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Reynard_the_fox's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 857 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 3 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Taldor

Hey all! Anybody want to help me brew up a fey vs human powder keg?

My players just finished Varnhold Vanishing. It's been fun, but so far, the "kingmaker" aspect of things has been pretty much relegated to a spreadsheet - other than a plague during Act II, there have been few things that really test the PC's abilities as RULERS rather than just as adventurers. And it looks like Act IV will be primarily exploring and infiltration, too.

So, here's what I'm thinking: it's time to make the PCs make some tricky choices. So far, they've been going for a Neutral Good kingdom that gets humans and fey to live side by side, and it's been working fine. But now that their kingdom is getting pretty big, and the ruler has switched from a Ranger of Erastil to a Paladin of Abadar, I think there might be some chafing going on. Tensions will surely be rising, and if the PCs don't step in, there might be a full blown civil war!

Here's where you come in: I'd love some ideas for interesting conflicts the PCs could try and mediate. I want them to feel the pressure of making peace between two very different and very angry types of beings. I want to expose the monstrous parts of humanity and the human parts of the monsters.

Some ideas I've had so far:

  • The PC's seemingly monstrous Tiefling Alchemist/Dragon Disciple becomes the champion of the local kobolds, who are threatening to eat some miners who "invaded their territory."
  • Humans in the capital city are threatening to exterminate pixies and other naturally mischievious fey, who don't understand why everyone is getting so upset over a few pranks.
  • A popular cleric of Abadar has been preaching the advantages of civilization and the evils and chaos of the wilderness, and is gaining a dangerously fanatic crowd.

There's also the potential for intrigue - Nyrissa and/or Irovetti could easily send some in some agent provacateurs. Hell, maybe even Brevoy wants to put some stumbling blocks in the kingdom's path! I'm eager to bring back the quickling Rigg Gargadilly from the second module, either as a provacateur or as a potential diplomat for the PCs.

Any ideas appreciated!

Taldor

Firesight is definitely the most powerful of the Ifrit racial abilities - the weapon-bolstering ones are paltry at best. (1d6 fire damage as a swift action for two feats? No thanks.) That being said, it's a tricky ability to work around for a melee character, and you'll have to very careful with obscuring the battlefield in order to not screw over your allies just as much as the enemy.

That said, Bards do have access to Pyrotechnics; a dervish dance bard would benefit greatly from the Ifrit's +2 to Cha and Dex. You could also replace Burning Hands 1/day with Enlarge or Reduce Person 1/day, the former being a great buff for strength-based reach fighters and the latter awesome for medium dex-based characters.

Alternately, ask your GM if Obscuring Mist counts as smoke, or if you'll ever be able to get your hands on an Eversmoking Bottle. If either is true, a melee Oracle (probably Battle or Metal) would be a fantastic choice.

For an out-of-the-box method, consider a Cavalier, or another class capable of devastating ride-by or fly-by attacks. If you can identify your enemies in the smoke and continuously swoop past them, they won't even have a chance to hit you. An Alchemist with Wings, Flyby attack, and the ability to combine Smokesticks with Tanglefoot Bags would be an infuriating foe to fight against.

Whichever choice you make, consider Moonlight Stalker as a feat. Its requirements are steep, but +2 to attack and damage is nothing to sneeze at!

Taldor

Making a 3/4 BAB d8 hit die light armor class with no inherent bonuses to hit or to AC into a front line combatant is a pretty tricky affair - just ask your nearest Rogue. Still, you do have options.

Option 1: Strength based. Try to get up to an 18 strength and pick up your simple weapon of choice. Get Power Attack and Arcane Strike and you'll be dealing pretty reasonable damage... when you hit, that is. You'll need as many bonuses to to-hit as you can get: flanking, bull's strength, etc. Make sure you pick up Haste as a level 2 spell - it will more than double your damage output on full attacks and give you other bonuses besides. Your AC won't be great, so bolster it with Shield and enchanted armor, and consider spells like Blur and Displacement. MINIMUM CONSTITUTION 14! (Charisma isn't terribly important here; stay away from spells with saves.) Keep a longspear and some javelins handy to increase your range - using a lonsgpear with Enlarge Person to have a 20 foot reach is always fun.

Option 2: Dex based. This will require an Agile weapon or Dervish Dance to work, don't bother if you can't get one of those two. Keep in mind you don't have Scimitar proficiency naturally - a human or half-elf can pick it up at 1st level as a bonus feat, or you can use the trait Heirloom Weapon and be less effective than a limp biscuit if it gets sundered. Your damage will suffer considerably compared to a strength-based character, even with Arcane Strike, but your AC and skills will be better, you'll be less MAD, and it opens up small races like Halfling and Gnome.

As for the Eidolon... well, feel free to go crazy with it. You can totally change the evolutions every level, so take your preferred movement, senses, and Skilled evolutions. Giving it a Bite with Trip and possibly Reach and Poison can make it quite a nuisance in combat. Improved Natural Armor and energy resistances are good, but not essential, since if it dies in combat it just comes back the next day. I'd probably go Quadruped or Biped, but there's really no wrong way to go here. You may consider teamwork feats like Outflank, but for a real laugh, get your DM to approve an Eidolon with Antagonize.

Good luck!

Taldor

Two-handed reach weapon isn't a bad plan. Getting Combat Reflexes, Bodyguard, and In Harm's Way would be pretty thematic too, though I wouldn't neglect to grab Power Attack first.

