I use disintegrate fairly willy nilly.
"Pull my finger!" ZAAAAAAP
"What's that? The thief ran into that door? The one right there? *pointing* ZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP. There he is!"
I summoned a large air elemental once because a fly was buzzing in my ear.
Secure Shelter is a wonderfully effective spell, so I don't consider it wasteful using it every night we're in the wilds.
I summoned a huge earth elemental once while trying to barter for goods. Oddly enough, it erupting into the shop did NOT improve the merchant's disposition, but I got a hell of a deal none the less!
Sometimes you just need to remind the meatshields that they are in the presence of greatness.
You don't get to be an antipaladin without cracking a few eggs, you have to do evil, and commit yourself to evil. Instead of locking yourself in a room cutting yourself, you have to do something twisted. Lure a fellow party member, lock them in the room with you, beat their daylights out but leave them alive so you can torture them slowly and cruelly. Occassionally, toss out severed parts of them to the party members stuck on the other side of the door just to see the pain in their eyes.
Granted, since that's sort of a quick way to get killed by your party, maybe work with the DM for you to have opportunities to go Evil without the party being around, then they gradually notice a change in behaviour, or hear rumours about brutal torture and killings that seem to follow them around in every city they've rested in. Play the fall into darkness and have fun with it if the DM lets you.
I hang back, have my cohort between me and the baddy, along with my meatshields. If the party has already formed the frontline, my cohort spends the first round hanging close to me covering my flank or rear. I buff them up close before they move into attack, then I drop obscuring mist on myself and our backline then summon things to obliterate enemies. If we're fighting alot of ranged attackers, I'll go prone while dropping control spells that interfere with ranged attacks and line of sight.
If we're fighting melee brutes, I drop control spells to prevent them from getting at me, while having my cohort defend me, while my meatshields charge forward after their buffing. I bring up some summons to act as roadblocks or wallop baddies.
Sure, the occassional time I'll eat a spear, and if we're surprised I may take a hit or two with my AC 18, but generally it is not in the baddies best interest to worry about hitting me since I've already made my contribution to the fight.
My wizard has a rule that a smart wizard (is there any other kind?) is never the first or last to enter a room, he ensures even when we're travelling down a road that a proper formation is kept. He stays alive through discipline and tactics, and that doesn't cost a thing.
We've had a couple of poorly made characters. One of our guys likes new character concepts and so his PCs come and go from the campaign, think he's on number 8 by this point after 11 months of playing.
His problem is that he doesn't look at classes or their abilities, for example, he made a monk with low WIS and high Intelligence, which had no impact on his feat selections or class abilities. INT was his prime stat, and his WIS was a 9. We offered suggestions of why that was a bad idea, but he didn't listen.
He had a Sorcerer with Charisma as a dump stat, because he doesn't like being the party face.
He had a Fighter, built for melee (2 handed weapon, high strength, power attack, etc...) who insisted on using a heavy crossbow because he didn't like getting hit in combat. So instead of tossing lots of dice and damage, he'd plink away for his 1d8 or whatever, despite not having any ranged feats, and bows not being his weapon training/spec group.
He had a Synthesis Summoner, arguably the most easily broken PC, and always forgot his spells, what abilities his eidolon had, etc...
Gets to the point where he'd rather just build a new character because he doesn't enjoy playing his old one, because he hasn't taken the time to learn about it.
I've acquired a few other spellbooks and such from others, it's a lowish magic campaign so we really only come across scrolls as occasional loot and usually they aren't very high caster level. When we come across wizards though I generally take their books while the party bickers over their magic ring or amulet.
I wouldn't expect to find a 6th level spell lying around in a spellbook anytime soon. He's big on story, world building, and things "making IC sense", nuclear weapons are rarely on sale at wal-mart, right?
Ah, ok I see contingency's use now, but I think I'll wait for the next level or two as so far my spell list isn't designed around those types of things.
I'm leaning super strongly towards black pudding, but Disintegrate has me pretty sold on it too, maybe I'll roll a d20 for symbolism sake, evens=black pudding, odds= Disintegrate, lol.
Those are the options I looked at and that stuck, I skimmed other spells but had to draw the line somewhere.
I hear you on transformation, I figured going archer would be better than greatsword since your dex and str go up, and my ac would still be low to wade into melee, but valid point StreamoftheSky, I've taken it out of the running for the simple reason that it doesn't play to my strength.
What's subpar about chain lighting? 11d6 against up to 11 opponents, and targets reflex, which is the weakness of most big bad monstrosities.
Form of the Dragon, I take your point, it's a nice thematic choice with lots of flavour and could be cool, but it's not a daily use spell.
