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When a sylph with Windy Escape is attacked, do they have to declare that they're using the spell before the GM rolls and/or declares the result, or can they wait to see if they get hit before casting it?
I think that you ought to be allowed to find out that you have been hit before deciding to cast the spell. It would negate most of the utility of the spell if you had to cast it on a "you might be hit."
It comes down to how immediate actions are resolved and there is a lot of vagueness there, but the spell is very weak if you have to declare it before finding out if you are hit. How many of these is a wizard likely to have prepared? Forcing you to use a spell up in a way that might be totally unnecessary is cheap GMing in my books.
A lot hinges on your campaign world. More than people necessarily realize.
Most fantasy settings are based on either a "Middle Earth" philosophy or a "Historical Earth" philosophy, or sometimes a jumble of the two.
With either system, not only do humans have to be the primary race but also there are a very small number of "friendly to humans" races. All others are monsters. The problem here is that the vision of what the world looks like doesn't include races outside the canon; you walk through a town and know all the races that are in it already. So if races do get added they have to be very rare, or from far away, or otherwise shoehorned in somehow. Which creates a problem if people want to play them because of how statistically weird it would be for six characters each from a different very rare race to be working together.
But on the other hand you could take a philosophy much like the Star Wars universe. Humans are still dominant, and some races show up more frequently than others, but your picture of a town includes a host of races you don't even have names for. Pan across the cantina at Mos Eisley and you see dozens of different species. You don't have to know anything about them other than the fact that they are welcome in the city and like going to cantinas. Once one of them steps up and introduces himself then maybe you can find out a bit about his race.
The cosmopolitan background that is understood here is easy to duplicate in a fantasy game, but it has to be built into the world. I would recommend the Saga of Dray Prescot, a fantasy universe with a whole host of humanoid races (none of which resemble dwarves or elves, at least until book 25 or so) as a great example of a fantasy world like this.
You could make a reasonable thief out of this; I would recommend dropping STR to 10 in order to buff DEX by 1 point. It's a shame WIS is so low but you could work with that.
For the record, since there are plenty of house rules here I will have to create some files for people; maybe on Google Docs, so that these rules I am talking about are accessible. So there's no rush.
Edit: as I mentioned before to Helaman, if you swapped DEX and CON here you could make a reasonable dwarf; dump INT to get more STR. Your STR won't be as good, but you will have a DEX bonus.
So only Str, Int and Wis can be reduced and only then they can be used to improve the Prime Req?
Note that having a high DEX is awesome for many classes and I'd be inclined to leave it there for most types of characters.
I probably wouldn't play a thief with this, as you usually want a decent CON generally, but my houseruled thief abilities would give you bonuses to lockpicking, traps (both from INT), and stealth (from WIS) with this array.
A magician, on the other hand, would be outstanding here. A magician with DEX 18 is great, because you spend most of your time throwing stuff like daggers and flasks of oil.
Also FYI I tinkered with what ability scores do a bit so some scores are more useful. INT gives you your initiative bonus, not DEX (on the grounds that you think fast). This also means that magicians have the chance to hide before everything gets ugly, which seemed like something they needed. INT also gives you bonus languages, as in the original game.
If you want a "fighter" type, you could play a dwarf. With CON as a prime requisite, you could swap CON and DEX with this array, and then suck points out of INT and WIS and put them into STR. It would probably leave you with all your other scores mediocre except CON and STR, but that's not so bad for a fighter.
Alternatively, a halfling is a more range-focused fighter type character. Hit points won't be great but your AC will be very good.
Are skills etc going to used from the Cyclopedia?
I developed a skill system based on the fast play pathfinder format, but it hardly ever comes up in a dungeon environment.
Is there an article or publication that lists the Mystaran faiths, "gods" or Immortals worshipped? Mystara confuses the hell out of me when it comes to religion.
They key difference between Mystara and other campaign worlds is that in the Mystaran pantheon, all the deities were once mortal beings of one kind or another. Some are ancient but others achieved immortality in recent history.
Immortals are aligned with one of five "spheres" which are transcendent states of being - not quite like planes, since they overlap, but sort of. The five spheres are the spheres of Time, Thought, Matter, Energy, and Entropy. Entropy is strictly chaotic but the rest are not aligned any one way. Most of the destructive, "evil" deities are from the sphere of entropy.
Overall, though, there is very little need for 1st level characters to worry about any of that, and the module is actually written with the assumption that no one is pledged to any one deity. Clerics don't need to have a patron deity as they draw their powers from the spheres rather than the immortals themselves (though eventually having a patron helps).
