that was overcome.

Scarab Sages

If the spell description only stated "club" I may have agreed that a greatclub could be included. But since spell description calls out club and quarterstaff, it seems clear that the spell affects only those two specific weapons.

This issue reiterates the argument for using keywords in PF. It would define a few things better, I think.

Scarab Sages

If you're a focused caster, stick with 2 levels of Paladin. As much as I like the abilities you get at level 3, and level 4, and... Those abilities will eat into your casting capabilities too much. I'd say just take the first 2 levels to get the saving throw bonuses and then get it on to Eldritch Knight.

Make sure you take the Magical Knaack trait to get back those two caster levels. Also, a one level trip into Oracle can have some crazy benefits if you plan to melee. And since you have levels in Paladin and EK, that seems likely. Take a look at the Lore mystery and the Sidestep Secret revelation. It allows you to use your Cha modifier in place of your Dex modifier for AC and Reflex saves. That has some awesome synergy, and would allow you to add your highest ability modifier twice to your Reflex saves!

Scarab Sages

If you have a mundane familiar, like a cat, you don't have to throw the cat out. You just keep it around the house as a mundane pet after transferring your magical power from it to something else. There's no reason the cat can't continue to have a long happy life as any pet would. Intelligent familiars, like those you mentioned, can return to their families and friends. It could be that they realize you have "outgrown" them. If you're getting an imp or rakshasa, I doubt you care what they think anyway. An evil caster with one of those familiars goes for power and both wizard and familiar know it. Getting used up and tossed away is a fact of life for evil creatures.

Scarab Sages

Of the choices you listed, I think the dwarven cleric works best in that party. There is no real tank, nor is there a healer. Perhaps you can fill both roles.

Scarab Sages

I'd love to see more content for high levels. The real draw to me is continuing to see your character grow, rather than retiring or having to shut the game down in the 14 to 16 range. I'd like to see the AP's play out to 20 or even 21-22. That would allow characters to get their capstone abilities and actually enjoy using them for a while before the campaign wraps up. If level 20 is the limit, then the highest abilities of the classes need to be reduced to the level 16 to 18 range so players actually get a chance to use them for a bit.

It could also be a self-perpetuating problem: there is little high level content because there is little interest...because there is little high level content...etc. If modules existed that brought characters up to and beyond 20, people would buy them, especially APs. That way, you get to follow one character from beginner to epic (or mythic, as the case may be) and you know that the campaign won't die out because the storyline fell apart.

Scarab Sages

The characters need a reason the be in the area of the carnival. If its their home town, great. Maybe they're just passing through. Maybe they have friends or a lead in the area.

I'd play the carnival as a non-combat event. Don't spend too much time there unless you're introducing NPC's for later. Have a few pregenerated NPC's in case the players want to roleplay more than you expect. Note the important features of the carnival; it may be benficial to write out a text box beforehand and read it, just like in a published adventure. That way the players can explore as they please. Be ready in case they want nothing to do with the carnival at all.

After the players leave the carnival, there should be something else to do: go see their contact, meet the dancers they spoke to at the carnival, return after closing time to ask about buying the sword swallower's magic sword, etc. It should not be "return home for the night," or "go back to the inn, eat and go to bed." You want them out and about so that they can notice the lack of people and have the encounter you mentioned.

The encounter should lead them to investigate the carnival and possibly another combat encounter. Without a tracker, they'll need to find hard evidence, like a written note that tells them where to go. Perhaps a few mites or some of the carnies jump the group from a wagon and searching the wagon reveals the note. The players should discover enough to be interested in going after them.

Scenes from the revel are in your hands and can be as vicious or tame as you like. However, the players should feel obligated to intervene. This could lead to several encounters - you probably don't want one huge encounter. Perhaps the revel is spread out over several adjacent glens. Each one caters to particular fey desires with the charmed or otherwise enspelled townsfolk as the helpless victims. If the townsfolk fall unconsious when released from the enchantment, there will likely be too many for the players to transport to the safety of town. This will force the players to continue on, rather than retreat, since the fey will just find the townsfolk again and continue.

After several encounters in the glades the players find the last one. Here you'll have the boss fey. You could also have one of the Abadarian monks back up the fey, telling the characters not to interfere with what they don't understand. Most players would beat the snot out of such a person. If you don't want an Abadarian present, there can be another note on the boss fey from the monks. This one would make it clear that the fey have the consent of the Abadarians to proceed.

