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Reynard_the_fox's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 974 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 3 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Sovereign Court

Flight is great for battle shamans - being able to fly around without taking a round to buff is excellent. What you really need is Power Attack - it accounts for a large minority of your melee damage. I would definitely take the weapon proficiency at 1 and Power Attack at 3 if I were you.

I would keep Strength at 17 or 18 if at all possible. Combat Reflexes is nice to have, but with Battle Master you don't need it; in most campaigns it's pretty rare to have enemies trigger more than 2 attacks of opportunity per turn.

You may want to consider Heavy Armor Proficiency, too.

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Haha, as long as you're enjoying it, it's fine. Hmm... Beast Eye definitely seems like it should work, as should the hex Hag's Eye. (Although, Arcane Eye says "it sees exactly as you would see if you were there," so maybe not.) Since Remove Blindness doesn't require a CL check or anything, a scroll of it should be perfectly effective. Both of those take a standard action (at least), so hopefully your GM considers that a sufficient nerf that he won't start crippling you another way.

You also might consider prepping more area-of-effect spells like Cloudkill, Confusion, Waves of Fatigue, or Black Tentacles; summon spells like Summon Monster V; or buffs like Heroism or Death Ward. With a bit of support from your party and familiar, all of them should be reasonably effective even while blind.

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Remember, you can be a capable archer without Precise Shot, as long as you're not shooting at things that are in combat. If you always plan to join in combat at the first opportunity, go Outflank; if you plan on sometimes shooting while your teammates melee, go Precise Shot.

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Indeed, with many enemies squished into my boot prints. :p Good luck!

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If you're already going Half-Orc, methinks you'd be best off just utilizing one of their natural proficiencies: Falchion, Greataxe, Flail, Heavy Flail, Whip, or Longsword, depending on your racial trait. The Falchion's 18-20 crit range MORE than makes up for its 2d4 damage dice, since all your bonuses get multiplied on a crit.

Also, when it comes to hexes, Healing is pretty lackluster. Something I've been finding would be very useful for my shaman is Fortune + Chant - when you need to support your party out of combat, giving them two rolls for anything they need to do is a great way to do it.

One trait you might consider is Seeker - it makes Perception a class skill, which is great for using your high Wis.

EDIT: If this is a combat Shaman, you definitely want your biggest bonus to be to Strength. Starting with 18 Strength will do you much, much, much more good than starting with 18 Wis. I would also consider taking Power Attack at 3 - it's a pretty significant boost to damage.

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I would definitely go Inspired Blade, then take Combat Trick: Fencing Grace as your first ninja trick. It will be much more effective and balanced than TWF.

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Brawler/Bloodrager is your best bet, IMO. I had a Barbarian/Alchemist a while back, and I can confirm that Enlarge Person + Mutagen + Rage + Power Attack = very, very dead enemies. It also fits the best with "temporary clouding of the mind," unarmed combat, and monstrous transformations.

The main things you have to beware of with a character like this are low will saves, action economy (never assume more than a round or two of buffing, and sometimes you won't get that), and out-of-combat utility. Luckily, your class features are mostly long-lasting or automatic, and you don't need much past Power Attack to be effective. You can use your other feats to help compensate for your weaknesses; consider Iron Will or Skill Focus to help round out the character.

Other fun feat options include the Dragon Style chain, the Pummeling Style chain, Arcane/Riving Strike, Cornugon Smash, and Aberrant Tumor. Good luck!

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Hi Xuru, congrats on making your first character. I would also put in a recommendation for a strength-based ninja or rogue. To build an effective two-weapon-fighting build, your character needs:

  • A big attack bonus, so you can hit even with penalties from TWF
  • A big source of static damage that is applied to each hit
  • A high AC or large amount of HP so you can stand still and trade hits with foes on the front lines

Unfortunately, ninjas and rogues typically only have the second item there, in the form of sneak attack; even then, you won't always have sneak attack, and some enemies are immune to it. Compare to what you need to be effective as a two-handed weapon user:

  • High strength
  • Power attack

It frees up a lot of feats and ninja talents, too. Your Dex won't be quite as high, but honestly you won't really miss a +1 or +2 on your skills that much compared to being MUCH more effective in combat. (You get a lot more bang for your buck when you use Ki to get an extra attack, and for your first 7 levels you're just as effective whether you get a standard action or a full attack, compared to TWF where you NEED full attacks or your feats are useless.)

