Small Ears No Die wrote:
my wolf has this trait. its not that bad. (it took additional traits to get this, and adopted by halflings to get helpful)
I don't think an animal can usually count as part of a religion in PFS (maybe the paladin's mount if it comes from Chaldira?). I know it has been definitively ruled that a companion doesn't count as part of a faction for such purposes, even an intelligent paladin's steed.
Jeggare at the moment is a Noble House of One, so that's pretty much out.
You may be missing the Korvosan branch of the Jeggare family, which controls over a quarter of the land in Korvosa and extends a line of credit for the monarchy.
On topic for the OP, Linda has her infernal sorceress Aspexia Thrune, a minor Thrune cousin. She has managed to gather a series of stacking social boons for Aspexia, including a Mark of Thrune that gives a large bonus with Chelaxians and Hellknights, so that fits the flavor of being a Thrune really well.
Convergent Paths: Fey Archetypes link here. If you like it, tell me what you think! I'm the author, and Cheapy was the developer. I'm thrilled that so many people love the reveler, and your feedback definitely guides my future projects. I will say no more but leave that last statement as a teaser for fans of the Masquerade Reveler.
EDIT: Ninjaed by OSW! ^_^
but temporary bonuses...do not contribute, as the duration over which the Day Job check is made is undefined and represents a longer amount of time than a spell’s duration would permit the bonus to remain.
Inspiration has no time limit, so it isn't temporary. It works on the whole check. Even a week-long Craft or Profession check (now don't ask me when you spend the Inspiration pool point for that week-long check).
It instead rolls an extra dice. That isn't considered a bonus in any other case where you add multiple rolls to make a result.
For example, an enlarged greatsword's third d6 is not a bonus. The +2 to Strength is, though.
Consider also the following hypothetical Rogue Advanced Talent:
Hey Guys, Look, I'm Still Relevant! (Ex): Whenever you roll a skill check, roll the d20 twice and add the results (maximum 20) before applying your bonuses.
For this ability, the second d20 is not a bonus, it's a separate dice.
Also, unrelatedly to it not being a bonus, it's not really temporary because it has no listed duration. It affects the entire check, regardless of how long it takes.
Inspiration isn't a temporary bonus or even a bonus at all. It simply adds 1d6 to the result of a check; it doesn't have a duration. Of course, the Guide wasn't written with investigators in mind, so if they do want to disallow this, it wouldn't be hard to alter the guide to do so. However, it makes sense that an investigator would be able to use Inspiration on Day Jobs since other skill monkey classes can currently use their skill edge abilities on them (for instance bards can use Versatile Performance on Day Jobs). Then again, this is a point for a different thread, and it may become irrelevant anyway depending on the updated investigator.
I am not really sure what you are trying to prove here. Grendel is a terrible CR19 challenge given it has no ability to fly, no ranged attack and terrible saves. I would be more interested to see if you could do the same thing with an actual CR19/20 threat such as the Ancient Red Dragon or Balor.
To be fair, though, generally if you have no ability to fly, no ranged attacks, and weak saves, that means you should kick ass five ways to Sunday in melee, and she challenged them in melee and won, she didn't kite them from range (they would have killed the innocents if she tried anyway). Essentially, she beat it at its own game.
Considering that a level 1 Mythic Tier 2 Witch and a level 1 Mythic Tier 2 fighter of some sort (effective character level 2 in each case) can automatically kill a balor, though they die too, with a 95% chance (unless the balor rolls a 20 on its save against coup de grace), I didn't want to put a mythic PC against a non-mythic opponent.
I will buy Chronicle of the Righteous, Champions of Purity, Distant Worlds, or Cerulean Seas: Beasts of the Boundless Blue for the first twelve posters that want them
Wait? I could swear you had giant binoculars at all times at Paizocon.
Unrelatedly, glad to see the Reapers love! As an added bonus, if any of the three people who asked Mikaze for BoHR: Reapers or Mikaze PM me, I might be able to hook you up with a special bonus director's cut version of an archetype and a PrC for you (they are much more complicated than the final version, but pretty cool). Also, I've had an ongoing mini-promotion to pick your favorite NPC mentioned in the book and then I stat up the winner back in the product thread!
PFS is actually the only time that the missing Weapon Finesse at 1st level is no problem (usually it's all kinds of awkward in a home game), since you can grab it at 1st and rebuild for free!
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Excellent, thanks Wes! As you know from Bastardhall, Linda and I really enjoy using the Harrow Deck to add atmosphere at the table when applicable. Ours are getting a bit worn from use, actually. Will these be more durable? I may consider grabbing them for that and for the nicer backs.
Carlos Robledo wrote:
Oh wow, my female wizard PC also has a lyrakien azata and the shard of lust. If you're Taldor faction, then we must be twins. Anyway, my plan is to now only play her with GMs who I know with whom I've worked this out ahead of time (or with whom I can quickly work it out before the slot) and then never mention it at the table ever. Fortunately, she is now level 10, and I also have my oracle of lore I can just play at the exact same level. Since Linda is usually my GM, though, with Cordy, it hasn't yet been an issue.
