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Wizard

Reynard_the_fox's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 799 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 3 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Taldor

If you're getting bonuses to damage on your spells and/or exploiting elemental vulnerabilities, it can be quite good. Targeting touch AC means you're much more likely to hit, after all. However, the 5d6 cap gets worse and worse as you get to higher levels, and with two claws, a bite, and the strength bonus from Dragon Disciple, you're MUCH better off trying to full attack things to pieces when possible. In which case, you'd have been better off buffing yourself with Enlarge Person, Bull's Strength, Haste, etc.

It can be a good tool for approaching and against foes with high DR, but most Dragon Disciples are better off focusing on enhancing themselves and ripping enemies to shreds dragon-style. If you really want a Shocking Grasp-centered build, Magus is by far the best class for you.

Taldor

Sounds like you've got a good idea of what's going on. I'm a big fan of Scribe Scroll for Druids assuming you can pick up a Polymorphic Pouch and your GM allows it - having access to the huge utility-heavy Druid spell list at all times is fantastic.

Combat priority - I think you've got the right idea. First go with the stuff that needs to have all the enemies and/or allies in one spot, then summon spells (which are more useful the earlier in combat they're cast), and then play it by ear.

With a 6-man party, you don't really need all that much help for the front lines (particularly with summons - beware clogging up the field and taking really long turns), so I would spend some time looking at the domains and picking a good one. I believe there are archetypes that let you swap out spontaneous SNA for spontaneous domain spells, which could be quite handy - usually only the highest or second-highest available summon is good in combat anyway, which you could simply prepare yourself.

Produce Flame and Call Lightning are great spells to give you some staying power when it comes to blasts. Some other great Druid spells:

  • Faerie Fire - find invisible foes with scent or another ability, then light them up for the party
  • Eagle Eye - great scouting spell for outdoors areas. Less necessary when you can turn into a bird.
  • Stone Call - 2d6 damage no save, and make a huge area difficult terrain. Awesome spell.
  • Dominate Animal - animals usually have low will saves and great physical stats, and this makes one your ally for the rest of the fight.
  • Mass Feather Step - combine with Stone Call to give your party a huge advantage in a ground-bound fight.
  • Spit Venom - touch attack to blind for 1 round with no save, and poisons them too.
  • Strong Jaw - summon a nasty single-hit creature, then throw this on it. Stegosaurus dealing 8d6 per hit, anyone?
  • Fickle Winds - lol projectiles
  • Wall of Thorns - RAW, this thing is crazy busted. No save to stick someone in it, and they have to make Strength checks of 25 or more to get out while taking damage.
  • Antilife Shell - keep out most types of creatures, no save. Poof, you are immune to anything without projectile attacks or Dispel Magic.

IMO, the thing that really sets apart Druids from the super spell lists of Wizards/Sorcerers and the domains and channeling of Clerics is the versatility provided by wildshape. A wizard has to spend multiple spells and turns to give himself flight, advanced senses, etc.; you can turn into whatever you want on a whim and stay that way for hours. Make sure you are very familiar with what forms will give you certain abilities - if you can always turn into the right creature for the situation, you will find yourself getting a TON of mileage out of wildshape.

Taldor

Definitely grab Reach, Trip and Ability Increase (Strength) - being able to drop people on their ass before they even get close is pretty sweet. I would also put some of those evolution points into other stuff - Improved Natural Armor, Extra Limbs (legs), Burrow, and Web are all pretty cool. Alternately, make a Trample build, so you can trample them and then bite them when they try to get up!

Just imagine: a Huge Eidolon, Enlarged to Gargantuan, trampling all of the enemies in its path... Just makes me want to laugh like a megalomaniac.

Taldor

Azelyan wrote:
This is something along the lines I was looking for! What would you think if I switched that bloodline out for Karmic. He has good luck by giving people bad luck.

Sure, no problem - I actually had him with the Arcane bloodline originally.

You know what's really awesome about the build? There are practically zero enemies in the game that are resistant to being slowed or getting bad luck. Heck, it's usually the ones that are impervious to mind-effecting stuff that have the worst Will saves!

Taldor

Well, a Halfling Witch with Versatile Jinxer and Malicious Eye can drop someone's saves by ridiculous amounts, but let me introduce you to a little guy I call...