I take your point on Planar binding too, not a fan of something that offers multiple saves and could bite me in the butt, especially when I can just summon things with SM. I liked it's potency on the first reading, but after consideration it's off the list.
We're not a crafting heavy party, plus the spell description says the iron isn't sufficient quality for crafting or selling. I just figured the wall of iron is stronger than the stone, and so better as a barrier. The flatplane limitation and having to be anchored into two points is a limitation, but for narrow corridors I can't help but picture sealing the blast doors.
I don't like Sirrocco, it targets fort, a strong save for most of the bestiary and deals fire damage, again the most common resistance. A low DC 15 fly check, and I figure any flying creature we come across at CR11 or so will likely beat that easily, negating any sort of air traffic control ability.
I hadn't considered Mass Suggestion, but it could be useful, we just don't spend much time chatting up enemies. I hadn't seen disintigrate but it looks amazing, provided my DC 22 can beat their fort save (I'm not built for blasting, recall). I liked Flesh to Stone too, but figured I had to cut the list somewhere.
SM VI is a done deal, so one from the revised list:
1.Conjure Black Pudding
What would I use contingency for? Most of my spells are BFC or utility that are situational, and if I needed them, I'd just use them.
My party aren't the type to be down with a plan that involves retreating, we'd rather spend 20 minutes sweating it out trying to figure out how on earth we're going to do the impossible. Plus, I'd have to use both my 6th level slots to set up and use the getaway, by which point I could have two black puddings, or two SM VIs up to cinch the victory. Plus a minute casting time wouldn't be much help in a fight or high stakes situation, granted it could have some use, just not sure if it would be ideal.
But I need to parse this list down to 2, not add more, lol. Darn wizards having so many options! I'm pretty much sold on SMVI so it's the others left vying for position.
Ahoy friends and fellow magicians, I have a dilemma. I'm at level 11 with a wizard who predominantly focusses on battlefield control and summoning things to do damage. I believe my most used spell is probably summon monster, with my feat selections focussing on that (Augmented summoning, Conjuration school increasing length of summons,etc..., so with Summon Monster 5, I bring in a strong elemental to aid in combat and eat hits for about the whole length of combat.
If my party isn't cheering on the elemental, or it seems like over kill, I'll create some pits to trap enemies, lay down obscuring mist to cover our support pcs, etc...
Core group has a Magus and a fighter who deal most of the damage, with a rogue who occassionally swings by, so I drop buffs as well, Haste and Enlarge Person are favourites for the party.
Now with my 6th level spell selections, I'm torn between the following options, if you could offer up any advice as to ones that are traps, or sub-standard, I'd appreciate it.
1. Chain Lightning, Direct damage to multiple enemies, Reflex Saves which puts most of our giant foes in the "easy hit category" but usually we aren't facing 11 enemies at the same time, granted that sort of damage is just amazing. Then again, I'm not a primary damage dealer, but I feel like I should have a blast spell on hand when I need it.
2.Conjure Black Pudding: I love it, and it works with my summoning tactics. The fact that as it gets hit it multiplies, causing more area denial and damage, as well as soaking up more hits makes it something I'm really jazzed about, only problem is that it doesn't respond to direct commands, but if I plop it behind enemy lines, muahahahahahaha
3. Form of the Dragon I: Who DOESN'T want to then again, as a small caster, medium is still a size boost.
4.Permanent Image: Probably suboptimal,but I like the idea of being able to create a permanent image of myself gloating, or blowing up the BBEG as a way to commemorate our battle. Or casting it on our travel wagon so that the wagon seems super impressive and intimidating, etc... over all, it's just really varied in it's uses, though the novelty may not be worth the slot.
5.Planar Binding: Seems natural for a summoning based wizard, being able to bring 12 HD creatures into this realm, but I could say long-term maintenance being problematic.
6. Summon Monster VI: Been my bread and butter thus far, I feel like I should stick with it, plus Huge elementals are Fun!
7. Transformation: A nice ace up the sleeve if I'm ever seperated from the party, but then again, if I have a 6th level spell free, why would I do this when I could just pop a Huge Elemental between me and the bad guy. I'm predominantly liking this because of the looks on the party's faces when I become an archer, lol.
8.Vengeful Outrage: What better form of control than turning one enemy against the other? Will saves are low for the brutish foes we may face, and I like having spells that can target enemy weaknesses.
9. Wall of Iron: I'm not too sure how effective this would be for battle field control. I've used wall of stone a few times to prevent reinforcements from getting into the fight too soon, but it usually only buys us a round or two. I mean, a wall with an area of 55ft would be good cover, and with 2 inches of thickness, it could eat 60 points of damage, which would otherwise come at the party but is this on par with the other spells listed here?