You might consider a multiclass with Lore Warden Fighter, actually; he'll need access to lots of Knowledges to complete his quest, and it sounds right up the ally for this character. I would recommend Lore Warden 3/Barbarian 2/Furious Guardian X. Three levels of Lore Warden gets you a boost to CMB and Combat Expertise as a bonus feat, which would all you to pick up Improved and eventually Greater Trip, which are great with a reach weapon. It also earns you a couple bonus feats, which are great for picking up In Harm's Way quickly. Two levels of Barbarian gets you a number of nice abilities: Rage, Fast Movement, Uncanny Dodge, medium armor, and access to Rage Powers via the "Extra Rage Power" feat. The "Berserker of the Society" trait supplements limited rage rounds, so you'll probably want to pick that up too.

PFS uses 20 point buy, if I'm not mistaken. I'd go with:

Str 16 (including racial bonus)
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 14
Cha 8

Nice and balanced, especially since you have Rage to boost strength to acceptable levels. Dex 14 is generally the baseline for a Combat Reflexes build, just as Con 14 is my personal baseline for a front-line class. High Wis is essential for a bodyguard, as failing a perception check or Will save can result in the death of your charge. Int 12 gives you a cool 5 skill ranks per level, and Cha 8 is fine for someone who isn't the party face. Of course, feel free to swap these around as you see fit.

Good luck! Protip: carry some potions of Enlarge Person for when you're in fights in wide-open areas. Combat Reflexes and a 20 foot reach will make GMs rip their hair out, particularly if you're tripping foes, too.

Taldor

A naginata-wielding Samurai or heavy pick/scythe-wielding Barbarian could both deal INSANE quantities of damage on a crit. As long as you're building your characters together, though, you should really think about investing in some teamwork feats! Paired Opportunists and Broken Wing Gambit, when paired, are devastating. Check it:

1) You or she hits and activates Broken Wing Gambit.
2) The enemy attacks that person, provoking an AoO from the other.
3) Since you have Paired Opportunists, they provoke an attack from the one with the "broken wing," too!

I would also strongly consider investing in Improved/Greater Trip, and having her stay Fighter or Ranger. Remember, she needs to confirm her crit, even with the penalties from using TWF; she should definitely invest in things like Weapon Focus to improve her chance to hit.

Taldor

Do NOT run Tomb of Horrors with the characters they've been building up all campaign. Unless you remodel it to be much less deadly (allow saves on stuff, give more warning/hints, etc.), your players will probably get upset when the personas they've held for months all suddenly die to cheap shot, no warning traps.

IMO, the best way to do it is to play it at full deadliness with a STACK of spare characters built up, so every time you die you just pick up a new character and keep going. The iconic PFS characters might be good for that.

Taldor

Imbicatus wrote:
I think people oversell the wild shape penalty on Urban Druid. Yes, you loose four levels of wild shape. However, you get Alter Self at will at level six, which is huge. You can have just as much utility with Alter Self. Natural attacks, swim speed (and water breathing), disguise, and so on are available all the time. Also, if you take a one level multiclass dip into Monk after yo gain wild shape, you can take shaping focus to boost your effective druid level to -1 instead of -4 for wild shape.

Alter Self at will is quite nice for an urban campaign, where it pays off big to be able to disguise yourself often and easily. But in a wilderness campaign, the movement speeds (fly, burrow/earth glide, etc.) and protections granted by Beast Shape and Elemental Body are far more important. You're also going to be better off "disguising" as, say, a bat or small bird than any type of humanoid, and delaying wildshape delays access to Tiny forms as well. (Tiny forms are also a huge boon to Stealth, which comes in pretty handy.)

Also, Shaping Focus doesn't let you get around the wildshape penalty. A Druid 8/Monk 1 with Shaping Focus is treated for wildshape purposes as though he were Druid 9 - which, for an Urban Druid, is still going to mean only Beast Shape I.

Taldor

Yeah, if you're going to be a caster druid, your AC really isn't going to come up very often. Especially in Kingmaker where there aren't a lot of flying and ranged enemies. There's very little for a dedicated caster that's worth delaying a level of spellcasting.

Taldor

From the Inquisitor's introduction:

APG wrote:
Grim and determined, the inquisitor roots out enemies of the faith, using trickery and guile when righteousness and purity is not enough. Although inquisitors are dedicated to a deity, they are above many of the normal rules and conventions of the church. They answer to their deity and their own sense of justice alone, and are willing to take extreme measures to meet their goals.

I think you've got the right idea, toxicpie. Inquisitors are specifically the class that CAN do the things a Cleric or Paladin of the same deity are forbidden to. That does not, however, mean they have a free pass - the freedom to transgress the church's doctrines comes with the responsibility to not do so unless necessary. An Inquisitor who abuses his power may just find himself the target of his church's other inquisitors...

Taldor

Nicos wrote:
Reynard_the_fox wrote:
Don't forget about potions! As a fighter, he probably doesn't have much going on in the way of pre-combat buffs. Swigging a Potion of Shield is an easy way to get a whole +4 AC, and 1000 GP buys 20 of them. (Or 10 regular potions and 5 double-duration ones for hard combats.)
There is no spotion of shield, as that is self-only spell.

Hmm, you make a convincing argument. Guess we've been playing that one wrong for a while.

Nonetheless, a few potions of Blur (300GP) or Displacement (750GP) could be a good investment. Just make sure the enemy doesn't have True Seeing.

Taldor

Seeing as how Kingmaker is set almost entirely in the wilderness, I would say it's precisely the wrong campaign for an Urban Druid. Wildshape is the druid's single most important feature after spellcasting - delaying it 4 levels just plain isn't worth it.

With just 2 other members of the party, I would recommend a melee druid with an animal companion. Since you'll mostly be fighting with your claws, you can save your spell slots for important utility spells and/or battlefield control, and you can afford having an animal companion instead of domain spells. If not that, I would recommend picking up Augmented Summoning and making good use of spontaneous SNA; your front line will need reinforcement.

