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I admit I have used the threat of rape as a way to make it clear one of the bad guys was really an evil a#@@%%&.
In my Rise of the Runelords game, the subject came up a few times during the Hook Mountain Massacre adventure. The ogres spouted "fresh meat" and similar threats to the whole group (not only the female character) a couple rounds before being completely disemboweled. When the characters found the ogres' three unconscious prisoners, they discovered signs of sexual abuse on one of them. The G family is really disturbing, yo.
The build (and the class as written) does not utilize guns in any way. But since the focus of the class is getting critical hits (since they get Improved Critical for free at level 5 and their point pool recharges on a successful crit), their main damage ability (Precise Strike adds their level to damage, double that if they spend one point as a Swift action) is not multiplied in a critical hit. That's the reason for the weird critical damage.
James Risner wrote:
Actually it should be +5 (+3 base, -1 Wis, +3 resistance), but remember that 5 times per day she can get a +4 bonus on top of that (for a +9 total). If you do care enough for saves, you may switch Valerya's Intelligence and Charisma values for no DPR loss and +1 on her Will. I personally dislike dumping Int, though.
edit: I also avoided boots of speed due to the rules of the thread.
I wanted to contribute with a simple build from the ACG playtest document just to compare it to established builds. I'm running almost this character in a Wrath of the Righteous campaign and it's been fun.
Valerya, human swashbuckler 10
Dex 22 (15 base, +2 racial, +1 level, +4 enhancement)
Cha 18 (14 base, +4 enhancement)
HP 79 (10d10+10+10 favored class)
AC 23 (+6 Dex, +5 armor, +2 dodge)
Attacks (with swift action Precise Strike adding +20 damage and Power Attack): +3 scimitar +20/+15 (1d6+39/15-20).
BAB: +10 CMB: +11 CMD: 17
Sadly I'm terrible at math and couldn't figure out the equation. If anyone would like to help, I described Valerya's attack routine and damage bonuses up top.
In my groups people seem to prefer the martial melee characters (me included). On my Kingmaker campaign we have a both a high-level fighter (who is the Ruler of the kingdom) and a rogue, and both are real strong at skills and melee combat.
The rogue deals damage enough to trivialize most encounters, is capable of sneak attacking by himself, and has insane AC if he manages to get a hit in. The fighter (tactician/swordlord) deals a good amount of damage and has strong defenses (including an unbeatable AC for most enemies). Between the wizard's haste and the oracle's blessing of fervor, it's pretty rare for anything to survive a full attack from either of them.
My 4-player group is at the end of book one, I think. We got a player who's playing PF for the first time, so there's been a LOT of rules-teaching.
Aurora Dawnsong, human oracle of life [burned hands] probably going Hierophant. The daughter of crusaders (half chelaxian and half sarkorian), was handed the Divine Fire of Sarenrae when very young. A great support, she heals well and has a few buffs, but hasn't got many tricks up her sleeve.
Iulius "Fiendflayer", tiefling magus (bladebound, fiend flayer) going Archmage. Interesting character - his ancestry makes him extra violent and bloodthirsty, and he uses his somewhat misguided faith in Iomedae to temper his urges. Kind of like a dervish-dancing Dexter.
Mayer Maeroth, human rogue (scout) going trickster. This is the new player's character, and despite all the rogue hate he's been having a LOT of fun. He's the party's foremost damage dealer, simply using common simple weapons two-handed (this adventure has a LOT of maces) combined with fairly reliable sneak attacks (due to the melee-heavy presence in the group).
Valerya Godfrey, aasimar (angel-blooded) swashbuckler/paladin. Left at the altar of an Iomedean church, Valerya was raised to be a chaste, faithful warrior-saint. Breaking under the heavy expectations forced upon her, she ran away with a duelist for hire and spent a couple of years touring Brevoy as a mercenary. Although foul-mouthed, immodest and somewhat lascivious, she was finally accepted by Iomedae as her own person when finding a legendary sword during the adventure and began progressing as paladin.
That is kind of the point. Cleric's HAVE to be no more than one step away from their deity. You are right that the rules don't specify about Paladins, although PFS added a house rule about it. But, if a Paladin is going to follow his code (and be unswervingly Lawful and Good), then this is highly likely to conflict at some point with the dogma of a True Neutral deity.
Possibly. And that should be a fun moment to figure out (Itend to think that conflict provides awesome character development). As-is I'm having more trouble with the "Respect authority" paladin tenet and the whole AP (that's basically focused on "kick the current authority out of its seat, acting as outlaws all the while").