So of those, I can choose upto 2, what are your thoughts and opinions?
I have mixed feelings as a player, they can be fun and switch things up, and lead to the "Holy crap, I wasn't expecting to fight 6 Hyrdas on my way to town!" but on the other hand, our "travelling" sessions usually consist of rolling for random encounters every 10 miles we travel, on a 200 mile jaunt, that's 20 random encounters, back to back to back to back to back to back, none of which get us any closer to the plot, we essentially just wander around killing lots of things, for very little reason, where as I would prefer not to waste 4 gaming sessions walking from point A to point B.
They're great for netting us xp and loot, but on the flip side, sometimes they make things stupidly fatal, especially since due to the random nature of them you may go from one big fight to another, with your dailies nearly tapped. Once we reached our destination after 4 high-risk, encounters, we only survived because we pulled out all the stops, used some consumables, etc... then had to choose whether we camped and rested up at the entrance to the necromancer's lair, or if we pressed on. I'm not a fan of them in that case.
May sound crazy, but Ninja worked well. The Samurai has all the combat stuff covered, throw in some minor sneak attack and you just increased your damage by a whole d6.
My big selling point was that I didn't have the skills to actually get to the fight (i.e. fighting on a rickety bridge) where my acrobatics checks were dismal. I spent more time dangling from the bridge then hurting enemies.
Plus that way, my party had a skill monkey and I had versatility. I even used two miniatures, one representing when I was in full battle regalia for the samurai, the other was when I stripped down and went into stealth mode.
Not sure how it would translate to an arena fight though, maybe fighter to pick up some extra feats but that sounds boring. Ooooh, maybe an inquisitor but with a wis of 8 that may be a no go.
I think your stat allocation builds you into a corner of being a melee slugger, all day every day.
The summon monster line for sure. There's no better feeling than a monstrosity rearing up in a dungeon, the party looks around at each other with the "Holy crap" look as they realize they're not suited to this combat. For example, the monk can't annihilate the flying beast with his 2 shurikens, the rogue can't get sneak attack on it since it's clearly a construct, and the fighter specd for swinging an earthbreaker really good can't get reach.
The wizard strolls up, and shazam, an air elemental pops up, throws two big slams at the thing, and moves it within striking range, the rest of the party plays pinata.
Or facing a swarm of diseased mosquitos, but all out of alchemist fire and can't deal much damage? Ta da, the small air elemental blows the bugs away.
Can't start a fire? Survival checks are failing, the DM's looking up the cold weather penalties with that devious look in his eye? Shazam, Fire elemental takes care of it.
Second favourite is secure shelter, for one thing it makes camping much more comfortable and has great combat utility. A few times when the fight isn't going well, my wizard contemplates bringing the house, hopping in, and enjoying a leisurely night's rest since the vampires killing off the party can't enter a home without being invited, and sunrise is only 5 hours away.
Maybe a Cavalier who uses his ability to gift teamwork feats to the second character who's a fighter or strictly DPR based build. Fighter directs the flow of the fight by steering enemies into position with threatened squares, AOOs, etc... then when they're all lined up nicely Cavalier charges, baddies get trampled and prone, fighter does that good old "walking around the battlefield casually stabbing the grounded baddies" thing. If there's a party rogue they'll appreciate the SA opportunities too
Or a Tower Shield Specialist and Inquisitor Archer, with the tower shield specialist or phalanx providing the archer protection and providing battlefield control through Combat Maneuvers, meanwhile the Inquisitor self-buffs in the first round while the tower shield specialist gets into position, then the archer pulls of point blank shots and whatnot while the fighter creates AOO opportunities and prevents the baddies getting too close?
Vivesectionist Alc and Ninja taking the outflank feat to more reliably pull-off SA damage?
Or, particularly game breaking, a Master Summoner and Pack druid where their two packs of wolves/whatever merge into a super force of nature and just stampede everything? Of course, this runs the risk of derailing the game through sheer volume of actions.
While still the same character, Oracles, Clerics, and Inqyy uisitors can be the same class but very different in execution by bringing complimentary powers together in different ways. I don't have any particular builds in mind, but some looking into that could be beneficial.
How smart is the fighter, will be on the look out for ninjas? Maybe give him a dirty trick feat, he kicks up a cloud of dust, revealing the ninja and hitting him with a debuff of his own.
If the fighter is aware of the ninjas, he could have brought a bag of flour with him, or packed some AoE things with him so he doesn't need to locate the exact target, just carpet bomb the area with alchemist fire. The fighter could try to intimidate the ninja once he notices something is amiss. This could be as simple as hurling insults into the shadows.
