If you want to prevent min/maxing stats, you shouldn't be running point buy. Unless you give out enough points for the player to have the stats he cares about high, and the ones he doesn't at 10, you're going to see at least one 8, if not a 7. This is what point-buy is designed to do.
My basic philosophy is this: for Paladins to exist, the basic premise must be true that evil is never necessary. It can be easier. It can be tempting. But in a universe where paladins are chosen by the gods and endowed with holy power so long as they are unswervingly righteous, it must be fundamentally possible to be unswervingly righteous and still succeed--or else the gods are malevolent.
In a world where the paladin exists, anyone who says 'I did what I had to do' is wrong, and a way exists to be unfailingly good while still accomplishing good. Now nothing says that the Paladin will always emerge unscathed, or even alive. But if you ever put a Paladin in a position where any choice he might make causes him to fall, or where he must fall to save the world, then you might as well have just banned the class from the outset.
Judging from the further details you've provided, that is not the case here; the presentation just makes it look that way. If you're ready and willing to accept third options the party devises, you're probably fine, though a cleaner, less ham-fisted presentation might go a long way to forestall player irritation.
Not only are bloodlines not tied to the body, they need not have anything to do with ancestry at all. A Celestial bloodline could just as easily represent a divine blessing as having angels in your family tree. A sorcerer with the Undead bloodline might have been stillborn but revived, gaining a natural affinity for magic from that infant brush with the Boneyard. Or the Starsoul bloodline could represent being born under an auspicious constellation.
The summoner in my game tried out his Maker's Call ability for the first time the other night, and we found ourselves disagreeing over whether the eidolon could act after the ability is used. For reference:
"Maker’s Call (Su)
At 6th level, as a standard action, a summoner can call his eidolon to his side. This functions as dimension door, using the summoner’s caster level. When used, the eidolon appears adjacent to the summoner (or as close as possible if all adjacent spaces are occupied). If the eidolon is out of range, the ability is wasted. The summoner can use this ability once per day at 6th level, plus one additional time per day for every four levels beyond 6th."
My argument: Dimension door prevents you from acting after using it, and Maker's Cal makes no statement of exception.
His argument: Other people who travel through a dimension door with a caster are not disoriented and can act normally. Since he's 'casting', the eidolon is 'just passing through', even though it's the only one using the dimension door effect.
I'd actually originally conceived him with Weapon Finesse, but was looking at the strength route as a way of cutting out a feat. I'd probably prefer quicker over stronger, thematically, though. As for Wisdom, Will's a good save for Bards, and Archaeologists get a scaling bonus to all Perception checks, so I think I can afford a -1 in Wisdom.
Sounds like I can probably get away with using a whip for the occasional trick at early levels without investing in it, while building into something else for my main combat style. Maybe I could take Weapon Finesse at 1st level, disarm and trip at range with the whip, and have a short sword or rapier in the other hand to engage foes who get close, and then build archery thereafter, to become more and more prominent as we encounter things where trip and disarm aren't much use...
I am completely settled on the Archaeologist bard. Please do not suggest other classes or archetypes. I know what I want to build, so please help me optimize that. If you insist on telling me not to pursue the whip, suggest an alternate line of feats that give me something stylish to pull off in combat to take advantage of the constant bonuses I am giving myself.
I've got a character creation session upcoming for Rise of the Runelords, and the character I'm most leaning towards is an Archaeologist Bard, primarily focused on using a whip to inflict combat maneuvers on enemies from a safe distance away. But first I've got to figure out how to allocate my pretty starkly limited feats. Lingering Performance is a must to really get maximum mileage out of Archaeologist's Luck. I need to take the Whip Mastery line at least to the second feat, which will require Weapon Focus to qualify. Improved and Greater Disarm and Trip are four feats necessary to keep my CMB up to snuff, and further require Combat Expertise for a prerequisite. And Skill Focus (Disable Device) would be awfully nice to make up for the lack of it being an actual class skill. Any advice would be most welcome.
