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Skulls and Shackles is good, the first half or so of the book is replete with situations where characters with pumped up Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Bluff can do extremely well. Once out of that, it still remains very important to be able to boast about your piratical deeds so as to increase your notoriety in the Shackles.
Dropping a starknife is a free action, yes, but picking it up is a move action that provokes and there are many circumstances in which dropping it isn't safe, e.g. swimming, flying, when it looks like you may have to retreat at any moment, etc.
Starknives are finessable, but consider this:
Human, 20 pb
She will have an attack bonus of +5 with the weapon, do damage of 1d6+4, and with four-mirror armor and a light shield have an AC of 19. Casting Divine Favor will bring that to +7/1d6+6. Whetstone can be used on the blade to give a +1 to damage for the first successful attack.
At level 3, she will presumably take Power attack, and she will have an attack bonus of +7 when power attacking (assuming she gets at least a masterwork weapon), doing 1d6+6 damage, and +9/1d6+8 when casting Divine favor. This isn't two-handed barbarian territory, but it's not bad. Assuming she's gotten decent heavy armor, such as O-yoroi or tatami-do, her AC will be in the neighborhood of 20-22, before any magic bonuses.
Let's compare the Dex-based warpriest.
She'll have the same +5 bonus to the attack, but will only do 1d6+2 damage. She'll also be missing the benefit of the additional feat which was given up to take Weapon Finesse.
Since she doesn't want to lose her Dex bonus to AC, and she won't want to use a shield until she can afford a masterwork one (often-overlooked rule: weapon finesse applies the ACP of a shield to one's attack rolls) the best armor is Kikko armor which gives her, without a shield, AC of 19 = same as she would have had with the heavier armor.
At level 3, assuming she's taking power attack, she'll have the same attack roll as listed above, but for AC, ordinary armors with a max Dex of +4 don't go higher than an armor bonus of +5. To get a higher AC, she'll have to shell out for Mithral, which is much more expensive than heavy armors, in order to get a given AC -- or just get heavy armor and allow the dex bonus to be wasted. In character classes that have access to heavy armor, high Dex actually doesn't help your AC much at all.
The only problem is that if you plan to throw starknives, they don't retain the sacred weapon boost after being thrown. You might be able to get your GM to houserule that since it doesn't make a lot of sense.
I wouldn't recommend TWF because you need a hand free to cast spells. Dex can work, but strength is better since warpriests get heavy armor proficiency and don't need Dex for AC so much. Some Dex is fine, but not more than maybe 14.
Right, that's if you don't know what to do to activate the wand. The Use Wand option for UMD is different, and doesn't have a mishap chance.
Andrew Christian wrote:
You can't use claw attacks with Pummeling style, it's unarmed strikes only. You could take another feat, Feral Combat training, to be able to, but at that point, with that many feats invested, you'd be earning that much damage, for sure.
Bard all the way. You've already got the best features of the rogue class: trapfinding, class skills, and rogue talents. There are a few rogue talents that are good; those you can take with feats. Otherwise, the bard will make a better skill monkey than a rogue going forward, as well as a better party buffer, superior in combat, and a better face.
That's up the the GM. The rules on taking 10 are always a little contentious. I allow it, except during certain conditions. During a storm, for example, I wouldn't allow taking 10. Some GMs would say that climbing on the rigging at all is too distracting, but I figure if that were the case, we should expect at least one rigger to fall off the rigging at least once per day, which isn't realistic.
FAQ Request: Can I use a standard action to perform actions that are faster then normal standard actions (like Swift and immediate actions)?.
We established the RAW and the RAI a long time ago. The answer to the question asked in the OP is no, and the actual objection, which was that there was a desire to cast a prepared quickened spell as a standard action, to avoid having to wait until the next round to cast it after having previously cast a quickened spell that around, is also no, clearly.
Some people argue that it should be possible at least in the case of spells. I don't disagree that maybe it ought to be, but it isn't.
All hail the glow cloud. Wait, what?
Oh, wrong pop culture reference.
Regarding Bis; Part of it is that bis are invisible unless we take specific actions to reveal ourselves. If a guy has a boyfriend, he's seen as gay; if he has a girlfriend, he's seen as straight. We have to take additional steps to say "Hey, I like [gender my partner isn't] too!" This is a privilege on the whole, insulating us from homophobia, but a mixed one in that it contributes to biphobia.
Anyway, on the topic, since this thread was last touched, the Amulet of Mighty Fists has been reduced in price, the Bodywrap of Mighty Strikes has been created, and Pummeling style and Pummeling charge have made unarmed strikes more practical even against things that have a DR the monk can't bypass.
Well, the shadow caller is kind of a nerf compared to normal summoner. The shadow creature template is not as powerful as the fiendish/celestial template because it lacks smite. Typically, one chooses an alignment that is neutral with respect to good/evil and summons celestial creatures to take on evildoers, and fiendish creatures to take on any good creatures you end up fighting.
Shadow creatures get concealment and spell resistance, which is not tremendously useful. Since you summon for minutes/level instead of rounds/level, using summoned animals for scouting is a possibility if you can get a way to talk to them. Speak with animals could work IF your GM agrees that it will still work on Outsider (augmented animal) creatures.
So the best summoned animal per level won't change much; it just will be strictly worse than its fiendish or celestial counterpart in most cases.
As for the non-animal creatures summoned:
Summon Monster III: same thing here. No Dretch, No lantern archon, just a useless tiny Kyton.
Summon Monster IV: Hey, we actually get something useful finally! Not sure they're necessarily better than a medium elemental, hound archon, or hellhound, but at least the incorporeal undead are useful against nearly all foes, and some foes may be entirely unable to hit them. The gloomwing is more of a debuffing summon, the allip is useful, but the shadow is the best by far, since it's going to stick around for several minutes at least, and when it kills things, they become shadows under its command. You could quickly become the controller of a whole fleet of shadow spawn.
If you get to start at a level that lets you summon these, the archetype may be worth it if you don't expect to be fighting many undead or constructs.
Summon Monster V-IX: In each case, the creatures you gain aren't worth what you give up, although most of them aren't bad. (Cloakers are pointless, however.) In most cases, I'd rather use the higher level spells to summon groups of shadows or greater shadows.
Well, I own all the books I use for PFS play. However, I never bring them to a game, because the local VO's run things on the honor system, mostly to make things easier. I don't bring my books, unless they're new and not well known, on the grounds of: 1) it would aggravate my back problems, and 2) it's pretty much all on d20PFSRD and paizo.com/prd anyway.
If you don't own UE, you can ask your local VOs if it will be a problem. If they say you should own it, the PDF is only $10.
I use Whetstones all the time in PFS as it's a great damage buff at low levels.