Of course, if the fighter is a BSF, he could just wander into the darkness looking for the ninja, but if he's smart he would find himself a nice narrow hallway, assume a total defensive posture and swing at the first thing that stepped through the door frame.
If you really want to get the effect of the Ninja killing the fighter but keeping the PCs out of the fight, maybe while the PCs are repelling swarms of ninja goblins, the fighter and drow square off high up on a parapet, or their NPC friend is on top of the wall shouting down instructions, they get a perception check to see if anything is weird, if they pass they see a shuriken strike the fighter from the west, if they fail they hear the fighter take hit after hit hit, then his dead body is tossed over the wall, falling into a heap at their feet, a couple shurikens embedded in his corpse. Ta da, now the fighter is dead, the PCs have a great scene to see, and they can track the shurikens to find the drow ninja for a plot hook. Assuming of course they can survive these goblins.
Sounds like a great scenario you have planned, I'd love to play it (but as a player who didn't know what was coming).
We did an Arena fight, I made a Paladin, first Feat is Fey Foundling, so you're Lay on Hands heal an extra 1/dice, you get +2 on saves v. death effects too.
By boosting your use of Lay on Hands you can provide yourself substantially more health than everyone else and your jacked charisma transmits into saves. Not the most broken combination, but it would be fairly survivable methinks.
True, but there's not really a clear cut way of viewing someone's intelligence level. For example, the body builder who can lift a thousand pounds looks like he can, but the smartest guy in town doesn't stand out, so I used academic institutions to demarcate that.
I'm not familiar with shadowrun and such, also not sure how that would apply to Golarion by taking a "chipset" angle. How would you contextualize "extra RAM" for a person in pre-computer society?
Since gauntlets not counting as armour due to their position on equipment lists is a no-go, how about helmets with blinders on them? Come to think of it, my PC may start carrying some around.
The metal negates their magical powers, and blinders debuff them, then bound the hands, and shazam, you have yourself a pretty nullified druid without magic AND penalties to anything based on sight.
But racial stat modifiers are a flat increase for everyone in the race (except for alternate human abilities), not class so even if an NPC never adventures in his life, he has the same stat increase as the 3rd level hero.
The difference between NPC and adventurer would come from the 4 and 8 level attribute bumps, and magical gear (like a headband of vast intellect +4), but if we factor magic items in, then even the flat 10 attribute becomes a 14 meaning someone has just gone up by 2 standard deviations, and since that sort of intelligence boost puts you leaps and bounds ahead, even a farmer could see the merit of saving up to be the smartest farmer in the land and able to thus better farm, or a village could justify pooling resources to get a smarter member so they produce more. Considering this, a standard race/level 1 commoner could already be sitting at Mensa levels.
But then does that just open up an impossibly huge can of worms? Would benchmarking work better to determine relative attributes? i.e.
Local militia man, STR 12
Student INT 12
etc... or is that broken?
Thanks for the insight guys, wanted to figure out the right route to take in regards to RPing my int-based PC.
Going off of the strength lifting chart didn't strike me as transferable to other skills since Intelligence, Wisdom and force of personality don't really follow the same easy measurability.
I like the standard deviations idea, and it makes my PC in the upper echelons. Thanks!
I thought I recalled their being guidelines to common levels of attribute scores but I don't know where I saw it.
For example, your fighter has a total strength of +23 after mods and such, so how strong is he relative to other people? For STR it's easy to calculate carrying capacity and get a sense of an average person compared to someone with a 23 score, but intelligence and wisdom and such make it harder.
Think of a stereotypical know-it-all wizard, let's give him an INT of 25 after every bonus, is he literally the smartest man in the room or does he just think he is?
If you stroll into a town with a charisma score of 17 are you average charming, or the studliest stud in town?
Basically, is there context for attribute scores or are they just numbers?
It's a communal game and we were all new once, the fact that you've decided his build was inept and that the player is inept seems like a hard judgement to reach when you don't know if he's a ninja or a gunslinger. Offer him some helpful advice and help him improve. Posts like this don't achieve anything.
As for the ninja, I had a fighter dip ninja for a few levels, the extra class skills and the sneak attack on top of all the other bonuses really helped him and the party out, the skill monkey scout who can solo the sentries makes for a much better scout than one that isn't combat viable on his own.
I've yet to play with a gunslinger, one is queued up in our group as a replacement PC, and I'm eager to see the result. What are the gun rules for PFS? Another gunslinger consideration is what level of guns are in the world, so if he's using a primitive flintlock pistol, it could be hard to compete against more traditional builds.
Diplomacy check 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (19) + 15 = 34 No offense caused!