For reference, it's a 20 point buy game. I'm currently thinking a human with a point spread something like
The wording does technically allow it, but between the penalties for using a non-light weapon in your off-hand, and the need to waste a feat on Weapon Focus (Klar), it wouldn't be a very effective build, even if your DM didn't rule that you can only wield an Earthbreaker one-handed if you have a Klar in the other hand.
Let's see here...Kimandatsu in the same module you pick Suishen up, then Munuskaru in Forest of Spirits, and Nigankona at the end of Tide of Honor makes 3. And there are several Five Storms lieutenants to be found when you assault the palace at the end, before you reach the final boss.
Of course, when the Runelords were first introduced back in RotRL, the breakdown was
Obviously, that list needed some cleaning up, but I like it a bit better conceptually than the new version, since none of the sins are directly opposed to the virtues, but rather are the virtues taken to its most twisted extreme.
Hmm...to try to clean that up a bit myself...
And that's an argument that has merit. You can establish a cost for them, or alter such material components to be something more mundane.
What you don't do is launch a crusade claiming that people are neglecting the rules when literally everyone who has responded to this thread enforces the costs of components that have a cost listed, and require a spell component pouch or Eschew Materials for everything else--exactly as the rules are.
I'm willing to have a discussion about material components that shouldn't have a negligible cost. But that's not the tone that's been set here.
From where I'm standing, when a character dies, there's three possibilities for what ensues:
1) Standard D&D rules--the PCs retreat to a friendly temple, or at high enough levels, restore the dead themselves. They're out a not-insignificant chunk of cash, both for the Raise, and, until True Res, for Restoration as well. But they get back to things pretty quick.
2) Resurrection is rare or difficult, and requires the surviving characters to embark on a grand quest to restore their ally. Adds a bunch of hoops to jump through, leaving a player sitting out of the game for ultimately the same mechanical effect.
3)Resurrection is impossible. The player rolls up a new character, and is ready to get back into the game relatively quickly, once the DM and party get through the frankly convoluted process of introducing a new character into an established adventuring party. This can strain belief at the best of times ("You seem a goodly fellow, stranger. Would you like to join us in our quest against the Shadow?"), and only gets more convoluted or prolonged if the party is on some other plane or wasteland or some such. Again, the player could be sitting out with nothing to do for a while
There's no good solution to character death. Standard D&D rules strike me as the best of a bad lot, because they keep people playing
You don't necessarily need a silver weapon to beat a creature with DR/Silver, thejeff. Conan could beat it down with just his trusty broadsword simply by virtue of putting out enough damage that it didn't matter that it was reduced. Not to mention, if you're enchanting your sword the way you should be, it'll overcome most DR as you level up anyway. Then there's the Paladin, the Clustered Shots feat--honestly DR's really not much of a thing in Pathfinder, so 'lots of different exotic materials' aren't really a thing. Carrying around a backup weapon or two, though, that's just good sense. And a caster just has no excuse.
For reference, here's what I've come up with for the Drunken Master and the Samurai:
The Drinking Jug of Li Jin:
-The Drinking Jug of Li Jin—This Tengu Drinking Jug depicts a number figures—two human men, one bronze skinned, the other Tian, a tengu, a tanuki, a kitsune, and a humanoid monkey wielding a quarterstaff. The appropriate knowledge check identifies them as the Drunken Immortals, figures of legend in Tian Xia. The story, illustrated on the jug, tells of an Avistani sellsword (Cayden Cailean from before his ascension) who adventured in the Dragon Empires, and of the companions he gathered there—the brewer Li Jin, who devised alcohols of mystical potency; the kitsune seductress Ho Fao Lan; the cunning tengu thief Yoshimune; and the lazy but good-hearted tanuki Yip Po. Together, these companions crusaded throughout Tian Xia, defeating the dread Naga sorcerer Orochi by getting him drunk, and even undertaking challenges from Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, for access to his personal stash of liquors. When the Drunken Immortals parted, Li Jin became the founder of the Zui Quan monastery, devising an alcohol fueled fighting style based upon all he had learned from his companions. In addition to the normal powers of a Tengu Drinking Jug, The Drinking Jug of Li Jin enhances the liquor-soaked powers of a Drunken Master, attuning more and more to its owner as they grow in the path of the Drunken Fist.