The Lucky Time Lord:
Starsoul Sorcerer
Halfling with Jinx and Fleet of Foot racial traits

Stats (20 point buy)
Str 7
Dex 16
Con 12
Int 12
Wis 12
Cha 18

Feats:
1 Great Fortitude
3 Bolster Jinx
5 Focused Spell
7Bl Iron Will
7 Persistent Spell
9 Jinxed Spell
11 Spell Focus (Transmutation
13 Greater Spell Focus (Transmutation)
13Bl Quicken Spell
15 Spell Perfection

Traits:
Magical Lineage (Slow)

He's an experienced traveler from foreign lands, a sorcerer who seems to have a connection with deep reaches of space and time. He empowers his allies to let them move faster and strike quickly, and curses his foes to slow to a crawl and suffer terrible bad luck.

By the time you have access to 6th level spells, you can hit foes with Persistent Focused Jinxed Slow, forcing a whole group of enemies to make 2 saves (one makes them at -2) to avoid getting Slowed (staggered, other minuses) and Jinxed (-1 to Reflex saves, -3 to Will and Fortitude). You can then feel free to follow up with a Baleful Polymorph or your favorite save-or-suck - Persistent Glitterdust (which you get as a bloodline spell) is a favorite of mine. By Level 15 you can toss around Quickened Persistent Area Jinx Slows (with +4s on the DC) and use your Starsoul Breaching The Gulf power to toss someone into the void before they know what hit 'em.

Taldor

It's too bad you don't play with any non-core material, because Threnodic Spell (from Ultimate Magic) is beyond perfect for this build.

Anyway, the first thing that stands out to me is 10 Dex, Con, and Wis. Allow me to stick a big red warning light up, because those are the stats that determine how hard you are to kill - your saves, HP, and AC. I'm sad to say it, but this guy will die to the first blasting sorcerer or teleporting baddie you meet, particularly since you're such a high-value target. Also, good lucking hitting with Enervation relying solely on BAB.

Second: you don't have any metamagic feats at all, which really hurts your flexibility. Sadly, the core doesn't have many that make it harder for enemies to save, like Persistent, Bouncing, or Focused, but picking up Silent and/or Still Spell could be very good for someone who fancies himself subtle. Casting Charm Person as a 3rd-level spell while standing stock still is a pretty good trick, and if you're caught in a Silence spell or a grapple, Silent and Still spell, respectively, will help you out a lot. In my experience spell resistance won't start coming up often until around level 13+ so the Spell Penetration feats can wait a while.

Third: Like most enchanters, you're pretty lacking in spells that can affect undead, which are common in many campaigns. NONE of the mind-affecting spells can get them (including Hold Monster), Enervation just heals them, and I'm not certain whether they can be affected by fatigue. Haste and Heroism are great buffs, but you'd be well advised to pick up a few spells that are good against all foes. Telekinesis is quite nice - it allows you to stretch out a 5th level spell over several turns, and I think fits the "classic mage" archetype nicely. You'd be well advised to put a LOT more spells in your spellbook, though, particularly if you're shelling out for a Blessed Book - my high-level wizard had 10-20 spells of each level in his spellbook and made liberal use of Scribe Scroll and Arcane Bond.

Taldor

^+1 on everything Under a Bleeding Sun just said. If you don't mind the extra bookkeeping and 1 round summoning time, Summon Monster is also an excellent choice.

As for defenses, Mirror Image is my favorite low-level defensive buff. Shield and Mage Armor are great for getting your AC to respectable levels early on, but past the first few levels you're much better off with miss %; without armor/shield to enchant it's nigh impossible to keep up with enemies' to-hit bonuses.

As for early spells, since you get a Diviniation-only slot for each level, I would go with True Strike and have some handy alchemical items to toss around like Tanglefoot Bags. Keep in mind you can use True Strike with a Bull Rush to knock people back 15-20 feet! (though you might eat an attack of opportunity in the process)

Taldor

A battle cleric would probably be a great idea here. There's a guide in the stickied threads to the Reach Cleric - it goes something like this:

Step 1: Be a Cleric with a domain like Plants (Growth) that grants Enlarge Person.

Step 2: Take Combat Reflexes (and have at least 12-14 Dex).

Step 3: Grab a longspear or other reach weapon.

Step 4: Stand in front of the party. On your turn, cast spells. Smack anyone that comes closer with an AoO.

You guys are going to want some divine magic in the party, less you be screwed when the need for a Lesser Restoration or even just some plane-jane healing comes up. IMO, as the only divine caster in the party, Cleric beats out Oracle because you're never more than a day away from the particular spell you need.