Oh yeah, and if you go Ninja, Vanishing Trick is really, really, really good. Smoking/Choke bomb is a lot of fun, too. Remember that you can still find and disable most traps with nothing but Perception and Disable Device.

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The Image line of spells is often used to quite comedic effect. We once had to cover up our murder of an innkeeper quite rapidly, so we shoved the body under the bed, crouched in the corner, and used Silent Image to make a clean new rug, bedsheets, and an illusory wastepaper basket & lamp to cover myself (a gnome) and our rogue (an elf). The sheriff poked his head in... then kept moving. ;D

Oh, and Telekinetic Charge is a fun one, too. Just make sure there isn't a cliff beneath the flying target you're flinging your barbarian at...

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In my experience, TWF doesn't work well with a class without significant bonuses to attack and the armor/hp to stand their ground and trade full attacks.

Magical Tail gives you a lot of utility out of combat, so if I were you I would stick with a class that is very effective in combat (without feats) to have a balanced character. A Swashbuckler is an excellent choice - it leverages your high charisma and dexterity, provides flexible bonus feats, and aids your damage significantly with Precise Strike. (Note that Sneak Attack is a circumstantial ~1.75 dmg per level, whereas Precise Strike is a constant 1 dmg per level that can increase to 2 dmg per level with a swift action & use of panache.) It also lets you hand out debuffs with Menacing Swordplay and Targeted Strike.

Swashbucklers also have much, much better defensive options than ninjas. Opportune Parry and Dodging Panache make you unlikely to suffer the full brunt of a full attack (Dodging is really nice when a tiger pounces on you), and Charmed Life gives you Paladin-level saves on those save-or-die effects.

That said, a splash of 2 levels of Ninja for Vanishing Trick or a combat feat, some bonus skills, and 1d6 sneak attack is fairly reasonable. You really do want an Agile weapon or Fencing Grace asap.

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Hmm... Simply shifting mental ability scores by 1 or 2 and applying a temporary penalty/bonus seems a bit mundane. I'm also confused by the purpose of drinking the water killing & auto-reviving the PC.

It seems to me that you need some different prizes and penalties for this thing. Here are a few ideas.

Potential Pros

  • Peering into the well lets you scry on friends/enemies/important things
  • Peering into the well gives you visions of the future
  • Peering into the well gives you visions of the past
  • Peering into the well shows a reflection of your "true self"
  • Drinking the water grants eternal life (but with a drawback)
  • Drinking the water grants permanent Arcane Sight (but with a drawback)
  • Drinking the water grants a Heal and/or Raise Dead
  • The bucket may come back up with a magic item in it
  • Flipping a coin into the well grants you a Limited Wish

Potential Cons

  • Peering into the well causes madness
  • Peering into the well causes narcissism
  • Peering into the well changes your alignment
  • Drinking the water turns you into a frog and makes you want to live at the bottom of the well
  • Drinking the water kills you and immediately revives you... as an undead
  • Drinking the water transforms you in some other fashion
  • If two people share a drink from the bucket they switch bodies
  • A demon/devil lives in the well and attacks those who visit it
  • The well is an illusion, perhaps hiding a bottomless chasm

So there's a few ideas to get you started. I would also recommend an inscription in Aklo or Abyssal or some other gnarly language. Good luck!

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Note that the Primal Companion Hunter archetype lets you trade out animal focus for an evolution pool (for minutes/day). So from level 5, you can just slap wings on whatever you want. Take a Camel, give its bite Reach (and maybe trip or poison or whatever), and it can strike the foe the same time you do as long as you're not doing a ride-by attack.

Plus, flying camel! PEGASUS, TO ME

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Looks better, but you know Flagbearer requires a free hand, right?