OK let's take a good look at those.
The thing is; just as easily as a worshiper of Gozreh should kill a dozen wolves (or foxes, or big cats) to ensure they do not deplete a region's resources he/she will destroy an undead or magical beast (or humanoid) that threatens the balance of a region.
As long as your GM is okay with it, go for it.
I made sure to talk to him extensively about this concept before writing down the first number on the sheet. He's on board with it.
Actually, first I tried to see if he would accept some sort of variant paladin of a different alignment; considering specially that that character would have a pretty strict code of conduct. That was a no-go, but he accepted the concept as a regular paladin.
I laughed at "fruit loop". Thanks for that :)
Interesting enough, I myself do not know what his true origin should be (I left it for the GM to decide).
I'm just gonna get this out here: The rules of the game allow paladins that derive their powers solely from their dedication as a "reward for their righteousness". There isn't a single mention of deities or gods on the entire paladin write-up.
The game also puts no limits on the alignment of a deity's worshipers. A worshiper needs to obey the dictates of his/her faith and not commit sins against its doctrine.
Lord Fyre wrote:
Start with Erastil's code and modify from there.
I checked it first thing, but Erastil is much more a "rural good guy" god than a nature god. Of his 7 tenets, 6 deal with community, reputation (which a worshipper of Gozreh couldn't care less) and generally being a nice guy.
So I started with Gozreh's write-up on Faiths of Balance and went from there. What are you guys' opinions on the first draft?
The character is already made and well in play (we've reached Whitethrone in Irrisen). It's also fun as hell to play (although some times I have to judge my actions very carefully).
He's supposedly been Chaotic Evil, focusing on the destructive aspects of nature, and got "kicked out" for being out of balance. Now he's doing the exact opposite to try and balance out (learning the aspects of nurture and protection in nature and human life instead of the destruction and wanton violence).
Let's forget about the "paladin" part and focus on "a code of conduct for a worshiper of Gozreh".
I'd recommend against making the Ameiko-PC comatose. The purpose of that event is to provide a few clues of the situation to the PCs and ground them on Brinewall until the matter is settled. You could still do both while maintaining Ameiko's functionality.
As the group approach Brinewall, she might have a few confusing dreams every time she tries to rest. Then when they finally arrive at Brinewall she faints, having a strange conversation with a tiny statuette man (the shikigami protector of the seal). He tries to warn her of the dangers ahead, but it's clear he's more than a little insane. Describe the feeling of separation, of longing, as he's been apart from his duty for decades. Then she awakes, doubly motivated to explore Brinewall. If the group tries leaving the city, the dreams return to the point where she'll faint again, all the while a tiny voice inside her head screaming to return and fulfill her destiny.
That should provide a few clues, and a good motivation.
I'm doing exactly that, taking a hint from Bioware games (Dragon Age and Mass Effect).
Whenever the PCs leave the caravan to do something, they choose 2 NPCs to tag along. The others stay to guard the caravan from enemy attacks (a very real threat at this point). That leads to some interesting situations as they pick the NPCs appropriate to the situation either by theme or skillset. On caravan random encounters, I typically choose one NPC at random to fight with the PCs (or choose one that hasn't been used in a while).
I also plan to give the PCs mythic tiers through the Amatatsu Seal, so they'll have a better action economy and resilience.
Here I go with a tentative first draft:
I am a protector of the natural world. I shall not stand idle while nature is being destroyed or corrupted. Though I do recognize civilization's place in it, I will work to preserve the boundaries between those two worlds. I will strive to educate whenever possible so that mankind may respect and preserve the bounties of Gozreh. I shall bring the wrath of the storm to those unable or unwilling to learn. My actions at these circumstances will be quick and decisive, burning out the festering wound before it may corrupt the rest of the body.
Those who manipulate, enslave or corrupt natural forces are a bane to the natural cycle and must be destroyed. Elemental enprisonment and undeath are an abomination and a blatant attempt at distorting the natural order. I will destroy undead whenever possible and should work towards freeing any elemental or fey controlled against their will. I will destroy any corrupted natural forces without pity or remorse, knowing their destruction frees them to join the cycle once more.
I will never pollute the sky or despoil the natural world unless that action is absolutely necessary for their own survival and the end result is an improvement upon their health. I should strive to do so whenever I perceive a problem, but first I must understand the land and its intricacies before acting. That way, I may weed out damaging plants or hunt a particular animal to keep balance between predator and prey, but only after ascertaining they would provoke an unstable environment.