They play their way, you play yours. Talk with them away from the game, if that doesn't do anything, your char says to theirs "You know, I think we're going about this all wrong, and the glorious deity can't afford to let this mission fail, I will do what they require of me, not what you command".
Then, if they still ignore your input, your PC gave them a warning that they were expendable. When the fighter is unconcious, bleeding out 1 round away from a battleaxe to the face killing him outright, your Character surveys the scene and monologues
"I could cast X,y, and z protecting the fighter, stabilizing him and getting him on his feet to fight another day, or I could cast A, B, and C to remove the threat this demon poses to the world. Sorry my companion, but sacrifices are needed in times of crisis. I cast A,B,C."
You tried talking calmly and constructivel to the player, you appealed to the character's senses, and when that failed, you played your character as they would behave.
Of course, it sounds like you guys have interpersonal issues beyond playstyle, which may or may not be a good place to start.
Just a quick question about the best way to go about getting arcane utility via a cohort.
Our party is melee heavy and the group has an aversion to magic for some reason. We have a blaster magus who gleefully blasts and would scoff at doing anything else, but that's about it. We're running RotRL and I'm thinking that our lack of long-range communication, healing, escape routes and rapid travel is going to hurt us down the road.
Assuming an APL of 6 for a four person party (Blaster Magus, monk, archer fighter, and a Barbarian), what sort of cohort would you take at level 7 that provided arcane utility and magical convenience best?
Ideally, he would not be around all the time but be available when necessary (for example, he'll be guarding the horses and wagons while we're in the ruins, or riding in the carriage while we're traveling fast asleep when bandits attack) so as not to contribute to the "broken" perception of leadership and slow the turn order.
Essentially I want the magical swiss army knife that we have when necessary and gives us some healing, teleportation (or at least a faster form of travel than riding by horse for 4 weeks) and communication with "home base" while away on adventures with additional support services as needed.
I'm thinking wizard is a good bet as he has the best spell selection, but would a spontaneous caster be better to cover off those "Why didn't I think of x!" moments? That said, I've read witches and Oracles could be powerful contributors. I'm lost in the world of magic though. I'm also hoping this exercise will highlight to the magus that sometimes spells can be useful without involving a handful of D6s :S
Crazy idea, but requires DM agreement and co-operation:
John Smith takes Commoner levels (pretty much a handicap compared to taking class levels), in exchange your horse get's class levels with any companion feats, familiars, etc... applying to John.
It'll require lots of tweaking and adjustment but it's fun cheese that shouldn't be game breaking and it's a unique twist on standard character design!
Or when in doubt, use the ARG to build an intelligent horse people :)
Another idea to consider is asking the PC's want to approach it.
Will they be the type who want to go on missions behind enemy lines like Spec Ops, or will they rather turtle defensively and try to help keep things under control in town (managing the citizens, assisting supplies, building defenses), would they maybe lead some frontline troops in combat?
Depending on the player's approach they may answer the question for you. Keep in mind, ancient combat usually revolved around champions. A champion death ruined morale and could lead to a route (after all, your lord is dead, what's the point of a win if your pay cheque isn't getting signed? So maybe let the PC's pick up a detachment of troops as they wade into battle, the nameless mooks fight the soldiers while the PCs square off against siege captains. Wins/losses/retreats affect morale and influence the siege. PCs have some agency, but in the end, it's not a case of 5 guys fighting off an army.
You could always make a spellcaster regardless of what the party says since apparently this party doesn't take other's opinions into account (oh btw, forgot to mention, when you die I'm enslaving you for eternity). Make a wizard and dominate the necro cleric, ergo giving you control over your dead self. Make a bard and make them love you for your empowering abilities then kill them all when your bard has a diva moment and decides he'd much rather buff the other team, or since it's an evil party, see about making an aasimar anti-paladin.
Instead of doing the angsty jipped thing, just be an egoist who thinks you're the greatest thing ever and wants to be "special" (a direct reference to your cleric who's messing with your remains).
Ooooh, for added fun, make a cleric who's a direct rival of your existing cleric and then dip into gunslinger so you step on both their toes. The REAL fun comes when you take apart the gunslinger's gun and swallow the firing pin or other vital mechanism, nullifying him in combat and overshading the cleric in clericyness. Start a little holy war while the gunslinger is forced running around punching things. Maybe take animal domain so you can mess with the cavliers mount too. Then, once you've ruined everyone's day, you suggest the party sits down and has a talk about how you all want to play the game.
For added hilarity, roll a d6 everytime you level. 1 and 2 you go Cleric, 3 and 4 you go cav, 5 and 6 you go gunslinger. When you can't choose, let the dice!
