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Because im a jerk im going to post it, *sigh* for making a pathfinder society legal necromancer you forgot something oh so awesome.
Now you can make undead for free :)
Simple enough but with no clear answer in the books, errata or anywhere else that i can find. When your patron grants you a knew spell what spell level can you prepare it at?
At 1st level, when a witch gains her familiar, she must also select a patron. This patron is a vague and mysterious force, granting the witch power for reasons that she might not entirely understand. While these forces need not be named, they typically hold influence over one of the following forces. At 2nd level, and every two levels thereafter, a witch's patron adds new spells to a witch's list of spells known. These spells are also automatically added to the list of spells stored by the familiar. Spells marked with an asterisk (*) appear in Chapter 5 of this book. The spells gained depend upon the patron chosen. Each patron is listed by its theme. Its actual name is up to the GM and the witch to decide.
So here is my interpretation of the way this works. There are exactly 9 spells in each patron given at every 2 levels starting at 2nd. So just counting up from the bottom as 1st, 2nd, 3rd level spells. Example is Ice Storm from winter patron is a level 4 witch spell. Its the third one on the list means i can cast it as a 3rd level spell. Shadow conjuration from the shadow patron I get at level 8 but isnt actually on my spell list so it doesnt tell me what level I can prepare it so going by my conclusion RaI its a 4th level spell for being 4th on the list or 1/2 the level i learned it at. Am i right on this assumption?
A winter witch must choose her patron from one of the following patron themes: ancestors, deception, enchantment, endurance, moon, occult, portents, stars, transformation, trickery, water, winter, or wisdom.
So i have those options in patron coupled with winter witch archtype which is required for prestiging
Yeah it makes sense so it looks like they have ways around cold resistance and immunity which will be awesome since it looks like most cold effects are really just to throw more status effects on them and not just blast. How about patron? Winter patron good for it?
Simple enough is making a winter witch PC in reign of winter a good idea? It mentions them specifically in the players guide but also says cold resistance and immunity might be a problem. Someone is starting a Reign of Winter game in 2 days i said i was playing a winter witch but im having second thoughts about it. Will i end up regretting the decision for the winter witch prestige class?
How does Two Weapon Rend react with damage reduction? Is it additional weapon damage? If do both weapons need to overcome DR to overcome it? Does it count as additional weapon damage? If so what happens if 1 weapon doesnt do enough damage to get through DR does it still count?
So in short how does damage reduction apply to two weapon rend?
I have a mix of players. A TWF fighter who is really good at two weapon but with lower defenses, a maximized color spray oracle who is a 1 trick pony doesnt seem to do much else. A charger cavalier more inexperienced, and a drow rogue they may or may not be gaining a sorcerer blaster. But for them it seems the line between too hard and too easy seems to revolve around if they can color spray it. They are level 6/1 will be 7 soon coming up on the mythic chimera shortly and the highest AC among the party is 21. The Nabasu at the chapel gave them grief but they have been rolling everything else. Really am trying to avoid them color spray and coup de grace on the mythics.
Its also written on the creature that its virtually immune to the armies attacks and attacks of non mythic creatures. Also it mentions its supposed to have SR but its not listed on its stat block
Its Awesome display with a really high charisma its lowering his HD down to like 1 or 2 knocking him out. I can do 1 round of stun but full effect is just b!%!+%+$. Yet it makes the encounters equally dull if i use save or suck versus them. Well if they all go down leaving them there without finishing them might be an option since they dont bleed out.
So way this adventure is going i think it is very likely someone may be killed or even a TPK. I was wondering if anyone had any idea on how to handle such an event and keep a cool story.
We are on the second book right now Sword of Valor and they are approaching the first trial. Based on their performance so far i think the Mythic Chimera has a good chance to make off with at least 1 kill but the party has 1 character right now who is actually threatening plus a 1 trick pony color spray oracle. The fight with Eustorax the shadow demon i put it on about 80% chance to TPK this party. So how do i handle player death in this campaign while keeping a good story? And what are some good ways to handle a TPK do i reload from last save type thing? Ressurected by a Iomedae? Fresh party with a new story of how they became mythic? Deal with the consequences of their failure? Im fairly stumped.
Despite already being a difficult encounter i also felt the need to add spell resistance to the chimera to prevent the encounter from being a coup de grace on the first round encounter.
