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Remember that if you do go full caster, you SHOULD stay full caster - losing levels of spellcasting will weaken you much more than you think.
Barbarian or Rogue both seem excellent for this - you'll have plenty of Rage Powers/Rogue Talents to pick from (it's nice to get something every level), usually with minimal prerequisites, and both multiclass well with many other classes. Though, keep in mind: it's easy to accidentally build an ineffective Rogue. It's really quite hard to accidentally build an ineffective Barbarian.
Hey, summons aren't for everyone. They definitely double your paperwork.
As a conjurer, you need to make sure that your battlefield control spells affect your enemies, but not your allies. Spells like Telekinetic Charge are very useful for helping your allies maneuver around the battlefield, and like buff spells, are great against bosses. With proper timing initiative-wise using delay, Telekinetic Charge basically gets your best melee guy a free full attack or more. (Also, at higher levels, T Rexes make great projectiles.) In fact, a readied Telekinetic Charge is one of the only ways to let someone get a move and attack in as a readied action.
The problem lies within your imagination... or lack thereof. IMO, combat is actually the least exciting place for an illusionist, since the goal is simply to subdue the enemy. Your mileage may vary depending on your GM, but you should be using your illusions to confuse and befuddle enemies before combat - see if you can get one of them at a time to wander around the corner where your fighter, barbarian, and cleric are waiting to mush his face into a puddle of goo. Or mislead an entire group of enemies at once so they stampede over a cliff that you covered with an illusion of solid ground. Or avoid combat altogether by distracting or scaring enemies away.
The trick comes in figuring out:
I'm with Jaunt - if you're using illusions to simulate Create Pit, you might as well just cast Create Pit. Remember, illusionists are just as capable of casting conjuration spells as other types of wizards. In fact, a combination of real pits and fake ones may be just what you need to trick an enemy - if they can easily step through the first 3 pits, chances are good they'll walk straight into the fourth.
Oh, and try to get your teammates involved. Got a half-orc that likes to intimidate people? Back up him up with a mob of muttering, malicious-looking thugs. You're not limited to your own imagination - getting your teammates in on the ruse improves both chances of success and group satisfaction.
I think the magnificence of Groot would be best represented by an Oread Druid with the Plant Domain. The Plant domain grants Bramble Armor and your choice of Wooden Fist (default domain) or Enlarge (Growth subdomain). The "Fertile Soil" racial trait gives you +1 CL on Plant domain abilities, and you can flavor it as you planting seeds all over yourself. (Heck, you get Barkskin as a domain spell.) Oreads get a +2 on Strength and Wisdom and a -2 on Charisma, which is awesome for a druid and fits Groot pretty well.
By level 12 you can use Wild Shape (Plant Shape III) to become a Treant, thus fully realizing the smashiness of Groot.
Make me proud, Groot! Make me proud!
PS: Let me know if you want a suggestion for a full build.
Check out the Unbreakable archetype - you get Endurance and Diehard as bonus feats at first level. Make sure you grab Toughness and some of the save-boosting feats and their Greater versions. Obviously this is going to cut into your room for taking all kinds of crazy combat feats, but you're going to have to decide what the appropriate tradeoff for offense and defense is.
Make sure you keep in mind that boosting your AC really high just means that enemies ignore you. Honestly, you may be better off with a splash of fighter and then Barbarian - DR, high damage, and high HP is better for attracting enemy attention than AC.
Intimidating Prowess/Power Attack/Cornugon Smash
Going two-handed means you really only need Power Attack as a combat feat. I love Intimidating Prowess as a way to get mileage out of sky-high Strength in non-combat situations, and combined with Cornugon Smash your melee types can hand out debuffs like candy. Shaken is -2 on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks, and the DC to demoralize most enemies is pitifully low.
Pick up a whip, the Helpful trait, and the Combat Reflexes and Bodyguard feats. Now you can stand behind your friends, Aid them on your turn to give them +4 to attack, and use your AoOs to give them +4 to AC on defense. All you have to do is hit an AC of 10 - combined with Inspire Courage, you'll be giving your allies HUGE pluses to hit. The Rogue in particular will surely appreciate the help.