• At 3rd level, as long as the Drunken Master has at least one point of Drunken Ki in his pool, his drunken determination protects him from enchantments. If he is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails his saving throw, he can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. He gets only this one extra chance to succeed on his saving throw (though this does not prevent him from using other means to break the effect, if he has them, such as a rogue’s slippery mind ability).
• At 6th level, so long as the Drunken Master has at least one point of Drunken Ki remaining, he reduces any fear effect he is subjected to by one step (if he would be frightened, he is only shaken; if he would be shaken, he is unaffected), and is also immune to the sickened and nauseated conditions.
• At 9th level, the Drunken Master may spend 1 point of Drunken Ki to make a Staggering Charge—he makes a charge attack, but need not move in a straight line, may use Acrobatics to avoid attacks of opportunity, and does not take a -2 penalty to AC; however, he must move no further than his base speed.
• At 12th level, when The Drinking Jug of Li Jin transmutes its contents into alcohol, the resulting liquor is drawn from Sun Wukong’s personal stores. The Drunken Master gains 2 drunken ki points every time he drinks from it.
In addition, if the owner of The Drinking Jug of Li Jin has ranks in Profession (Brewer) he can use it to mix alcohol-based potions, as if he had the Master Craftsman and Brew Potion feats. The Drinking Jug of Li Jin cannot be used to transmute its contents into tea.
Amatatsu no Rekishi:
This thousand year old tome is an exhaustive chronicle of the Amatatsus, one of the Imperial Families of Minkai; indeed, it appears to contain infinite pages for that purpose, even periodically updating itself. An Amatatsu scion who opens the book finds that it naturally opens to relevant or desired passages, granting them a +10 bonus on Knowledge (history) and (nobility) checks related to Minkai and the Amatatsus. An Amatatsu samurai who regularly studies this book gains an extra daily use of resolve as he attunes himself to the great deeds of his ancestors. One of the tales it opens to naturally for Hamaro is that of Amatatsu Kenshin, one of the greatest swordsmen in the history of Minkai. Raised in the service of the devil-worshiping Empress Amatatsu Maemi, Kenshin became known as one of her most feared enforcers, but ultimately turned on the Empress, living the life of a wandering ronin to atone for his deeds. By studying the history of Amatatsu Kenshin, Hamaro can learn special combat stances. It is a swift action to enter a combat stance; Hamaro may do so at will, and remain in the stance for the duration of an encounter, but he can only be in one stance at a time.
• At 3rd level, the tale of Kenshin’s service as the Empress’ enforcer allows Hamaro to emulate the bloodlust that earned Kenshin the moniker of ‘Manslayer.’ The Hitokiri stance grants Hamaro a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls each time he confirms a critical hit; since this is an untyped bonus, it stacks with each critical hit confirmed; however, if he goes more than 1 minute (10 rounds) without confirming a critical hit, all accumulated bonuses are lost.
• At 6th level, the tome tells the tale of Kenshin’s rebellion against Empress Maemi; when she ordered her soldiers to massacre an uncooperative village, he stood against his former comrades alone, guarding a pass the villagers were evacuating through, making his katana an impassable wall of steel that none could pass unscathed. Hamaro gains the Thicket of Blades stance; while in this stance, opponents he threatens provoke attacks of opportunity whenever they move, even movement such as 5-foot steps, Spring Attacks, or the Withdraw action which would not normally provoke. Attempting to tumble through those squares with Acrobatics is still possible, but the DC is treated as if the tumbler were attempting to move through Hamaro’s square.
• Kenshin was hunted by the Empress’ assassins for the remainder of her reign, and after many battles with ninjas and other foes who struck unseen, he learned to attune himself to minute changes in the environment to detect the invisible. At 9th level, the study of these principles allows Kenshin to enter the Hearing the Air stance; while in this stance, he gains blindsense in a 30 ft. radius, and a +5 insight bonus to Perception checks.