Yeah fighters usually dump their intelligence anyway. I would want to keep rogues at the top of the number of skills they can have with a close second going to wizards. But give a bump to fighters and paladins. Upping all 2+int to 4+ mod would put wizards on the same level as rogues which, who cares. Another int skill or use magic or something. Fighters and paladins would actually have more than 1 skill point or 2 if they didnt dump intelligence
Would it throw off game balance to give 4 plus int mod skill points to all classes who only start the game with 2? To try to make them more useful out of combat. Paladin and fighter come to mind. Saw the guy at dawnforged cast suggest this was thinking its not a bad idea
You can always suggest they grow the f+*# up :)
Anevia being transexual is i think a major part of her character. My suggestion is just you dont need to play it up or anything for the most part other than being aware that they are homosexual its really not much of an issue in the game other than they are willing to do anything for each other and prefer not to be separated. If they try to "convert" them it would probably impact their opinion of the party possibly even bring their disposition to unfriendly and they would lose the benefits of having them as friends. Im not entirely sure if my party is even aware that Anevia is transexual. So yeah just leave the characters as written and if they choose not to associate with them because of it or make them on terrible terms... So be it.
Major issues with paperback products. I went out and bought Wrath of the Righteous: Sword of Valor and while i was reading it several of the pages fell out. Right around the NPC gallery. I just spent cash on it and it was brand new and other than those pages in mint condition. I treat my books with extreme care. So i was a little pissed. I went to the gamestore and showed them what happened and they happily replaced my defective product before our game started. Within 2 hours the second copy lost almost half the pages in the front and back of the book. I dont even bend the cover over on itself... The pages were not torn or tattered but it looks like the glue that binds the pages together was not holding the pages. Im a little frustrated now because i already replaced the book once for the same problem.
Was thinking setting a like westeros and athas or a homebrew setting. I have 2 in mind the first one is steampunk but only allowing alchemist for pcs on the magic side due to the nature of the world. Maybe to some degree psionics. Firearms are commonplace considered martial weapons. Could also do psuedo voctorian havnt decided whether simple or advamced firearms would be easy to buy. The other is a hellenic game only divine magic is allowed.
So was thinkin for purpose of narrative is it okay for a gm to ban a class or catagory of classes and can the system handle it well. Such as of the story said there are no arcane casters or divine casters or no classes with spellcasting levels available to the pcs. Has anyone played in a game with such tight restrictions on classes and how was it?or am I better off using a different system for such a setting This question is geared mostly to people who enjoy good roleplaying over rollplay shenanigans.
So was thinking about mass combat in pathfinder the other day and was thinking about which way was the best way to do it. We are running wrath of the righteous right now second mod implemented it i don't expect to see it again beyond this one it did get me thinking about mass combat with pathfinder. There are a couple options that i can think of like ultimate campaign mass combat rules, heroes of battle, warhammer, warpath or a custom system so here are my thoughts.
First option, would be ultimate campaign mass combat definitely deserves a mention here since it is paizo published. And on a rundown maybe it plays differently but i do like how it keeps everything abstract so it doesnt take a lot of time out of the game allows for quickly resolving battles to get back to roleplaying on a micro scale once again. Unfortunately it feels wanting in a lot of areas that it seems like and a bit unwieldy for something that will take up so little time at the actual table. It is set up for armies as a whole, but doesnt take into account the smaller units that make up the army that would vary, such as archers, infantry cavalry and spellcasting but are based off of a single until multiplied 100x or by some other factor and it is suggested to run diverse armies as multiple armies. Perhaps if it took into account army composition or at least army diversity. Like adding an archery component to it adds 100 units and gives the ranged attack ability or increases the ranged attack from say javelins to bows. Adding a contingent of spellcasters would give that army spellcasting ability. Keeping the same rules but allowing variation within each army. Anyway just my take, i could be wrong i havnt tried it out yet.
Warhammer was mentionable here, kind of duct tape and string way to do it but to just use an actual wargame to simulate your mass combats, but it would require your players having access to and learning wargaming rules not everyone might be down for that.
Warpath- I dont know saw it in the paizo store as a 3rd party product dont really know much beyond that it was a more complicated take on armies and kingdom building id love to know more about it before considering buying it.