Also, is it possible that your DM changed his ruling (though from the sounds of it he never expressly said you could play a monster race) because you played with reckless abandon and gave the impression that you treated death as no big deal? If you started acting like your PC was disposable, I could see the DM deciding he'd make you think otherwise. While not the best approach, I at least could see that happening maybe.
Personally I don't mind it someone subscribes to the philosophy of "Hey, I could really use an agile weapon since I'm a dexterity based fighter, so I'd like to ask around town to find someone who can do that.", there's nothing wrong with a player putting thought into their gear and in-game, an adventurer is eventually going to say "I'm fighting Dragons the size of my house, I need something more than this scythe I picked up at my farm, and I've seen/heard about this fancy thing bob has, I should grab one."
Now, asking for something to be available is different than "Give me X, y, and Z because I need it".
As for planning, my group has players that put thought into their character with planning, and we have players that don't know the rules of the game and have no idea how/what to build, from a players perspective, I'd rather have people who put effort into their builds (note effort, not just optimization).
Despite the hatred they often get, a synthesis summoner could work, so when he needs her help, he calls her and she covers him with her love which protects him and makes him feel stronger and such, but when he doesn't need her he's just your average fighter. It's not optimized and cheesy if you aren't relying on your eidolon armour to be all powerful.
If not that, I think biped would be the obvious choice with evolutions that perhaps grant magic abilities, load her up with some buffs or heals, so that she can stand back out of the fray while her fighter husband does his thing, then she intercedes with support to help him out.
Maybe the angel eidolon model (UM), giving her some combat ability as well as healing?
Also, how would you like her to complete him? Boosting his martial abilities or covering off his weaknesses? If it's the latter, you could make her as the social butterfly to his stinging wasp, getting her the skill based evolutions, boosting charisma, she shows up to talk him out of situations he can't fight out of, or charms the guard blocking him from the exit of where he's not meant to belong. Obviously before you define her role you should consider the party, if you already have a healer or face, they may feel like you're trying to outshine them or somesuch.
As for summoning her when he's on the ropes, maybe talk to whoever is DMing as I think it could be flavourful and with a solid enough story to be house ruled. Besides, a summoner who uses their eidolon as a last-resort rather than a battering ram should be rewarded. A solution is always a handwave away!
If you want to provide a challenge, I'd say offer up something with some flight ability, they can't slaughter what they can't reach. Also, maybe a spellcaster with some mooks.
A gargoyle could be challenging, particularly if it plays smart. Disguised as a statue in the abandoned tomb, maybe have a few zombie meatsacks wandering around so the party focusses on them, then as the barb is cutting swathes through the zombies up ahead, the statue comes to life and lays some hurt on the two backliners, as Barb charges back to fight it, it flies up out of reach and heckles them, or tanks them with it's DR. Ta da, they're challenged!
If they seem disproportionately powerful, maybe double check everyone's math and stuff, make sure AC bonuses are stacking appropriately, etc...
Sub-optimal solution, but allow it to level, on the slow xp progression, and the xp comes from his fighter's share, so he can level up his owl, slowly, at the expense of his main character. When his Owl is treated like a level 9 cohort, but his fighter is only level 3 going against CR 11s, we'll see how much he likes his owl.
Or just have a mature discussion that you're fine with playing loose with the rules but need to maintain some semblance of balance. The other thing to consider is if all the other players are enjoying the same luxury of making demands of you. If you allow it for one, you need to allow it for all, at which point things become very dangerous as the fighter has an animal companion, the wizard wants a tarrasque familiar, with some extra attribute points while you're at it, and the rogue is seeking a platoon of Shadows as his flanking buddies. Either that, or they feel like it's grossly unfair that he's getting all these cool things.
My haunted Oracle died but when he was in play we had a system where the ghose would take opportunities to prank him and such, but sometimes the ghost was helpful (like when the party has no idea what to do next, I'd be asked by the DM to roll a heeby-jeeby check and then the ghost would encourage me to go one way or the other).
One time we were fighting a ghost, and due to my haunted nature I got benefits and insights against it, not game breaking but adding flavour. At one point, my ghost threw a box at the other ghost.
That said, walking up the stairs, climbing ladders and standing near ledges, gutters, or pools was very dangerous for me.
When in doubt have a paladin come by, let the oracle and fighter explain their side to the paladin, and then, based on skill checks and justifications, let the paladin decide what happens with the imp. Ta da, now the fate of the imp comes down to a game mechanic and you have a level 20 paladin around to enforce the decision, preventing any sort of PVP.