Alternately, playing a Paladin would really let you take on a whole army by yourself - you'd have the armor, HP, and saves to just keep trucking, and at least some access to divine magic.

Either way, I would see if you can get the Sorcerer to keep up with the latest Summon Monster spell - having a few more bodies to bolster your front line and help the Rogue get flanking will undoubtedly come in useful. You may want to see if your GM will let you take the Mount feature of Divine Bond and use it more as an animal companion than a mount.

Taldor

Ah, I would stay away from the multiclass if I were you. Smite Evil and Lay on Hands, two of your most important Paladin class features, scale by level, as do Judgment, Bane duration, and spell progression for both classes. Your party is big enough that you're much better off excelling in one role than trying to cover multiple ones.

That being said, if you do want to multiclass, I would recommend a one- or two-level dip.

Inquisitor dipping Paladin gets

  • Smite 1/day (+Cha to attack, +1 or 2 to damage)
  • Divine Grace for +Cha to saves
  • weapon & armor proficiencies
  • Lay on Hands 1d6 (kinda useless at higher levels)
  • (if Divine Hunter) Precise Shot

at the cost of

  • Judgment progression
  • -1 to Survival, Intimidate, and Sense Motive
  • 4-8 fewer skill ranks
  • 2 levels slower access to Bane, Second Judgment, and other class features
  • Must put points into Charisma
  • 2 levels slower spell & domain progression

Paladin dipping Inquisitor gets

  • better skill coverage
  • Judgment 1/day
  • Monster Lore
  • a domain (no spells)
  • detect non-evil alignments
  • +1 to intimidate, sense motive, and survival

at the cost of

  • 1 BAB
  • 2 damage on Smite
  • 1d6 less Lay on Hands
  • Must put more points in Wisdom
  • 2 levels spell progression
  • 2 levels slower access to Mercies and other class features

IMO it's not worth it, but if you really want your Paladin to be a slightly better tracker, or your Inquisitor to be a little more Sir Lancelot and a little less Van Helsing, you're free to make it so.

Taldor

powell01 wrote:
Would defenitely look at divine hunter archetype of paladin. Basically an archer paladin. With those stats and putting the twenty into charisma will be insane. Many shot is the feat you want as when smiting everythign dies. Looks like the party may be lacking pinpoint ranged damage and a divine hunter of Erastil is a solid roleplaying choice in that AP.

I concur. Assuming neither the Rogue nor Fighter are ranged, all you have is magic for dealing with long distance foes. Read: if the cleric and wizard run out of Scorching Rays and whatnot, you have very few options left!

I would definitely go as an Inquisitor or Paladin. The rest of your party seems to have the front line covered; standing back and pecking at enemies with Rapid Shot/Manyshot arrows, each of which gets Smite Evil or Bane/Judgment, is a pretty sweet gig. The Divine Hunter archetype for Paladin gets you Precise Shot for free, which is good because archery sucks up feats like a vacuum.

FYI, an archer build would probably look like this:

Stats (18, 16, 16, 15, 14, 12 - a 51 point buy, you lucky bastard)
Str 16
Dex 18
Con 15
Int 14
Wis 16 (12 for Paladin) + 2
Cha 12 (16 for Paladin) + 2

Feats
Point Blank Shot
Precise Shot
Rapid Shot
Deadly Aim
Manyshot
Clustered Shot (may be unnecessary for Paladins since Smite overcomes DR)

Taldor

Damn those are some good stats! I'm assuming you're going in at level 1, right? It would still be helpful to know the makeup of the party.

Aasimar works a little better with Paladin or Inquisitor than Magus, but with those stats you'll be effective in any case.

It ultimately comes down to what you want to do. Righteous, unkillable tank? Go Paladin. Skill monkey, party radar, and capable combatant? Go Inquisitor. Arcane-powered burst damage master? Go Magus.

In my opinion, Magus and Inquisitor both have a lot more options than Paladin due to more skill points and more feat/arcana options. (The alignment restriction also really paints you into a corner as Paladin.) Magus will take the most bookkeeping/system mastery, since you need to keep a spellbook/prepare spells each day, track Arcane Pool points and what bonuses you have up, and be intimately familiar with the rules for touch spells and Spell Combat/Spellstrike. Inquisitors, as spontaneous casters, are a bit easier to keep track of, and the bonuses from Judgment and Bane are pretty straightforward compared to the Magus' abilities; their class skill list is also much more suitable for being a party scout/tracker.