I was considering putting together my own system using mechanics already in pathfinder but on a larger scale drawing inspiration from total war and kingdom under fire and doing something along the lines of, changing the scaling on the battlemap and each miniature represents a unit composed of X amounts of soldiers, keeping relatively the same mechanics as are normally found in pathfinder only with special stat blocks geared towards a group of people instead. Spellcasters would function as support or artillery and there would be no 5' adjust only a disengage maneuver that is difficult to pull off. This would allow for a more realistic representation of commanding a battlefield and some rather unique units like a single powerful caster with a squad of bodyguards or magical beasts. Wouldnt be much more complicated that controlling a bunch of summoned creatures. I kind of want to create this system and see what it turns out like i have most of the rules in my head for it.
Finally there is heroes of battle's approach to it which they might actually be right. Their approach was we are playing an rpg, not a wargame. Wars are dull and take a lot of time so rather than commanding an army have them take part in a battle doing commando style missions as opposed to controlling massive amounts of troops. Have the battle occuring around them and plenty of baddies to kill maybe take out some siege engines or disrupt supply lines. As they said, Think big but play small.
So id like to hear some feedback about experiences dealing with mass combat/warfare at the gametable, what do you guys think is the best approach to handling large battles.
Wow paladin code of conduct forums are painful to read and pretty much describe the one of the major reason everyone i know avoids the class. Its less on the player side and almost always on the GM side (i GM more than i play). Lawful stupid came about because of GMs absurdly strict enforcement on paladin conduct so i handle it like this.
1) Your alignment is relative, im not tallying up every little time you ignore a law or commit little minor acts of evil.
2) I care more about your paladins deity/personal code of conduct than i do your actual alignment. Ultimate question is "is your deity pleased with you" usually i would go over this with a player before the game starts and establish an actual code of conduct. Lawful can be fullfilled by adhering to your deity/order's code even if it violates local laws. However swearing an oath is serious and requires atonement to break.
3) In order to actually fall it requires significant violations of your code of conduct. Grey areas especially are best ROLEPLAYED into how your paladin deals with them. This means if there is no right or wrong answer to a problem or both options arent really good, i will not penalize a player for playing the game. I love presenting morally difficult situations to characters in my game, but i wont ever strip a paladin who is trying to do the right thing.
4) Atonement is only requires for significant alignment violations
So in short, paladins at my table are largely safe from falling as long as they are trying to stick to their code of conduct and i even go out of my way to reward good roleplaying or "taking the higher path" as it goes. That sad, they dont need to do non lethal and vow never to kill, they are still warriors and have free reign to even be aggressive in their pursuits. Not just defensive. Pass judgement on defeated enemies/coup de grace if they judge them worthy of such a fate. They dont have to take prisoners ever. They can even go so far as to ignore chaotic actions of party members such as rogues and necromancers. Provided they arent working towards evil ends. When i play a paladin sometimes my paladin will "turn a blind eye" if it is something he doesnt agree with or simply accept that people are free to choose their own path. Anyway hope this puts some new perspective on an otherwise difficult class.
Yeah, im just a huge fan of necromancy and they pretty much butchered the original class to make it charm/compulsion based. I still consider the original one to be core in my home games. Ive seen the necromancy hating players, its f#ing obnoxious.
I want to open up by saying what the hell. Seriously. Faiths and Philosophies released the juju oracle that is okay for pfs play and probably considered more official/latest update than the one printed in city of seven spears but it seems like paizo made it acceptable pc class by stripping it of virtually everything that made it unique. Juju zombies were a huge part of it, so was soul jar and fetishes. The newer version was stripped of every single undead oriented ability. Not one remained. Now they speak with animals and use things like charm person. SO again...what the hell. Flavor-wise it would be better to make a shaman from advanced class guide beta. So does anyone have an idea on why paizo decided to take a very fun and flavorful oracle mystery and chop off everything that made it fun awesome and flavorful?
The arcanist as is right now seems to be a notch ahead the other casting classes so i can see that. Originally was so happy to see it because i hate vancian magic but i also love learning new spells but i wasnt entirely sure what to think of it at a closer glance.
Making a new character for pathfinder society my current character is a barbarian fun and all but my gamestore is really melee heavy and im playing a 2h paladin in my home game so change of pace is needed. I decided i wanted to try a squishy spell sort since the lack of wizards but i also was considering the arcanist.
Compared to the wizard and sorcerer how is the arcanist? Too powerful? too weak? blows his load in 1 shot?
But i was also considering wizard, sorcerer and witch. Was looking to be a battlefield controller focusing on debuffs/buffs and being god. Also summoned things couldnt hurt.