• Ultimately, Kenshin returned to the Imperial Palace, confronting Empress Maemi and her diabolical minions before the Jade Throne itself. He suffered grievous wounds in the battle, but his determination to end her evil drove him on. Even having slain her, he refused to settle down, spending the remainder of his life crusading against tyrants, oni, and monsters. At 12th level, Hamaro may emulate his ancestor’s righteous determination. While in the Yojimbo stance, Hamaro heals 4 hit points for each successful melee attack he makes against an evil target.
If you cannot snipe in the surprise round, than a sniper will always be noticed after his first shot, because he has to break stealth to make it, and, having broken stealth, the rules as written more or less prevent you from hiding again.
If you try to fix this by saying the sniper can just give up his action in the surprise round, and then enter a normal round with a full action availalbe to them, that raises questions too. Namely, if they didn't shoot, and no one else noticed them or took combat actions, than how can we say the surprise round has happened? This interpretation would allow a group of archers to, having caught sight of unaware enemies, simply wait 6 seconds, and then unleash a full barrage of arrows before their enemies have any chance to react--exactly the problem the restriction on full-round actions in the surprise round was meant to address.
Conclusion: by the RAW, you can't snipe in the surprise round, as others have explained quite clearly. However, this is a bad rule, and I urge any reasonable GM to allow sniping in the surprise round in their games.
So I've got the treasures worked up for the dwarven Drunken Master and the Samurai (Ameiko's younger brother). But I'm a bit stuck on what to do for the remaining half of the party.
For the Oracle of the Heavens, I at least have an idea of the form the treasure should take, if not its effects. He's a scholar and philosopher with interesting ideas about the nature of gravity and the stars--there is a gravity of the flesh that pulls you down, and a gravity of the soul which pulls you up, such that the stars are an accumulation of spirits. The journal of a Desnan containing copious star charts seems apt, or some mystical orrery. Tying in some connection to Tsukiyomi might also be pretty nifty.
The remaining party member is a halfling Summoner, riding his serpentine Eidolon 'Triumph' into battle. Total glory hound--in no small part to make up for his insecurities and bullied past. Perhaps borrowing some abilities from the Order of the Cockatrice might be appropriate.
I'm looking to keep the 'ability at 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th' mechanics that Ice Titan and Xenomorph were working with. Suggestions?
The multi-class feature; you can take a lvl in a different class every time you lvl up. I have seen one person take 1 lvl cleric, 1 lvl monk, 1 lvl etc; and they have no penalties for doing so. (I believe she got up to lvl 10 in a home-brewed game before the game ended and each lvl was a different class!)
No penalties except for the fact that such a character is straightforwardly inferior to a single class character, due to only having level 1 class features (especially as many signature abilites, like rogue talents, rage powers, or a paladin's lay on hands only kick in at 2nd level), and the lack of more than two favored class bonuses, and that much only if one is a half-elf.
As far as whether he can use Weapon Finesse with it based on the Far Traveler ability--absolutely. Just the same as how a Tengu can automatically wield a Bastard Sword one-handed. Proficiency in Aldori Dueling Sword means the ability to use it with Weapon Finesse; otherwise, it's a longsword.
Now, whether Far Traveler qualifies you for feats or PrCs that require a proficiency feat is another question. In any sane ruling, the answer is yes, but that's the area where the RAW is fuzzy.
Well, that one is rather simple. Because unarmed strikes are natural attacks. People may not like that fact, but trying to pretend like it isn't true is ignoring that you are, in fact, attacking with a natural part of your body. That part just is what it is.
No. No it is not. If it were a natural attack, it would not get iteratives--and, in fact, every attack that could be made with it would be made at the same attack bonus. Not to mention flurry explicitly cannot be used with natural attacks, barring a special feat. Now what is the flavorful distinction between a slam attack and an unarmed strike? I don't know, but mechanically they are so different that their relation cannot be used to justify that they must always be enhanced together.