I will reject the moral corruption that comes along with civilization. For that purpose I shall resist its lures and vices, always acting with moderation. An object is a tool with which to accomplish an objective, nothing more. I should own the necessary tools to reach my goals - to have more than you can carry or will need is foolish. I aim to have simple tools only lighly worked so that they may more easily be reintegrated back to nature after my passing.
So my character for the Reign of Winter AP is a Thor pastiche (a mix between his Ultimate and movie versions) named Ragnaros Hyjarthson. He believes he's the Lord of Thunder, son of Gozreh (in its incarnation as Hyjarth and Tourithia), minor god of thunderstorms. He admits he used to be kind of a bastard, looking (and smiting) down on any humans and reveling in the wanton destruction his "job" provided.
By focusing only on the destruction aspect of his duties, to the point where he caused unbalance in the system (the Eye of Abendego supposedly appeared because of a fumble on a drunken bet with Cayden Cailean), he shifted from his neutral stance to a chaotic evil one.
And so his father/mother admonished him, took away his godlike powers over wind and lightning, and sent him down to Golarion to learn what it's like to be a mortal and fear the storm. He's supposed to learn compassion, nurturing, love and humility living as a human - or die trying.
All that, of course, is what he believes in. All everyone knows is that he was found at a riverbed, alive and naked, during a savage thunderstorm. The people of Heldren found him and nurtured him back to good health, even though he spouts "nonsense" and claims to be a deposed demigod. Some (including a few of the players) believe he's a madman, a delusional schizophrenic that suffered a trauma so large his mind created the demigod fantasy to deal with the issue.
During the game, he figured the mission he's on: to live like a man, to care for the things they care, to practice kindness and goodness. His father means for him to have the full Lawful Good experience to counterbalance his previous one and eventually fall into a balanced Neutral. And so he came to be a Suli Paladin 1. If his powers come from his deep personal desire to be a good man (like a vanilla godless paladin) or from Gozreh itself is an answer only the gods may know.
So he's a Lawful Good Paladin that "worships" a Neutral god (he doesn't pray - that's a mortal's thing after all) of nature. Even though I've been following the paladin code of conduct (even though it's really hard to do so at this campaign) I wanted to create a personal code of conduct dedicated to protecting nature and ensuring its balance.
TL;DR: If you had to develop a code of conduct for a hardcore worshiper of Gozreh (maybe even one that happened to be a paladin), what would it contain?
Well, on my Kingmaker game, the player Queen is actually a fighter (tactician archetype)/Aldori swordlord, even if surrounded by a smooth-talking rogue (with Charisma 18), universally-loved Life Oracle (Charisma 24) and massively intelligent Wizard (who also has a good Charisma). She's cunning, charismatic (managing a Charisma 18 by 10th level), skilled and strong, and has stood in front of every menace the kingdom has faced.
If a fighter PC can do it, I don't know why an NPC couldn't. On that same AP, there are two fighters who are also lord of their kingdoms.
Responding to the OP, the last time a fighter was my BBEG was in that adventure. I reworked him just a bit to fit into the Aldori swordlord prestige class and gave him a really strong defense (as I envisioned him, he was secretly a coward, greedy, bullying a*%!&!$ - all traits directly opposed to the PC queen). He should've been aided by his court wizard (an aloof scholar who's utterly uninterested in anything having to do with ruling), but the wizard was brutally, terribly overpowered by the PC rogue (surprise round + higher initiative + Step Up feat). The BBEG was helped during the entire battle by his pet bard, though, that provided him with spells, inspire courage and some healing.
It was a long, dragged-out fight, with the last survivors being the BBEG and his pet invisible bard (who didn't take one point of damage). It was a memorable battle and my players still talk about that one fight of 10 rounds.
I think that it's very easy to see the rules as your master instead of your tool...
Wow. This sums up what I've been feeling for a good time. During my early D&D 3rd edition days (also my earliest DMing experience), justifying plot stuff as rules components made me feel more confident and rules-savvy. As the time passed, it became more and more of an obligation to my rules-lawyering players.
4th edition broke that mold incidentally saying "OK, this goblin shaman has this special power that only he has". Say what you will about that system, but you could really design a monster/NPC with whatever power you felt it needed. Paizo has done that many times over the years (most important NPCs have special, cool and unique abilities) but we're still somewhat shackled to this "must follow every rule" attitude.