Carlos Robledo wrote:
I'm in the same boat. I have a character who was blindsided by getting this shard when I thought I would be able to put an ioun stone inside of it and remove the curse. I came onto the boards with the same question as you (about 10 year olds, or honestly just even anyone who wouldn't want that kind of character at their table regardless of age), and it seems like there is no good solution. I was told that the curse was intentional and that 8000 gp for an ioun stone that is either not very useful (if you don't care about Cha) or is unupgradable (if you do), was not considered enough to balance it (my guess is because Int ioun stone in the Pride shard would be super useful for a non-Int-based character because it's a great ioun stone to have, so essentially to kill the Pride shard). If that's the case, obviously we can't just spend a tiny amount of PP and make it go away either. When I pointed out that wizards or monks who aren't wearing a heavy body slot item can get the shard's power at no cost if they exploit their way past the RP requirement and otherwise will probably be an extremely creepy character at most tables, everyone agreed that there was no hope (people told me to get another chronicle and pick up a different shard--your Bloatmage would probably be able to use Gluttony pretty easily?).
Obviously, we can be assumed to have performed the shard's requirement before the scenario (presumably just before the scenario), and we can say that was with whomever we want, including a porter or Zarta Dralneen or what have you. But in the course of the ongoing adventure while out in the field, just like if an avalanche happens the porter is immune and never dies, so too can the porter not provide additional mechanical benefits beyond carrying stuff. Right now, I'm mostly just hoping to get scenarios done in the first 12 hours. If not, she'll probably have to work something out with her familiar?
Arshea you can do with yourself. The Shard is the only one that requires you to find another NPC (and as I mentioned when talking to you about this before, I'm with Sitri that due to their strange invulnerability to all effects other than what is stated in their write-up, we can't use Vanity NPCs for anything other than their stated use. I suppose a summoner with a very humanlike eidolon could manage though.
It's legal, and unfortunately, it seems you have to commit the sexual acts. One possibility is to quickly apply another chronicle with other shards on it and then never pick the Lust Shard. At least it isn't the Pride Shard where you literally cannot avoid always taking the penalties, which more than cancel out the bonuses.
I think your viewpoint as expressed in your first post is certainly a valid possibility, but it seems it would produce the opposite results for going over 20 + modifiers and critical threats.
I can also see the "if you rolled the first time, you weren't taking it easy in character and taking 10, so the reroll shouldn't be a T10" perspective too, but then what if the player wanted to T10 for both the original and the second roll?
Hmm, that's an interesting take. Would you then say also that if the natural roll was altered that the following are true:
1) The GM bonus would never raise the result higher than what could be rolled on a natural 20 (so for instance if I reroll to a 17 on my Day Job with 5 stars, I would not get the results of 22 + my character's bonuses but instead 20 + my character's bonuses).
2) Since the actual roll was altered, this also increases the chance of a critical threat (so if I roll a 10 with a +5 star reroll, I threaten a critical with a keen scimitar).
I would take both 1 and 2 to be true with your interpretation. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but if it's true I'd like to know since I do it differently.
Well if you're using a 9th level spell (10th level spell? multiple traits entirely focused on dominate?) or a rod worth more than the entire WBL of a 10th level character and which is multiple times too expensive to find in any market, even in Absalom, a shopkeep is not going to stand a chance. Your rod that you brought in was probably worth more than the wares at that particular shopkeep's stall combined. That's why it's so nice to have the factions step in for you with Fame at higher levels (even though it can be rough at lower levels when you want to pick up a common cheapo item and can't get it, Fame access vastly outstrips the ability to find big items in a standard marketplace).
N N 959 wrote:
I've always wondered how magic shopkeepers keep from getting robbed. You know, one Heightened Dominate and I think you could just clean a guy out.
Duck around the corner and call the guards if anyone ever begins casting a full round casting time spell. Even if you fail your Spellcraft, those are never something you want to see to completion (OK, enlarge isn't that bad, but it doesn't even make any sense to cast).
Impressive analysis Mark - a 1/day reroll is roughly equivalent to +3 to all saves. Honestly, that about matches my experience, having played since 2000-2001 characters with the old Luck Domain power. As long as you use it of course.
+3 to all saves is probably better because it has a competitive chance with rerolls to save you from one failed save, plus it has a not-unreasonable chance to save you from multiple saves (Only 36.8475% of the 47.8% are from one save, so there's a not-insubstantial chance of being saved multiple times, roughly 10% of all days). Then again, at the point where I have to point this out to show that a stacking +3 to all saves is better than a trait, I think the trait has already shown itself to be ridiculously strong.
The Fox wrote:
Oh Day Jobs. I remember I worked out when you should take 10 on day jobs and found that you should only do it when you would reach an exact multiple of 5 or when you would get 26 (because 50 is so much better than 20). There's another point where it's about equal too. Of course, I've been usually having a VL shirt reroll left over with a +5 GM bonus, so now if I have it, I reroll anything that isn't in the top tier of gold I could receive on the first roll. My investigator just nearly got 150 gold from a day job in his first game ever, First Steps 1 last night (he still did get 100)!