Quote:

Flagbearer

Prerequisites: Cha 15.

Benefit: As long as you hold your clan, house, or party’s flag, members of that allegiance within 30 feet who can see the flag (including yourself ) gain a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and saving throws against fear and charm effects. You must hold the flag in one hand in order to grant this bonus. If the standard is taken by the enemy or destroyed, this bonus becomes a penalty, affecting all creatures that the bonus previously affected for 1 hour (or until you reclaim the lost flag).

Could always splash two levels of Alchemist and take the Extra Arm discovery. :p

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Have you considered using a double weapon, like an Orc Double Axe? It's nice because you can switch very easily between two-handing one side of it and full attacking with both sides. You'd probably have to switch to Half-Orc, though that's not a bad thing for a character like this.

Also, I would recommend against dumping Int for PFS - there are a lot of skill-based challenges. I'd bring Str and Cha down to even values and bring up Int if I were you. Plus, as a Paladin, you really should have at least one social skill - preferably Diplomacy or Intimidate. (Remember that Half-Orcs can take the "Burning Assurance" racial trait to get a Diplomacy bonus instead of Intimidate, if you so choose.)

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If it's for a new player, you probably don't want a highly complex character like a Summoner. I would highly recommend picking a class with decent martial abilities, 4-6 skills per level, magic, and preferably an animal companion, as the character will need to be even-rounded and an AC helps against save-or-incapacitation stuff. I think your best bets are Ranger, Hunter, or Druid; all of them are quite self-sufficient, particularly in a nature-based campaign.

If you feel the player is ready to handle controlling multiple creatures at once, a Shaman Druid would actually be fantastic. If he's one or two levels above the regular foes, he'll be able to summon multiple animals on par with them. No more action economy problems!

You might also consider simply including an NPC with healing magic in the party. Perhaps a cowardly acolyte of some sort? Think of the comedic value!

Oh, and depending on the type of campaign you're running, a Slayer or Ninja with UMD could make for some awesome assassination/espionage missions!

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If you're going mounted, I'd go Hunter. One of the main sources of Druid's strength is wildshaping into large and huge creatures for big strength bonuses and alternate movement speeds; if you're going mounted, there's no great way to use wildshape in combat. (Though, depending on the GM, you might be able to take Undersized Mount, transform into an Ape, and use a club of some sort...)

Hunters have a more powerful animal companion, get proficiency with the lance for free, and get a bevy of teamwork feats like Distracting Charge that will help you land hits in combat. Their Animal Focus also works perfectly well from the back of a mount, or you can go Primal Companion hunter and get an Evolution Pool for your cat. Want extra natural attacks? Reach? Fiery claws? Go for it!

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Ooh, neat! Full casting + full BAB is always nice. The tricky part here is going to be taking advantage of the Paladin's Smite Evil and melee prowess with the witch's casting and hexes - the standard Evil Eye/Cackle/Misfortune debuffer is doable but kind of uninspired.

From a fluff perspective, I think this is a great opportunity for the Paladin to realize that fighting to protect the innocent isn't limited to just human peasants. Taking hexes like Disguise and Feral Speech could open up a lot of fun roleplaying options - if the Paladin is used to riding around as a knight in shining armor and automatically getting respect, trying to be humble and having to stop himself from strangling people that treat him as inferior would be a great learning experience and opportunity for character development.

For the build, Hex Strike with Evil Eye would be a great way to dispense debuffs while laying down the law. It does give you a bit of a swift action glut between Smite Evil, Lay on Hands, Hex Strike, swift action Paladin spells, and quickened Witch spells, but it works well if you were already planning on a natural attack build using the changeling's claws and Witch spells like Chill Touch.

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If this is supposed to be viable into the high levels, make sure he has protection against scrying and simple Detect spells. Greater Invis is your best bet for repeated sneak attacks, as sniping (shooting from stealth without revealing your position) gives a -20 on your stealth check. I think a Cape of the Mountebank or other source of dimension door will also GREATLY increase his survivability should the PCs find him.