Menhir Savant is a nice archetype; being able to detect fey and undead is pretty valuable in Kingmaker. However, you will miss the bonuses on Know: Nature and Survival, and Woodland Stride and Wild Empathy are both useful on occasion. I wouldn't pick it, but YMMV.

EDIT: Just saw your update about building a caster druid. Make sure you pick up spells that can last a few turns, like Flaming Sphere or Call Lightning; otherwise you'll be running out of slots in no time. Normally I advocate for a domain for caster druids, but I think I'd still go with an animal companion here - leaving melee entirely up to a bard & summoner, neither of which is the sturdiest class, is not a great idea.

Taldor

Don't forget about potions! As a fighter, he probably doesn't have much going on in the way of pre-combat buffs. Swigging a Potion of Shield is an easy way to get a whole +4 AC, and 1000 GP buys 20 of them. (Or 10 regular potions and 5 double-duration ones for hard combats.)

Taldor

Does your party have a bard? Does your party want a bard?

Lillend Azata

How about picking up a 12th level sorcerer for your 11th level feat?

Azata Raelis

Seriously, though, getting a 12HD servant for the cost of 1 feat at 11th level is pretty damn busted. Just go down the list of 12 HD outsiders and pick one with nice support abilities (a bodyguard/melee combatant will quickly get outclassed as you level up).

The true constraint on this spell isn't the HD limit but your GM's patience; if you intend to pick an outsider near the upper limit and summon it frequently, you better have some nice bribes lined up IRL.

PS: Also, be careful - if your subject dies, you're out a feat.

Taldor

Was there a particular part of the process that was taking so long? When I roll up characters, it tends to be about two thirds mechanical fleshing out and one third coming up with a backstory/appearance/personality.

Taldor

I would recommend balancing out your stats a bit. Having only 1 or 2 skill ranks per level AND low charisma is pretty crippling for any out-of-combat situation. Particularly so for divine casters, whose spell lists tend to focus on buffs and "divine smite"-type effects (as opposed to arcane casters, who could substitute Levitate for Climb, Silent Image for Bluff, etc.). 16 Str and 13-14 Wis will get you a long way. 12 Dex is probably enough - the difference between 2 AoOs a turn and 3 tends not to come up too often, and you can always pick up a Str/Dex belt later if you want.

If you really want a martial edge, you might consider splashing a level of Fighter. You could get martial weapon & heavy armor proficiency for free and have Combat Reflexes and Power Attack right from 1st level, freeing up your other feats for whatever you want, as well as better HP and BAB. Losing a cleric level hurts, but you're getting quite a bit in exchange.

Oh yeah, and I'm not sure how big the average room is in Council of Thieves, but Enlarge Person on a reach build tends to be pretty devastating. The Plant domain/Growth subdomain gets it for you, or you can just keep a supply of Enlarge Person potions handy.

Taldor

Maybe I'm missing something, but channeling only dazes creatures for 1 round, and only within 30 feet of the cleric. And since it doesn't hurt the enemies, at best each channel is giving your melee blokes a chance to smack someone; I don't see anything like a RAGELANCEPOUNCE Barbarian or machine-gun Zen Archer capable of dealing huge DPS in the party. Dazing fireballs are a bit trickier, but are also a much scarcer resource. (IMO the two metamagic-cost-reduction traits shouldn't stack, but it may be too late to revoke that.)

Seems to me your out is pretty simple: have enemies attack in waves, don't keep them clustered together, and extend the adventuring day to the point where this tactic becomes too expensive to use against every group of enemies they come across. Particularly if the group relies on channels for healing, too.

Throwing in a few ranged units that target the witch and/or sorcerer could help, too, particularly if they ready actions to attack the casters when they cast. Mostly make sure they keep out of Channel range.

Raising the saves of the opposition is also good. Perhaps the NPCs have heard of the PC's tactics, and have started recruiting only the strongest-willed mooks out there (so they all have Iron Will).

Taldor

I would suggest investing in a toolkit of alchemical items. There are a lot of fun things with low save DCs that you can use at low levels. Alternately, ranged attacks, or getting into melee and using Aid Another and flanking. Hell, you could focus on boosting your AC, going into combat, and just using full defense or fight defensively each round and distracting the mooks/flanking.

Taldor

Halfling Paladin is viable, you'll just need to pick up Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, and Deadly Aim ASAP (I wouldn't take Fey Foundling - ranged characters don't get hit as often). Also, you won't do really amazing damage unless you Smite. At which point you will start doing ridiculous damage.

I would also take a divine mount - extra mobility is really, really nice for paladins, especially small ones. Your + whatever from weapon spirit won't matter if there's a wind wall or something in the way.

Taldor

Well, if you're looking purely at summoning, it's hard to beat Master Summoner. But I think I would prefer to play a Druid or Wizard.

Druid gets spontaneous SNA, which is pretty awesome. He gets a lot of cool battlefield control and buff spells (like Strong Jaw), gets an Animal Companion, and wildshaping into a bird or a mole means it's really easy to stay safe while you summon. They can also take an archetype like Saurian Shaman which gives them standard action summoning AND increased flexibility in choosing what to summon.

Wizards, meanwhile, get to summon from the Summon Monster list, which has a lot more neat abilities hidden in it. They also get even better battlefield control and buff spells, plus key spells like Teleport, and can get better mileage out of Spell Focus: Conjuration, which is a prereq for Augment Summoning. They get more spells per day than the Druid, even if they have to pick how many summon spells to prepare beforehand. They also get a few bonus feats, whereas Druids practically have negative feats since they need Natural Spell. Plus, once you get Telekinetic Charge, you can go "Finish summoning, Telekinetic Charge my summon at your face giving it a free attack, now my summon gets a full attack." Which is pretty darn awesome.