Does that help answer your question?

Taldor

Hey all, put your thinking caps on. I was looking at sorcerer bloodlines and found this neat ability from the Shaitan Bloodline:

d20pfsrd wrote:
Avalanche (Su): At 9th level, whenever you hit a single target with a spell that deals damage, you may make a bull rush check as a swift action. Your CMB for this maneuver is equal to your sorcerer caster level + your Charisma bonus. You can make this maneuver even if the target is not in melee range, and you do not provoke an attack of opportunity for making this maneuver. If the target is in contact with earth, stone, or rock, you gain a +4 bonus on your CMB check.

So what spells, feats, and abilities can you guys think of to make best use of this ability? It strikes me that if you cast True Strike and then next turn use a spell that doesn't require an attack roll (e.g. Fireball only targeting the one creature) you could get a +20 on your Bull Rush, which seems neat. I'd also definitely be taking Battering Blast for a Shaitan sorcerer.

Bonus points if you can think of hazards that can affect huge and/or flying creatures!

Taldor

Keep in mind that unless your whole party is rather proficient in stealth, you have a capable scout, and your GM is kind to you, the number of encounters where you are able to ambush the enemy instead of vice versa will probably not be huge. Keep in mind also that you will almost always be fighting with your party - pinning down an enemy while the Fighter or Barbarian wallops them is a perfectly legitimate strategy.

That being said... Fighter/Ninja or pure Ranger could be good. Shadowdancer could also be a very nice prestige class for what you want to do - Hide in Plain Sight is awesome, and being able to create illusions, summon shadows, and dimension door is pretty sweet too. (I wouldn't go more than 4 levels into it though, at most.)

Honestly, though, the strongest choice is probably an Inquisitor. You get spells like Darkness and Litany of Entanglement, plenty of skill ranks and class skills, Detect Alignment abilities and bonuses to survival to track down your foes, and boosts on initiative and knowledge rolls to make sure you have the upper hand. Plus Bane and Judgment to really lay down the hurt when you close in for the kill!

Hmm... you know, Grippli get a bonus to Dex and Wis, proficiency with nets, and can create poison from their skin. A grippli archer inquisitor could be deadly AND hilarious, which is the best thing you can hope for in Pathfinder. Killer frogs, anyone?

Taldor

Looks perfectly reasonable for a 1st-level character. I'd get some better armor as soon as is feasible, and you'd probably be better off taking the Con down to 14 so you can pump your Int and/or Wis a bit (failing Will saves sucks), but overall it looks good.

You also might want to check out the Unarmed Fighter archetype and see if that tickles your fancy. Getting Dragon Style at first level and charging over difficult terrain and through allies is pretty frickin' awesome.

Taldor

I would definitely go Dervish Dance over TWF, particularly if you're going with Scout. Trust me when I say that stacking -2s on a character with 3/4 BAB and no class-based boost to attack is NOT a good idea, nor is having a character in light armor and d8 hit die hang out and trade full attacks with monsters. Even if you can't go Dervish, I would still just use a light weapon and Piranha Strike. See if your GM will let you use a cutlass - it has the exact same stats as a scimitar.

Honestly, I prefer Rogue as a splash rather than the full class, but YMMV. If you're OK with being much more useful outside the battlefield than in it, go right ahead and play a Rogue - they do make fine swashbucklers.

PS: Fox Shape is AWESOME! Take that as soon as you can.

Taldor

Looked at the Shae entry on d20pfsrd and found this:

d20pfsrd wrote:
In their own language, their name means "unbound" or "unfettered."

Irony!

Seriously, though, both Dismissal and Banishment require you to fail a Will save, so taking the Iron Will and Greater Iron Will feats is one way to bolster yourself if it really becomes a problem. Other than that, I would try to get a new set of Shackles, and also have a Scroll of Dimensional Anchor handy for a caster to use on you if the issue comes up.

Ultimately, though, if the DM wants to banish you, the DM gonna banish you.

Taldor

Well, if your goal going into this is to be an arcane support class, you may want to consider Bard- they get a lot of good buffs, and it's hard to compete with Inspire Courage. Heck, your 15th level ability is to be able to give Bard performances.

