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Why's it called "penguin" plotting?
Linked in the first post.
Basically, there's a Batman story in which the Penguin has villainous writer's block. So he starts doing small random things, until Batman and Robin show up to let him know they're onto him (but don't have any evidence yet).
One of the "clues" they pick up was bugged by the Penguin, and he listens in as the World's Greatest Detective plans the entire crime for him. He then executes the crime Batman planned (with a few personal touches).
Back behind the DM screen.
The PCs interrupt a dark ritual, but may have been too late. It's not obvious what has happened though, so they try to puzzle it out. They've misread it as a fiend summoned to assassinate a noble.
They've sent a warning ahead, and are racing back to see if they can stop this assassination that wasn't at all on the bad guy's agenda.
I guess it is now though.
I've always wanted to play one too, here's my theorycraft. A lot of the vermin love to grapple, and there's a Teamwork feat about grappling together, so it seems like a natural marriage.
You could keep a bow around and be a switch-hitter, but I'd make melee my focus for this archetype. Get to some squishy caster type and put your leech hands around them (as well as your actual giant leech).
Make up quirks that drive a character to interact with the world, rather than ones that close them off from it (Nega-example: "Does not speak to commoners").
1: Tries his best to be friends with everyone, no matter how much the other person may hate him.
2: Carves his name into nearby walls/trees whenever he's idle.
3: Buys and wears the garb in fashion of whatever land he travels to.
I suggest the bow because the technology level in Pathfinder is considerably less that of Starcraft, there's a lack of high powered sniper rifles and the mechanics make firearms best at close range.
The longbow has the best range increment (110ft) to the Musket's 40ft (and loses any advantage beyond that, plus has a cap of 5 increments rather than 10 as the Longbow does). If you can use advanced firearms, the Rifle is a little better off (80ft increment, can go to 10).
I'm used to reflavoring mechanics as needed, but if you need it to be a gun, I can accept that.
How easy is "easier than ever"?
I'm not going to apologize for how poorly written this short may be. Hopefully it serves to give an idea.
Around him, the clash of steel as his comrades engaged the bandits falling upon the caravan. In front of him, the Bandit King. A foot taller than him, draped in furs and jewels, the man could be mistaken for a noble if not for all the scars.
The guard sucks in a breath, and rushes forward with a battle cry. His slashes are blocked by efficient shield work. Then his sword is wedged in the shield, and a moment later the heavy blade comes down, severing his sword hand.
He marvels at the sight as pain lances through his arm, then the wind is out of him as he's kicked in the gut and sent sprawling.
Then the blade is above him, and he flinches, raising his arm to shield himself. If only I still had my sword hand!. There's a hissing sound like air escaping from a balloon, as his hand and blade reappear at the stump, transparent with a silver glimmer. As the Bandit King's sword connects with the phantom blade, it corrodes and rusts. As he slashes the phantom blade forward, a black rot spreads through the Bandit King, and comes bubbling out of his mouth as the giant of a man drops to his own knees.
The guard tries to steady himself to rise, but the other arm hangs limply at his side, his fingertips blackening as the dead blood begins to pool. With every beat of his heart, his dying arm responds with a faint tingle and nothing else. He runs away, for there is no going back for him now.
I do like the idea of a manipulator expert enough to trick others into invoking the magic for his gains. That could be a great main villain, with other villains beneath him.
I really like the wraith parasols. The others could make some interesting encounters, though not villains themselves.
I'll try to look into Ghostwalk/Carrion Crown, but these aren't books I have.
I know some people are for White Necromancers (and I have no inherent problem with that), but in this setting it is inherently evil. Those angry mobs are the PC's backup, if they can be mustered.
I've been entertaining the thought of DMing, and when I mentioned this to my group, my DM sent me a character sheet on the same day.
I think it's a sign that he needs a break and wants to play.
That said, I was only in the rough draft phase, and only have one villain prepared. I need ideas for more.
My first villain is a minor noble who is trying to kill the sun so he can discard his mortal husk and become a wraith.
I need some other villains, mostly mortals and undead, but other types that would fit into this world (perhaps fey) would be interesting too.
I'm excited for this!
My initial impression is that variant multiclassing will be stronger for casters than martials, because they have fewer necessary feats. 2handers can get away with it, but everything else is pretty intensive.
Meanwhile, a wizard can snag hexes without really missing out on anything.
Question: Will Stamina be a closed system, or will we see new content (feats/archetypes/rabbits that affect stamina) for it as well?
My experience in gestalt is that one half for combat is generally enough. It's certainly tempting to do some super combat, but using the second half for breadth can result in greater overall satisfaction.
So even if you can't cast your spells while raging, you can have a bunch of utility to contribute before/after combat.
Whoops! The number is 4.