So generally I'd prefer that characters not worry about it too much, unless you are just looking for background.
HERE is a list of Mystaran deities as presented in D&D 3.5 format (it's a conversion).
THIS looks promising but it's a 67 MB file. It isn't downloading very quickly right now... :( don't seem to have a very fast connection right now.
Black Dow wrote:
Will you be using the Mystara pantheons or home-brew gods??
For the record, the list of Immortals in Mystara is not supposed to be exhaustive, so likely a bit of both. However, clerics have no requirement to choose a patron deity at first level, and the way I am running it, they usually wouldn't.
The "Church of Thyatis" would be the traditional church that most Lawful PC clerics would belong to, but may deities are acknowledged in their pantheon.
Before you choose cleric though, remember rule #3 above:
* You may swap your highest ability score with the score of a prime requisite for your class if you wish.
So you can choose a class and then move that 16 over to a score that is the PRQ for the class. This is from BECMI (did not appear in B/X) and is intended to prevent people from being forced to play a character they don't want to play. It's also very handy when you need to replace a character in the party with a new one.
For the record, I also tinkered with the ability bonus table to be a bit more forgiving and also so that there is a value to have a prime requisite at any particular number (so there are no "dead" ability scores).
The start of the game assumes that the players have signed on as guards for a large caravan that is travelling through the desert.
Well... all right then...
Campaign setting I would use would be a homebrewed modification of Mystara that I call Arcania. I loved the original Known World but the original map had some problems and I didn't like the way they fixed them (TSR wanted to avoid a retcon). The original countries are all there but I moved some, added some, and increased the scale.
However, being something of a Megadungeon, the campaign wouldn't interact much with the world outside the dungeon until later levels. The adventure basically hurls you into the dungeon real fast.
OK, Chargen would basically follow the old BECMI formula with a bit of a boost. So:
* Roll 4d6 (drop lowest) six times, IN ORDER (STR, INT WIS, DEX, CON, CHA) for your scores. Original BECMI was straight 3d6 but this produces mostly meh characters unless you get quite lucky.
Prime requisites by class are:
(yes, demi-human races are classes in BECMI)
I have house rules for a lot of other classes if there is demand for them. Not all of them would be appropriate for this adventure.
* Hit Points: all characters get an extra racial hit die which is 1d4 except for dwarves who get 1d6. HD are rolled but reroll ones at chargen (not at later levels).
* Money: Start with 3d6x10 gp for all classes. I updated the equipment list a bit and some things used prices that are more AD&D (such as armor which has more variety). Players will have the opportunity to buy a pregenerated "fast pack" to save time picking equipment.
I have a couple of houserules that assist with the lethality issue, though a friend of mine pointed out to me when one of his characters died that it should happen once in a while, otherwise combat isn't scary. Also, old school D&D has encounters that you should run away from.
It's kind of funny that you mention 5e because there were a few things that I used in my B/X games that appeared in 5e a year later, such as a save for every ability score and varying spell effects if you use a higher spell slot. I do think that 5e went a lot further "back to it's roots" than I really expected, but I don't care to shell out what they are charging for those books.
We can talk about character generation if there is enough interest.
For those of you who know what I am talking about, care for a trip down memory lane?
I use a fairly heavily houseruled version of B/X with some stuff from later versions thrown in. I have an extensively customized version of the old module B4: The Lost City that I could run. B4 borders on megadungeon territory, really.
For those of you who don't know, B/X is short for Basic/eXpert, the "introductory" editions of D&D published in 1981. I dug them out a couple years ago and got caught up in the simple elegance if it.
I'd prefer people who are familiar with the game already, but it is easy enough to teach.
I have made my default alias the alias that I post most often, which is one in a pbp campaign.
But I find that when posting elsewhere, I tend to forget that I need to change the alias to an appropriate one. As a result, my default alias now appears in the listings for a campaign he is not in.
Is there a way to have a different default alias for threads in a specific campaign? If not I would like it if there was.
I have seen this problem with the sorcerer in the RotRL game I am running.
The very first encounter of the AP involves a bunch of goblins raiding the town. They aren't very powerful or organized but they are small, have good DEX, and leather armor. Their touch AC is 13.
My party sorcerer had a DEX of 16, meaning that he had a to hit bonus of +3. So normally he would need a roll of 10 to hit.
But once the goblins get into melee with the other guys the sorcerer gets -4 to hit (he doesn't have precise shot) and most of the time another -4 for cover (since the other player characters are in the way). So for many of his attacks he needed a roll of 18 to hit.