Later, get Arcane Strike and the Gloves of Arcane Striking - you'll be able to have your Aid bonus scale with your level.
One of the things I like most about this strategy is that you don't need any particularly high stats to contribute effectively to combat. That means you're free to put your stats anywhere you like to represent your character.
Alternately: check out the Halfling Jinx ability and its associated feats. It's possible to just throw out save-lowering debuffs all-day long; there's one feat that lets you apply minuses to attack and initiative as well. If he likes save-or-suck spells like Hideous Laughter, it could be a very solid option.
The crossblooded dip is no trap - considering fireball does 3.5 damage per die on average, adding another 2 per die is a significant increase. It certainly represents a big commitment, though, and I wouldn't recommend it for any but the most devout of blasters.
Keep in mind that a no-bonuses level 10 fireball does 35 damage on average, assuming the enemy doesn't make their save. Pretty pitiful. Chances are it's not worth it without metamagic and some kind of static boost, unless you're facing a literal army of low-level dudes. (In which case, laugh wildly like the mad genius you are and consider following it up with a Cloudkill.)
Whirlwind attack is WAY more powerful than Cleave (and the whole Cleave line). It's the difference between maybe getting an extra attack on two enemies right next to each other, and definitely getting an extra attack on everyone in potentially a 50ft diameter circle. VERY big difference.
Also, you'll have Spring Attack, which works very well with reach weapons to begin with. So it's not like you won't have anything to do on a standard attack. Combined with Mobility, you can easily get into the middle of a crowd of enemies to set up a HUGE whirlwind attack on the next turn! And if you multiclass out of Fighter into, say, Alchemist, and pick up Enlarge Person and then later on Fly... seems like fun. :3
Blasters can certainly be competent damage dealers - when it comes to dealing with large amounts of mooks, there's no one that can beat them. (As long as you don't run out of spells!) But here's the main issue, I think: for most martials, dealing damage is what they do. If you're a barbarian, chances are you want to run up and smash things for massive damage. With a blaster caster, they'll go down in half the time, but still be at full damage-dealing capacity for that time; with a battlefield control caster, they'll be partially disabled or singled out while you wallop them. Both are legitimate ways of dealing with enemies; however, if I'm playing a fighter, I like to fight! I'd just as soon not have the combat be over in 2 rounds, AND have to focus more on defense since the enemies are dealing relatively more damage.
Another thing to consider is that it's a caster's responsibility to make sure your teammates can successfully deal damage to tricky enemies. If they're invisible, you need to cast Glitterdust or Invisibility Purge; until you do, your teammates are effectively helpless. If they're flying, and your archer can't take care of it, it's up to you to Dispel their flight magic or Air Walk your teammates. True, you could simply blast the enemy... but then your team is just sitting around twiddling their thumbs, and if you go down before the foe is dead they could be in serious trouble.
TL,DR: Blasting is fine, but there are many things only casters can do. Don't neglect those responsibilities in order to blast!
PS: Remember also that bosses usually come with high saves and sometimes spell resistance to boot. Make sure you keep Enervate or something similar in your back pocket, or cast some good buffs so the martials can take care of it. These will be far more helpful than ineffectually pew-pewing at the boss while it slaughters your frontliners.
I don't suppose you'd be OK with simply going Druid? Alternately, Dragon Disciple gets Form of the Dragon at higher levels. Failing that, Wizard (transmutation specialist) -> Eldritch Knight is your best best. I would suggest a reach weapon and Enlarge Person for good times.
If you're ok with not transforming, Magus or Battle Oracle might suit your tastes.
@reynard the fox: as far as I know, you cant use weapons in wildshape...
Well, it's probably a DM-call type thing, but as far as I'm aware you don't actually lose proficiencies by wildshaping. You would need a form capable of wielding the weapon like an elemental or ape, and an appropriately sized weapon, but I believe as long as those conditions are met you're OK. (You'd probably want a Polymorphic Pouch to keep various-sized scimitars in, too.)