This should lead to a confrontation with the monks. Wheather or not this confrontation is combat or not is up to you. Perhaps it starts as combat and, if the PC's win, the leaders surrender, spilling the secret about the blighted land. It then falls to the characters to end the blight. If there is combat with the Abadarians, the players are unlikely to listen to requests for aid from them. Given that there is an Abadarian cleric in the party, it probably won't come to battle. The townsfolk could add some pressure here. Perhaps some of the commoners willingly went or sent their family to the fey to be abused in order to seal their bargain. The townsfolk then ask (or demand) that the PCs make it right, since they disrupted the revel.

The fey will, if any are alive, probably refuse to deal with the characters, they'll have to figure it out on their own. This would lead to an investigation of the source of the blight. Is it an old curse that needs to be removed? Is it the hex of a Witch that the fey have a second bargain with? Perhaps a planar encroachment that a fey lord on the plane of shadow is willing to suspend -- as long as his minions return with enough stolen memories, emotions and blood to satiate him.

You'll have to define the course of the story from there. However, while the storyline can be predetermined, not many players enjoy being railroaded. Their choices should be made willingly, with the enticement of challenge and rewards, rather than because there is no other choice. Removing a blight would depend on its nature and could easily lead into the "relic hunter" area as the PCs hunt down leads and rumors of magic that can do the trick.

Scarab Sages

That's one of the most detailed answers I've seen yet.

Scarab Sages

There was a recent thread that discussed the use of the Arcane Mark cantrip with Spell Combat and Spellstrike. This allows Magi an extra attack each round, even though the attacks are at -2. There are other options that garner the Magus a cantrip that is actually useful in battle, but the Arcane Mark works as it is written. The benfit to using a cantrip is, obviously, that it is never depleted, granting an extra melee attack anytime the Magus makes a full attack and accepts the penalty.

As to the OP, the Spellstrike feature grants a free melee weapon attack that delivers a touch spell. This melee attack is in addition to any other attacks that the Magus may have when making a full attack. If a touch spell is being held at the start of a round, the Magus does not gain an extra attack to deliver it. So a Magus who casts Shocking Grasp in round 1 but misses with the attack to deliver the spell, still has that same Shocking Grasp on Round 2. The Magus gets his normal attacks only on round 2, and if successful may deliver the Shocking Grasp then. If the Magus misses again on round 2, the Shocking Grasp can be carried over from round to round until it is discharged by a successful melee attack or the Magus chooses to cast another spell, which then dissapates the held Shocking Grasp. After the Shocking Grasp has been successfully discharged, the Magus may use Spell Combat to cast another spell and Spellstrike to deliver it if it was a touch spell. This can be done even in the same round that the Shocking Grasp was finally discharged as long as all attacks during the round accepted the -2 penalty for two weapon fighting.

Neither feature allows a Magus to cast two spells in one round, though one spell may be cast and one that was cast earlier may be discharged in one round.

Scarab Sages

I interpret this as being the normal weapon damage dice and the extra dice of damage from Vital Strike, since VS is specifically part of the requirements. Other damage added (sneak attack, precise strike, and flaming weapon for instance) would not be maximized.

Scarab Sages

I agree with the Ranger concept. If you want both combat and skills, that's the way to go. Water as a Favored Terrain would be the obvious choice. A Ranger can easily be a balanced ranged and melee fighter and has the skill points to be effective out of combat as well.

The Barbarian has its own charm, but I can't see it meshing well with Rogue. If you're set on a Barbarian, play it single classed and switch your Dex and Str scores to capitalize on the rage bonuses. The Sea Reaver archetype seems to fit perfectly.

If you like the Rogue, the Swashbuckler archetype fits well with a pirate campaign and allows you to take Combat Trick twice (two combat feats). Perhaps a level or two of fighter will give you the feel of a pirate and will add even more combat ability.

To reverse that, going Fighter is rarely a bad choice. The Corsair archetype is the natural choice as a pirate Fighter. A level or two in Rogue will give you a skill boost and an extra trick or two.

Scarab Sages

I agree with the others, the Magus has a built-in multiclass theme. There is no need to add a second class. You can achieve similar results with Fighter/Wizard/Eldritch Knight, but some features of the Magus (Spellstrike and Spell Combat in particular) are unique to the class. Take the Magus single-classed as far as possible. It's an iconic combination of abilities.