For that matter, even if you were to accept that they were the same, I doubt anyone would bat an eye at an item that enhanced claws alone; why then should an item that enhances unarmed strike alone be any odder?
Should a monk necessarily outpace a fighter in DPR with unarmed strikes? No, I tend to agree with the concept that a Monk's advantage should lie in mystical tricks and self-enhancement, compared to a more direct approach by the fighter. Some revision needs to be done to make even that work, but let's set aside that can of worms for now.
Here's the thing: the Fighter already easily outdamages the Monk in unarmed combat. Weapon Training, Weapon Specialization, an almost definitionally greater Strength, the Brawler archetype's magnificent Close Combatant ability--Fighters pile on static bonuses to damage. Plus, the Fighter can use Gauntlets, Cestii, or Brass Knuckles as their unarmed strike, giving them an ease of enchantment and bypassing material DR that monks lack; though all these weapons are explicitly unarmed strikes, monks lose their enhanced damage die if they use them. With items meant to enhance unarmed combat, the monk loses access to his biggest advantage in unarmed combat. So, did Fighters need another boost to their unarmed effectiveness that monks, a class partly defined by unarmed combat, have no access to?
So I got to the 'trap' guarding Sorshen's clone, and just stopped to laugh for about two minutes. First trap I've seen where the best thing for the PC is to fail all their saves against it.
Of course, if a male PC falls victim to it, it's time to bust out some Ranma 1/2 jokes. Spring of Drowned Runelord, anyone?
Mounted Skirmisher allows a rider to makea full attack in the same round his mount moves, provide it moves a distance no further than its speed. Presumably this would allow the rider to charge while mounted and make a full attack.
Ride-By Attack reads as follows: "When you are mounted and use the charge action, you may move and attack as if with a standard charge and then move again (continuing the straight line of the charge). Your total movement for the round can't exceed double your mounted speed. You and your mount do not provoke an attack of opportunity from the opponent that you attack."
Does this mean that, if you have both feats, and your charge distance does not exceed your mounted speed, you can make full-attacks with Ride-By attack?
If I can play devil's advocate (if anything, so I can better understand the summoner when I GM a game in a few weeks), how are the evolution points available to draw from if the eidolon isn't summoned? Even though the number of evolution points are dependent upon summoner level, those actual points are tied to the eidolon. If the eidolon isn't available, it would seem that the evolution points are not available either (they certainly aren't sitting in the Summoner's pocket when the eidolon is gone).
Ah, but you don't allocate an Eidsolon's evolution points when you summon it, you allocate them, for the most part, when you level up.
That Cheap Shot talent I posted above should probably also require the other two talents as prerequisites, to even it out with the Shatter Defenses feat. The balance I'm trying to strike is that Cheap Shot is more accessible for Rogues, because it lacks the BAB prerequisite, and is broader in the conditions that allow sneak attack, but a slightly lessened effect--the opponent loses their Dex bonus, rather than being flat-footed, so the rogue can't combo Cheap Shot with the Sap Master line, for example.
master arminas wrote:
Well, yes and no. That is what I meant, but I wasn't excluding psionics either, except insofar as they're not a core part of the game. If you are playing with psionics, that's a pretty perfect fit, in my opinion, since psionics is mystical power drawn from introspection and self-mastery. But in games without psionics, my suggestion is to make them divine casters, a 0-6 spell progression, with a spell list focused on self-buffing to improve their combat prowess.
It's definitely a very mechanically different monk, but no longer a monk at all? The monk's flavor is a mystical martial artist. How is a monk who prepares and casts Barkskin on himself before engaging the foe with his fists any less of that flavor than the Qingong monk who does the same thing, but by expending ki points instead of a spell slot?
Mmm, thinking it over again, my main problem with giving rogues situational BAB is that they'd get extra attacks when sneak attacking, which isn't really my intention. I just thought to emphasize a rogue's talent for getting in cheap shots, making them better able to take advantage of vulnerable opponents.