Chimpanzees in real life use clubs to destroy beehives for honey, so the question becomes less whether animals can use weapons and more whether they can use finesse weapons.
Fickle Winds would be the spell to compare that to.
And remember, Dimension Door and Bladed Dash are both standard actions to cast. Changing the casting time to Swift would mean a BIG change in power level - just compare Lightning Bolt to Cold Ice Strike.
As for a grapple: perhaps they need to make a Reflex save to hold on to you? Although if it's purely somatic components to cast, I think grapple stops you cold anyway.
Certainly an Agile AoMF or Dervish Dance will be mandatory for actually dealing damage. Dervish Dance limits your wildshape forms, but an Air Elemental sword tornado is pretty fun to imagine. (Or at earlier levels: sword monkey.)
Look out with Agile Maneuvers - your AC grows when you shrink, but your CMB and CMD shrink when you shrink. There are also limitations on some of the combat maneuvers - I believe tripping doesn't work on creatures two size categories larger than you.
Since you don't need strength, I would see if you can get your Wis up to 17 or 18 after racials to have a capable caster druid. Grab spells like Spit Venom and any nasty touch spells you can find. You'll also make the most amazing scout ever (sans Disable Device).
EDIT: And remember that DCs for abilities (poisons, Whirlwind, etc.) are set using wis!
Hey all, I could use some suggestions for fun mountain-based encounters. (This is for a Kingmaker campaign, several level 8 players doing Varnhold Vanishing, so spoilers ahead. Ethan, Dan, Gabe, the rest of you: shoo, g'wan, get outta heayah.)
Long story short: the PCs have to chase down a bunch of spriggans into the mountains to recover a holy centaur longbow. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do for that fight - it involves spriggans riding spiders, including the leader on a Huge spider. However, I'd love a few ideas for a good lead-up to the encounter. How do they track the spriggans? What monsters do they have to fight along the way? How will adventuring in the treacherous mountains be different than the forgiving plains?
So if anyone has had good mountaineering stories, lay 'em on me.
All level 8; I'll usually get 5-6 players at a given session.
Sylph storm druid, casting focused
Human direbat-mounted cavalier. (dat custom horse reincarnation table)
Half-elf caster cleric (very new player)
Tiefling alchemist/sorcerer/barbarian/dragon disciple/madman
Fetchling summoner with giant greatsword-wielding eidolon
Elvish hex-happy witch
The witch, druid, and cavalier have consistent flight; the others need spells and whatnot.
Oh yeah, if you're using Permanency it's dandy. Protip, though, don't do it if it would bring your Str down to 6 or less - we had a halfling shuriken-based ninja that I permanently shrunk in a high-level game, and he got one-shot KOd by Waves of Exhaustion. And then since he was invisible and tiny we couldn't find him until after the combat ended. : /
I would also highly recommend a permanent See Invisibility. It doesn't come up often, but when an invisible foe pops up you really don't want to have to waste a turn casting it. Your party needs that Glitterdust NOW!
Well, you get +2 AC and I believe a +4 to stealth. On the other hand, you no longer threaten the squares around you, so no flanking or taking attacks of opportunity. (I know you have no intention of dealing damage with AoOs, but an enemy that knows they can get shanked for trying to sunder your spell component pouch might think twice.) Also you're taking a net loss to your CMD, though you do get a bonus to Escape Artist. Which ALL WIZARDS should max out.
Overall, it's flavorful and a worthwhile bonus for a level 1 spell, but there are better minute/level buffs to cast when it comes to defense. The best use, of course, is to cast it on your 6'4" half-orc barbarian for laughs.
If you really want to be focused around debuffs and save-or-dies, you might want to consider a witch - with Evil Eye and Misfortune hexes, they were practically made to debuff.
That being said, raising your save DCs is generally a matter of the following:
Other good feats include Improved Initiative, Improved Familiar (for Arcane bloodline or Tattooed sorcerers), Toughness, and Combat Casting.