Scarab Sages

The Paldin did not violate his code. The wizard, having no code, should not have his alignment shifted immediately. If this act is one of a long chain of such actions, then yes, a switch to CN would be in order.

Had the goblins not been killed, they would have likely presented a more difficult dilemma for the Paladin. Since the captain of the ship is the highest authority at hand, he can order the goblins' execution, though the Paladin would be obliged to object to killing helpless prisoners. The goblins would certainly face execution when returned to a port anyway, so that is still no reasonable solution for the Paladin. Perhaps putting the goblins in a launch and setting them adrift would satisfy the Paladins code. The goblins have a chance to survive and no one else is in danger.

I'd say that in the future, the Wizard should cast something other than a Sleep spell if he does not want prisoners.

Scarab Sages

First I have to say that your English writing is much better than my Japanese -- better, in fact, than many people you will find on these messageboards who speak and write English as a native language.

Using city adventures should not be a problem for a campaign. I've run campaigns set in Waterdeep of the Forgotten Realms when using 3.5 rules and the players never left the city. A building can serve as well as a dungeon in many cases, though it allows characters to flee and regroup easily if encounters go bad.

If you have concerns about what races/classes will unbalance a campaign, I would advise you to stick to the Core Rulebook, the Advanced Players Guide, Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat. Don't allow any outside material to be used. It may be tempting to do so, since you may find it easier to locate translated versions of 3rd party material. Sticking to the core rules will more or less gaurantee a balanced environment.

The easiest way to learn the rules is to read them, then play the game. Unless your memory is photographic you won't remember it all, but you don't have to. Just remember that there is a rule for a particular action and make sure you can locate the rule in the book quickly to refresh your memory.

As others have said, 3.5 modules may give a challenge rating for an encounter that is higher than what is deserved in Pathfinder. As a quick rule, you can subtract one from the CR of an encounter in a 3.5 module to determine the difficulty in PF. Of course, it's best to convert the encounter, but if you don't have the time then just reduce it by one.

Scarab Sages

The OP is certainly possible. I've had the unfortunate experience of jumping into icy water myself. For cold water rescue training, we cut holes in the ice and had to jump in. To say it was uncomfortable doesn't even come close, but I tolerated it longer than I thought I would have. Some people are just better at handling cold, of course. There's a man who is really, really good at it, in fact: Go to the video here. Although he may be the most cold-resistant man in the world, it shows what some people are capable of.

Scarab Sages

Shapechanging should detect as magical. Since Detect Magic is not limited to just detecting spells, examining the aura of a shapechanged creature will reveal the proper information depending on how much time the caster spends doing it. After 3 rounds, a Knowledge (arcana) check is called for to determine the school of magic, which likely reveals transmutation if successful. However, unless the shapechanger has a reason to have no magic at all, further investigation/spellcasting will be needed. Keep in mind that shapechanging assassins will use Nondetection or other spells/magic items to hinder magical examiniation.

Scarab Sages

I think you're on the right track with Fighter/Rogue, though I wouldn't rule out Ranger. A Rogue 3/Fighter 3 would have 2 bonus combat feats from Fighter and possibly one from Rogue (if you took the talent), 30 skill points, sneak attack and armor training. A Ranger 6 would have 2 bonus combat feats and the Endurence feat, 36 skill points, favored terrain, favored enemy, hunters bond and spells. It seems fairly even to me. You can also consider a Ranger/Rogue for the really combat-oriented skill monkey or the Ranger/Fighter for the really martial stalker. Or go hog wild with all three -- a Fighter 2/Rogue 2/Ranger 3 could have 5 bonus feats!

Scarab Sages

This was just posted on another thread not too long ago, and I give full credit to RavingDork for it:

:

http://thefoolscourt.zxq.net/other/shioji.pdf

The build can easily be changed to a human.

Also, here's a different kind of Sorcerer, built as a half orc, but human isn't a stretch at all:

:

Half-Orc Paladin 11 (Oath of Vengeance) / Sorcerer 1 (Draconic Bloodline) / Dragon Disciple 8
Attributes:
STR - 17 (+2 racial bonus, +1 at 4th)
DEX - 12
CON - 14
INT - 10
WIS - 8
CHA - 15 (+1 at 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th)
Additional attribute bonuses:
From Dragon Disciple class features - +2 STR at 7th, +2 STR at 9th, +2 CON at 11th, +2 INT at 13th
From Eldritch Heritage feat line - +2 STR at 11th, +2 STR at 15th, +2 STR at 17th
Natural Armor bonuses:
Draconic Bloodline - +1 at 7th, +1 at 13th
Eldritch Heritage feat line - +2 at 13th
Dragon Disciple - +1 at 6th, +1 at 9th, +1 at 12th
Feats:
1st (P1) Skill Focus: Survival
2nd (P2)
3rd (P3) Intimidating Prowess
4th (P4)
5th (S1) Eldritch Heritage (Orc bloodline: Touch of Rage), Eschew Materials
6th (DD1)
7th (DD2) Power Attack*, Furious Focus
8th (DD3)
9th (DD4) Still Spell
10th (DD5) Toughness*
11th (DD6) Improved Eldritch Heritage (Orc bloodline: Strength of the Beast)
12th (DD7)
13th (DD8) Improved Initiative*, Improved Eldritch Heritage (Orc bloodline: Fearless) or Corugon Smash
14th (P5)
15th (P6) Dreadful Carnage
16th (P7)
17th (P8) Greater Eldritch Heritage (Orc bloodline: Power of Giants)
18th (P9)
19th (P10) Stunning Assault
20th (P11)
* indicates Bloodline feat
Traits:
Opportunistic Gambler
Magical Knack
Sacred Tattoo (alternative racial trait)
Of course, he gets a ton of abilities: Darkvision 60', Detect Evil, Lay on Hands, Divine Grace, Paladin Immunities & Auras, Smite Evil, Divine Bond, Breath Weapon, Blindsense 30', Fire Resistance, Touch of Rage, Power of Giants (+6 STR, -2 DEX, +4 CON, +4 Natural Armor, Reach) and spells from both Paladin and Sorcerer classes. I'll get to spells in a sec.
One of the things I like about him is how he seems to get nice bumps every level from a variety of places... scaling up potently from first all the way to 20th. And he's an absolute beast at 20th - consider:
Strength 42 (30 naturally, +6 from Power of Giants, +6 from Belt) - +16 attack, +24 damage
Base Attack Bonus - +17/+12/+7/+5 attack
Power Attack & Furious Focus - +0/-5/-5/-5 attack, +15 damage
Touch of Rage (lasting 2-5 rounds) - +10 attack, +10 damage
Large-sized +5 Keen Flaming Greatsword of Speed - 1 additional attack, +5 attack, +1d6+5 damage
Smite Evil (19 Charisma naturally, +6 headband) - +7 attack, +11 damage
That all adds up to something around +55/+50/+45/+40/+35 attack (-5 each if I lump in Stunning Assault) for 2d6+1d6+65 damage per hit with wicked crit potential. Between Smite and his Natural Armor bonuses he could have as much as an additional +18 to Armor Class to go along with those seriously enhanced saves. Obviously all of those bonuses won't often be up at the same time, but with multiple Smites for evil foes and Touch of Rage for non-evil, he should be formidible no matter who he faces. Figure by level 15 he'll pretty much Perma-Intimidate the battlefield the moment he makes his first kill, and those penalties to saves makes Stunning Assault at 19th that much more likely to take effect.
Anyway, I think I've pretty much done right by my feat selections and my traits though I'm open to any and all suggestions... I am torn between a wickedly effective Corugon Smash at 13th or the addtional +2 to Natural Armor from the Eldritch Heritage feat. Also trying to decide between the Weapon Bond or the Mount for his Paladin Divine Bond ability.
I'm fine with what my usual Paladin spell suite will be, but I'm struggling a little bit when it comes to my choices of Sorcerer spells. I want them to be buffs and attacks that will continue to be effective all throughout the life of the character. Remember that I take Still Spell at 9th level and the character will normally be wearing full plate and carrying a Falchion or Greatsword. I'm listing below what I'm currently planning on going with, but none of it is etched in stone:
5th & 6th level (Spells per day: 1st - 4)
0 - Arcane Mark, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Spark
1st - Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield
7th level (Spells per day: 1st - 5)
0 - Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Spark
1st - Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield
8th level (Spells per day: 1st - 6)
0 - Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Spark
1st - Expeditious Retreat, Mage Armor**, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield
9th & 10th level (Spells per day: 1st - 7, 2nd - 4)
0 - Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Read Magic, Spark
1st - Expeditious Retreat, Mage Armor**, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield
2nd - Scorching Ray
11th level (Spells per day: 1st - 7, 2nd - 5)
0 - Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Read Magic, Spark
1st - Expeditious Retreat, Mage Armor**, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Silent Image
2nd - Pyrotechnics, Resist Energy**, Scorching Ray
12th level (Spells per day: 1st - 7, 2nd - 6, 3rd - 4)
0 - Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation, Read Magic, Spark
1st - Expeditious Retreat, Mage Armor**, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Silent Image
2nd - Pyrotechnics, Resist Energy**, Scorching Ray
3rd - Hasten
13th level and up (Spells per day: 1st - 7, 2nd - 7, 3rd - 5)
0 - Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation, Read Magic, Spark
1st - Charm Person, Expeditious Retreat, Mage Armor**, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Silent Image
2nd - Pyrotechnics, Protection vs. Evil (Communal), Resist Energy**, Scorching Ray
3rd - Dispel Magic, Fly**, Hasten
** indicates Bloodline spell
Some of the spells I'm also considering might be:
Burning Hands & Moment of Greatness at 1st level, Eagle's Splendor (for whenever I Smite), Flaming Sphere & Touch of Idiocy at 2nd level, Blacklight & Fireball at 3rd level