Nikolai is a human crossbow fighter, seeking an artifact (in desert ruins) that can remove the curse of desolation on his now-artic homeland.
How should he proceed?
Much like 3.x/PF, your casting stat doesn't really matter if you avoid offensive spells (those with saves, and in 5e those with attack roles as those use the casting stat). You don't miss out on bonus slots in 5e for having a worse casting stat either.
So the Valbard could still be a good option for you.
So except for the difference, there is no difference.
Just because they use the same power structure doesn't make the powers interchangeable.
It seems akin to saying that since clerics and wizards are both lvl9 prepared casters, you can just give clerics the wizard spell list and proceed without problems.
How is a Cavalier similar to a Ranger? Both are full BAB classes that have a pet and buff their allies. A ranger could have an animal companion mount and freebooter's bond, and they're doing the same thing.
You could trade favored enemy/freebooter's for tactician, just like you claim you can with 4e powers.
If you thought all powers were the same except for the stat they used though, and that you could just swap them freely between classes, I don't think there's much to be done to convince you. They did have different powers, which is more than can be said for the wizard/sorc.
5e DOES have Feats, and they are excellent.
Can we really say bloodlines are a Pathfinder aspect? 4e had Dragon/Wild Sorcs.
To clarify, "old-school feel" for me means I don't feel like I need tons of magic items/gold to succeed in 5e. Thanks to the bounded numbers, the big 6 aren't that taxing.
Also, I think 5e's rogue is my favorite incarnation of the class yet.
Edit@Dunn: Radiant = Positive is pretty much just a flavoring change. Fair point about weapon sizes I guess. I was referring to the major issues though. There's no coaxing healing surges out in combat, only in the 1hr long short rest.
I don't get why some people think 4e was so homogenous, classes were distinct from one another with the themes their powers supported. I'd say a Fighter and Barbarian were more different than they are in 3.x.
I don't see 5e drawing much from 4e at all though. It solves the "Stand Still and Full Attack" problem differently, now you can move as you like, as opposed to 4e which did away with multiple attacks entirely (except the ranger).
I had a cursed kitsune (actually a tiefling) maneuver master monk.
He manifested his blackened ki into an orb, which he would use for dirty tricks (ex. launching shadow tendrils to entangle someone, rather than pulling down their trousers).
I enjoyed using dirty tricks without feeling silly about it.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Uh, isn't 1 how it already works? It stacks with other Dodge bonuses, but dodge bonuses from the same source don't stack on themselves I believe.
Getting way specific is what archetypes are for. Full classes usually have multiple build options.
Anyway, looks like a very rough draft. Balancing is a sort of fine-tuning step, we can't really say how this compares to other classes accurately until you've got a more complete draft.
What's the essence of the arcane archer that you're trying to capture?
Looks like it's his way to get rid of CLW wands, which implies he wants longer adventuring days and to free the Cleric's slots for other spells.
It's "overpowered", but not in a way that trivializes the encounters themselves. CLW Wands trivialize healing between encounters anyway. I think it's fine, really, if that's what he wants to do.
Sentinel also makes you a tank, yes. However, it's a feat. Feats are huge in 5e. There's a big opportunity cost paid.
The DR feat is excellent early game, but is overcome by any type of magic, so it scales very poorly.
Using Frenzy when raging is optional. Frenzy is honestly my least favorite type of barbarian, but it gives you that extra boost when you need it.
Adding casting stat to damage isn't automatic. Dragon Sorcs do it with their element, Warlocks do it with EB with an invocation. Else you're not getting anything besides the dice.
I haven't tested play past level 5 yet, but I often see the best spells coming with Concentration to gate them. Hold Person (which is still great) makes our Warlock have to drop Hex, or save opening with Hex to start with Hold.
Fighters don't at any point become the best trippers/grapplers, unless they aren't pure Fighter. Feats don't give them any edge that others can't also get.
I find it very difficult to call tiers at this point.
But I gotta say, Barbarians as mediocre?
Rage doesn't have penalties. And you don't mention that Barbarians take half damage from all physical sources while raging (or essentially all sources with Bear Totem). That's huge. You're basically doubling your effective HP.
The Barbarian's Unarmored Defense is not only totally badass, it also literally allows the highest armor class in the game (I'll confess I haven't looked at the DMG so I'm not sure if there are magic items that mess with the calculation). But with maxed Dex and Con, plus a shield, nothing tops your AC.
Reckless Strike helps you draw aggro by both helping you hit, and incentivizing enemies to swing at you when you are otherwise massively tanky. If they have advantage against you anyway, then it equalizes the battle for free.
Small shoutout to getting advantage on pretty much all Dex saves and Initiative. No biggie.
They do get more attacks than monks though.