That being said, here's a few tips:

  • CAST HASTE. Every combat. Forever. Your party will thank you.
  • Support spells don't depend on charisma, so if you're sure you're not too interested in offensive spells, you can redistribute your stats however you like.
  • Take Improved Initiative so you can cast Haste before your teammates go and split up everywhere. Talk with your team to get them to wait until you cast Haste on them to split up.
  • You might want to read up on battlefield control - see if Treantmonk's guide for wizards is still in the sticky thread. Using spells like Wall of Force to separate enemies is a great way to support your team. Summoning spells are good too, but usually only the highest-level available is any good in combat.
  • Besides buffing your allies, make sure they can hit the enemy. Invisible foe? Find him and use Glitterdust. Enemy just cast Fickle Winds and your archer can't hit? Dispel Magic that jerk. Enemy is flying? Cast fly on your fighter so he can get up there and beat face. Etc., etc.

Anyway, good luck! 10th level is a great place to start a sorcerer. Just make sure you're picky with spell selection!

Taldor

I think it becomes an issue of "if you're not attacking, what are you doing?" There are certainly a few spells that could help in the debuff department, but you don't have nearly enough to cast every round. And the other stuff you mentioned - teamwork feats, skill points, monster knowledges - are good out of combat or used to help in melee, but don't take actions themselves. Meanwhile, your Bane ability is a powerful offensive asset that only works with weapon attacks.

An Inquisitor can do a LOT of things out of combat, but in combat I don't think there are many viable alternatives to picking up a weapon. Combat Maneuvers rely on BAB and spell DCs rely on spell level, and you're a bit lacking in both departments. You don't have to build an Inquisitor primarily for combat, but combat is a BIG part of Pathfinder, and if your character isn't at least competent, you're going to have a bad time.

Hmm... Maybe you could ask your GM to let you take the Helpful trait, giving +4 on your Aid Anothers... but without the Gloves of Arcane Striking, that won't scale with your level.

Taldor

Sadly, the game mechanics simply don't support what you're trying to do - you won't be able to hit much in combat, ever. Perhaps you could work with your GM to reskin a different mechanic - maybe some kind of illusion or Spiritual Weapon-type magic?

EDIT: Also, those stats look roughly similar to mine when I first tried playing a rogue... and ended up in a dude so fragile I had to retreat halfway through every battle. MINIMUM constitution for anyone close to the front lines is 12, and for someone that intends to trade full attacks, I would try for 14. Also, failing will saves sucks big time, so you'll want a bit more in Wisdom, too. You don't need that much Charisma - spread it around your other stats.

Taldor

Thanks for looking! I don't think potency levels are quite what I'm looking for, since the Drunken Master Monk/Drunken Brute Barbarian both simply say you get bonuses for each drink consumed, and don't mention potency. Throwing in blindness seems like a good idea, though! Heh, eventually they could be sickened, nauseated, blinded, confused... I wonder if casting spells with a hangover requires a concentration check? :3

Taldor

Claxon wrote:

Just as an example, if teleportation makes campaigns like Skull and Shackles less interesting. Why? Because who needs a boat when you can magically arrive whereever you want, and can scry to find whatever you want. Who needs a pirate ship? Teleport into the hold at night, take their loot and teleport out.

Sometimes players have to just go along with the story line to make it work. If they don't, they can easily derail a pre-written campaign. Heck, in the Skull and Shackles campaign I'm in ** spoiler omitted **

You need cooperative players to go along with a story sometimes, even if it is out of character.

See, this is what I'm talking about. But rather than just asking the characters nicely not to use Teleport, even if they're playing megalomaniac wizards, I would rather just say that for some campaign-relevant reason teleporting doesn't work. I wouldn't want to force my PCs to feel like idiots because they chose to make a journey across the sea in their badass pirate ship instead of simply teleporting; the whole thing is supposed to be about badass ocean journeys!

On the other hand, I could also certainly see the logic in saying that the PCs can only teleport to places they've already been. Like I said, though, spells should support the campaign, not the other way around.

Taldor

Okay, so if there's nothing in the Rules As Written, what would you guys houserule? I'm thinking that for every drink you take after the limit, you have to make a Fort save DC 10 + TOTAL # drinks that day - 1 for each hour since the first or be sickened for 1 hour. And each time they fail the save, stack another hour on top. Perhaps growing to nauseated or applying other penalties if the # of sickened hours exceeds their Con mod.

Taldor

PSusac wrote:
Stop nerfing the players, and step up your game!