I would stay away from spontaneous casters, since they get the Summon spells a level later than the prepared casters AND have to eat up all their spells known if they want to keep the most up-to-date version around.

Taldor

Don't forget Empower Spell, Intensify Spell, and Maximized Spell. You can also substitute Magical Lineage for Metamagic Master if your GM doesn't like Dragon Empires stuff.

The Evocation School for wizard gives you +1/2 level to damage on evocation spells, and I think fits the flavor perfectly. Alternately, the Orc bloodline gives you +1 damage per die rolled, which I think is pretty close in terms of total damage. Force damage is definitely not elemental damage, so most of the damage-boosting sorcerer bloodlines don't apply.

I think there might be a prestige class out there somewhere that focuses heavily on Magic Missile... EDIT: yup, Force Missile Mage, that's the one.

Oh, and since Magic Missile strikes unerringly unless the foe has total cover or total concealment, using partial cover/concealment to your advantage might be good. I think a battlefield control Evocation wizard would do you pretty well. Make sure you grab Dispel Magic, cause otherwise when people start hearing there's a magic missile master in the area and everyone starts drinking Potions of Shield, you'll be in serious trouble. :p

Taldor

It's far from optimized, but how about a guy who can send a stream of greataxes and lucerne hammers whirling across a room? I would suggest a multiclass of Hurler Barbarian, Fighter, and possibly Alchemist.

Feats:
Throw Anything - exactly what it sounds like
Quick Draw - take out weapons quickly
Point Blank Shot - +1 on attack and damage if w/i 30 ft
Precise Shot - no penalty for throwing into melee
Two-Handed Thrower - get 1.5x Strength on thrown items
Charging Hurler - Charge and throw. Requires Point Blank Shot
Improved Charging Hurler - Charge and throw at any range, or boost damage if nearby
Distance Thrower - ignore the first range increment
Far Shot - only take -1 instead of -2 per range increment
Rapid Shot - check with your DM, but lets you get 2 ranged attacks instead of 1
Sliding Axe Throw - free trip attempts at range

Rage Powers:
Hurling Charge - throw a weapon AND hit in melee!
Note: the other hurling powers are very circumstantial and typically not worth it. See if your GM will give them a minor power boost. Also ask a friendly Wizard to cast Shrink Item on stuff for best results.

Items:
Belt of Mighty Hurling - use Strength for your to-hit instead of Dex
Ricochet Hammer - rebounds to hit multiple enemies

Taldor

With a strength of 10 I wouldn't expect too much out of that Bardiche. I typically use Grenadier to get bow proficiency, but if you're playing an elf, perhaps the archetype isn't right for you? (You don't really need Precise Bombs if you can just whip out your bow and use that when your teammates are in melee.) Clone Master or Mindchemist definitely do a much better job of playing towards the mastermind side of things - Mindchemist gets you a bigger boost on Knowledge checks than Breadth of Experience.

If you want to be a mastermind, I would suggest leaning your discoveries towards more battlefield-control style stuff - take Smoke Bomb and Stink Bomb, for example. That way, you can direct the flow of battle, giving cover to your allies, separating and hobbling your enemies, and making sure combat takes place on your terms. Also, if you're a mindchemist, you can use an Int cognatogen to boost your bomb damage & save DCs, making you an even more effective debuffer.

Taldor

Honestly, there's a decent amount of paperwork and forethought that goes into playing a prepared caster, particularly a wizard. In exchange, though, you get access to a huge range of magic, and you can drastically switch up the way you play/the spells you cast between sessions if you so choose. They're great if you're the type of person that likes to experiment and try out a lot of different strategies and spell combinations.

For someone new to casters, though, I think Sorcerer or Oracle is probably the right choice. Don't worry about having "the right spell" - you can always buy scrolls of just about any spell on your list, and you might even be able to get the party to pitch in. Just focus on picking a nice varied selection of spells, so that you always have something to cast no matter what type of enemy you're facing, and you'll be just fine. The rest will all fall into place.

Also, high Cha is great if you want to be a party face - I suggest you let the Paladin grab Diplomacy and figure out between you and the Rogue who wants Intimidate and who wants Bluff.

Taldor

Artanthos wrote:
Reynard_the_fox wrote:
Also, have you considered a Summoner or Synthesist Summoner? It's the only non-full caster that gets Mage Armor.
Magus can get mage armor.

Well, if you want to spend a whole arcana on it...

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/m/mage-armor

Oh yeah, and there are a bunch of Oracle revelations that give scaling armor bonuses. That could be a potent choice.

Taldor

Unless you intend on going totally shirtless, a Mithral Chain Shirt is light enough to be worn under clothing.

Also, have you considered a Summoner or Synthesist Summoner? It's the only non-full caster that gets Mage Armor.

A Barbarian works, but it's kind of awkward in that a Rapier limits you to 1x strength. Granted, this would let you use a shield at no penalty, but if you're not wearing armor that means you're going for a DR-based approach anyway...

Otherwise, I would say Crusader's Flurry and levels in Monk is your best bet. That synergizes nicely with the Undine wis bonus, anyway. Just see if your GM will let you pick up an Agile rapier.

Taldor

Hmm, so if you make the will save against your own spell you don't take the damage? How curious... that means that a Cleric will always have even odds, since Wis is tied to both the DC and will saves, but a low-Cha high-Wis Oracle is much less likely to take damage than a high-Cha low-Wis one.