You'll want to make sure that you can always target the foe's weakest save, whether it's will, fortitude, or constitution; use Knowledge checks to figure out what to go for. Enchantment is known for its save-or-lose spells, but almost all of them target Will and many are ineffective against mindless foes. Transmutation has some nice things like Slow and Baleful Polymorph. Necromancy has LOTS of nasty spells, including the ultimate debuff, Enervation. Conjuration has a lot of useful spells like Glitterdust and Stinking Cloud that can hit multiple foes, and often dodges spell resistance. Really it comes down to your preference. Whatever you choose, though, you shouldn't have more than 1/3 of your spells known be debuffs - pick a few favorites and use your other spells known for important spells like Dispel Magic and Overland Flight.
An option to consider is a Halfling with the Halfling Jinx ability. You can weaken an enemy's saves by 1 if they fail a will save, which is nice... and if you pick up Bolster Jinx and any of the save-improving feats, you can reduce them by 3 instead! Sluggish Jinx, Distant Jinx, Area Jinx, and Jinxed Spell can all improve your jinxing ability as well.
Good luck with your debuffer!
Just go to d20pfsrd.com, search "fly," and select Magic Items. You can see for yourself. : )
Off the top of my head, I think the Cauldron, Carpet, Broom, and Wings all provide at will overland flight, whereas the others give you flight as per the Fly spell for a few minutes... but you should doublecheck that.
Ebony Fly Figurine of Wondrous Power - 10,000GP
I'm afraid I don't see the benefit of getting Int up that high. Skills are good, knowledges are good, but these things are typically spread throughout the party; trying to cover EVERYTHING by pumping up Int will just leave you with a bard too weak to do anything in combat. You don't have enough buffs to cast every single round - you'll need to be doing something besides cast or start a performance most rounds.
Speaking of which, the Helpful Halfling is worth mentioning. Take the trait Helpful (or maybe adopted -> helpful, if your GM will let you), and the feats Combat Reflexes and Bodyguard. Use a whip. Now you can Aid anyone within 15 feet for +4 to attack, and use your AoOs to get +4 to AC. Grab Arcane Strike and the Gloves of Arcane Striking and you can get the bonus to scale with your level. There, now you can regularly distribute massive bonuses to your allies by hitting an AC of 10.
There are several ways of getting an animal companion if you don't have one.
...or just not take an archetype that replaces your animal companion. (Then take Boon Companion to make it useful in combat.)
Wryn, TWF is doable, but I would strongly advise against crossbow style - your damage will be pitiful compared to archery. The nice thing about Ranger bonus feats is that you don't need to meet prereqs, such as Dex requirements, meaning you can keep your Str really high. TWF does require you to stand still much more than two-handed smashing, and spend double the money on weapons, but if you're attacking your favored class (and in RotRL that should probably be undead or humans) you can get a lot of bonuses.
I wouldn't go Inquisitor at this point - straight Ranger will leave you with a more combat-effective character and still leave you with plenty of skill point options. You'd also have to forfeit your animal companion. Inquisitors nab a few nice things, but they're really not worth it for you.
As to beating the Magus... well, good luck. A competently built Magus is one of the best classes in the game for "going nova" - dumping all your resources at once to deal an ENORMOUS amount of damage. By later levels he'll probably have spells like Dimension Door and Bladed Dash that make keeping your distance very difficult, too. Honestly, your best bet would be to attack him when he's low on spells, flanking with your animal companion and getting your Favored Enemy bonus... but I would approach Player Vs Player combat very, very carefully. First off, in a 3-man party, infighting will probably get you all killed. Second, many GMs and players will NOT take kindly to players attacking one another - unless all of you are in on it and OK with it, you should prepare yourself to not get invited back to play again. It's not uncommon to hear of real-life friendships ruined by in-game shenanigans. A bit of tension between characters in a party can be fun, but leave making enemies to the DM.
I think a lot of it will come from her backstory, but mechanically, the Infiltrator or Shapeshifter archetypes are the best. Infiltrator works with any fighting style, but Shapeshifter forces you into natural attack mode, which doesn't have a ton of synergy with half-elf.