Touch AC for many low-level monsters is very close to their actual AC, and doesn't become a big bonus for ray casters until higher levels.
Peet that Guide was amazing, I think I feel in love, thanks for that Peet, I'm doing a Sorceror now no doubt, but now after seeing that I'm tempted to do a Human Sorceror now over a Sylph.
The guide I linked to is definitely in love with human sorcerers because of the favored class bonus. Keep in mind though that half-elves and half-orcs also count as humans and can use the human favored class bonus instead of their normal ones.
Drow, Gillmen, and Goblins also get a version of the human ability, though it is less powerful fro drow or goblins than it is for humans
If your game allows item crafting though you can make a Spell Lattice (in Ultimate Equipment this was called a Page of Spell Knowledge) to increase your spells known. There's also the mnemonic vestment that lets you use your spell slots to power spells from scrolls or spellbooks. So there are more options now for sorcerers than when the guide was written.
I prefer playing nonhuman sorcerers and while you always wish you had access to more spells I am living with it.
Sylphs aren't an especially powerful race but they do get access to windy escape which is a great defensive spell at low levels.
I really like sorcerers as blasters. They can be great.
The Djinni bloodline arcana means you are trading the punch of extra damage bloodlines like draconic in exchange for the versatility of switching energy types. This is good, especially at high levels. It also means that you want to take blasting spells that do NOT do electrical damage, so you have a choice of 2 types when you cast them.
My go-to blaster spell list is:
If you get one of these: Mask of Conflicting Energies you can take a fire or cold spell and get it to any element type (except sonic) using the mask and/or your ability.
The trick to using sorcerers as blasters is that you only need a small number of spells for your blasts. You then use metamagic to boost them. Most of your blasting spells should be level 3 or less as that allows you to use lesser metamagic rods on them. The trait Magical Lineage gives you 1 level of metamagic boosting for free, so put it on the blasting spell you think you will use most often. At 15th level Spell Perfection should be applied to the same spell.
The other trick is to try to get feats and items that boost your caster level. For most blasting spells, the damage dealt is 1d6 per CL. Make sure your INT is at least 13 so you can take the Spell Specialization feat. Likewise, Varisian Tattoo is very useful. If your GM allows the Campaign Trait Lore Seeker that is also good.
Most blasting spells cap out at a certain number of dice, but Intensified Spell will let you get around that a bit. And intensified spell stacks with empowered and maximized spell.
BTW, you might want to play a Sylph if your GM will let you apply the air affinity ability to the Djinni bloodline instead. Show him the favored class bonus for sorcerers below and he might buy that. You will want to take either the Like the Wind or the Thunderous Resistance alternate traits because your bloodline will give you electrical resistance which won't stack with the racial ability.
If you went with Sylph I would probably do this with ability scores:
STR 7, DEX 19 (17+2), CON 12 (14-2), INT 15 (13+2), WIS 12, CHA 18
Remember that if the air affinity ability applies your CHA will count as 20 for your sorcerer class stuff.
Definitely read this guide: The Inner Power. A Guide for Sorcerers (Core, APG, UM, UC)
Let's face it, being a lich is kind of a curse, much like vampirism or lycanthropy. Necromancers often embrace because they think it will give them power, but they trade away their humanity for it. Like making a deal with the devil.
As a GM I would be inclined to say that a lich that turns good (or maybe just non-evil) would become free of the process that made him a lich, which would then allow him to achieve the rest he deserves. In short, he would die, which, if he was good, was probably something he wanted.
James Jacobs wrote:
... based almost entirely on my lifetime of immersing in the horror genre and seeing PLENTY of stories about undead. Time and time again, the ones that are the more interesting to me are the ones about evil undead...
I generally feel the same way here.
Undead make great bad guys evil undead and can really power stories. The only really decent story ideas that involve non-evil undead (aside from ghost stories) are ones that basically end up as a tragic morality tale about the dangers of necromancy. YMMV.
For those of you that say "Nowhere does it say in the bestiary that they have to do anything evil to become a lich..." well, it is up to your GM to fill in those details. That's what GMing is about - the game designers can never fill in every detail and a part of the GM's job is to improvise when these questions come up.
It is of course noteworthy that anyone undergoing the transformation willingly is completely comfortable with ordinary mortals reacting with horror upon seeing them. Such people are unlikely to be of good alignment.
I personally use a concept in my games where being undead doesn't necessarily make you evil, but undead is a kind of evil subtype. So a skeleton is actually neutral as it is completely mindless, but it detects as evil and is vulnerable to game effects that target evil creatures, such as smite evil or protection from evil. So even a good vampire or lich, if allowed, would still be vulnerable to the same things that evil undead are vulnerable to.