Anyway, Shared Sacrifice is definitely the spell you're looking for.

Taldor

Oh yes, they've run into Horagnamon and his lovely little "Will save or be fascinated" bird song several times in the past. In fact, I'm planning on having Vordakai transform him into an Advanced Leukodaemon for the final stage of the boss battle.

A scry and fry wouldn't be out of the question, though I hate to spoil the tension of seeing him for the first time (I derped and let slip he was a lich already). If I was playing "Vordakai vs. sleeping party" straight he would probably kill them all, too. Hmm, but perhaps he can send a lovely swarm their way to disturb their slumber... Haha, I can imagine them fending off Soul Eaters and swarms only to come outside and see Horagnamon laughing (cawing) at them.

Ooh, or new idea - maybe Horagnamon can get them sleepwalking... :3

Taldor

*Varnhold Vanishing Spoilers Ahead*

Hey all! Here's the deal: I gave my PCs a limited-time-only resting room at the beginning of vordakai's tomb, which has now been expended. They've cleared out most of the dungeon except the prison and its guardians and the final series of encounters starting in the feasthall, which I intend to run as one ongoing battle.

It seems as though they intend to rest before the final battle, but that presents a problem for me: since Kingmaker has so many 15-minute adventuring days, I wanted this dungeon to really put them up against the wall in terms of resource management - I want the Paladin to actually run out of Lay on Hands and maybe force them to use some of their back-up scrolls, for example.

So, how can I/should I disturb their rest? This will be the first time in the campaign their rest has been disturbed. I'm thinking some Soul Eaters might attack them in the night, thus disturbing the rest of the party and giving them only 3/4s of their resources for the next day (Channels, Lay on Hands, etc.; 1 less spell per level for casters). I might also replace some cyclops zombies they killed on their first run through the dungeon. Thoughts?

Taldor

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1. Great for getting out of a pinch, or getting through a crowded area without taking attacks of opportunity. Excellent for use with Flyby Attack.

2. Fighting just inside the boundary gives you an advantage.

3. Great with Blind Fight or Fog Cutting Lenses.

Taldor

Mantis Style only requires a few ranks in Heal and is awesome for Stunning Fist builds.

You might also consider attempting to pin and tie up the enemy, though you'll probably need some grapple feats for that.

Taldor

Well, you aren't taking the Master Summoner or another archetype that limits your eidolon, right? Even a defense- or versatility-focused eidolon will still be a capable combatant. The paizo boards tend to worship the maximium-attack maximum-strength pounce-enabled guided missile eidolon, but unless you go out of your way to nerf your eidolon it will be at least as capable as an animal companion in combat. If you're afraid of dominating combat, I would recommend simply grabbing Power Attack and maybe something like the Reach and Trip evolutions for Bite (or Claws and Energy Attacks or something) and then put the rest of your evolution pool into versatility options - Skilled, Scent, Climb, Burrow, etc. - and defensive options like Improved Natural Armor or Damage Reduction. That should leave you with a sturdy, versatile, combat-capable eidolon.

Aid Another wrote:

Aid Another

In melee combat, you can help a friend attack or defend by distracting or interfering with an opponent. If you're in position to make a melee attack on an opponent that is engaging a friend in melee combat, you can attempt to aid your friend as a standard action. You make an attack roll against AC 10. If you succeed, your friend gains either a +2 bonus on his next attack roll against that opponent or a +2 bonus to AC against that opponent's next attack (your choice), as long as that attack comes before the beginning of your next turn. Multiple characters can aid the same friend, and similar bonuses stack.

You can also use this standard action to help a friend in other ways, such as when he is affected by a spell, or to assist another character's skill check.

To Aid:

-Your friend must be in melee with the enemy.
-You must be able to reach the enemy with a melee attack. (This includes reach weapons and whips.)

Taldor

Revolving Door Alternate wrote:
I am going to investigate Halfling with the Helpful alternate trait. Would you folks feel like someone that had thrown out say 2 buffs then stood at the back using aid another to give you a +4 on AC or to hit was pulling his weight with the group? Even at mid to high PFS levels?

Since you have an eidolon that will be kicking ass, yes. Also remember that at higher levels you can use the Gloves of Arcane Striking to get increasing bonuses - up to +7 at 10th. Now, once everyone has iterative attacks, Aid Another gets a little less effective, but by then you should be able to cast spells much more frequently.

Also remember that while Bodyguard only requires you to be adjacent to an ally, Aid Another typically requires you to threaten the baddie you want to provide a bonus against.

Taldor

Zathyr wrote:

Here's what you do:

Use yourself as an improvised ranged weapon.
A spot on the ground has AC 5; throw yourself at one.
It may take several attempts, but you have at least a 5% change to miss, so keep at it and eventually you'll fail to hit the ground.
Congratulations! You are now flying!

(special thanks to Douglas Adams)

Yep. And make sure you craft your wondrous cloaks as towels. A towel is about the most massively useful thing an adventurer can have.

I thought I'd also add a list of classes that can get Fly as an ability or spell:

  • Alchemist (can take the Wings discovery or use the spell)
  • Magus
  • Sorcerer
  • Wizard
  • Summoner
  • Witch (Flight hex or spell)
  • Cleric (Feather subdomain or Air Walk at 9th level)
  • Oracle (Air Walk or revelation)
  • Druid
  • Ranger (Beast Master/Griffon Rider Archtypes or bird animal companion (see below))

Also, any small race could theoretically take the Nature's Soul and Animal Ally feats to get a small bird companion. The bird never grows to medium, but you could use Potions of Reduce Person (and eventually get a Permanent Reduce Person cast on you for just 2500 GP) to be able to become Tiny and ride it. A reach weapon should let you reach the squares around you so you don't provoke for being Tiny. That being said, I wouldn't recommend it for melee builds. Could make for a quite memorable character, though...