Here's an idea: let her be the diplomat of the party when it comes to dragons. She could have Skill Focus: Diplomacy from being a half-elf, and act as a mediator between Elves and Humans, Dragons and Humanoids, Nature and Civilization, etc. Make her a high-dex archer so she can also be excellent at stealth - surely an important talent for anyone that deals with dragons on a regular basis. Being an archer also makes her able to put out a lot of damage from relative safety, which is nice for a new player who can't easily tell when they're outmatched. Being a dragon diplomat is also one helluva way to introduce a player to roleplaying.
If she wanted to later on, she could also grab a level in Draconic sorcerer and go Arcane Archer. She could get a lot of leverage out of spells like Gravity Bow and Arrow Eruption.
Not sure what you mean by ranger inquisitor. Do you mean the class inquisitor, or...?
When it comes to maximizing damage on a Ranger, though, here are some simple rules:
1. Pick your favored enemy carefully.
You won't match the Magus for burst damage, but you'll be able to keep fighting all day long. Also an archer ranger getting his maximum favored class bonus is terrifying.
An archer ranger could maybe multiclass into Arcane Archer, but pure Ranger probably gets you the best damage in the end.
If you want more specific help, we need more information. Levels? Campaign? Other members of the party?
The Pale King wrote:
If I was to go Battle/Metal Oracle what weapon would you guys recommend focusing on?
First off, you definitely want to wield your weapon two-handed - sword and board gives up a lot of offense for a little defense. Greatswords are the best early on, but as your static bonuses start to eclipse the damage from your dice, you'd be best off with an 18-20 crit weapon, of which the Falchion has the best damage dice. Improved Critical or the Keen enchantment then gives you a 15-20 weapon - you'll get a critical threat on almost a third of your attacks!
That being said, there are plenty of other interesting weapons out there, particularly if you go Half-Elf to pick up a free exotic weapon proficiency.
-Reach weapons like the Lucerne Hammer or Bardiche are excellent for controlling the battlefield, particularly with Enlarge Person from the Battle mystery. (And combined with Combat Reflexes.)
-If you're considering adding tripping to your repertoire (likely via the battle revelation), you may want a Guisarme or Halberd - being able to trip people with an AoO before they get to you is very, very nice. You don't need a weapon with the Trip property to trip things, but occasionally dropping your weapon by accident is not a good thing.
-There are also some just plain awesome weapons like the Ripsaw Glaive. You really can't beat chopping zombies in half with what amounts to a chainsaw on a stick.
Remember, in the end being happy with your character is the most important thing - if running into combat with a Gnomish Battle Ladder is more fun to you than critting things left and right with a falchion, then go for it!
You definitely need a damage-dealer, especially if that's a caster druid and not a melee druid. I highly recommend an Oracle with either the Battle or Metal mysteries - either will get you heavy armor and martial weapon proficiency with a single revelation, plus a bevy of other things. Just check out some of the battle revelations, like this one:
Weapon Mastery wrote:
Weapon Mastery (Ex): Select one weapon with which you are proficient. You gain Weapon Focus with that weapon. At 8th level, you gain Improved Critical with that weapon. At 12th level, you gain Greater Weapon Focus with that weapon. You do not need to meet the prerequisites to receive these feats.
That's three feats for the price of one! (Remember you can use the Extra Revelation feat to grab revelations.) Not to mention you have access to some of the best buffing spells in the game to make up for your BAB difference. And with a high charisma and 4 skill ranks/level (and Diplomacy and Sense Motive as class skills), you're plenty capable as a party face. Let the wizard handle knowledges, the musket master Dex skills, and the druid survival/nature stuff.
There's an Arcane Discovery called Feral Speech that lets you talk to animals, but unless you're getting utility past controlling summons I probably wouldn't bother with it. Otherwise you're stuck with Handle Animal if you want anything other than "kill that dude."