Rogue has always come off as a better talker, ninja only "kills" rogue because players are so combat oriented that they forget about the RP part of RPG. Most of the time my players choose rogue over ninja because of flavor and rogues actually get a bit more when it comes to fast talking, lying, and actually doing rogueish things. The ninja, aside from disguise and bluff being class skills for them and i think they have 1 actual disguise ability, just stab things. The ninja can be easily reflavored from oriental to a magic using rogue so it works both ways. Ive had good ideas for characters some work better with rogue, some with ninja but i dont think im ever going to be outshined by the other.
Isnt that role filled by the inquisitor
Okay, so this release i have a lot of mixed feelings about more negative than positive. On the upside, i always like more ways to make my characters exactly the way i imagine them. So, archtypes, classes, races, all that usually makes me happy but i seem a bit nervous about this particular release. The reason is, redundancy. Here is why,
Warpriest: There are so many ways to fill this roll its not even funny. Melee oracle, melee cleric, all versions of paladins and all versions of inquisitors. We have a 4th level caster, a 6th level caster and a 9th level caster and a spontaneous version of each except the paladin. Every one of those can melee. And i think there are prestige classes/archtypes to further enhance those abilities.
Slayer: These two classes are so similar that they both have archtypes that overlap into each others rolls. On hit damage mods, tricks, ability to track, this would entirely be flavor which can be made with no reflavoring of existing parts of these two classes.
Hunter: Ranger was designed for this very roll as a hybrid between a druid and a fighter. So im guessing it will be a more nature version of the inquisitor. 6th level caster. But the thing is both of these classes already do their roles very well. Makes me wonder where the hunter will be in terms of mechanics compared to a melee or ranged/magic hybrid class with a nature themed since the druid can be a shapeshifting powerhouse, and the ranger can hit things.
Shaman: I love this concept honestly but it was pretty much already established that the druid can do a good job at it. Even has "shaman" archtypes. Outside of the druid we have the oracle (nature nystery is great, so is seer archtype), which fits shaman equally as well. Also we have the alchemist, which has several archtypes that i think stack that make your standard "i use herbs and potions" shamans. The witch approaches a different kind of shaman especially if you chose the orc archtype scarred witchdoctor.
So this is all speculation based on whats interpreted but we have all of these roles already in the game and actually fairly easy to figure out how to make. A 6 level nature caster would be a bit new but at the same time it still is a divine caster at the end of the day. So what we end up with are several incredibly redundant classes to add to the class list because paizo has an unhealthy aversion to multiclassing because all this will do are give these options front loaded into a premade class and further discourage multiclassing (even though i just explained ways to do this without multiclassing or even refluffing).
What we could use in terms of classes:
Thats all i got for now but based on my games and what i noticed was missing i think this list isnt bad for what the game needs as opposed to what was presented.
Rule #1 - Racial penalties to ability scores are banned. (this one seems self explanatory, it enables more freedom of choice, and I think just because someone wants to play lets say, a drow shouldn't mean that they can't also play a barbarian (hilarious by the way))
This is the only one i really agree with to some extent. Ive thought about saying all races get a +2 bonus to any stat of their choosing like humans or letting them choose 1 mental and 1 physical strength and 1 weakness of their choosing. The weakness is important if they get 2 stats i wouldnt do away with it. Basically it would make all those other racials much more important.
#3 - Any spells that detect alignment or that have the word wish in the title are banned, along with alignment penalties. (This is something I'm pretty adamant about, because the wish spell just leads to trouble, and as far as I'm concerned the alignment system is more of a rough guideline and not law. I also don't care that this hamstrings the paladin, since "shoot hole in plot" should not be a class feature, and people are not simply black and white, good or evil. as far as I'm concerned they can have some bonus ranks in sense motive and that's it.)
I ran across this link you might be interested in. This depends on the setting quite a bit but in general its a good idea. Basically it strips everyone of their alignment. Does away with some abilities but mostly alignment only spells work on everyone now. Like a paladin can smite anyone. But their code of conducts are now much more GM/player fiat and require a bit more coordination on their parts.http://alzrius.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/removing-alignment-from-pathfinder- part-one-classes/
#8 - If you roll a natural 20 on an attack roll it is automatically a confirmed crit, however any threat range below 20 still has to be confirmed. (this one again 4e influenced, but I feel like if you flat out roll a 20 you should be rewarded, and I can't tell you how many legit crits I got robbed of because I rolled something lame like a 2 to confirm, but this I feel still leaves room for balanced play for people who like to go crit fishing with their keen weapon of choice.)
i never thought this was an issue because some classes would benefit far more than others with this mostly because certain classes gain extra effects on criticals. Like rogues and ninjas.