The Fox wrote:
Actually, it does, as I showed in my previous analysis. A priori when faced with a single saving throw, a reroll on that save is precisely equivalent to a +5 bonus on that one save. What I am getting at here is if you were given the choice, again a priori, between a +5 bonus on your next save or the chance to reroll on your next save, then the two options are equivalent.
Agreed. But LoC isn't a priori. It kicks in when you fail. Also, it has a different probability distribution with the same expected value, which is part of why my math came to a different conclusion.
The Fox wrote:
I am capable of working out the math on this, but I'm feeling lazy. Would you mind?
99.84% chance that you fail at least once * 4/20 chance the reroll saves you = 19.968% chance to be saved by a reroll, which is higher than 18.55%. After that, the probability of reroll saving you increases linearly and probability of failing decreases slowly at first and then more quickly. The peak is at 75% chance to save (so you need a 6 on the dice), but even as the chance falls beyond that, it never goes below 18.55% again, so the reroll is still superior all the way out to 90% (and because you never succeed on a 1, once you hit 95% the reroll is strictly superior). So the only time that a reroll is worse against 4 daily saves than +1 to all saves is if the saves require you to roll a natural 18, 19, or 20 to succeed.
The Fox wrote:
This is one mathematical analysis, but I don't believe it takes into account the value of the reroll that occurs exactly when you fail, and the +5 substitution doesn't work perfectly in this case. If you would have made the saves without either a +1 bonus or a reroll, both traits are irrelevant and you are already happy. I'll do the math of daily reroll vs +1 to all saves making 4 saves a day.
Each time you try to make a saving throw, if you have a +1 bonus, there is exactly a 1/20 chance that you made the save from the bonus alone (unless you only failed on a Nat 1 without that trait bonus, I guess, in which case it gave no benefit, but let's ignore that for now). That means if you have to roll 4 saving throws on a particular day, then, regardless of the DC and what you need to roll, there is precisely an 81.45% chance (19/20 ^ 4) that your +1 to all saves was useless that day because you either failed with or without the bonus or succeeded with or without the bonus on all 4. So there was an 18.55% chance that it helped. It may have helped more than once (as I calculate later, that chance is roughly 1%).
Now the power of a reroll is quite dependent on what you need to roll, as you 100% correctly mathed out in your earlier post. However, the fact that it only happens after you fails makes it stronger. If we do go with the "Need an 11", then the probability that Lessons of Chaldira saves you from failing a saving throw that day is actually 46.875% (15/16 chance that you fail one of them before reroll, followed by 50% chance that the reroll succeeds). Compare that to 18.55% for +1 to all saving throw types (which is already stronger than a trait) and LoC is way ahead. Now, the +1 to all saves might save you more than once. However, 17.1475% of the 18.55% is made up of times that it saved you exactly once (in other words, the chance of being saved more than once by +1 in a day with 4 saves is barely over 1%). For reference, a +2 to all saves has a 34.39% chance of saving you from failing a save if you make 4 in a day and a +3 to all saves has a 47.8% chance of saving you from failing a save if you make 4 in a day, so the +3 to all saves is unambiguously better.
Now, while you are correct that blind rerolls have their greatest utility when you need to roll an 11, tied with a pre-declared +5 bonus, it's actually the case that LoC rerolls have a different power curve when you rate them for probability in saving you from a failed save.
For example, let's say you have a 75% chance of making those saves. +1 to all saves trait still has an 18.55% chance of saving you from a failure. LoC has a chance equal to 68.36% (the chance that you fail one of your saves) * 3/4 (the chance the reroll saves you) = 51.27%. This is actually higher than for 50/50! Even at the extreme of having a very high bonus and low DC, the single reroll is better than a +1 to all saves (increasing yourself from having a 90% chance to save to a 95% chance to save cuts your chance of failing by 50%, but the reroll has a 90% chance to work, so essentially the reroll is better unless you roll 2+ natural 2s out of 4 rolls, which is very unlikely--reroll gives a 30.95% chance of saving you each day). And of course, when you need a Natural 1 to fail, no amount of bonus will help you on that 1, but reroll will (there's still nearly a 20% chance to fail one of 4 saves even if you only fail on a 1).
The only time the bonus is better is if it's a save you will almost surely fail. If you need a natural 20 to save, then the reroll is nearly a 5% chance to save you, which is way worse than 18.55%. As soon as your chance of succeeding on the saving throw is at least 4/20 (that is, you need to roll a 17 on the dice or higher to save), the reroll becomes better on a 4 save day and never goes back as your chance increases.
Now granted, I picked 4 because you picked 4, and you may need to make more than 4 saves in a day, which advantages the +1 to all saves. However, I think that nicely cancels the fact that you can save the reroll for the worst saves and let yourself be shaken or something compared to being paralyzed and coup de graced or killed by a death effect. Hopefully you don't make more than 4 utterly crucial saves each day in a typical adventure.