Finally, herre's a Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple build made to be a caster. Sorry, but there are no spells listed with this one:
:

The character as he stands now:
Half-Orc 2nd level Paladin / 10th level Sorcerer (Gold Dragon) / 8th level Dragon Disciple
Attributes:
STR – 16 (+2 Racial bonus, +1 at 4th and 8th, +2 at 7th, 9th, 11th, 15th and 17th )
DEX – 12
CON – 14 (+2 at 11th)
INT – 10 (+2 at 13th)
WIS – 8
CHA – 16 (+1 at 12th, 16th and 20th)
Natrual Armor +1 at 5th, 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, and +2 at 17th
(* all bonuses from leveling, feats and class features included)
Feats:
1st - Skill Focus: Survival
3rd - Combat Casting
3rd - Eschew Materials
5th - Eldritch Heritage (Orc Bloodline)
7th - Power Attack (Bloodline feat)
7th - Furious Focus
9th - Arcane Armor Training
10th - Improved Initiative (Bloodline feat)
11th - Arcane Armor Mastery
13th - Toughness (Bloodline feat)
13th - Arcane Strike
15th - Improved Eldritch Heritage (Orc Bloodline)
17th - Quicken Spell (Bloodline feat)
17th - Greater Eldritch Heritage (Orc Bloodline)
19th - Dreadful Carnage or Dazing Spell
Traits:
Magical Knack (+2 Caster level)
Opportunistic Gambler (Morale bonuses last 1d4 rounds longer than normal)
Sacred Tattoo (+1 luck bonus to saves, replaces Orc Ferocity)
In addition to his spell-casting abilities, he'll eventually have access to Tough of Rage (6+ times/day) which should mesh well with Opportunistic Gambler, Power of Giants, Claws & Dragon Bite, a Breath Weapon, Wings, Darkvision 60', Blindsense 30', Fire Resistance and the ability to assume the Form of a Dragon multiple times a day.

Consider half orc if using fire spells for increased damage.

+4Str from DD
+6str (inherent) from EH:demonic
+6Str (enhancement) from belt
+6str (morale) from vengeful outrage (spell)
+10(size) from form of the dragon III


Again, I've pulled these builds from other threads because I thought they were interesting and I could get ideas from them. I take no credit for any of them. Hopefully they'll help you, too.

Scarab Sages

It all depends on the character. If your Wizard uses a lot of spells that require saving throws from targets, then you want your Int to be as high as possible. If the Wizard is, say, a conjuration specialist and plans to summon monsters into combat, then you can probably get away with starting at 18.

A fighter wants as much Dex as he can use, of course. This is usually limited by the kind of armor worn. If you plan to wear heavy armor and are attracted to adamantine over mithril, then your Dex can top out at 12, since you'll lose any excess AC bonus in full plate. A dwarven plate and shield specialist probably falls in this category. If you plan to wear lighter armor, or like your armor made of mithril instead, then your Dex should be higher. There are other factors to consider, too. How often will you use ranged attacks? Can you fit Lightning Reflexes into your feat build to boost Ref saves? Can you get Improved Initiative so you aren't relying on a die roll so much to put you at the top of the initiative order?

Scarab Sages

I think you should drop Sorcerer and Dragon Disciple, too. Instead, look to the Eldritch Heritage (orc) feat chain. That way you can still boost your Str but focus on your Wild Shape.