A vivisectionist with bow proficiency seems like a good bet. Conveniently, that gives him Poison Use and easy access to alchemical supplies (Alchemist's Fire, Thunderstones, Flash Powder, etc.) to distract PCs and make good on his escapes. The discoveries Chameleon and Rag Doll Mutagen would be fitting for this guy. Consider even using the Vivisectionist "Torturous Transformation" ability to give him some friends; must get lonely out there in the ruins...

Oh, and if you're thinking about multiclassing, a 4-level dip in Shadowdancer gets you a number of useful defensive/tricky abilities: Hide in Plain Sight, Uncanny Dodge, Evasion, Shadow Illusion, Shadow Conjuration, shadowy Dimension Door (only 40 ft though), a Rogue Talent, and a shadow companion. You'd lose out on some sneak attack damage, discoveries, and higher level extracts, though.

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Risen Demon wrote:

Woah, thanks for all the responses!

I was definitely thinking more along the lines of Zelda from Hyrule Warriors, but a Smash build or a Tetra style build would be more than welcome...Also a Sheik...err so many choices, but priority is:

1. Hyrule Warriors
2. As Sheik
3. As Tetra

Hyrule Warriors Zelda certainly feels like a Magus, most likely with the Arcane Accuracy and Devoted Blade arcana. Sheik feels like Ninja or perhaps Slayer, and Tetra is definitely Swashbuckler.

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She definitely hurls a few fireballs in Smash. I would probably go Elvish Wizard, and use the elvish proficiency with longbow to do some damage in the early levels. Alternately, Zen Archer -> Sorcerer (wis-based archetype) -> Arcane Archer works well too for a bigger archery focus.

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I usually try to keep my highest-level slots filled with my most powerful spells, since you're giving up a huge effect for a bit of action economy. That being said, Mirror Image and Resist Energy are good contenders, since they let you continue casting offensively without being worried about getting one-shotted before your next turn. Obscuring Mist and Vanish are good 1st-level defensive options.

The other option is to help you get off spell combos. Quickened True Strike + Hydraulic Torrent can push a large number of foes quite a distance, since you get more distance for every 5 by which you win at a Bull Rush. Depending on your GM, Aqueous Orb + Quickened Hideous Laughter can make a two-hit KO, though it requires them to fail 3 saves. Flaming Sphere + Pyrotechnics, Create Pit + Battering Blast, and See Invisibility + Glitterdust are all good too.

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Sure, DR is a great investment - when fighting foes with multiple attacks, it can often save you 10-15 HP per round. Climb, Scent, and Skilled are also great 1-point evolutions to make your Eidolon more versatile. Scent + Skilled (Survival) makes your Eidolon a great tracker, and Skilled (Perception) or Skilled (Stealth) can also be great additions depending on your campaign and party.

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A giant pikmin, huh? Interesting... Here are some evolutions that might fit that:

  • Slam - may be more appropriate than claws. Works great with Reach.
  • Improved Damage, Ability Increase (Str or Con), and Improved Natural Armor - those pikmin are pretty sturdy and capable of fighting things much larger than themselves.
  • Resistance and/or Energy Attacks - Fire for red, Electricity for yellow, Cold for blue. Blue might want Gills too.
  • Burrow - later down the line, but letting him come up from underground to ambush foes could be cool.

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I'll echo the concerns of Ginger and Bret - Summoner is a complex class, and if you don't have any experience with magic characters yourself, I would recommend he switch to a Sorcerer or Bloodrager.

That being said, here's my advice for a 1st-time summoner:

  • Give the summoner high Charisma and good Dexterity and Constitution, and keep him in the back lines; that way only one thing is in melee at a time, and the Summoner's fun offensive spells are more likely to work.
  • Keep the Eidolon's evolutions primarily to simple static bonuses, like Improved Natural Armor and Ability Increase. Bite + Claws is typically enough to make the Eidolon a fearsome force in combat.
  • For spells, make sure to pick ones that he can use in a wide variety of situations, and that don't require extensive math or difficult choices. Grease, Shield, Expeditious Retreat, Glitterdust, Invisibility, and Barkskin make fine 1st and 2nd level choices; Haste and Lesser Evolution Surge are excellent but a bit trickier.
  • For feats, Improved Initiative, Toughness, and save-boosters like Iron Will and Great Fortitude are great for the summoner; Power Attack, Toughness, and Weapon Focus are fine for the Eidolon.