I guess my goal might be better accomplished by some new rogue talents. Say...
I know, my title must seem like I'm in the mouth of madness, but hear me out:
I've often found the monk's situational BAB somewhat irksome. I can see the appeal, but I also feel like, since it boosts their base attack for everything except standard action attacks, one might as well give them a full BAB. And yet, irksome as I find it, I think it has a conceptual appeal for the other weakest class in D&D, the rogue.
What if we made an addition to the sneak attack line, stating that the rogue used a full attack bonus when attacking an opponent he flanks, who is denied their Dexterity bonus, or who is suffering from an impairing condition such as sickened? It seems to me it would further encourage rogues to fight dirty, prey on the weak, and take advantage of positioning, and give them a boost in combat even when they can't bring their bonus damage into play.
Too much? Not enough? Solving the wrong problem?
A part of me wants to give monks a full BAB. That does fit with the idea that monks have honed their own body to a deadly weapon, and I tend to find the 'situational full BAB' they have to be a touch confusing at best. A non-flurrying monk should still be darn effective at hitting someone in the face with his fist. On the other hand, I also acknowledge that they do have other focuses, at least conceptually, than combat, that it's also less than elegant to give them full BAB, but keep their d8 HD. Besides, I feel that, though a decent patch, it leaves some core problems unaddressed. So lets leave them at 3/4 BAB.
By my reading, a general principle for 3/4 BAB classes is that they have a way of personally boosting themselves in combat, increasing their performance to brush up against a full BAB class. Rogues and Ninjas have sneak attack, a damage spike which can be achieved with some regularity; Ninjas can also do things like turning themselves invisible. Bards have a wide variety of buffing spells, plus Bardic Performances. Magi can mix their attacks and spells together for considerable bursts of damage, and also have their pool of Arcane points, which can add enhancement bonuses to their weapon, and power a customizable list of special powers. Summoners have their Eidolons and spells. Clerics and Oracles are full casters, and Oracles have their Revelations.
Monks have their flurry, which can stand in opposition to their other class features, particularly fast movement,and has recently had its most powerful feature--the ability to TWF with a single weapon--retconned out of existence. As a booster, it doesn't particularly measure up. They do have Ki points, but compared to a Magus' arcane pool, it is considerably limited in its applications. They have full BAB for maneuvers, but maneuvers require a systemic change to be a truly useful character investment.
Some possibilities which occur to me for improving them then:
A particularly drastic change would be to give monks spells. Make them divine half-casters and load them up with personal buff spells; the Qingong archetype taken to a further extreme, and giving monks a role comparable to the Psychic Warrior.
Perhaps more elegant would be to expand options for the uses of ki points, and perhaps the amount the monk gets access to. In particular, a Magus-like ability to enhance the Monk's unarmed strike would seem appropriate. Perhaps a power to remove size limitations and modifiers for combat maneuvers. Call it 'Size Matters Not.' We can make these feats with ki pool as a prerequisite,or we can make the Qingong's 'pick from a menu of abilities every few levels' standard.
It becomes more viable for monks to focus on maneuvers with one or more systemic changes. Consolidate the feats back into one, scaling up in effect at BAB +6, and let monks use a full BAB to determine when that happens. Have the AoO triggered by combat maneuvers only happen if the combat maneuver fails. If a player can get together the CMB to successfully grapple a dragon--let him. For monks in particular, it'd also be nice if they could use their Wisdom for CMB.
Which is another big point: feats and abilities which increase the monk's ability to focus on Wisdom and Dexterity allow a monk who is statted thematically to be effective, as opposed to the current need for the monk to prioritize Strength.
I allow TWF to make two attacks as a standard action, and would tend to allow the same for flurries.
I'm also considering boosting monk's skill points up to 6+Int, especially since I have made 4+Int the minimum.
Masterwork armor reduces its armor check penalty by 1. If an armor is referred to as '+1/+2/etc.', then that is magical armor, providing a enhancement bonus to AC equal to the listed number. For it to be magically enchanted, it must also be Masterwork.