A level of Monk will allow your Wis mod to go to AC, and two levels gives yet another bonus feat and increased saves and evasion, so that's popular for Druids. Barbarian has the benefits of rage and increased BAB.

If you want to go for Dragon Shape over Wild Shape, I'd say drop the Druid aspect. Paladin 2/Sorcerer 10/Dragon Discliple 8 is a solid build that can melee as a dragon and still cast well. Pick up your Dragon Form spells and you're set.

Scarab Sages

A while ago I tried to write out a character that would have the most feats possible. Low levels in many classes were required and the build, while not optimized, was a workable melee trip specialist. At level 20 he would have +14 BAB (+16 with FoB), Fort +19, Ref +17, Will +14 (not counting Divine Grace). All together he has 29 feats (or 30 if human or half-elf), though many of them are determined by the class and archetype. I'm sure others could tweak the feat selection a bit and come up with better feats or other workable builds. I won't bother to list all of the class features he'd have, that would take up a crazy amount of space, and the reasons for each archetype is to give more feats that might actually be useful in such an outlandish build.

Level 1: Monk 1 (Weapon Adept); Imp. Unarmed Strike, Perfect Strike, Dodge, Combat Expertise; add another feat if he's human
Level 2: Ranger 1
Level 3: Fighter 1 (Unarmed Fighter); Endurence, Die Hard, Crane Style, Improved Trip; monk exotic weapons
Level 4: Paladin 1
Level 5: Paladin 2; Combat Reflexes
Level 6: Fighter 2; Ki Throw
Level 7: Rogue 1 (Swashbuckler); Skill Focus: Survival (this would come at level 1 if a half-elf, you could replace it with whatever you like)
Level 8: Monk 2; Weapon Focus: 9 section whip
Level 9: Monk 3; Greater Trip
Level 10: Rogue 2; Lunge
Level 11: Ranger 2; Power Attack (2-hander style)
Level 12: Cleric 1 (Crusader); Imp. Critical
Level 13: Monk 4; Eldritch Heritage (orc)
Level 14: Bard 1 (Arcane Duelist); Arcane Strike
Level 15: Rogue 3; Imp. Eldritch Heritage (orc)
Level 16: Rogue 4; Stand Still
Level 17: Monk 5; Greater Eldritch Heritage (orc)
Level 18: Monk 6; Weapon Specialization, Mobility
Level 19: Bard 2; Combat Casting, Vicious Stomp
Level 20: Alchemist 1; Brew Potion, Throw Anything

So in the end he's Monk 7/Fighter 2/Ranger 2/Cleric 1/Bard 2/Paladin 2/Rogue 4/Alchemist 1. Although this isn't exactly what the OP was looking for, at low levels the build remains true to the many, many classes theme, not exceeding level 3 in any class until 13th level. If you moved the Alchemist level sooner than 20th, you can enjoy the Mutagen for a while, but I'll leave that to anyone crazy enough to actually play this build. I should also add that if a couple of the feats are out of place, I apologize -- my notes are all over the place with this craziness.

Scarab Sages

In all published campaign settings, Paladins follow dieties. They may have the option to revere primal forces instead, but it is assumed that a Paladin is a follower of a particular Power. Well-detailed campaign settings, like the Forgotten Realms, actually have Paladin orders and slightly different goals for Paladins who venerate different dieties. In a home campaign, you can run the Paladin rules differently, of course. However, choosing a second class would not intrinsically violate the Paladin's code. Only acting in an evil or chaotic way does that.

Scarab Sages

Midnight_Angel wrote:
Sylvanite wrote:
A gross, uneducated Dwarven hillbilly who has a knack for picking up on things others don't notice. Basically, a bunch of street smarts, no book smarts, and poor hygiene.

+1 for the interpretation

May I ask for a stat interpretation, as well?

Female variant Tiefling Rogue (no, not a teifling rouge!)
Int 16, Wis 5, Cha 18

This sounds like the characer Escalla from the series of DnD books. She was a Wizard pixie...er, sorry, a faerie. She was brilliant and beautiful, but lacked common sense. Luckily her companion, the Justicar, had more common sense than a sack of old copper coins. "That's just hoopy!"

Scarab Sages

Paladin seems like a good choice, too, depending on your Charisma. You'll get the +1 BAB, +2 Fort and Will saves, and Smite Evil 1/day which could be a large bonus to hit. Should you make it a 2-level dip, you'll get another +1 BAB, another +1 to Fort and Will, and then your Charisma mod bonus to all saves.