Good luck! If he's a fast learner, he'll probably be fine.

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Dragon Style seems like a great feat to go with this. Also, see how your GM feels about applying it with natural attacks via the Shapeshift hex. It's not RAW, but Shapeshift really helps out your offense.

Evil Eye definitely seems like the go-to hex. Since you'll need physical stats, your Wis won't be super-high like a caster shaman's, so you don't want something the enemy can just shrug off with a save.

At higher levels, you might consider going for Spring Attack or Flyby Attack, so you don't have to trade full attacks with really buff things to keep them debuffed. Also, carrying a longspear too would allow you to get AoOs on foes that get close to you.

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Stealth is important for getting around the ship without getting noticed. Diplomacy is good for convincing others to join your side, which is the focus of much of the first module; your bard will only be able to speak to so many of the crew 1-on-1 by the time things start happening.

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As someone playing through the first module of Skulls and Shackles as a Shaman, here are some tips.

  • Put maximum ranks in Profession: Sailor. It comes up quite often, and with your sky-high Wis you can be really good at it. Your party will thank you. (Keep Stealth and Diplomacy, they will be useful.)
  • I took Evil Eye as my first hex, but I think I would have been better off with Fortune. Evil Eye is useful on occasion, but for the first module there's much less in the way of combat than there is in skill checks; if your DM rules you can Fortune yourself and/or your allies and Chant for the duration of a job, you're set.
  • Fort saves and fatigue/exhaustion are a constant bother for the first module. Boosting fort is a good idea.
  • On a similar note, you might want Toughness instead of Improved Initiative. I'm playing a Bones shaman, and even with 12 Con and False Life as a spirit magic spell I've come close to dying from whippings and whatnot.

Good luck! I can't wait til I get to ship-to-ship combat with access to Control Water and other weather spells. >:D

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I feel like Ranger or Paladin with a horse animal companion could both be great fits. Ranger gets a lot of skills and magic and looks great in green; Paladin has a high charisma, which is great for maxing out UMD to replicate all of Link's gadgets, and gets Aura of Courage, which is quite appropriate for the bearer of the Triforce of Courage.

Alternately, a Grenadier Alchemist could craft bomb arrows and use Throw Anything to toss pots and whatnot at people.

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I'm not familiar with the Winding Path Mystery Whatever archetype, but you'll certainly want an Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists. Grabbing Power Attack and Combat Expertise gives you access to just about every Improved combat maneuver via Martial Flexibility, so you can pick the best one for the situation.

What aspect of Brawler do you like that makes it better than, say, a Maneuver Master or Flowing Monk?

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-Mirror Image or Displacement when I'm attacked is nice.
-Freedom of Movement is definitely a must-have, but I usually have it up and running before combat.
-Break Enchantment has definitely saved my bacon against Feeblemind.

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Depends on how you want to play it. Here are some recommendations:

Mounted Summoner - Mounted Combat, Undersized Mount, Weapon Proficiency: Lance, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge

Combat Summoner - Arcane Strike, Power Attack, Outflank, Toughness, Cornugon Smash

Support Summoner - Improved Initiative, Resilient Eidolon, Toughness, Skill Focus, Antagonize

If you have a more specific build in mind, there might be better feats.

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Braxon wrote:
Reynard_the_fox wrote:

To that end, I would suggest using the following classes if possible, as they tend towards lower complexity.

Martials:
-Fighter
-Barbarian
-Paladin
-Ranger (if starting below level 4)

I may have the wrong impression, but can all three of them stand on the front line equally well? My impression is that the Ranger cannot take punishment as well as the other classes.