To use specific examples:
* Chainmail provides an AC bonus of +6, but an armor check penalty of -5
He can still flurry with them, by using them as improvised weapons rather than what they really are. As long as a Monk of the Empty Hand is smacking people with the flat and hilt of the longsword, rather than actually cutting and stabbing with it, he's using it improvised and can flurry with it.
What balances a Paladin with a Fighter is not the fact that the Paladin has to be Lawful Good. The Paladin tends to have superior tanking ability due to self-healing and superior saves, yes. But when not smiting, they are considerably worse at actually dealing damage than the fighter, due to a comparative lack of feats and general attack bonuses, like the fighter's Weapon Training feature. (And even if they're only ever facing evil opponents, a likely enough occurence, they simply do not have enough smites per day to smite them all.) They also have a much harder time maneuvering around the battlefield, what with the lack of armor training to mitigate their full plate.
Similar comparison to Barbarians; Paladins are harder to hurt, but the Barbarian will much more consistently be able to dish out enormous amounts of damage, being able to rage much more often than the Paladin can smite or enhance their weapon with Divine Bond.
Rangers and Paladins? Rangers get comparable spellcasting. They get bonus feats, and vastly superior skills, making them considerably more versatile. Favored Enemy, like Smite, is a combat booster that only works on a limited subset of enemies, but the Ranger's version is always on against those enemies. But the Ranger is less durable, being limited to light or medium armor, and while they have access to healing spells, they are not as quick and easy to use in combat as Lay on Hands.
Cavaliers? If you want to go the mounted route, Cavaliers get their mount immediately, instead of waiting until 5th level. They get bonus feats for greater versatility, and their version of smite works on whatever they want it to, while being less powerful a boost overall.
Besides, Paizo has already rejected the idea that alignment and the code balances Paladin powers; the Antipaladin, particularly a Dhampir Antipaladin who can use Touch of Corruption like Lay on Hands, is more or less the equal of the Paladin in every way, with a code of conduct which is effectively impossible to violate.
I DMed the game in college. While I didn't add anything past Crown of Fangs, as it took us the whole year to get to the end, the epilogue did see the Paladin (from a bankrupt noble house and the son-in-law of Vencarlo Orsini) becoming the new King of Korvosa; the gnome Illusionist had used his wish from the Harrow Deck of Many Things to ensure that next ruler of Korvosa would rule long, justly, and prosperously, effectively breaking the curse. The Paladin had also fallen in love with Trinia over the course of the game, taking her as his cohort when he took the Leadership feat, and she became the Queen, known as a great backer of adventures due to visions she had received from the Harrow Deck of Many Things. The gnome Illusionist also elected to deliberately sacrifice his spellcasting to Disjoin the Fangs. Since he had become a worshiper of Desna after an experience in the globe beneath the Acropolis of the Thrallkeepers, I ruled that this led to him starting over as a 1st level Oracle of the Heavens.
One of the things that most baffled me about the Pathfinder Society was the revelation that the Pathfinder Chronicles are not meant for public consumption, only for other Pathfinders, and that the public only acquires them because issues eventually get leaked. That one detail utterly dismantled what I thought was the raison d'etre of the Pathfinders as Indiana Jones-alikes. If they're not uncovering this ancient knowledge to spread it to the world, than what is the purpose of it? Apparently, the reason is some secret of the Decimverate--which brings us back to the perception of the Society as a sinister organization.
Press-ganging is bound to raise a lot of hackles in many players, fair enough. But lazy and heavy-handed, or bad writing? Press-ganging is a pretty iconic start to a piratical adventure, and the Player's Guide is thoroughly up front about it, so it's not like it's being sprung on the characters as a nasty surprise.
All the artifact destruction techniques described in that chapter destroy the artifacts, but not the bones that they were made from, as I understand it. I believe the intention is that to utterly destroy Kazavon, you need to collect all the artifacts, sunder them as described, and then take further steps to destroy the bones, which may involve resurrecting Kazavon and killing him a second time.