Scarab Sages

Being a huge reader of Realms stuff, I doubt very much that Lathander would have a problem with a Paladin/Ranger as a follower. Let the player take the level if he wants to.

Scarab Sages

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If you're open to other race options, I point people towards human Sorcerers with the Arcane bloodline. You get an extra spell each level for being human, and Arcane adds even more spells to your list. The big drawback to playing a Sorcerer is limited spells known, but a human Arcane Sorcerer has more spells known than any other spontaneous caster.

I've used the Shaitan bloodline since it fit with my character's backstory and enjoyed it. You can choose a bolldline in a similar manner. The Fey, Deep Earth or Abyssal bloodlines go well with drow thematically. A few others - Aberrant, Accursed, Oni, Rakshasa, Shadow - can also mesh very well with a drow character. Of course, you needn't feel limited in your bloodline choice, but if you enjoy creating a solid backstory and theme for your character there are options available.

Scarab Sages

As little as I like the way it's written, I have to agree with Avalon. Mirror Image reads clearly that if the attacker cannot see the images, the attacker cannot be fooled by them. For all reasonable purposes, anyone who closes his eyes has inflicted the Blinded condition upon himself. I am quite sure, given the totality of the rules quoted throughout the thread, that in this instance the word "blind" means the Blinded condition, and neither is intended to be limited to those who have permanent loss of sight. Anything that causes a character to lose sight - it could be a darkness spell, too - would qualify.

My only hesitation in accepting that this tactic would work is in the wording of True Strike: "Additionally, you are not affected by the miss chance that applies to attackers trying to strike a concealed target." The target with images actually has no concealment, instead there is a condition upon the attacker that created the miss chance. However, it seems clear from reading through all the rules that such a condition was exactly what the True Strike spell was designed for.

Finally, keep in mind that whatever the PCs can do, their enemies can also do. This trick may anger the GM who has become too attached to his favorite BBEG, but the players may not be so keen on it when the party mage gets spanked despite the magical defenses.

Scarab Sages

It's funny, if you read through the comments posted below the public playtest announcement on WotC's blog, it doesn't take long at all for the conversation to deteriorate into a battle between the pro-4E's and the anti-4E's. Traditionalists want to see a return to the 3E days, or even the 2E days. Newer players like to insist the game isn't a paper MMO and want 5E to be like 4E but without the junk leftover from 3.5. The only thing I see clearly in all of those comments is that there is a gulf in the RPG community that one game system cannot fill.

Scarab Sages

Aside from iterruption issues, it sounds like the GM may be turning the tables on you now that he is in control of the game. You said he was a "problem player," which leads me to believe that there is a history of conflict between the two of you. It may not be serious, but if there is lingering resentment not everyone is mature enough to disconnect the player from the character. From his point of view, he may be thinking that it's time you know what it feels like. I'm not saying this is true, only that there must be more to the story. The suggestion to ask the other players is a good one. Do the other people at the table realize you are getting the short end of the stick? If so, it's a good indication that your feelings are justified.

Can you just ask the GM what the deal is when the group is together? "Bill got to create his backstory, why can't I? What parameters of my character's history am I allowed to design?" Then make sure it is the same for everyone. If not, bring it up with the group. Any imbalance should be obvious when everyone looks at the facts together. If the GM continues creating imbalances or simply gives a lame answer ("That's the way it is bacause I'm the GM and I say so.") then it may be time to leave the group, at least until there is a different GM.

Scarab Sages

I wonder what the rogue would think if other classes used their class abilities to get extra loot. When no one else was around, a Bard casting a Suggestion spell to say, "It would be better for all of us if I was the one who got that new ring," followed by Modify Memory, would likely be seen in an entirely different light. Mages and clerics can certainly come up plenty of options, too (What? No I didn't cast Teleport Object on that chest. It must have had some kind of ward on it."). For some reason players with Rogue characters are more likely than any other class to feel that stealing from the rest of the party is acceptable.

Should a player be inclined to do this, the GM should instead provide opportunities for the the Rogue to pick up some extra loot when away from everyone else. That way the group won't feel like one is taking what all earned.

Scarab Sages

I'd like to see a change to Vital Strike as well. Something to make it a bit more viable, at least. I see no reason why it shouldn't be compatable with Spring Attack, for instance. I certain situations, it works well, such as against highly mobile opponents, when your iterative attacks have an abyssmal chance of hitting, or against particularly tough DR. Still, it makes little sense to have the feat imcompatible with a few of the others.