Taldor

Arcane possession wrote:

yes I play a human and am taking advantage of the favored class benefit. Talking to the magus about memorized spells is almost impossible due to his alignment, the GM let him choose lawful evil and thus prides secrecy above cooperation. We did have a cleric but the magus killed him in battle due to confrontation, so the healing capabilities have diminished.

Although I have mentioned many times my party seems to like to play a purely reactionary tactic.
Normally the barb charges in on BBE, the magus follows shortly after, the ranger and rogue focus on any other creature. The paladin helps where needed.
Presently the bonus spells have been instrumental at helping the party but the more we progress I wonder if my tactic of non-specialization will ultimately be the downfall of a TPK.
This generalization of my role has been a headache when a take feats.

Oh my. No offense, but this party sounds like a bit of a mess - even an evil character should know better than to kill the guy that heals him. It sounds like your best bet is to cast the enemy into disarray - if they can't utilize teamwork against you, then the strength of your individual party members should be enough to win the day. Spells like Confusion and Fog Cloud will be your friend. (Barbarian wants to charge the boss but there are minions in the way? Fog Cloud so they don't get AoOs as he rushes past them.)

When it comes to "generalization"... it depends on what level you are and what the Paladin and Magus like to cast, but it's certainly possible to cover a broad number of situations even with the limited spells of a sorcerer. Start with spells with lots of applications, like Summon Monster VI or Shadow Conjuration/Evocation. If you think you can wrangle the party long enough to touch them all at once, having access to Communal Resist Energy and/or Communal Protection From Evil will really save your bums in some situations; alternately, an all-purpose buff like Haste is always useful. Dispel Magic is another one that is frequently useful. Fill in the rest of the spell list with your favorite spells; just make sure you have at least one of each "type" (blasting, battlefield control, debuff, etc.) and you can't really go wrong. Oh, and make sure you have some scrolls of the weird stuff - you don't often need spells like Wind Wall or Water Breathing, but when you do, you need them a lot.

As to generalist feats, here's a list that should always be good:
Toughness
Improved Initiative
Improved Familiar (for Arcane bloodline)
Great Fortitude/Iron Will
Persistent Spell
Silent Spell (if you like to use Invisibility)
Expanded Arcana (if you really want extra versatility)
Combat Casting
Skill Focus
Quicken Spell

Taldor

I would definitely avoid multiclassing with this build, with the possible exception of a level of crossblooded sorcerer if you REALLY want to go all-in on blasting. Other than that, I think you're just missing metamagic feats.

What Mystery are you thinking about? Life is undoubtedly the best for healing, but Lunar could get you an animal companion and Charisma instead of Dex to armor class & reflex, which is pretty darn sweet.

Taldor

Archer is tricky since summoners aren't proficient with bows. Remember also that you can only have one summon active at a time with your special ability. You'll probably want Elf, Half-Elf, or Human for a bow-based build, so you can get Point Blank Shot at 1st; any other race will have to start with Bow Proficiency as their only feat, which is simply terrible. (Unless you take Heirloom Weapon, but then you better not lose your bow...)

However, you might try going with a Halfling and taking the Helpful trait to give +4 to allies with Aid Another... including your Eidolon. The Bodyguard feat and Gloves of Arcane Striking can bolster your ability, too. That way you can use Aid Another as your primary action and cast spells when the need arises.

Taldor

Trample is an awesome way to do Str-based damage to a whole bunch of minions at once. If your AC is lousy and you're really into the idea, just pick up Improved Overrun - it basically turns trample into an auto-hit. (No dodging out of the way OR attack of opportunity.)

Of course, since you don't get Power Attack or magic item bonuses, the damage won't be great, but it's still a lot of fun to trample a bunch of minions into the mud.

Taldor

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Haven't read the whole thread, but using ctrl+f no one seems to have mentioned one of my favorite traits for Halflings:

Helpful

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/traits/race-traits/helpful wrote:

You see nothing wrong with letting others achieve greatness so long as the job gets done.

Benefit: Whenever you successfully perform an aid another action, you grant your ally a +4 bonus instead of the normal +2.

With this, as long as you can hit a 10, you can dole out +4s to your allies! As a bard, you can even do it from 15 ft away with a whip.

If you get the Gloves of Arcane Striking, your Aid Another bonus even scales with your Arcane Strike bonus.

And if you don't have anything else to do with your feats, you can get Combat Reflexes and Bodyguard to give +4 (or more) AC to those adjacent to you.

Now go and be a team player!

Taldor

You could always go for a space monk wielding a laser sword. :3

Depending on how often you're in open areas vs. dungeons, a Cavalier could be nice - see if your GM will let you take an exotic mount. That's an easy way of experiencing the fantasy aspect with a non-caster class.

Alternately, the Ninja gets a lot of stuff that's pseudo-magical. The Trapper Ranger could also be nice if you need devices disabled - they give up magic anyway.

Taldor

I wouldn't try to do an Eidolon, if I were you - they're notoriously hard to build for newer players. I would go with a straight Ranger with a large cat animal companion and give it special properties like those Kolokotroni mentioned above. (IIRC Kirara can fly - perhaps there's a magic item that can help with that?) Much easier to handle and you don't need to worry about balancing as much. I think giving up spells is a worthy trade for a feat (Boon Companion) and a bunch of special qualities on her animal companion; you may just opt for diminished spellcasting instead.