#10 - Flails ignore shield bonus's to AC (Part of this is me and my thing with flails, but also because that's what their designed for.)
No. Its a ton of extra book keeping if you want to incorporate weapon vs armor rules but i think between feats and class abilities the game is designed with this in mind. A +2 at most vs armor they are weak against. Now i have thought about incorporating armor material as a factor mostly to show tech gaps if one civ has only bronze and another iron to have an advantage there. So maybe +1 or +2 for each step above or below their rating. Or to be really mean their armor is cut in half or touch ac.
But if you want to fiddle with advantage/disadvantage for certain weapon/armor types i think it could spice the game up a bit. Just be aware as with evolution of weapons you may find certain weapons overall superior but it would go 3 ways maybe. Piercing > Medium, Bashing > Plate, Slashing > light. Shields grant normal bonuses vs everything.
I personally would set it up like this instead
Anything i didnt mention i think is dont think would improve the game.
I was more asking what theyre driving at by it. They look more like they deal in spirits maybe? But the witch and oracle seem to have a mix of divination stuff and harming ghosts. Dimensional occultist im mot quite sure. I do like the seperatist idea
So I was wondering how does pathfinder define occult im a high magic world. What is the focus of the options....like occult mystery for oracle, occult witch patron redundant with spirit? Dimensional occultist and there may be others I cant think of. Are they spiritists or is there more to them and are any of them any good mechanically seems hard fore to define a focus for them.
Its not pvp. Even if its indirect that is still pvp and i shouldnt have to. If would be allowed to screw with my faction mission i should be allowed to spartan kick him off the nearest ledge
Its hard not to react with that kind of emotion, even the GM at the table was looking at him like WTF. Ive played with that player once before and he looks like he hates everyone else at the table ;\
So just got back from my game and im a little pissed right now. Two of us at the table were grand lodge for a tier 1 "The Icebound Outpost."
We made it all the way through the mission with relative ease, the andoran faction players found their mission in freeing the slaves and whatnot. Our last battle We found out that our faction mission as grand lodge to collect some information could not be completed without interrogating one of the baddies, so our last encounter came up and we destroyed one of them and took the other prisoner. He played dead so we disarmed him and my character shook him a bit to see if he was still alive being a chaotic neutral barbarian and all. Lifted him in one hand was a good time. The rogue shouts across the table we should probably interrogate him and I agreed so at this point everyone at the table pretty much knows what we need. Then me and the rogue take a poisoned shuriken to the back from an ambush. So i need to move and help deal with the ambush so i set the rat down next to another player who is playing a CN fighter. I move shoot my bow and fail miserably since i cant get close to the baddie since he is surrounded. Then the fighter instead of trying to do something productive turns around and coup de graces the rat. He knows that we need him for our faction mission and does it anyway and his excuse "im chaotic neutral" roughly translated "i am an a%~*$+*" even the GM asked him for his alignment which was a blatantly evil act for killing a creature who has surrendered and is begging for his life. It was no mystery we needed him and he was no threat to us anymore.
My question is what can be done about a player who f$@@s over other peoples missions just to be an a+%@!@& like that. And 2, hypothetically if i was the GM would i be within my rights to switch his alignment over from CN to CE for a single act like that. Which i think basically says pay 3k gold for atonement or have your character retired because im pretty pissed about this. It wasnt even failing our faction mission it was that one player intentionally screwed us out of our mission with the excuse "im chaotic neutral" and "pvp is illegal." Because in all honesty if that were a home game i would have killed his character on the spot for doing something like that. Since well, "im CN and im a barbarian."
This is seriously becoming over complicated. What do you guys think about
i think he is a little lenient on how bad 3 in a stat is but yeah.
I totally learned this the hard way ill admit. My first several games i bit off way more than i can chew attempting to span really epic or really long running games only to burn myself out of material by the third level.