I disagree with this. Banning certain types of magic, such as long-range teleportation or resurrection, makes a different game, but not necessarily a worse one. I think that if the story and overall experience is better served by a blanket ban (hopefully supported by the story) rather than the GM trying to bend over backwards and reconfigure entire encounters and storylines to fit those spells, he'd be perfectly within his rights to ban them. The casters will still have plenty of other gamechanging high-level magics to play with. It's one thing if the story is written to support teleportation at higher levels, but saying that ALL high-level games MUST allow teleportation is going too far.

That's the beautiful part about pen and paper RPGs - the listed rules and abilities are guidelines, not ultimatums. The GM can change things as he or she sees fit to improve the game. Saying that any GM who doesn't want to play a particular type of game is inferior really rubs me the wrong way.

Of course, there will always just be lazy GMs out there who just arbitrarily ban things because it annoys them, but you shouldn't clump all of those who choose to not play with certain elements in that crowd.

Taldor

Oh yeah, having a bunch of minions with readied attacks is a great idea! "THAT GUY IS CASTING SOMETHING, SHOOT HIM NOW!" Just make sure you have counters ready for invisibility and whatnot.

Taldor

FYI, I think having one guy with Bodyguard/In Harm's Way is fine (particularly if he also specializes in Bull Rush), but your best bet of protecting people is to stop the PCs from reaching them in the first place. Remember, Bodyguard is only +2 AC, and both it and In Harm's Way are immediate actions (so 1/round max). If they manage to surround the guard and his charge, your BBEG is going down fast. Difficult terrain, tripping, reach, and straight-up bodies in the way are probably the way to go.

Taldor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think this guy would do better as an assistant to the BBEG than as the BBEG himself. The issue is action economy - sure, the boss can use up all his actions to shut down 1 or even 2 of the party's casters, but then the rest of the party will just kill off his minions and then kill him. You're better off making Mr. Dispel the second-in-command, and let him lock down the casters (even if not quite as effectively as the BBEG would - but that's fine, you don't want them to totally suck). This forces the melee types to choose between killing the boss without magic support, or targeting the anticaster and thus maybe letting the BBEG run up to and murder the casters.

Note that the above is also a common thematic scenario: kings almost always have wizards around to protect them from magic/scry on their enemies, and sorcerous cultists have a habit of summoning demons more powerful than themselves. Variants on those two scenarios are limitless.

Also, be very careful with this type of thing - if you've ever played Magic, you should know why blue counterspell decks are reviled by most casual players. Wizards did a study - apparently, it's more fun to play a creature and have it blown up than have the casting countered in the first place, even if the end outcome is the same.

Taldor

As a low-level Druid, having a scroll with a bunch of castings of Stone Call on it was invaluable. +1 on having some Remove Poison, Lesser Restoration, etc. scrolls handy. A Minor Image or Obscuring Mist in your back pocket is also quite nice.

Remember, if you're a prepared caster and you leave some spell slots open, you really only need scrolls of things that you need in less than 15 minutes (or 1 minute with the Fast Study feat).

Taldor

Interesting discussion going on here. Two further points we might consider:

1. What happens if Alice happens to end her movement in Bob's square?

2. What if Alice is huge and Bob is smack dab in the middle of her path?

Taldor

I would suggest one with Bodyguard/In Harm's Way and another with either tripping or the Stand Still/Steady Engagement feats. Reach weapons are probably a good idea, too - in fact, if they use a reach weapon and quaff a potion of Enlarge Person when combat starts, your allies will have a helluva time reaching the targets.

You may also consider having a Cleric or other friendly spellcaster to cast defensive buffs and do some battlefield control. Combine the enlarged dudes with, say, Stone Call, and laugh as they try to make it towards you while repeatedly being tripped and thwacked when they get up and move closer.

Taldor

Gurby, do you realize that your statement could be applied to literally anything in the game? I certainly intend to discuss this with my GM, but I came to the rules question forum to see what position the official rules take on the matter.

Taldor

Hey all, I was brewing up a Drunken Master build (har har) and noticed a quite relevant trait: Iron Liver.

Iron Liver wrote:

Iron Liver

Due to a lucky constitution or frequent exposure, your body is resistant to poison, including alcohol and drugs.