Along the same thread, have a Redeemer paladin come by and offer to take the imp under their care at one of the sanctuaries for the reformation of evil creatures. The oracle player rolls occassionally to determine progress, and over time the imp either rehabilitates (and is deemed Good by a higher authority who are likely experts on the topic) at which point it comes back to the party to thank the Oracle for giving it a shot and offering it's services, free of charge, as a token of it's grattitude. If the rolls don't go well, and the Imp doesn't reform, the Oracle get's a letter from the reformatory explaining that the imp orchestrated an escape that resulted in a variety of denizens escaping and raiding a nearby village. Now the fighter can go and merrily slaughter the Imp while the party goes off to rescue this village as a sidequest that can explore the nature of good and evil.
That said, these are in-game ways to handle what largely sounds like an out of game issue, so I'd use these as a last resort resolution if maturity and open discussion don't work.
Casters are intimidating, once I looked into making a wizard. Once. That said, I think it makes sense. Caster chars are hard to make well because in-game, magic is something that not everyone can access.
I think the best way to learn to be a caster is to try it, but only if your group is conducive to that sort of thing. Do any of them have background with casting, is your DM cool with sitting down and spending some time with you to build the char and answer your questions, will they be patient if questions come up in-game about magic rules? If so, I say take the magic ball and run with it, if not, I'd say read over as much of the material for a magus you can, maybe build two or three to fifth level, then have your GM check the sheets to make sure they're kosher, maybe even have a "training" encounter before you're introduced to the party so you guys can work through magus combat mechanics together.
Remember when it comes to pathfinder, you guys a party both at and away from the table, the better one of you is, the better all of you are.
I'd allow it simply because it's one of those stories that will be fondly remembered, plus it's not game breaking since once the snake bites itself, she's still surrounded, the party is too far to help and on the next round the snake is going to probably get her since the poison likely has an onset time, right?
Other option, she tries and if it works, it works, if it doesn't, the snake eats her whole. Then have her try to escape, if she does, the snake takes a wallop of damage or a debuff, and the rogue is projectilely repulsed about 100 feet out to the party or into the ocean for added misadventure.
One way my DM counters system mastery (which he hates) is having house rules that make certain rulesets and systems pointless. So in order to incentivize people from making a fighter who cranks out as many attacks as possible, everyone from day 1 gets iterative attacks, albeit at penalties. Now, the fighter still has an edge in combat (as he can still hit pretty effectively on his iterative), but the rest of the party isn't feeling useless in combat. Now, the fighter knows he doesn't have to make a high STR fighter ext time to contribute to combat.
Also, to limit system mastery, the DM only allows things that make sense. So if I wanted to multiclass a magus and a witch to get the defiler build, I'd have to RP the transition, and do things that would get me noticed by a witch patron. He also offers us forks in the road when it comes time to level, for example my dirty trick using fighter gets spoken to by Iomedae after a particularly tough battle (right before I level up), and she urges me to turn my combat prowess to a more righteous fight. Ta da, now my dirty tricks fighter can multiclass into a paladin, or an inquisitor, or a cleric, or turn his back on a GODDESS. Sometimes he uses this to expose people to other options, but if someone decides they want to go Ninja after 4 levels of Monk, they have to find a ninja school, convince them to train them, and go through the training before you take your first ninja level. This makes builds blending classes to min-max labourious, and possible to fail.
TLDR: You don't reduce system mastery via turning people away from the rules, but you make the rules into the story, or skew the rules so as to make optimization sub-optimal :)
Yeah, I was kind of hoping to go for the understated hero, everyone thinks he's some homeless bum and he lets them think that up until he walks into the biker bar and walks out a few minutes later with his own chain gang.
Worse comes to worst, I'll just get a wand of reduce person and a wand of flesh to stone then walk around with my very own garden statue collection :D
Good options but some of them are pricey, I figure making called shots against various body parts while they bound can be nice and crippling, I'm just thinking of having cleared out a bandit camp with 7 outlaws, I can't sling them all over my back, but I guess the horse and cart option is a nice basic method. I was hoping for something flashier or some sort of object that could trap someone in a bottle or some such for ease of transport. Thanks for the ideas guys
I'm thinking my next character will be a Tetori Monk who'll run around grappling, pinning, and binding enemies to take them out of the fight. From there, he'll either CDG them, interrogate them, or keep them alive and deliver them to the authorities for a handsome reward.
His main weapons will of course be unarmed strikes, with some Bolas and a few daggers of various materials to get around DR. He'll also have various strands of ropes, and chains, manacles, etc... to secure his foes.
That said, carting prisoners around could be a pain, so I'm wondering what sort of equipment a bounty hunter would have to facilitate transporting his prisoners. Is there some sort of extradimensional storage option that allows you to store people? I know a handy haversack can sustain someone for 10ish minutes, and a portable hole has similar limitations. You'd think in a land of common magic, interdimensional travel/storage, and bounty hunters someone would've made something, but I can't think of one. Paizo products only, no 3pp ideally.