I was inspired to write this based on a recent thread based on my interpretation of the game and how to run it. This is not a reinvention of the rules or actually altering the game mechanics but a reinterpretation of how to run the game making dice invisible and making the game world more immersive and reactive to PCs. This is a bit of a work in progress and im sure it can be built upon but this is what i have come up with so far.
Without Further delay im going to talk about attributes of the pcs and how they reflect in the game world.
Attributes & Dumping
High: Added carrying capacity, mechanical benefits speak for themselves/NPCs may comment on how strong they look perhaps extra attention from the opposite sex or go to them for a job first that strength is a favored attribute.
Low:Enforce carrying capacities/NPCs may comment or pass over a pc for a task because they look weak.
Mental Stats dont show as much but become obvious:
*a higher charisma with a lower intelligence or wisdom can counter this RP social aspects in most cases. Think dizzy blonde who can talk her way into or out of social scenarios.
*Note: writing all this in html code is a pain in the ass.
Optional Rule: Regarding the attributes in the game world, I have been toying with the idea of giving traits or bonus feats based on stat level to alleviate feat taxes and reflect the character some more.
My next thing i have began implementing is "let it ride" thank you to the guys who made burning wheel for this idea.
The idea behind this one is to avoid excessive rolling for each scene so with this alternate interpretation a single roll is required and it will persist until the conditions change enough to warrant a second roll or it the scene ends.
Examples in play:
First Impressions: Allow a single check for each character on a single social skill, either diplomacy, intimidate or bluff mandatory for each pc involved in the interaction before any words are said. This is a first impression and determines the npcs starting disposition towards the character whether hostile, neutral or friendly. They wont outright attack but gives everyone a general idea on how the rest of the conversation will go, throughout the conversation the disposition may change based on future rolls.
Eyes for trouble: Calling for perception checks in each room is troublesome especially since it can give away things that are meant to be hidden. With this interpretation have each character make a single perception check at the beginning of the dungeon, this will be their passive perception for the purposes of noticing things such as trap doors, dungeon traps or other passive information. Anything else would require more extended searches of rooms.
If a creature is unaware of of a pcs presence and has not drawn him weapon yet, then it is considered helpless as long as the player remains undetected. Just before his attack, he gets a single, free perception check to notice the incoming danger, if he succeeds he is considered flat footed instead of helpless and takes the attack as normal. If he fails this perception check, he is considered helpless and is vulnerable to coup de grace by the player allowing him to be killed outright. The creature must be vulnerable to death effects and have a discernible anatomy. Creatures immune to death effects, sneak attacks, precision damage or critical hits are not subject to this damage.
Thats all i have now, feedback for my methods? Constructive criticism only but from both the perspective of player and gm.
Da'ath gets it. Thank you i was worried i was being vastly misinterpreted for a while. Two notches below average is definitely going to make some npcs react differently and treating it as an in game handicap is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact i would reward players for getting through situations where their handicap is a particularly difficult obstacle. So its a bit of both and some basic knowledge in psychology with my intelligence comment how people generally like to associate with people on a similar intellectual level. Contrary to punishing them i think this adds another degree of immersion rather than punishment because the world actually reacts to the way their characters are perceived rather than waiting for you to trigger a dialogue with their speech on notecards. I wouldnt ever call a player special needs but if someone shows me an abnormally low stat i will warn them that it will be a potential handicap in game.
Which is only punishing those players from a power gamers perspective. Highly learned people like wizards might not want to talk to your "big stupid fighter" because he isnt their intellectual equal. On the other side high int and low charisma means he has no social skills and people generally would find him slightly annoying to talk to. I fail to see this as a true punishment. To a non power gamer I am highlightning their character because remember everything works in reverse too. High stats produce the opposite effect. All npcs should react to characters based on race class and attributes. It makes it much more entertaining.
We had a warforged barbarian who dumped his charisma, everyone found him unnerving all the time. They would avoid talking to him or try and make him go away when they were forced to but i homebrewed a trait to let him use str in place of cha for intimidate. He had no chance of ever making friends but he could intimidate everyone out of everything.
When i GM i have my players run their characters by me before the game and really just check to see if their sheet matches their character. So 7 in a stat wont really break the game but i have in the past made 8 the minimum. But the best way for characters with low stats is to make sure that it IS an issue for them in game. It adds to roleplaying and brings out the character flaws as well and if they did it just to min/max it can be seen as a punishment. For example take charisma, a character who dumped his down to 7 (or 5 post racials) makes a really compelling speech to sway the mind of a potential employer I would ask for a diplomacy check (DCs of these checks depend on how compelling the arguement or statement) now his dump charisma becomes a serious problem. I also dont allow metagaming on conversations so they cant just tell the other person in the group "Hey ask him this" while standing in front of them.