As to liches having no demands for sustenance the way things like vampires and ghouls do, I am inclined as a GM to suggest that this need not be so; they could have a drive included by the GM, such as a craving to inspire terror in mortals. They would not "need" this to survive, but it would give them a rapturous pleasure much as vampires get from drinking blood; in a sense they "feed" on fear. This ties in well with their fear aura ability.
Winston Colt wrote:
I was reading through WotRK in preperation for running it soon and couldnt find any rules for attacking a city with no army in it.
I know it's been a long time, but if anyone has this problem, you could stat up an army of commoners to represent the inhabitants of the city.
If the city is completely deserted (due to evacuation perhaps) then the attacker should just be able to walk in.
So all the racial types of trail rations do something if you have eaten nothing but them for at least a week. Here's the Orc one:
The problem with this is that intimidate checks do not have a DC to resist them. The person rolling the Intimidate check gets a roll, but the victim does not get a save.
So increasing the DC to resist the check does absolutely nothing, since no roll is ever made to resist the check.
I'm guessing that RAI here would have been to give the user an increase to his racial bonus to intimidate of +2. But RAW this item provides no benefit whatsoever over regular trail rations.
I am planning on adding a Stone Giant Zombie to an encounter.
A Stone Giant's natural armor bonus is +11.
So does a stone giant zombie have natural armor of:
It seems at the CR the party is at, option A produces a zombie that will go down way too fast (AC 13). But then, a zombie stone giant has a lower CR than a regular stone giant.
Help is appreciated.
Yeah, a group of Seugathi might be good. Especially since the party will be escorted by NPCs (the Dusklight Wardens). They could use up a couple of phantasmal killers on the wardens before turning on the players.
Oozes or mimics are good too.
What class and level would you make the Dusklight Wardens? Is there any published material about them?
My players (9th level) are heading to Kaer Maga and may have to ascend the stairs of the Halflight Path to get in.
I'd like an encounter to occur on the way up just to get a "feel" for Kaer Maga. The Duskwardens will of course fight but the party will naturally join in. I don't want to use Caulborn as I have plans for them later.
Any suggestions for a one-off encounter?
Looking to find out who I can contact about pathfinder events in Toronto. There are a few ongoing ones here so someone must be in charge.
This is related to the convention Breakout 2016 mentioned in this post: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2sqco?Who-at-Paizo-is-in-charge-of-convention-s upport
A friend of mine is one of the organizers of Breakout 2016, which is taking place in March 2016 and is a gaming convention. There will be a lot of board games but there will be one hall dedicated to RPGs and they are hoping that PFS will have a presence. They are willing to give PFS as many as seven or eight tables for that weekend.
I was asked to track down some contacts for the organizers as I play pathfinder with one of them and they know I am active here.
Anyone know who I should be talking to?
Thanks in advance,
I have a friend who is one of the organizers of Breakout 2016 (facebook page) which is being held in March. Though originally envisioned as a Board Game convention, they will have a large room dedicated to RPGs and they are hoping for PFS to participate. So he asked me to look around and see if I can find some contacts to facilitate this.
So does anyone know who the VC for Toronto is? I don't see it listed on the http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/about/regionalCoordinators page. There are PFS events here but I'm not sure who is in charge.
Who do I contact from Paizo about convention support for PFS?
Any help would be appreciated.
Reworked floor plans for Fort Rannick
From the illustration the fort looks like a plausible medieval structure. However, the floor plans don't do it justice, and in some ways seem downright nonsensical.
The biggest issue with the layout of the fort is the lack of supporting walls. The second floor of the fort is a round tower with a thick stone wall. But on the first floor, underneath these walls, there is... nothing. A few of the thin wooden walls of the first floor cross over the spots where the stone walls would lie. A back of envelope calculation I made for the mass of the walls of the round tower on the second level (with the smaller bell tower) came in at approximately 10,000 tons.
Even if the beams of the ceiling were capable of supporting this weight (and I do not believe they could), a couple of fireball spells would knock out enough walls that the whole thing should collapse.
The basic rule of castles, and of stone structures in general, is that the stone walls must reach down to the foundations of the building. Even with modern construction this is true. Something has to support the weight. Certain effects can be achieved with arches and other such structures, but these things will be obvious within the floor plans, and none are present in the published map of Fort Rannick.
The second issue is that the maps do not reflect the vertical height of the tower as shown in the illustration of the fort. For the illustration to be accurate, the tower should be 4 or 5 stories tall, not 2.