Taldor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, if you look on the animal companion list, they have little superscript numbers that indicate which ACs are available to various classes.

For an Archer ranger, you probably want a nice sturdy companion that can keep enemies off your back in combat. The Wolf trip is typically nice, but since prone foes are actually harder to hit with ranged attacks, I'd probably stay away from it in this case.

If you're OK with a large companion, I would go Camel - they have a huge Con, a no-save sickening touch attack, and being able to move and full attack at range is pretty darn sweet.

If it's indoors and large companions won't fit, Badger could actually be a nice fit. The starting strength isn't super great but he can Rage as a Barbarian and has burrow, climb, and scent, plus a nice high Con so he won't go down quick.

Taldor

Disregard the following advice if you have BBNGs instead of BBEGs, but I would go Holy. With all your Fighter bonuses to hit, you should be fine there, but you know what really ruins your day? DR/good. With a Holy bow, you'll be going right past that and dealing 2d6 extra to boot!

Besides, if most of the neutral things in the campaign are lesser threats, you don't really need that +2/+2 against them, right?

Taldor

I'm not familiar with the metamagic you're talking about - what is it, exactly?

Also, normally there would be messing around with descriptors, but since the Elemental Focus feat simply says

Elemental Focus wrote:
Choose one energy type (acid, cold, electricity, or fire). Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against spells that deal damage of the energy type you select.

I would say that both Elemental Focuses apply, since it's doing both types of damage.

Oh and this should probably go in Rules Questions, not Advice.

Taldor

I'm not crazy, my DM had me tested!

Seriously though:

Myster wrote:
This mystery can represent a devotion to one ideal, prayers to deities that support the concept, or a natural calling to champion a cause.

So the question to you is this: what cause are you the champion of? What dark and twisted voices echo through your mind, giving you strange shadow/void/madness/shapeshifting powers? What do they tell you to do? You could even guess at why, but good frickin' luck with that one.

Ascalaphus wrote:
"I didn't choose to be this way! I don't worship them! But they're too big to care about that, they chose me! Now I have these horrible, horrible powers!"

Praise Lord Helix!

Taldor

Hi all. I know that for most melee eidolons, the conventional wisdom is that getting the Large evolution is key to having a great combat eidolon, thanks to the massive boost to HP, Str and CMB. However, I'm starting an urban campaign shortly (Crimson Throne), so I'd like to hear ideas on making a kickass medium-sized eidolon.

Also, for those who have played with medium eidolons, did you find that the eidolon's strength was enough on its own or did it need the ability increase evolution/Bull's Strength belt to be competitive?

Taldor

Hey all. I'm about to take this character into a new Curse of the Crimson Throne game. I'd appreciate any feedback on the character or advice for the campaign, and what evolutions or items might come in handy later on. No spoilers, though, please!

For reference, the rest of the party consists of a Paladin, a Flowing Monk, a Ninja, a ranged Eldritch Knight, and an Oracle of Bones.

Rube Twiddlethumbs

Backstory:
Early Life
Rube grew up in the Shingles, Korvosa's massive shanty town. His father, Miro, worked as a deckhand in the Leroung shipyards, but went missing on a journey to Mwangi when Rube was a child; his mother, Mara, took to begging and odd jobs to get by. Rube spent most of his youth riding dogs through the streets and dumpster diving for interesting pieces of junk, though he dreamed of learning magic in the city's famous Acadamae.

Joining the Acadamae
Shortly after puberty, Rube's mother died of illness and stress, and after grieving Rube decided he would make it his goal to graduate the Acadamae. Taking a loan from local crime lord Gaedren Lamm on the condition that he would pay back double after graduating, Rube bought some textbooks and the other supplies he needed to apply. However, his lack of accomplishments, connections, and schooling meant his application was rejected time and time again. Growing desperate, Rube applied once more, and was accepted... as a janitor.

Student Loans
Menial as his janitorial duties were, they brought him into close contact with the students and staff of the Acadame. Quietly, Rube managed to pick up the basics of summoning and spellcasting, learning intuitively and practicing in secret between mopping up alchemical spills and the guts of failed students. However, Gaedren Lamm is neither a patient nor a forgiving man, and after just two years demanded Rube pay the loan back immediately. When he could not, Lamm used him as a fall man: Lamm lured, robbed, and killed a wealthy young Acadamae student and pinned the blame on Rube. Though he was eventually declared Not Guilty of the crime, the verdict came too late to prevent his eviction from the Acadamae.

Slobad's Shop
Though devastated, Rube was not unemployed for long. The gnome Surskit Slobad, owner of the magic pawn shop Slobad's Sundries, remembered and took pity on the young halfling who had always ogled the wondrous items in his window. Though he began as a stock boy (and, of course, janitor), Slobad found Rube a quite capable item-crafter, and took him as an apprentice.

Making Diesel
When not crafting items for the store, Rube worked on his own side-project - a magically-powered mechanical vehicle. Finding that his own arcane powers were insufficient to get the vehicle running, Rube combined his magic shop and Acadamae experience to summon and bind an Agathion, a neutral good bestial outsider, as the power source for the vehicle. It worked, and now Rube can be seen riding his partner, Diesel, up and over the buildings of the Midlands and Shingles. Though content working for Slobad and tinkering on Diesel, Rube has sworn vengeance on Gaedren Lamm, and always keeps an ear to the ground for ways to get back at him.

Alignment: Neutral Good

Appearance
Rube appears as a roughly 3'2" tall, lean halfling. His short, copper-colored, curly hair is often covered by a pair of vintage racing goggles. He wears a studded leather jerkin with an abundance of pockets, out of which poke various tools. His manner is cheery and helpful, but he possesses an uncanny ability to blend into the background of a situation and deflect attention from himself.