Barbarian and Paladin both get significant boosts to their hit points, Barbarian from a d12 hit die and Rage and Paladins from Lay on Hands; but the only difference defensively between Ranger and Fighter is that Fighters have access to heavy armor. Give them Breastplate and a healthy Con score and a Ranger will be pretty sturdy. Oh, and Rangers do get a little bit of healing magic, too, meaning they can wield a Wand of Cure Light Wounds just as well as a Cleric.

Rangers aren't quite as good at hitting things (with the exception of their Favored Enemy), but they get lots of skills, which is very nice; and at 4th, they get an animal companion AND limited spellcasting. They're great for people who want to do a little bit of everything. Of course, that means they're slightly more complex to play, but it should be fine as long as it's not a brand new player trying to jump straight to a 4+ level Ranger.

Braxon wrote:
Reynard_the_fox wrote:

Skill Monkeys:

-Rogue
-Bard
-Inquisitor
So I looked into Inquisitor and didn't find that they have Disable Traps. I looked a bit further and found that only Rogues and Alchemists have that skill. I understand that Skill Monkeys are more than just Disable Traps but does that mean every team that doesn't have either class just uses cleric heals and crowbars. I must be missing something.

Remember, anyone with Perception and Disable Device can deactivate nonmagical traps. It's only magical traps that need a class ability, and by the time you start encountering them en masse your players should have access to Dispel Magic.

Are you playing with traits? Typically, each character gets to pick two traits that represent skills they gained growing up. They're usually a +1 to a save, +1 to a skill (and make it a class skill), or a similar small boon. So even though Paladins don't usually get Disable Device as a class skill, if that particular Paladin happened to be a Vagabond Child or have Nimble Fingers, Keen Mind, (s)he can be quite good at picking locks or disabling traps. There's a trait for just about every skill, which is one of the reasons I don't usually worry about skills when people are picking classes.

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Hmm... I wouldn't worry about balance too much, as it's usually easy enough to cover whatever skills you need with proper tinkering. What seems to be key here is minimizing complexity - you want your family to be focused on learning the system as a whole, not puzzling over how stuff like Spell Combat works.

To that end, I would suggest using the following classes if possible, as they tend towards lower complexity.

Martials:
-Fighter
-Barbarian
-Paladin
-Ranger (if starting below level 4)

Skill Monkeys:
-Rogue
-Bard
-Inquisitor

Magic Users:
-Sorcerer
-Cleric

In my experience, these are the easiest classes to simply pick up and play. None of them require tracking spells known, like Wizard, Witch, or Alchemist; none of them rely heavily on an animal companion or other cohort, like Druid, Hunter, or Summoner; and none require system mastery like Brawler or Magus.

Good luck! We'll be able to help you better once you talk to your family and get a sense of what they want to play.

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Well, you can always take the Grenadier archetype for bow proficiency if you don't want to slow your extract progression, but if you're not human it's going to take you a long time to pick up the necessary feats. A level of Fighter or maybe Divine Hunter Paladin will accelerate that.

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About 500% Swashbuckler, based on what you described. Slayer is also a strong option, though, and a dip into Shadowdancer could bolster your stealth abilities.

There is, of course, the Duelist prestige class, but I think it was pretty much obsoleted by the Swashbuckler.

EDIT: The new charisma-based Magus archetype is a long shot but could work if your party really needs arcane casting.

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Haha, cool stuff. If this is a combat encounter, though, that Will +8 will be his downfall. On the other hand, having some PCs meet and befriend Carl, and then help him defend his mastodon herd from a bunch of giants or something would be pretty frickin' sweet.

If you want to give him some magic items, Boots of the Mastodon or a Belt of Mighty Hurling might both be good fits. Carl probably has a pretty good boulder hurling arm by now...

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Unless you intend to use a lot of Ray spells, I would recommend a stat array something like this:

20 point buy
Str 10
Dex 12
Con 16
Int 12
Wis 12
Cha 17 (boost at 4th)

Generally you want Cha > Con/Dex > Int/Wis > Str. I prefer balanced stat arrays and I really like having lots of HP and a high Fort save - if you prefer high DCs on your spells, you could drop Str and another stat and raise Cha. Remember, if you drop Str too low, you'll need to pick up a Handy Haversack or have someone else carry most of your gear for you.