Also, the barbarian cannot be willing for spells that allow willing only, even if they have no save. With a superstitious barbarian in both Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star, we learned a lot about the saving throw patterns of friendly spells. Our biggest surprise? A successful saving throw against the heal spell when it is used to heal negates the entire spell, so 0 points of healing!
Fortune's Favored is also hugely overpowered if you have a permanent luck bonus, like some half-orcs do from the start. It's at least +1 to all saves for such a half-orc, and that's not counting that it doubles the bonus to other stuff from the prayer spell.
Alistair was the best skilled character at level 1 that I have ever seen. The inspired day job was just the icing on the cake. Alistair had something good to add to every skill-based situation, generally as much as the other characters combined. In combat, I sacrificed a lot to give Alistair 16 Strength, so he was quasi-competent, but he didn't even keep up with Lem the bard's sleep or the shaman's uber-cures. The mad dog barbarian was unlucky that Larkin made the Acrobatics and controlled the narrows, which disallowed her from bringing both herself and her moose to bear. When she had both characters, she was also definitely hugely stronger than Alistair (she had +5 to hit for 1d10+4 damage versus Alistair's +3/+3 for 1d4+3 each from claws if he got a full attack, and her moose wasn't terribly strong but added some too when he could fight). She was also a gnome barbarian without rage, so keep that in mind too.
The shaman's player said that he didn't have much to say and that playing level 1 shaman was like any other spellcaster--his spells were awesome, but then he ran out and that was that. He definitely enjoyed healing for 11.
We just finished a run of First Steps part 1. The other two characters were a Mad Dog Barbarian and iconic Lem. We nearly TPKed due to bad luck, but the new classes did pretty well, other than Alistair (the Investigator)'s relative lack of utility in combat.
First we needed to get a box from an imp. Since he had a trait that said he used logical arguments for diplomacy, Alistair used his infernal logic to talk down the imp, pointing out that it would be better for its own goals to give us the box.
Then, we needed to do simple puzzles for Osirion, which we did.
Then we investigated an old woman to see if her orphanage was worthy of charity. Alistair the investigator used his Knowledge: Local (and inspiration) to know lots of stuff and then came in for a sting operation pretending to be a sketchy guy with business deals for the old woman. Since the other Pathfinders spooked her, she agreed to give Alistair her illicit black market medicines in case there was a search. She also agreed to make the orphanage an alcohol-smuggling checkpoint in exchange for rare liquors.
Last, we searched for a box from the Sczarni and fought three rats. The Mad Dog Barbarian and her moose dropped all of them, though Alistair staggered one with a claw and his flank was needed to drop it. We took no damage from this fight. Then Alistair used Acrobatics to reach the crate and lowered onto the boat with the Shaman and Lem.
On the way back, we were ambushed by the usual ambush. Alistair managed to raise his AC to 21 and took control of the narrows, and Ledford missed on his charge. Larkin rolled a natural 16 to tumble through Alistair's square (he needed the 16 to succeed) and then two consecutive 18s to confirm a critical sneak attack, dropping Alistair to -1 and retaking control of the narrows. The shaman enlarged the mad dog (who was a gnome so was now medium). The mad dog rolled 3, 3, and 5 over three rounds, and Deandre's channels nearly killed unconscious Alistair while Ledford took out the mad dog. The shaman had a battle shaman combo that made him heal for 11 every time without rolling, so he woke up the mad dog, who dropped Ledford from the ground. Then the shaman healed Alistair from -10 (he used inspiration to keep this from being -12 and dead) to 1 hit point. Deandre channeled for 3, and Alistair saved to be at 0, but the mad dog was dropped to -2. Then Lem's sleep took out all but Halli. Halli came back with color spray but failed to cast defensively. Alistair swiped and missed twice. Halli woke up Deandre, but Alistair and the shaman managed to drop her due to a nat 20 AoO crit from Alistair that he spent inspiration to confirm. Then on his own turn Alistair dropped Halli with two claws.
Notably, after the game, an inspired 5 star reroll on Craft Alchemy garnered a 37 Day Job that was nearly a 40 for the Investigator, which was a huge gain in gold.
Your analysis gave me an idea--what if Animal Focus lasted for an hour if you spend one full round (like a summon spell) and one minute as a swift action. The idea in-world is you spend more time focusing on your connection to animals for a longer connection. Gamist perspective, this makes it attractive for long out-of-combat situations while also having better action economy in combat for brief uses just to get through the fight.
I am curious how you interpret the bonus on the Pommel Swipe attack. If you scroll a few posts up, you'll see my take on it, but I don't think you get to add very many of your class bonuses to it. I may be interpreting this incorrectly, but it seems to me that Pommel Swipe is just another cap in the feather of Str-based builds.