Scarab Sages

Sounds to me like he's not right for your group. I commend your reasons for including him, as well as your perseverance in allowing him to continue. Now that you've seen what kind of player he is, you have a choice to make, and three options as I see it. You can, probably as a group, talk to him about how he is ruining the experience for the rest of you. Hopefully this will change things. If not, you're left with the other two options. You can allow him to continue to come to the game sessions and just suck it up, accepting his disruptive play style. Or you can stop inviting him to the game sessions and write him off as a loss. Perhaps if talking doesn't work, a temporary suspension will do the trick. Don't invite him for a couple of sessions and see if that changes his attitude. As Ioaba said, it sounds like a bad situation all around.

Scarab Sages

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Even though Mark beat me to it, I was going to say that you get what benefits are spelled out in the description of the feature. I won't bother spelling them out again. They're all cool abilities, but unless you have a really, really long campaign (think Dennis McKiernan) the anti-aging ability will be of little help, and of of virtually no help in adventuring encounters.

However, if you're looking to get into the mindset of the character, the fact that he does not age will likely have a significant impact on his perception of the world. If you write in first person, the character's thoughts will likely become less like a regular human as time goes on. At first, there would be no change. After a couple of decades adventuring companions are seen as acquaintances rather than lifelong friends. Depending on the character's alignment, companions could eventually be seen in a light similar to children or pets, or even expendable resourses. The emotional disconnect will grow as time goes on, and the character could have difficulty relating to anyone who is not also immortal. Of course, the character could also see mortals as his charges and helping them grow as his duty.

Writing in third person will make these things less obvious, perhaps impossible to discern, since someone with decades to practice blending in is unlikely to be discovered. In any case, the character's view of the world and how to solve problems should gradually take a long-term view. This could even be longer than a lifetime, depending on the circumstances. Patience should become a noticeable trait. Even someone with a low intelligence will likely have learned a thing or two after a century or so and be difficult to deceive or surprise in normal circumstances. Those who were already brilliant will be even more so. Referencing the Highlander show, you will remember how Duncan had encountered virtually every situation at some point in his past. So, when the same situation rolls around again, he learns from his mistakes and performs flawlessly.

Though this is difficult to mimic in game terms, you can have the character prepare for just about anything. Have the best and most diverse equipment and alchemy available. Carry a few one-shot magic items that are highly situational. Make stashes of money and magic at various locations around the world. Remember to help people and go back to them when you need a return favor. All of this will foster the aura of wisdom, preparedness and experience that an immortal should learn over time.

Scarab Sages

My current group has both an Arcane Archer and a Shadowdancer, both of whom do extremely well. However, it is generally agreed that prestige classing is not the way to go for optimization. If you have a character concept that points you in the direction of a prestige class, then go with it. But don't take a prestige class (or multiclass) just because you can.

Scarab Sages

Though it's not optimized, you could take levels as Ranger to get divine spells without actually receiving them from a diety. That way, the people would see you casting actual spells, and you could limit your choices to those that a Paladin would have. Since you may not want to take many Ranger levels, you can claim to have a low Charisma and therefore are limited on your spell levels. Or you could just claim to be multi-classed, which everyone knows would lower the available spell levels so you aren't questioned on it much. Ranger would also give you more skill points to throw into UMD. Other than that, I'd just claim an arcetype that doesn't allow the abilities you can't get. Bard and Witch also allow for casting healing spells, though neither is going to solve the ASF problem for someone wearing heavy armor.

Scarab Sages

My first impression was that taking a move action after a single attack on a declared full-attack was exploiting a loophole in the rules. However, after reading the appropriate section, I think it is written that way intentionally to allow for the flexibility.

Since Monks really don't need anything else working against them, I see no reason why they should not gain the full BAB benefit of FoB whenever making unarmed strikes or using a Monk weapon. In fact, it makes far less sense to me that their capabilities would be reduced when making a single attack, but maybe I just think differently than other people. Also, I see no reason that an archer cannot load two arrows and shoot them before a move. Again, it makes less sense to disallow such an action than it does to allow it. I'd even suggest that the archer character is one of those for whom that exception was specifically designed. I doubt it will be game-breaking, and it allows the players more flexibility.

On the other hand, remember that enemies will use the same tactic. Certainly not as much as PCs, but the party should be on the receiving end of it occasionally.

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