Faerie Dragons are my top choice for Improved Familiar. Check with your GM, but since they cast spells as a 3rd level sorcerer, they are probably able to wield 1st-level wands without UMD.
Do NOT underestimate Acadamae Graduate. If there was a feat that says "You can summon monsters as a standard action 1-2 times a day," I would take it in a second. At higher levels vs. intelligent opponents, particularly other spellcasters, starting a summon puts a giant target on your forehead. Putting up a Wall of Force so I could get off a summon was not uncommon, which meant that the summon didn't actually hit the field until the 3rd round of combat. In comparison, being able to summon as a standard action is just plain ridiculous. (Note that this is one of the chief reasons why Animal Shaman druids and Master Summoner summoners are widely considered the best summoners in the game.)
Wands you need to UMD, cost money, and aren't always available. Plus, Unsanctioned Knowledge opens up a lot of interesting paths - I made a Paladin of Shelyn whose holy symbol was "Shelyn's Paintbrush" - a wand of Silent Image he liked to use to great effect. Since I had UK, I didn't need to use up precious skill ranks on UMD, and I could be sure it would work every time. I also got some primo other spells, including Haste.
Oh, and going Inquisitor is probably a good idea if OP really wants knowledges. It's a little less Sir Lancelot and a little more Van Helsing, but you can roleplay it however you'd like.
I'm a huge fan of Fast Study, but you can't go wrong with a metamagic feat, too. Craft Wondrous Items is very nice if you have a lot of downtime, and while you won't get much benefit out of Craft Arms & Armor, your party will love you. MAKE SURE you pick up Superior Summoning at 7th or 9th - summoning multiple lantern archons, dire tigers, or t-rexes is awesome.
As for DR: check with your GM, but it seems perfectly reasonable to me to summon a humanoid Earth Elemental (or at 7th a Hound Archon), toss it a cold iron/silver/magic simple weapon, and let it go to town with Power Attack. He's got 20 Str with augment summoning. Alternately, the Lantern Archon's pair of pew-pew no-DR touch-attack d6 lasers are quite good to have too, especially once you start summoning multiples and the duration is long enough for them to stick around til end of combat.
Also: don't be afraid to toss out a Scorching Ray or two if you think it will end the battle one round quicker. Alternately, Bull's Strength your allies; I'm sure they'll appreciate it.
Let me ask you something: are you absolutely certain that you want to dip Rogue? It is possible to play a wizard that's rogueish/rugged without actually dipping levels in rogue. I only ask because if you're worried about survival, you're much, much better off with another 2 levels of spellcasting than you are with 2 levels of rogue, and much rogue-type stuff can be accomplished with spells. You can do trapfinding pretty well by maxing Perception and Disable Device and grabbing a trait to make one a class skill, and just Dispel Magic the magic traps. Evasion is nice, but if you have Resistance To/Protection From Energy, you don't really need it in most cases.
That being said... you might consider a Transmutation wizard. Being able to, say, use Beast Shape to infiltrate a hideout is somewhat alluring. Also, as a mix of a 1/2 BAB and 3/4 BAB class, you're going to want bonuses to hit if you want to actually hit anything. If you were to go full wizard, I would say Evocation, probably Admixture - being able to hit elemental weaknesses and avoid immunities is essential for anyone interested in blasting.
Silent and possibly Still Metamagic will help you cast sneakily. If you use metamagic, though, you'll want to stay away from the +2 and +3 increases, due to your diminished spellcasting. Improved Initiative is essential, since getting sneak attacks at range is so hard - you'll definitely want the "you haven't acted yet therefore sneak" damage. Toughness is great for squishy d6 hit die characters. Fast Study is fantastic for increasing your flexibility - if you're not in the middle of combat, chances are you have a minute to prepare a specific spell for the situation.
Anyway, good luck with the character!
I think the Invulnerable Rager is perfect. In fact, here's what I would do: grab a reach weapon and Combat Reflexes. The sword & board fighter will probably take Shield Slam, so you should convince him to take Greater Bull Rush. Then whenever he slams someone, you get a free attack of opportunity!