I would think you do not add Precise Strike with it, not Swashbuckler Weapon Training, but you do add all the enhancements on the weapon. That said, I never used it in playtests except the oozes just now because I was unsure of exactly how much it would do. Clearly if it somehow adds Precise Strike, it's nearly always a better choice than doubling Precise Strike damage, barring DR or something.
Baby Rhiana versus the oozes:
Baby Rhiana is the level 8 version of Rhiana who loses Signature Deed and the Snake Style feats as well as some gear. Suddenly, she faces off against two black puddings.
She easily won initiative and puts some alchemical bladeguard on her sword while backing up.
Being mindles creatures, the oozes constantly tried to slam, grab, cosntrict on her until they either killed her or died. They took their first turn to run up to her.
Rhiana's first priority was to avoid Grab, which could spell her end, so she started by splitting one of the oozes into two medium and one large ooze. The four oozes attacked and missed her with all attacks.
Rhiana then pommel-slammed one medium ooze, split it into two small oozes, and killed one of the small oozes with a stab (due to the pommel slam, it was below 10 so it didn't split) to regain her panache.
The four oozes missed her on every attack.
Rhiana then did the same to the other medium ooze, killing one of the small oozes she split off this one as well.
The four oozes missed her on every attack.
Rhiana killed both the small oozes.
The two oozes missed her on every attack.
She split the large ooze, pommel-slammed one of the mediums, and then split the medium.
The four oozes missed her on every attack.
She pommeled the other medium and killed both smalls.
The two oozes missed her on every attack.
She split the medium into two smalls and rolled a natural 1 so failed to kill either of them.
One of the four oozes (a small) hit, so she countered the attack with Crane Riposte and killed it.
She killed the other small, then split the huge into two larges.
The two oozes missed with their attacks.
She split one large into mediums, bashed one medium, then split it into smalls.
The four oozes missed with every attack.
She killed both smalls.
The two oozes missed with every attack.
She bashed the medium, split it into smalls, and killed one small.
The large hit her, got Crane Winged and Crane Riposted, and she split it into two mediums.
She bashed one of the mediums, killed the small, and split the bashed medium.
One of the smalls hit her, got Crane Winged and Crane Riposted, and died.
She missed again with another natural 1 but still managed to kill the small and bash the last medium.
The two oozes missed her again.
She split the medium and killed one small.
The other small missed.
She killed it.
Another flawless victory for Rhiana. Swashbuckler here didn't help her compared to Swordlord much (got training faster since Swordlord trades out first weapon training), but it still wasn't weaker even without the precision damage.
I'm actually OK with what you lose if you dump Dex (though one way to discourage it would be to make Nimble increase the Max Dex of armor instead of just giving you +AC flat-out, since the latter is the main source of the Str-buckler's edge). But I fully agree that the curve for panache based on Cha is not good (1 point for anything from 5-13 is too wide a range).
@People banging on core only--yeah, I heard them, that's why I made the other tests too. But it's the answer to the (I admit rather mysterious without explanation) question of "why is he building them using all this stuff and then talking about what would happen if we took it away?"
I think the double Precise Strike's swift action cost is its biggest restriction. There's other choices you can do with that action (for instance, Pommel Swipe costs the same action and gives you another whole attack which possibly knocks the enemy over, plus you can make Pommel Swipe free but never Precise Strike). If Riposte becomes immediate, that's also going to change things a lot.
By request, I've posted a playtest of Rhiana versus some elder earth elementals (replacing with fire or water wouldn't change the results, but airs are a pain). Rhiana eventually wins a flawless victory, but it certainly takes a while. Swashbuckler really wasn't any worse off on the elementals than her original (and currently canonical) form in the AP, with Aldori Swordlord levels.
By request--Rhiana Flynn versus any type of elder elemental (I've selected earth). Also known as "Rhiana's long day". Once Rhiana flies up into the air, in theory she can just stay there and win a waiting game, but we'll assume she also wants to drive the elementals away so she has up her buffs from last time except a freedom of movement instead of being big.
When fighting defensively using Combat Expertise and in the air, the elementals have trouble hitting Rhiana because of earth mastery. Meanwhile, she's hitting for 1d6+2 after DR due to Precise Strike not working. It took her exactly 32 hits to drop the first elemental. During the requisite time to make that many hits, the elementals did not get more than one hit in the same round, so she riposted all the hits. Then she killed the other one in 31 hits (some of those hits already happened due to ripostes during the first bit of the fight). This actually takes tens of rounds to happen, but it is clearly safe, since Rhiana can leave at any time.
The same thing would have happened with fire elementals (they have lower to-hit which nearly cancels out the whole earth mastery thing). Water elementals are even worse off than the other two. Air elementals have that whirlwind form, which might have been able to do something if she failed a Reflex save, they have the best to-hit of the bunch after masteries are considered, and they have Flyby Attack with solid reach. They would present the biggest threat to Rhiana of any of these guys and would probably win with her listed build.