What else would he have? I'm thinking maybe some debuffing stuff like poisons, smokesticks, etc... all while keeping a really low profile so as to not draw lots of attention until it's time to tag his quarry.
Thanks in advance
Our game room is perfect. DM's basement, fold out chairs, a card table and a minifridge. Minis are kept in organized drawers, except for PC and recurring NPCs who are on display (along with the epic minis that are just awesome to see). There are some Pathfinder/Golarion maps and such, mats, tiles, etc... are on a workbench and in bookshelves. White boards around the room for note taking and tracking stuff
We have ourselves a baker who runs us snacks, convenience store around the corner to facilitate manufactured snack runs, grocery store down the road if we're feeling peckish, and a pizza place nearby.
Also conveniently, since it's in the basement we don't get much cell reception and it's pretty well temperature controlled (cool in the summer, warm in the winter).
It's nothing fancy, but it has everything we need, plus we're roughing it like TRUE adventurers. Would Valeros need a cushy armchair and oak tables?
Sunder you could sunder the door, or the support column holding the bridge up that the army of orcs is crossing perhaps? In an arena fight coming up I was considering going with a sundering focus, but then none of the other combattants are equipment based.
I think my biggest problem with sundering lies in the fact that you'd be smashing up potentially useful loot, but on the upside, someone can pick up a disarmed weapon, but someone can't easily undo their weapon being cut in half, right?
The hay was a reference to Assassins Creed, but the gist remains the same, slow fall will help him address elevation differences in ship to ship combat nicely :)
He could always hop aboard the ship, take out the lonely watchman, steal his clothes and such, toss him overboard, then "stealth" is being in disguise as tony the watchman, and releasing flurry of blows on baddies as necessary :)
There's nothing preventing a monk from going armed (as treantmonk says, the builds are the same, since an unarmed monk becomes an armed monk as soon as he draws a weapon), he'll just be using a more specific set (there's some solid monk weapons).
I was actually trying the exact same thing earlier today actually! Originally, I was going to go Monk 4 (for the Ki pool coming from Wisdom) then was going to go Ninja (as my party reliably gives me Sneak Attack opportunities, as well as some of the ninja flavour and abilities.
But then I started looking through the archetypes for the best blend and decided I'd just go straight Tetori for the grapples.
If you're dead set on Moninjonk, Maybe go with the Master of Many Styles for 4 levels (granting you Ki from wis, reducing MAD), and using something like Boar Style to add bleed to attack, or one of the styles that will debuff enemies so you can do SA damage and weaken them up while you're at it.
Flurry of Blows could be your friend, as more attacks means more sneak attacks, and even 2d6 becomes 6d6 if you're popping off enough attacks. Shurikens could be SA capable too, allowing you to basically spam sneak attack dice all day, and FOB gives you the dual wielding abilities of TWF without the feat investment, freeing up your feat chains.
With Wis/Dex and monk AC bonus, you're AC will be more survivable than just the ninja's light armour, with the Ki going towards boosting your AC when needed, it could be plenty more survivable. But yeah, if you say what you want from both, we can offer better suggestions :)
Maybe go with a monk and a ninja dip later on? Good Saves, acrobatic abilities, High Jump/Slowfall to allow hopping from the crow's nest into a hay pile below to escape your pursuers?
Monk allows you some AC without having to wear armour. facilitating the assassin wandering through the market looking like an average merchant, before drawing his hidden blade and laying hurt down on his target with a flurry of blows eviscerating him?
Assassins Creed melds mobility and combat prowess, so I think monk is a good fit, but ninja could work too, I just think it may be a bit too squishy.
The ninja dip later allows for hidden weapons, disguises, the benefits from sneak attack and such, but taking monk the first few levels would help round out your saves and such, plus an assassin is a weapon in and of themselves, so the unarmed focus does that pretty well. The actual assassin class, from what I've gathered, isn't that great at being an effective assassin, but that's just what I've gathered, someone else can probably speak to that a bit better though.
Give him Froggysense checks, with a +25.
Roll a Froggysense check please... Ok, you see moss growing in the corner and really, really, really, really really, want to eat it.
Then, for each time his froggysense alerts him to moss, he gets 1 attribute point he can spend as he likes. Gradually ramp him up with this performance enhancing substance, then let them rescue a princess. Her kiss may transform him back, or into something else. Roll a D12, with 1 being normal self and 2-12 being gradually less awesomely like.
2-5 being different age categories of dragon