In fact... if you convince the Sorcerer to buff you with Enlarge Person (maybe buy him a wand of it), and then grab the Toppling Spell metamagic, things could get almost comedically awesome. Just wear some armor spikes or something and you can get free attacks on anyone within 20 feet of you that stands up. (Any poor guy that gets knocked down in front of the Rogue or Fighter will probably take two attacks of opportunity at +4 each. Ouch.)
The fighter goes a long way to help out your front line, but he can really only affect the enemies right next to him. I think having a Barbarian that can take center stage and make a giant Ring of Pain for any mooks that try to approach the casters would help a lot more than having another ranged DPR character. Plus, with your sky-high Strength mod and 2-handed power attacking, you can expect to easily put out 1.5x the damage of the fighter, and be much better at making non-full round attacks.
PS: Later, you can grab Come and Get Me, which incidentally goes great with Invulnerable Rager.
I think Barbarian is the way to go. Your party definitely needs a front-liner - I would advise against an archer or gunslinger. Paladins are great when they smite, but there's nothing like good, old-fashioned Barbarian to just wade through a sea of mooks and then smack the BBEG upside the head.
Oh, and Life Oracle x 1000. Bards are nice, but you need a divine caster, and Life Oracle is by far the best medic in the game.
See, and that's where Superior Summoning is really good. There's nothing like a herd of Lantern Archons pinging them and curing you guys to annoy the bejeezus out of an opponent. Hell, summon enough and you can get them to Voltron it up. If your DM ever loosens up on source material, you may want to look at the Sacred Summons feat.
BTW, make sure you grab a weapon cord, so you can drop your sword to cast and pick it up as a swift action.
Ah, that does limit your options. In that case, I would just go with a nice generalist array:
Take medium armor, pick up a shield & scimitar. At low levels you'll have enough AC and HP to be a front-liner - you can whack low-AC mooks and Aid Another/flank with your pals on tougher things. You'll also have enough strength to make touch attacks pretty well without the need for Weapon Finesse. As a human with 12 int, you'll be able to keep 3 or 4 skills maxed and afford ranks in a few others; your Cha and skills make you a passable diplomat if you so choose. I wouldn't bother with Power Attack - leave the damage-dealing to the muscleheads, and focus on hitting enemies and supporting allies.
As you level up, you can step towards the back and focus on casting and summoning. By high levels, your high-powered, multiple-creature summons will fill up the battlefield, and your Persistent debuffs will take out tough enemies. You will be the backbone of the party - whether they need more muscle, protection/restoration from nasty enemy abilities, a utility spell to achieve a key objective, or the elimination of a key target via magic, you'll be able to help. That's the beauty of the Cleric - they are one of the best generalists in the game, and a godsend (literally) for a small party.
If you want an RP solution, it would be nice to have more information about your character, party, and campaign. Other than that... I would try shaking it up and using blasts other than Fireball. Pick up, say, Dragon Breath, and have fun blasting people with that. Try to figure out new ways to use your spells other than simply blast, blast, blast.
Honestly, though, if you've been dominating encounters, particularly boss monsters, your GM should have taken steps to counter you. There are plenty of ways to grant resistance/immunity to fire and/or acid, or get you to waste your blasts on illusions... Heck, since you don't have heighten spell, your Fireball is useless against anyone with a Globe of Lesser Invulnerability. He could also dispel your protections and grapple you, or nail you with a Feeblemind or Dominate Person. And you know what happens when the blaster gets Dominated...
Ah, it sounds to me like you should play a wizard. An Illusionist Gnome Wizard has access to just about every illusion-related power in the book, and will be able to cast more advanced illusions earlier and more often than the bard. Just grab Color Spray at level 1, and keep a varied spellbook as you level - in PFS, it's great to be able to prepare a set of spells specific to the challenges in the module. Picking spells known is harder when there's no consistent pattern to the enemies you face.
And it's really hard to have too many wizards on your team - if there aren't enough front-line fighters, half of them can just start summoning monsters to make up for it.