The original Rhiana wouldn't have fared much better against those elementals. Since she didn't use panache feats randomly on bleeding attacks and such, she had Weapon Specialization, which would be 2 more damage. Even Swash Rhiana could also easily have it--there are numerous feats that are pretty vestigial or fluffy in her build (like the Signature Bleeding, which was just for fun and to try out that deed). So really these elementals were already an equal pain for the existing Aldori Swordlord version of Rhiana; Swashbuckler remains a nearly-full upgrade for her.
While I'm on the topic of the playtests, Rogue Eidolon has been drawing up some whacky swashbucklers and putting them into crazy fights. The swash 11/MoMS 1 beating two CR11 black dragons solo seemed really neat on the surface, but the fight scenario took away a lot of dragon tactical options. Also, a great deal of what makes a dragon's CR so high is magical defenses, which a swash need not be concerned about (unless they have a corrosive weapon?). I kind of want to see how that fight goes with two elder elementals (any flavor will do)... even so, just about every one of REs builds have 7 CHA and dip other classes. So while the reports all talk about what the swash(+whatever) can do, the fact that CHA is the dump stat seems like a design failure to me. RE also uses agile weapons, but is quick to point out they wouldn't have been necessary (still takes them every time though, so one wonders).
Hey Knick! Rhiana was actually a real character in an ongoing adventure path that we played before the playtest even existed. The entire situation was lifted exactly from the AP. She's also the only one of the non-core playtests with bad charisma (Drew has 18 Charisma, and Grace is even Charisma-primary, above Dex). I do agree that Cha-dumping is a problem though for the class. Maybe eliminate the "minimum 1" clause for panache and thus demand either 12 Charisma or the Extra Panache feat to even have panache at all?
As to using agile and all of the other stuff, I tried core-only so I could build some extremely parallel builds between Fighter and Swashbuckler, and it made some people ask for the use of all material because hyper-optimized core-only Fighter was not enough of a baseline for them (even though the fighter was kicking butt in the playtest too, so he clearly wasn't too weak for the challenges). I still think the best playtest is Sally and Fred because when you go off into wacky-land, it becomes harder to isolate which elements are causing the power of the PC, but nowhere on these playtest boards have I ever seen before or after a playtest that was as heckled as the core-only one was. So I figured my best option was to start high with everything added, save the d20 rolls, and then analyze through what differences it would make to strip each element away, as at least it helps isolate what changes different elements make. If you have any other good ideas to get that same effect, I'm interested in trying them too, though I may not wind up having time for another playtest.
Analysis: What if Drew didn't have any of the crane feats and relied completely on Opportune Parry? In that case, let's consider if she switched out her Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, and Crane feats for Skill Focus (Knowledge Local), Eldritch Heritage (Arcane), Improved Familiar (Valet Arbiter Inevitable), Paired Opportunists, and one more feat (maybe Toughness? maybe Extra Panache again?). The arbiter sits on her head wielding a size Diminutive longspear in one hand.
At this point, Drew loses one free counterattack per round but gets a +5 to hit with Opportune Parry and Riposte (1 for not fighting defensively, 4 for Paired Opportunists). The grendels can attack the inevitable if they want (even though it never attacks them and just sits there with a diminutive longspear), but it has regeneration, so it won't die and that gives Drew more breathing room anyway.
On the original grendel, I don't know if grendel would have spent a point to try to make his 43 beat her 49 parry (if he did, it would have succeeded because we know he rolled a 7, but it had a low success chance). Instead, grendel's Natural 19 bite attack, which previously beat the parry, would have barely lost to this version, so he would have surged that. This would have increased the damage she took from original grendel by 7. She would have still ended that fight with full panache.
On the baby grendels, round 1 she would have failed to parry no attack before surges and only one after surges (since they Power Attacked on the first round, so they were at +25 (or +20 for bite) to hit and she was parrying at +41, so it was virtually impossible not to parry). Her countersurge failed to remove the one claw hit, but she parried the grapple anyway, so she took less damage than with Crane that round (only got hit once instead of twice). However, she spent more panache on her counters (if she took Extra Panache, she would get herself down to exactly 1 panache by making all 12 riposting, counting crits and the one dropped below 0).
On the next set of full attacks, the additional bonus to parry also managed to cancel out one of the attacks that would have hit, so the same thing happened as with Crane defensively, but offensively she loses a riposte due to lack of panache (since she gained one last turn from Extra Panache, this cancels).
The rest happens as it happened.
If we instead replaced the crane feats with blank feat slots that didn't increase her parrying ability (or maybe assume the arbiter imploded instantly for no reason), Drew would have taken an extra claw hit from original grendel and been grappled (killing it anyway on her next turn), and she would have taken two extra claw hits (one of which was Power Attacking, ouch! but no successful grapples) from the babies. Given she healed in between the fights, which she did, she would have been standing at the end of that, but much less confidently.