Alternative Solutions to dump stat players as a GM:
Strength: Enforce carrying capacities/NPCs may comment or pass over a pc for a task because they look weak.
Dexterity: Require them to make dex based checks that are auto successes for other players/Comments on how they have no coordination (they pay for this one with their reflex save anyway)
Constitution: Between their con score and HP, this one doesnt need further punishment/ NPCs may comment on them looking sickly or meek passing them up on jobs they dont think they will survive.
Mental Stats dont show as much but become obvious:
Intelligence: Not so bad mechanically their lack of skills will suffer, but be more inclined to make them roll to identify monsters or recall information. "Hey i dont remember what did NPC Jack say" me: "make me an int check". Set at an easy DC or so./NPCs may ridicule the player for being stupid. Intelligent NPCs may not care to speak to him. Overall not terribly bad on the RP side. Also consider making 7 int illiterate trait if you want to. He cant read or write.
Wisdom: Low will saves, perception checks and sense motive. also must make perception checks more frequently maybe leave something out of a description until he rolls./ He will likely come off as witless to other npcs unable to perceive their social ques. No common sense or a special needs character.
Charisma: Everyones favorite dump. Force diplomacy, bluff, and intimidate more frequently than for characters that do not dump. Do not allow metagame conversations./NPCs may react to this character with extreme disgust and generally find his presence annoying. Even if he says something great his personality (expression, tone of voice) might cause him to be ignored. He may have to roll diplomacy just to get people to talk to him for extended periods.
*a higher charisma with a lower intelligence or wisdom can counter this RP social aspects in most cases. Think dizzy blonde who can talk her way into or out of social scenarios.
I think with guidelines kind of like these ones it will allow characters with lower rolls but have them know that it will come up in the game at some point where low stats will be an issue. It could be fun to roleplay a character who is challenged in some way but generally it will encourage a more even distribution of stats.
Regardless of the cheating issue i think pc dice should always be rolled where they can be seen and only roll 1d20 at a time. Doesnt matter for the other dice like d6s but this way it helps bring the odds back in line. Rolling multiple dice might not even be intended to cheat but just speed things up while tempting lets you assign the dice in order of most probable success. It is important for everyone to understand the reason for the GM to hide dice rolls is not to fudge dice and i know the GM guide suggests to fudge if needed but dont do it. It is to make the modifier invisible to make it more difficult to judge how powerful a monster is. This is a bit more true on perception checks or anything that would deter a player from acting or encourage it depending on if you rolled high or low and then complaining.
I also ask for copies of PC sheets because it does help me design encounters based on their relative strength and also if i need to reference it for any invisible rolls during the game. Like a perception check for a stealthing monster that doesnt intend to attack. (normally i have them roll perception at the beginning of the scene and let that ride until the next seen as well).
Between these two things it should cut down on cheating without accusing anyone or confirm that no one is actually cheating but it would put minds at ease to see dice rolls. The character sheet also lets you check their rolls to make sure their math is correct but at my table if it looks reasonable i wont be bothered to question it.
Like one time i had a character who was playing a witch character at level 1 where my monsters failed all of their will saves regardless of my roll and when i checked his sheet needed to roll a 19 will save or higher to avoid being put to sleep. On checking the character the race had been rebuilt for racial features that would add to this save and a feat i would not have allowed but i still dont think he intended to cheat i think i was just unclear on what the character creation standards were for a very high fantasy game. So doing stuff like this and dont be afraid to ask to see their character sheets will either confirm cheating or put everyones mind at ease if they seem too lucky.
Summoner is suggested once in every build ever for some reason. So far reflavoring the dueling sword is a japanese style dueling katana makes for a really good low magic themed iaijutsu master. Mixing the monk and samurai class is just cool though i didnt think it could work. My reasons for the swordlord were that, it gives incentive not to where armor once you hit the prestige class swordlord. The dueling sword already looks like a katana and is about right in size and handling and the execution of the class with performance combat just kind of seems right. Only thing id ask for is incentive to strike first like the samurais iaijutsu ability and id be set. I am suprised to see that this isnt a samurai archtype to be honest.