Gnomes make excellent illusionists due to their racial DC boost and the Effortless Trickery feat, which is amazing for an illusionist. However, many things are resistant or immune to illusions, so I would hesitate to throw all my feats into it if I were you. Make sure your spell list has at least one or two buffs and blasts so you always have something to do in combat.

As for bloodlines, Arcane is very versatile and excellent if you just want a very versatile sorcerer. With Tattooed replacing your first and ninth level bloodline abilities, a lot of bloodlines lose some luster, so I would just look at the arcana, 3rd level ability, and bloodlines spells and see what strikes your fancy.

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I'll also +1 Oradin - being a life battery + evil smiter is pretty sweet, and should play sufficiently differently from a channeler/cleric to feel new.

Alternately... hmm... You could try a shaman. They're quite versatile full casters, and I'm sure it's possible to build one for melee/healing duty. They don't get spontaneous heals or big boosts to combat, but they've got 3/4 BAB and medium armor, access to the Life and Battle spirits, hexes, and spells like Thorn Body and Nauseating Trail that can make them quite noxious to deal with in combat.

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Torchlyte wrote:

Tell him to play another game.

That sounds bad, but the truth is that conditional bonuses and penalties are all over the place in Pathfinder. Positioning, magic, items, monsters... your situation changes and the math changes with it.

It sounds like his troubles stem more from totaling dice than the other bonuses. In which case, there's a simple solution - just have him pre-roll the dice! I do it all the time when I'm controlling summoned monsters - roll the dice and figure out the bonuses and damage while everyone else is taking their turn, instead of while I'm in the spotlight. Granted, this does mean you get a limited amount of fore-knowledge, but for the summons I'm generally committed to attacking anyways; it just requires the player to resist the urge to metagame.

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Melee witch doctor? You definitely want this feat:

D20PFSRD wrote:

Hex Strike (Combat)

Chanting and cursing, you put a hex on your enemy as part of your unarmed strike.
Prerequisite: Hex class feature, Improved Unarmed Strike.

Benefit: When you gain this feat, choose one hex that you can use to affect no more than one opponent. If you make a successful unarmed strike against an opponent, in addition to dealing your unarmed strike damage, you can use a swift action to deliver the effects of the chosen hex to that opponent. Doing so does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Special: You can take this feat multiple times. Each time you take it, you apply it to a different qualifying hex.

Evil Eye? How about Evil FIST?! Seriously, though, grab a level of Brawler or Monk (or just take Improved Unarmed Strike if you want full casting) and you're good to go. Debuff people while smacking them around!

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If he's still thinking of switching classes, I would go with a strength-based Bard with Arcane Strike and Power Attack. Just sing and smack things around! Oh yeah, and you get casting to boot.

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Sure, sure. Here's a discussion thread for the Catalog.

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Hey all you shamans out there! Tired of scrambling through the PFSRD on your phone trying to figure out what you want your wandering hex to be? Print this out and worry no more!

The Seer's Catalog is a printable compilation of all the shaman's spirits and hexes. While some of the spirit animals, true spirit abilities, and manifestations had to be excluded for page length reasons, this has everything you need to leverage Wandering Spirit to the utmost.

Enjoy!

Sovereign Court

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I've got one for the Shaman: The Seer's Catalog. It's a list of all the spirits, including spirit spells, spirit hexes, and regular and greater spirit abilities. Should be handy for anyone who wants to get good use out of Wandering Spirit. Printable!

Also includes a list of the feats available to Shamans that boost hexes, the list of standard Shaman hexes, and links to/names of the standard Witch hexes. Had to cut out some of the Spirit Animal abilities and whatnot to save space, though.