Drew Parrymore Swashbuckler 13/MR2 (effective character level 14)
Mythic Abilities Chosen: Absorb Blow, Retributive Reach, Ever-Ready, Mythic Combat Reflexes, +2 Dex
Traits: Fencer, Indomitable Will
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Signature Deed Opportune Parry, Extra Panache, Weapon Focus (scimitar), Greater Weapon Focus (scimitar), Dervish Dance, Improved Unarmed Strike, Dodge, Crane Style, Crane Wing, Crane Riposte
Saves: Fort + 11, Ref +21, Will + 11
AC While Fighting Defensively And Using Boots of Speed: 32 (10 + 8 Dex + 5 Armor + 3 Nimble + 4 Fighting Defensively +1 Dodge + 1 Haste)
CMD While Fighting DefensivelyAnd Using Boots of Speed: 35 (10 + 13 Base + 8 Dex -2 Str + 4 Fighting Defensively +1 Dodge + 1 Haste)
Attacks With +5 Mythic Bane Scimitar While Fighting Defensively And Using Boots of Speed: +33/+33/+28/+23 for 1d6+31+2d6
AoOs While Fighting Defensively And Using Boots of Speed: +36 (+32 vs Large)
Gear (DRASTICALLY under WBL): +5 mythic-bane scimitar, +1 mithral chain shirt, +6 Dex belt, +4 Cha headband, +5 cloak of resistance
Drew was feasting at her favorite drinking hall, Heorot, covered in both magical grease and alchemical grease. Just then, a horrible monster broke through the wall and began ripping the arms off everyone. It was Grendel!
Drew bellowed a challenge and took a defensive stance, and Grendel leapt to that challenge. Grendel rushed forward and Power Attacked. Grendel got a 35, and Drew negated the attack with Crane Wing and Riposted with a Natural 2, hitting for 42.
Drew initiated a full attack. Two hits (including on a natural 3) and then two crits. Her damage was 39, 43, 61, and 62. So Grendel had taken 247 so far.
On Grendel's turn, he regenerated and entered a rage. He made a full attack without Power Attack. She parried his 37 with an easy Opportune Parry and Riposted for a crit for 58 damage. Then she parried his 43 with a 44 on Opportune Parry, so Grendel spent a surge to push his attack to a 50. She negated that with Crane Wing instead and Riposted for another crit, this time for 68. Grendel was still up due to Ferocity (at -5). His bite was true, (47) and the parry went wide, so Drew was hit for 24 damage. Drew then knocked Grendel unconscious. On her turn, she coup de graced him with an unarmed strike.
Drew healed up to full. She was ready to sleep this off, but she found a cryptic kenning written by the local bard about some kind of "mother". Expecting to fight, Grendel's mother, she told everyone in the hall to muster into the center of the room. But she wasn't expecting what was about to happen. One of the women, a victim of Grendel from a previous night, screamed as four infant grendels (Grendels with the Young Template) ripped her open from the inside and surrounded the stunned and horrified Drew.
Drew started to attack the little grendels. Four quick dervish thrusts weakened one baby grendel badly (180 damage, one crit and three hits).
The injured creature's blood fury triggered, and it attacked along with its brethren. The grendels were ferocious, but Drew managed to parry most of their attacks. Of 12 attacks, she only failed to parry 2 naturally, but the grendels each used Mythic Surges to attempt to turn a parry into a hit. Two of the four of them managed to do so, but Drew used her own Mythic Surge to increase the parry and re-negate the claw. So she would have been hit by two claws and one bite, but she uses Crane Wing on one of the claws. Fortunately, she parried the grab on the claw that hit. The two hits dealt 62 damage to Drew. Drew made one Crane Riposte and 9 Ripostes (she could have made 10 but he was down to 1 panache after the 9th due to only getting 3 crits).
On her own turn, Drew made four more attacks, including two crits, and she dropped another Grendel. This put her panache back up to 4.
The last two grendels made six attacks. Opportune Parry was enough to stop four of them, but then the grendels used Mythic Surge and one of them pulled ahead of the parry by too much for Drew to try to take it back. Drew used Mythic Surge on a different attack that barely beat the parry, however, and managed to parry it. She used Crane Wing and Riposte on the last attack that naturally hit, leaving the only attack that hit as a bite that used Brutal Surge. Drew took 14 more damage. She made one Crane Riposte and four panache Ripostes, with only one crit. This actually left Drew with only 1 panache. The first grendel drew close to regenerating up to consciousness
Drew made 4 attacks, including one crit, but this time she missed with her last attack. She dropped a third grendel, rising to 3 panache
Drew attacked that prone grendel once, putting it into negatives (which gained another panache) but activating Ferocity, then she punched the unconscious grendels three times to stop regeneration, which killed the grendel she has knocked out with the crit riposte.
The staggered grendel used mythic surge on a grapple, but since it didn't have Improved Grapple, she stabbed it with her scimitar and knocked it out from the AoO. Ending her Boots of Speed, her first punch killed that Grendel that had just woken up, and her remaining two punches stopped regeneration for the other two.
Drew then got another turn. She stabbed one of the unconscious grendels, then punched it to kill it. Then she punched the last one to stop regeneration.