Benefit: You gain a +2 trait bonus on Fortitude saves against poison and drugs, and a +4 trait bonus on Fortitude saves to avoid the effects of alcohol.
Source Adventurer's Armory 30

But try as I might, I can't find a listed Fort save for drinking - just this from the Game Mastery Guide:

Alcohol wrote:

Alcohol

Just like drugs, alcohol can be abused and have significant negative effects. In general, a character can consume a number of alcoholic beverages equal to 1 plus double his Constitution modifier before being sickened for 1 hour equal to the number of drinks above this maximum. Particularly exotic or strong forms of alcohol might be treated as normal drugs. Those who regularly abuse alcohol might eventually develop a moderate addiction.

So when would someone make a fort save vs. alcohol, and what would the DC be?

Thanks!

Taldor

Definitely get a wizard's kit and a crossbow and scribe a few copies of your favorite spells. At 750 GP, a wand would take up a lot of your current GP, but might be a good solution if you have long adventuring days. Alternately, saving up for a Cloak of Resistance +1 wouldn't be a bad idea. If you have any GP left, grabbing a few vials of Acid/Holy Water/Alchemist's Fire or some Tanglefoot Bags might be a good idea.

Oh, though if you're small or in an outdoor campaign, buying a mount and throwing skill ranks into Ride and Handle Animal makes you much more mobile (and therefore less vulnerable). At higher levels store-bought mounts die to a strong breeze, but at low levels they're pretty sturdy.

Taldor

Looks pretty solid. Like all summoning builds, its effectiveness will depend on how strong your team is in comparison to the stock Summon Monster list. Heroism is, of course, an awesome domain for someone who likes to put out lots of minions, and your teammates will love you for it, too.

Remember that Evangelist gets to spontaneously cast some pretty sweet enchantment spells, so you may want to look at good ways to abuse that. You already have an excellent Wis, so it shouldn't be too hard.

I would also consider putting a few more points into Charisma, perhaps from Strength. It gives a little bump to your channeling, which is nice, as your teammates will expect you to heal them regardless of whether you're good at it or not (trust me on this one). You're also pretty well set up to be the party face, which it would help with - talk with your GM about using Perform (Oratory) instead of Diplomacy in certain circumstances.

Not too many changes for the rest of the build. I'd probably switch Quicken Spell and Persistent Spell, since you'll really need all of your high-level slots for summons and Plane Shifts. (Another weakness of summoning builds: only your highest and second highest level spells are generally worth summoning for combat.)

Good luck!

Taldor

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.

Taldor

Honestly, it sounds like you guys should not be playing a combat-based RPG. As for what to do, though... I would go ahead and optimize as you see fit. Someone has to kill the bad guys to keep the plot moving, and your teammates are clearly not cut out for the job.

Taldor

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.

Taldor

Yeah, for pure Barbarians, getting Charge Through would require:
-Dodge
-Mobility
-Spring Attack
-Charge Past
-Power Attack
-Improved Overrun
-Charge Through

Minimum level 11 for human, 13 for nonhuman. So it's got to compare to 3 attacks on a full attack already (for nonfighters).

Taldor

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it's a really, really bad idea to multiclass a summoner. I would pick either summoner or bard and stick with it. Since you already have two melee guys and all 3 of your teammates only have 2 + int skill ranks/level, I would go bard.

Taldor

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:
1. What is your goal?
2. What actions by an NPC or enemy would support your goal?
3. What does the NPC/enemy need to believe in order to take that action?
4. What's a believable illusion to make them believe that?

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.

Taldor

GROOOOOOT!

*ahem*

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.

Taldor

If you take the Spring Attack line, you're not far off from Whirlwhind Attack. Takes some reach-enhancing shenanigans to get full mileage out of it, though.

Are you more interested in opening up choices in combat, or out of combat?

Taldor

I would go Ranger. They make great archers, get skills and magic, and most importantly have an animal companion. Luring Cavalier has some nice stuff, but the lack of bonus feats and other nice class abilities make him inferior to Ranger at archery.

Taldor

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.

Taldor

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.

Taldor

If I were you, I would go Bard -> Dragon Disciple. You've got plenty of skill points, a goodly number of utility spells (and UMD for ones not on your list), buffs for the whole party, and if you go DD you'll be pretty darned formidable in melee.

Taldor

HELPFUL HALFLING!

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.

Taldor

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.)

Taldor

By RAW, without the ability to overrun multiple opponents, you simply can't go for an overrun on the first guy. But usually this type of thing is just GM discretion.

Also for future reference this type of thing usually goes in Rules Questions, not Advice.

Taldor

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

Taldor

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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.

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