Stats (15 point buy)
Str 10
Dex 14
Con 12
Int 12
Wis 12
Cha 16

Languages: Common, Halfling, Varisian

Traits
Helpful (+4 granted with Aid Another)
Framed (+2 spellcraft)

Racial Traits
Outrider (+2 Ride and Handle Animal)

Skills (3/level):
Key: Ride, Spellcraft, Know: Local
Secondary: Knowledges, Diplomacy, Handle Animal

Weapons:
Club (wrench)
Longspear
Sling

Feats:
1 Combat Reflexes (to get Bodyguard at 3rd)

Spells:
0 Mending
0 Detect Magic
0 Light
0 Mage Hand

1 Grease
1 Shield

Diesel the Eidolonmobile

Appearance
Diesel appears similar to a motorcycle sidecar. Attached to his side are four metal cylinders; protruding from each of these are short, four-toed robotic legs. These result in a motion like that of a cross between a crocodile and a freight train; though seemingly awkward, Diesel can move very quickly, and by protruding small suction cups from his toes can walk up walls and ceilings as easily as solid ground. The car's front grill separates and opens to reveal a maw quite similar to a bear trap, that can ratchet open and snap shut with alarming force. The headlights swivel and can open and close like camera lenses, allowing Diesel to see in the dark. Finally, when threatened, Diesel can open panels on his side to reveal a pair of robotic-limb mounted buzzsaws (a la Inspector Gadget), which combined with his bite allow him to eviscerate most enemies in short order.

Base Form: Quadruped

Starting Statistics

Size Medium; Speed 40 ft.; AC +2 natural armor; Saves Fort (good), Ref (good), Will (bad); Attack bite (1d6); Ability Scores Str 14, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11

Free Evolutions

bite, limbs (legs) (2).

Feats:
1 Fleet (+5 base move speed)

Skills:
Perception, Sense Motive, Acrobatics, Intimidate

Evolutions:
Mount
Climb
Claws

Taldor

Don't worry about doing everything - that's what your teammates are for. Focus on doing one thing very, very well. And lucky for you, there's one thing that your team needs badly AND that you can do effectively in a super-multiclass: DEAL DAMAGE. (Melee damage, that is - you've got plenty of archers and blasters. Once you can fly who needs ranged attacks anyway, just charge them. Don't bother with guns or other such nonsense.)

The earliest you can take Dragon Disciple is level 6, and since you probably want to just stay in it until level 16, here's the 5 other classes I would take:

Arcane Duelist Bard
-fulfills the spellcasting requirement
-can cast in light armor
-free Arcane Strike to boost damage

Barbarian
-Rage is awesome
-Fast movement is awesome
- +1 BAB

Fighter
-Bonus feat
- +1 BAB

Paladin
-Smite Evil gives +Cha on attack rolls and +1 on damage against the nastiest thing you fight each day
-Detect Evil finds you things to kill
- +1 BAB

Alchemist
-Mutagen for +4 Str and +2 nat armor, lasts 10 minutes
-Bombs to help deal with swarms and whatnot
-Brew Potion and Throw Anything as bonus feats
-handy 1st-level extracts like Enlarge Person

Feats look like:
1 Power Attack
3-? whatever

Stack Rage, Mutagen, Enlarge Person, Smite, a +Strength belt, your Dragon Disciple strength bonuses, Arcane Strike, and Power Attack for BONKERS DAMAGE FUN TIME. Bonus: Bard gives you access to stuff like Silent Image and Vanish so the enemy won't even know what hit them.

Enjoy!

PS: Doing 2 levels of Paladin instead of 1 Paladin 1 Fighter gives you +Cha on saves and 1d6 swift action healing a few times a day. This will significantly improve your odds of not getting horribly murdered and as such I highly recommend it. Dunno what kind of screwed up Paladin you'd be, though...

PPS: Oh yeah, and you'll have to work something out regarding alignment restrictions with your DM. Typically Paladin and Barbarian don't mix. I can't see this guy being lawful good anyway - maybe he's a Paladin of Gorum. Gorum would definitely approve of making yourself into a multiclassed dragon crazy dude to get power to smite enemies.

Taldor

The real problem is that when a Monk loses flurry, he loses his only way to pretend to be a full-BAB character. A 3/4 BAB character with no class-based bonuses to to-hit or damage is not going to be having a great time in combat. (Rogues get big bonuses to damage, at least!) The styles let you do a lot of cool things, but none of them let you compensate for that.

Taldor

If it's only 1 or 2 sessions, I would invest more in one-shot items. Potions of high level cleric and wizard spells are nice. I would also get some "oh-s$!*" items like a Cube of Force or an Instant Fortress. If you're fighting witches, make sure the party is supplied with Beads of Newt Prevention - getting Baleful Polymorphed sucks big time. :p

Looking at that party, you're definitely going to need some items to help with crowd control. High-tier Necklace of Fireball is nice (as long as it doesn't blow up in your face!)

Taldor

Ooh, I like some of these. I'm working on one for an upcoming campaign that looks like a racecar (with feet), piloted by a tinker-happy machinist halfling; it'll start as a punch buggy and work its way up to a monster truck. I'll be drawing all kinds of inspiration from Battle Bots for that one - retractable buzz saw claws and a gnarly front-mounted clamp are just the beginning.

On the shelf I have a classic pair of Lucha Libre wrestlers - a pair of mustached masked men that use Paired Opportunist and Broken Wing Gambit to lure opponents in and hit them with devastating slam combo attacks. Probably going to have to take Two-World Magic just to get Ghost Sound for the end-of-combat bell ring.

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