On her last turn, Drew stabbed the final grendel and punched it, killing it.
Drew was forevermore hailed as the hero of Heorot and received free mead for life!
I realize I forgot to mention, but she easily made her Will saves vs fear that she only would have failed on a 1.
It's an RP tragedy that your level 3 Shaman played down in Voice in the Void. I was looking forward to the most perfect RP opportunity for a dark tapestry-ish shaman ever, but it's in 3-4 and 6-7, not 1-2.
A friendly cerebral fungus lost from another planet that asks weird questions like "How do elves sporulate?"
Also, it seems like the reason you keep not getting use out of EV is mainly that you don't have a team of allies with low-light or better who can make the combo work. In Penumbral Accords, if your team had low-light vision, the enemies were incapable of making it lighter than it was due to the weird effects and you could have blinded any of the enemies. Granted, bringing light was to your advantage in other ways.
I did know ahead of time that those two scenarios were full of things with darkvision--I just didn't want to spoil anything by mentioning it beforehand. In a similar vein, I know whether or not that's true of the next ones you mentioned, but I won't tell in advance, I want to see your playtest!
The Don't Be a Jerk rule can come up, however. We once had one of those super-Int alchemists with middling Dex, and he also drank a Con mutagen for more health instead of Dex. He didn't have Precise Shot yet due to non-human, so he was throwing into melee at about -1 net versus touch AC (which is usually around 12 at all CRs). 50/50 chance to miss and possibly hit the melees. I was GMing, and I told him that while I think it didn't count as PvP since only a miss hit his friends, I did think that his entire build violated Don't Be a Jerk.
I'm interested in seeing the bow cards in AP3 and beyond because as it stands now, the best bow weapons don't require weapon proficiency to use without penalty. The only ranged weapon that is as good as those two weapons that requires wp is the Returning Throwing Axe +1, but it is only better if you use its recharge ability leaving Lem, Sajan, and Meri weaponless most times (Ezren can't gain wp so who cares) which isn't a great option, especially if you give him a 2nd weapon. I've never understood why anyone gives Meri wp in AP1 or AP2. Of course, I keep getting DLC early which kind of skews my results.
Returning Throwing Axe +1 is also two better at the Mill, which appears several times in Part 2.
Here's another one that's tricky--Bloodrager.
Versus Sorcerer? They're not even remotely the same class. Maybe a '3' is the best choice for N/A?
Versus Barbarian? This one is more interesting--I believe from both playtest and building a few that I haven't had time to playtest that since Bloodrager has nearly all Barbarian abilities except Rage Powers, it's stronger than Barbarian by a reasonable amount if the Barbarian player does not take the most powerful Rage Powers possible, since you are locked into a set of powers that are generally stronger than your average Rage Power. However, it is weaker by a reasonable amount than a Barbarian who does choose the best Rage Powers because the best ones are very very strong and the Bloodrager is still locked into those same powers. I'm thinking of putting a '4', but it's a very funky '4'--'4' for "stronger usually but weaker than the most optimized possible" is different than the '4' for "slightly stronger period" that I gave to some other stuff.
I thought of that. But due to the line of "You must name the specific spell effect to be targeted in this way." I figured the pit fiend was smart enough to realize that even if the giant thing was magical, it could be giant form I, giant form II, greater polymorph or polymorph any object, giving it at best a 1 in 4 of naming the effect. Remove any other effect or magic item and you haven't changed too much. Grace would only lose 10 AC even if you deactivated 100% of her items. Her to-hit and damage would suffer though. She's actually only in the upper 30s for AC before smiting and fighting defensively, which gives her +4 to all AC and +18 to that one target.
As for the ridiculous combinations of side material, I was doing a CRB playtest between a highly optimized fighter from the DPR Olympics suggested by Kolokotroni (who was more than strong enough to defeat the challenges in the playtest) and a swashbuckler who mimicked his build, but many people told me that they were skeptical of the results because it was CRB-only, naming several things that fighters could do after the core that would make them stronger. I agreed that such would also be valuable playtest too and said that it would be only fair to give the same to the Swash. I still think that the CRB-only playtest was valuable, which is why I did it first, but this was a good example of a different style of play and what a powerful Cha-based Swashbuckler could do that an ordinary one would never have enough Panache to do.
I think I used the hardcover rules line books + Chronicles of the Righteous + Pathfinder Society Field Guide + Cheliax Empire of Devils. Losing Field Guide loses agile weapon, and I calculated that loss above. Losing Chronicles of the Righteous gives her back a feat but forces her to wear armor (if she gets Celestial Chain, she's right back where she was though, and with more fly uses that don't require her to pull out a scroll). Losing Cheliax Empire of Devils loses 9 AC versus one target when fighting defensively, but the fiend still wouldn't have hit her with -9 AC.
Here. There is a 95% chance that even if you play Kingmaker, there won't be any spoilers in the linked playtest with Rhiana. But if your GM happens to be using side material from the same sources, it might give minor info about a random side thing that is irrelevant to the AP in any appreciable way.