A third issue is that the facilities within the fort are not sufficient to house the members of the black arrows that are garrisoned there. Though there were supposedly 50 or so members of the order, the "barracks" shows only eight beds. Even if these are bunk beds that still only houses a fraction of what is necessary. Likewise the mess hall looks like it could host maybe 15-20 people at most.
I decided to re-do the layout of the fort in order to address these issues.
Some notes on the new layout:
The ground level consists of the tower and a bailey surrounded by walls. The outer walls are solid at this level for structural integrity. Entrance is through the main gate to the south. Enemies in this area are exposed to archery fire from the towers and walls above. To access the keep they must pass through a tunnel going through the base of the bell tower. The tunnel is a suitable size for humans but ogres and other giants would find it cramped. A portcullis at either end of the tunnel bars entry and potentially traps enemies in the space between them. Once past the the second portcullis you are in the inner bailey and a stairway curls around the side of the wall of the keep up to the entrance.
Within the first floor are rooms B18, B21, B22, and B27, as described in the adventure. The pantry (B27) includes a trap door in the ceiling (not shown) that leads to the kitchen. There is also a wine cellar; the door to this was smashed open by the ogres and the cellar has been cleaned out. Spilt wine and broken glass litter the floor, and the stairway leads down to the prison below where Lucretia has taken up residence. Furthermore there is a cold storage room for keeping perishables; thanks to a permanent version of an endure elements spell the room is kept at only a couple degrees above freezing. However, like the pantry the room has been cleaned out.
This level is built on bedrock so the floors will be stone.
This floor includes the kitchen (B26) which has 3 ovens and a long narrow prep area. The trapdoor in the floor leads to the pantry below. The mess hall (B25) is large and able to seat 48 people at once. The ceiling is open to the third level; the stairway at the west end of the room leads up to a balcony overlooking most of the room. Note: put the encounter that was originally in the Tribunal (B31) here; this is the only room in the place that has a high enough ceiling to have that encounter.
"Quarters" indicates living space for the kitchen staff. This is a job for young new recruits and is also a "punishment" duty. The stairs in this room lead down to the ground floor. The adjacent guardroom has winches for raising and lowering the portcullises as well as a pair of murder holes in the floor to allow guards to attack enemies trapped in the passage below. The fireplace can be used to boil oil which can then be poured out on enemies in the passage below.
The outer wall is pierced by two arrow slits on either side of the gate (these appear in the illustration). Archers manning these slits climb down from the upper part of the wall by rope ladder.
For this level and above the floors will be wooden planks supported by rafters going from one stone wall to the other.
The main gate to the keep is on this level. After climbing the stairs, an ogre would have to make a tight squeeze to the left to get at the main doors; the angle is such that it would be impossible to bring a battering ram to bear against the gate. Even if the gate is breached, a second gate lies beyond it, and anyone in the passage could be fired on through arrowslits by guards in the armory. After that gate another similar short passage can be fired on from both sides, and doors on the sides can be opened to allow defenders to flank an ogre attacking the third pair of doors.
The main double doors open into the upper level of the mess hall; this is a balcony that overlooks the hall. A dining area for officers is to the east and the stairs to the west lead down to the main part of the mess. A walkway allows access to the arrowslit facing south, but the arrowslit to the southwest never faces and enemy and is only used to let light into the room.
B19 is an armory (as described in the adventure) and the eastern part of the armory is the round bell tower which has a door allowing access to the top of the outer wall, as well as stairs up to the fourth floor. The Guardroom across from the armory is a secondary room that is used as a stopover spot for rangers on their way out to go on patrol or on their way back, and would normally have some hot food and beverages available when the mess is not in use.
Note the small gallery opposite the stairs in the inner bailey. If the inner bailey was penetrated, archers could use the gallery to shoot at enemies trying to ascend the staircase. The round towers on the outer wall have trapdoors in the ceiling that allow access to the roof (not shown).
Access to this floor is via stairs in the bell tower (B34), which continue up to the fifth floor. The barracks (B24) has 14 triple bunk beds, enough to house 42 people. The infirmary is as described in the adventure.
The chapel (B29) is as described in the module, except that I added an extra altar. The north section is dedicated to Erastil, while the western section is dedicated to Iomedae (my party had an Iomedaean paladin so I wanted to give him something to get mad about). When the Iomedaean section is in use, the Erastil section is closed off with a curtain, and vice versa. The pews can be arranged to face in either direction. The small trap doors in the floors are murder holes that can be used to attack intruders in the entrance hallway below.