Sovereign Court

Shaman gets more versatile hexes, but witch gets earlier access and more powerful ones at higher levels. Shaman gets more utility and battlefield control spells, but Witch gets some primo arcane spells and much better debuffs. (cough cough Enervation)

However, whereas witches only get 1/2 BAB, d6 hit die, and a few patron spells known, Shamans get 3/4 BAB, d8 hit die, medium armor, a bonus ability for their familiar, a bonus spell slot at each level, and a whole suite of regular, greater, and true Spirit Abilities. Plus, a Shaman immediately has access to the entire Shaman spell list, whereas a Witch only gets 2/level plus what she can pick up during an adventure.

I don't think it's a stretch to say Shaman is more powerful than Witch. A Witch is arguably better at really ruining someone's day, but the Shaman gets a lot of extra goodies and incredible versatility.

PS: Oh yeah, and if your main class ability revolves around staying within 30 feet of an enemy, it's quite nice to be able to wear armor and have more HP than an anemic schoolgirl.

Captain K. wrote:
The Shaman might be an ideal 5th or 6th party member.

No way - a Shaman is much closer to a Wizard or Druid than a Bard. He'll easily slot in as "primary utility caster." He doesn't get all the arcane stuff a Wizard gets (e.g. Teleport), and he's not as good at healing as a Cleric, but I would be perfectly comfortable in a party with a Shaman as the only full caster.

Sovereign Court

Make sure to pick up the Undead Master feat, as well as the spells Animate Dead and Command Dead. Round out with your favorite debuffs and you should be good to go!

If you want to focus on debuffing, it might be worthwhile to check out the Halfling Jinx alternate feature. There are a lot of feats (including metamagic) that work with it.

And if it wasn't already, Enervation should probably be one of your 1st 4th-level spells.

Sovereign Court

Well, those feats are definitely going to need revising. Weapon Focus requires at least +1 BAB, which you won't have at level 1, so you'll need a different feat there; and I can't really see a good reason for Combat Expertise, since I don't think you're going to have the stats to trip people effectively.

If I were you, I'd drop Dex or Charisma, raise Con, and take Heavy Armor Proficiency as your level 1 feat. Battle Master gives you two AoOs per turn without the need for Dex, which is pretty sweet, especially combined with Enlarge Person as your spirit magic. If you grab a spiked gauntlet, you'll be able to threaten everything within 20 feet, which is pretty awesome.

Having lots of HP, a high AC, and a bevy of defensive spells is a great place to start for a battlefield controller. Be warned, though, that with only 14 strength you're going to have a tough time dealing damage, which means many enemies may choose to just suck up the AoO and walk past you. Power Attack will be a must, and I would try to find ways to boost your strength as soon as possible.

Sovereign Court

Hmm, if you won't get full BAB, then consider Ninja, too. Charisma-based abilities and more skills than you can shake a stick at.

If you're intending to be a melee character, I would be careful of picking two spellcasting classes. Action economy is one of the big constraints for gestalt characters. Though, if you weren't a synthesist, a Sorcerer/Summoner would be incredibly powerful.

Sovereign Court

If I were you, I'd go Slayer. You've already got spellcasting from Summoner, so for an ideal gestalt character you'd want a class with high skills and full BAB. Slayer gets you that, plus bonus combat feats and a full suite of espionage-oriented abilities via Slayer Talents. (Stuff like Hard to Fool and Foil Scrutiny can make or break social situations.)

Also, opting for Skilled: Stealth combined with Sneak Attack and Studied Target makes you a primo assassin, which seems like a nice thing to have on hand for an evil campaign.

Oh, and if you expect to be fighting lots of non-Lawful Evil things, being a Deliverer of Asmodeus could be sweet. Cleaner and Cutthroat could also make great archetypes if it's an urban campaign.

Sovereign Court

You might consider Magus instead of Warpriest. Thor does a lot of very arcane things, like fly and smash things with an electrified warhammer.

Although... I believe a gestalt Barbarian/spellcaster won't be able to cast in combat, right? Which makes things tricky. Maybe Magus or Warpriest combined with Brawler, Paladin, Fighter, or Slayer?

Bloodrager could be nice too - the Elemental (Air) bloodline gives you electrified attacks, plus a Fly speed at 8th level.

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