Just adding one I thought of on another topic:
Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting (Combat)
Also, your GM seems to be quite an OK guy and not afraid of homebrew content or houseruling. Perhaps ask him if he would let you have a feat somewhat along the lines of:
Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting
Have you checked the Dervish Dancer archetype?
It has a battle dance as its main ability, a speed bonus that caps at +30 ft. (double your normal speed) and an amazing 12th level ability that lets you move and full attack! Take the Arcane Strike feat alongside it to add precious damage to your two weapon attacks and you should be golden.
I don't honestly get how he's supposed to generate money by "selling" units of Labor capital. You pay half the price of any capital to "Earn" it through checks. So, he pays 250 gp to generate 25 Labor.
Ultimate Campaign wrote:
Although you can't sell capital, you can use it for its listed Purchased Cost as payment toward any applicable downtime activity that requires you to spend gp.
Also, capital can't be sold. Period. Even if it did, following most of Pathfinder rules, it should be sold at half price which would make it 0 profit (since a player spends half the cost of the capital to earn it).
He could turn all those bonuses to generate gp and maybe in the long run make some money (not much since the initial costs are very high and should take some time to make up for).
On a last note: If he means to leave his organization for any period of time, he needs to hire a manager. Even if that manager is a cohort, he needs to get paid.
Ultimate Campaign wrote:
You can select a cohort or notable follower to be a manager, but you still must pay a wage. Having a cohort or follower as a manager means you know the manager is loyal to you—it doesn't mean that she'll work for free while you're off adventuring.
Have you considered singleclassing the Arcane Duelist bard archetype? At that level you would be able to use Heavy Armor and still cast your spells. Arcane Strike would provide +3 to damage with both weapons (and longbow to boot).
Those magic instruments were converted to 3.5 in the Magic of Faerûn book, IIRC. There's also a 3.5 prestige class somewhere that emulates the 1e bard: the Fochlucan Lyrist.
People seem to forget almost every BBEG featured in Paizo's AP has had a LOT of help regardless of class. Even the big 20th level wizard has one dragon and THREE spell-casting giants in the encounter.
I think if you're gonna do the BBEG fighter, do what a fighter does best - invest in a feat-heavy chain. Make it Crane Wing or area control with a two-handed reach weapon. Also remember he's not alone in a vacuum. He probably has a lower-level cleric or wizard to deal with debuffs and a bodyguard to tank some damage. He has the resources of a true BBEG (in most APs this means PC-level wealth, and THAT IS WHACK!).
I think the evil, cunning general with its army of pillaging warriors is a strong enough trope to merit a strong fighter BBEG. What you do need for that is a way to reliably remove disabling spells (even the barbarian BBEG on a certain AP had an intelligent item to dispel magic on himself).
Maybe change things around and have a caster lackey using spells on him - an wizard or a high priest of an evil religion. That guy could be protected by a few spells and buff/heal/dispel magic on the BBEG while he/she/it wreaks havoc on the party.
My Jade Regent group has only 2 players, so I let them pick and choose NPCs to carry on "missions" (I randomly pick the NPCs to fight alongside the PCs on random caravan encounters), Mass Effect style. Both players are long-time Bioware players and are loving the idea.
But one of the PCs is a rogue, and her talents really overlap Sandru's big time. In an effort to make him more useful to the party (and hopefully get picked more!) I plan on converting him fully into the playtest Swashbuckler class.
What are your thoughts on that? Does changing him from rogue(swashbuckler) to a full swashbuckler take away any of his personality/background elements? What are the main elements I should focus on keeping?
Although I do like the Forgotten Realms very much and would keep on playing regardless of system, I'd also like to see 5e in action. I'd prefer that we keep going on Next but would happily play on Pathfinder.
I also recognize that I don't have as much invested in this game as you guys since I just came in, so I'd rather withdraw my "vote" and let you guys decide.
I'm on a bit of a pickle on my Jade Regent campaign. The PCs mean to take a slight detour on their route to Brinewall to stop at Crying Leaf. One of those aforementioned PCs is an elf druid who's a childhood friend to Shalelu.
How would a caravan consisting of almost 20 people would be received there? How to avoid haughty-Tolkien-elf syndrome if it's an isolated city that doesn't trade with humans? Would they trade/sell food, weapons, armor, and magic items? Any suggestions, interesting NPCs or cool story hooks would be greatly appreciated.