The tops of the outer towers light could have had light ballistae but they would have been destroyed by the ogres by the time the players arrive.
This floor houses the commander and any important guests the order might have; officers of the order might use the other bedrooms when they are not required for visitors. Encounters are as listed in the adventure. The tower stairs lead up to the bell tower above and the roof of the keep.
This is a GM call, but is actually in the fine print of the Knowledge skill rules:
In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster's CR. For common monsters, such as goblins, the DC of this check equals 5 + the monster's CR. For particularly rare monsters, such as the tarrasque, the DC of this check equals 15 + the monster's CR, or more.
Obviously it is up the the GM as to when to apply these modifiers, but I don't think you should be stingy.
Even though Lycanthropes and Fae don't actually exist, it was common folklore long before mass media existed that they were vulnerable to silver and cold iron respectively (though cold iron had a different meaning). Thus it is reasonable to assume that ordinary folk will have some recipes for protecting themselves from the monsters that populate the area.
I hadn't known about the hurtful feat... interesting. I'm not sure about it with this character but I have an intimidating Inquisitor who might find it useful.
Quicken spell was something I had considered and it's a very good point about betting the trait that reduces the effective level for metamagic.
You seem to understand what I am seeing here. That and the use of spells and revelations also allows me to put money in other areas.
The build doesn't have to be super-powerful, it just has to work. Part of what I want to do is have something interesting. The spellcaster angle means you can have a variety of other tricks up your sleeve.
After comparing the FCBs I think I am coming out in favor of the wood armor one. It's a +2 for the majority of levels and a +4 for some levels. That and no max dex bonus means a potentially very high AC which is nice.
I do have an Aasimar character grandfathered in PFS and he is still level 1 so he could be "converted" to this character, but I'm not sure I want to do that. The aasimar is an angelkin bloodrager with the celestial bloodline and I like him so far.
You can get +8 to armor between mage armor and shield. Natural armor (starting at L3) will augment those. Protection from evil could give you another +2 if you get a third spell.
Buy a haramaki for +1 armor when not using mage armor.
If you want to go the burning hands route, you may want spell focus: evocation and varisian tattoo as your level 1 feats. Take a trait that boosts the caster level of it by one more and you will do 3d4+3 with burning hands at 1st level (+1 if you use saltpeter). Of course, you get to max damage at L3.
Crossblooded hurts a lot but being able to convert other spells to fire is nice. If you go that route you want to choose spells that are NOT fire spells. Ear-Piercing Scream, Acid Arrow, Lightning Bolt, etc.
But that makes you into a kind of blaster, which probably is not what you want.
Building a gish build, you will need to dump some scores if you want to be good at others. INT and WIS are both arguably dumpable, at least a little. You only need to keep your CHA ahead of the level of spells you want to cast, so a 14 at ist level is fine for a gish.
For 20-point buy I might do this:
Use a Longspear or morningstar 2-handed for 1d8+6 damage.
I know a lot of people don't like an int 07 character, but sometimes it can be liberating if you get into it. As a human you will still get 2 skills per level.
Mind you, you should have a look at the Bloodrager class. This might also give you what you are looking for.
Hey, guys. I appreciate the feedback. Lots of things to go over.
On Using Shillelagh with magic weapons
Cool, that works! 31,000 gold though, you have to wait until like, 11 to get it. What do you do until then?
This is obviously an issue. In a home game I would argue that the oaken staff allows a precedent for custom magic weapons that can be a legit target for shillelagh. Of course, the oaken staff cannot be used for TWF, so you have to use it as a two-handed weapon (or take the quarterstaff master feat). But I'd prefer a PFS-legal character.
Of course, nothing prevents you from casting shillelagh first and then casting GMW after, though when shillelagh runs out you have to get rid of the GMW or you can't cast shillelagh again until it runs out. So this gets expensive if you are not having very short adventuring days.
Alternately you could cast dispel magic on a magic weapon and then cast shillelagh in the period when the weapon's magic is suppressed. Debatable if that would be allowed.
The extra D6 of damage granted by shillelagh is worth a +1 or even maybe a +2 since it multiplies on a crit. Once you get to the point where everyone needs a +3 or +4 weapon you might be in trouble. But PFS tops out at 13th level.
On other weapons
Dave Justus wrote:
If you are that worried about having longbow proficiency, why not just stick with the longbow and be an archer, since that is a superior combat style anyway.
The Weighted Spear is a great simple double weapon for Wood Bond, and Greater Magic Weapon cast on a Weighted Spear makes Shillelagh pretty much obsolete.
I didn't know about the weighted spear, thanks for bringing it up. However, remember you are casting greater magic weapon twice to enchant a double weapon. At 8th level when you get access to GMW, shillelagh is still arguably better as you use only one 1st level slot instead of two 4th level ones, and the net effect is that the shillelagh has a relative -1 to hit but +2.5 more average damage. At 12th level the math changes a bit as you get +3 from GMW, but this is near the end of a PFS character's life.
Suggesting different weapons is drifting a bit off-topic though as the point of this exercise is to see about making a wood bond/shillelagh build work.
On different favored class bonuses
Also, while the ac scales faster, the to hit bonus is more valuable IMO.
I'm not sure I agree, but am willing to consider it.
Wood Bond: you get 5 levels where you get no bonus and 8 levels where you get +1.
Wood Armor: you get 5 levels where you get no bonus, 6 levels where you get +2, and 2 levels where you get +4. You also get DR 5/slashing four levels early.
Seems to me that optimizing for AC might work better. Anyone else with an opinion on that?
On race choices
Cap. Darling wrote:
I would take a Half elf since they Can use both human and elf FCB.(unless PFS house rules that).
Nope, PFS allows you to take either FCB. Though we don't care about the human one; we are specifically looking for the elf one.
Cap. Darling wrote:
Interestingly this only changes my stat block by giving me a net +1 to CON as I can no longer dump INT. That's not nothing; a 13 CON can be bumped to 14 at 4th level, which is worth considering. But it's not a huge change.
Cap. Darling wrote:
and there are also paragon surge for extra flexibility if you like that.
It's a decent spell, though it's not the super amazing one that it was before the FAQ. A free feat could be worthwhile for a TWF character.
As a Half-elf you normally gain:
* No CON penalty
But compared to elf you lose:
* INT bonus
Overall I don't like to lose elven magic, and it's a shame to lose longbow when wood bond also works with that, but half-elf looks like a valid choice. Skill focus could be used for perception, which I want this character to be good at.
There are no good options to trade multitalented out with except Drow Magic, which is tempting, though you lose Skill Focus that way, and it disallows Dual Minded, which is also good.
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Half elf has an alternate racial trait that can be used to gain proficiency in Longbow. Might it be worth it to dip 2 levels of ranger to get TWF without having to pay the Dex cost? (Would get longbow proficiency too, for that matter.)
I'm not thrilled about giving up skill focus/drow magic/dual minded for a secondary weapon. I could probably live without longbow if necessary, but it's a nice backup.
Really hate to dip for a full caster, but 1 level of fighter would get you this too.
For a strength-based TWF build that isn't a Ranger, Dual Talent human is a godsend - 14/16+, 15/17, 14, 10, 8, 14 takes care of a TWF battle-Oracle's needs with only a minor sacrifice of strength.
For the record, I am really not keen about dumping WIS. You will note my initial array had a WIS of 12. Your build would have a 1st level perception of +3 instead of +7, and Will saves are pretty important.
But human takes away the elven FCB that was the reason for picking elf in the first place.
On trait choices
Alex Mack wrote:
OK, well Fate's Favored is basically a given. For someone who can cast divine favor it's a no-brainer.
For the second trait, I had planned on taking Seeker to make perception a class skill.
Shield Trained is great for a shield bashing build, and as long as you use a wooden shield wood bond will apply. So this is not a bad choice, though it would be weird working in the Gorum-worshipping aspect.
Heirloom Weapon allows proficiency with a longbow, and that is a nice side benefit.
Tough call to choose from these three. Possibly the extra traits feat? Or is that a waste? It delays TWF until L3 which isn't that bad.
On general strategy
Cap. Darling wrote:
C. If you always have several rounds for buffing...
Well, it depends on the buff. A 1 round per level buff basically needs to be cast during combat, but minute per level buffs last a while and potentially more than one encounter. Unless you are surprised you can usually do a number of these before going somewhere dangerous.
Cap. Darling wrote:
And i belive your primary self buff should be divine Favor at level 1 -7(with Fates favored like every one of cause)
Agree with you there. Part of the idea though is that divine favor and shillelagh stack.
About using the FCB bonus for the revelations: Here's how it stacks up as compared to just having the base revelation:
Putting FCB into wood bond seems like a bad idea to me; it costs you all those extra hp and for most levels only gives +1 compared to not using the FCB.
This seems to be better in my view than putting the FCB into wood bond. It takes longer to kick in but scales faster.
Cap. Darling wrote:
I would take a Half elf since they Can use both human and elf FCB.(unless PFS house rules that). And take a reach weapon like a long spear....
There are a couple of problems with half-elf with longspear.
A. Elf gains proficiency with longbow, while half-elf doesn't, and having a decent ranged option is very useful.
B. The main focus for half-elves is multiclassing and skill focus, neither of which does this build much good. Elven magic though is very good for a full caster.
C. The other thing is that your big combat buff from early to mid-levels will be shillelagh which won't work with a longspear.
Wood armor could be taken at 3rd level if you weren't going to use your favoured class bonus on it.
You can't take extra revelation until you have a revelation, unless you are going to retrain
Oracles get their first revelation at 1st level. So you can take the extra revelation feat at any level.
1) If you are basically wood, does wood bond affect your natural attacks? Does it affect the natural attacks of something that arguably isn't wood like an assassin vine?
Interesting question, but probably not, based on the wording of the revelation: "bonus on attack rolls when wielding a weapon made of..."
I wasn't really thinking too much about being a treant though.
2) Can you cast Magic Vestment on the Wood Armor from the revelation? I tend to think yes, but some people argue no.
Well, my argument would be that wood armor is pretty clearly a physical suit of armor. I can see why there would be debate on the mage armor issue, but this is not the same thing.
3) Let's say you become a treant, or any of the other plant forms. I'd think most people say you lose the wood armor, or any weapon you are wielding....
They would definitely be the wrong size if you became a treant. I am not worried about the shapeshift so much as the synergy between wood bond and shillelagh.
4) Weapon. ...add if you have the weapon revelation you could summon another...
Probably what I would do if I were going that route.
5) I guess Treants can cast spells.
They can speak and gesture, so I don't see why not.
I will say though that I think two-weapon fighting is a trap option for this guy. You just don't get enough feats without a good bit of dipping.
Why this is a thought experiment. Trying to see if it is viable.
Alex Mack wrote:
It works, but is restricted to worshippers of Gorum. A wood shaman worshipping our Lord in Iron would be a little weird. It's a great trait for sword and board types though.
OK, here's the concept.
PFS-legal, preferably (though this is a thought experiment so I don't mind hearing about non-PFS variants). Thus, 20-point buy.
Oracle with the Wood mystery.
Select a race that allows this favored class bonus for oracles: "Add +1/2 to the oracle's level for the purpose of determining the effects of one revelation." So elf, aasimar, ifrit. If Aasimar, probably Azata blooded (we want a DEX bonus and the +Cha is also nice), or possibly Garuda-Blooded.
I'm starting with elf for simplicity's sake. This grants proficiency in Longbow which is a nice bonus and works with Wood Bond.
Use the favored class bonus towards either the Wood Bond mystery or the Wood Armor mystery.
Wood Oracles get Shillelagh at 2nd level as a bonus spell. Use this spell to enhance a quarterstaff - it is one of the few weapon buffs that enhances both ends of a weapon - as long as it is a quarterstaff. TWF becomes pretty decent at this level. However Shillelagh only works on non-magical weapons so after a certain point it becomes less useful.
If using your favored class bonus on Wood Bond your bonus to hit with wooden weapons would be:
1st level: +1
This is not a huge improvement over the regular ability, but as a non Full BAB class the Oracle can use all the help it can get. Also if you are an elf you get proficiency with longbows too.
If using your favored class bonus on Wood Armor your armor bonus from the wooden armor would be:
1st level: +4
This only gets impressive when combined with magic vestment, so you probably wouldn't use this until 6th level or later. But having no armor check penalty is nice. Between barkskin and shield of faith I'm not sure how necessary this would be.
You could also go with sword & board if you have the feats... though I'm not sure you do. An oracle is proficient with a shield as armor, but not as a weapon. Maybe an opalescent white pyramid?
Problems with the build:
1. Even though you are using TWF you still have STR to damage and to-hit. A quarterstaff or a club are both one-handed instead of light weapons.
2. You rely on a lot of buffs to function, which can cut into action economy.
3. A very MAD build.
4. Many of the spells that would thematically work with this mystery are druid spells and are not on your list.
As elf: STR 14, DEX 16, CON 12, INT 10 WIS 12 CHA 14
Traits: Seeker, Fate's Favored
Spells (not counting orisons):
This is how things look without gear, but assuming all relevant buffs are up:
1st level with buffs: equipped with morningstar and light wooden shield and scale mail
3rd level: equipped with quarterstaff and breastplate
5th level: equipped with quarterstaff and breastplate
7th level: equipped with quarterstaff and wood armor +1
9th level: equipped with quarterstaff and wood armor +2
OK, how does this build stack up?