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James Jacobs wrote:
Thanks JJ. I myself have returned to the horror genre following your many indications here on the boards and so that's a double thank you.
Hey James, Cloverfield Lane just premiered in my town and I'm thinking about taking my girlfriend to see it. I've been slowly introducing her to horror movies in general (we loved The Witch) but she strongly dislikes depictions of violence against women. The trailer implies an abusive relationship between the characters, so my question to you is: Without spoiling the story, does the movie contain trigger scenes, themes of sexual violence and such? Would you recommend it for a somewhat newcomer to the horror genre?
Wrath of the Righteous spoiler:
Given her free choice of any class/career to follow within the Crusade, which one would a redeemed Arueshalae choose?
Our group is very small (only 3 PCs) so she's a major character. She's been helping us mostly by scouting and providing privileged information about demons/the Abyss; we don't use her as a spy per se since we don't want to subject her to potentially traumatic experiences. Due to the terrible dangers we face, the group pooled a lot of resources to provide her with protective magic items and bring her closer to our power level.
The GM is fine with us running Arueshalae as a fourth PC, and offered us the possibility of rebuilding/retraining her. I've been tasked with doing just that, but I'd rather provide an organic evolution of her concept than just an optimal mechanical choice.
So far I've been leaning towards Ranger (which includes themes of exploration/travel, slight divine magic and demon favored enemies but I'm open to ideas.
One small suggestion on the Spellfire feat/ability: The reaction Absorb Spell is way too good. In itself it could very well be a feat (targeted by a spell, counter as a reaction?); as an incidental means of recharging is just way too much. It also encourages Spellfire users to spend all charges as quick as possible and walk around with 0 charges, thus becoming almost immune to spells.
Make it like 3e: You need to Ready an action to absorb spells as they're cast. It pretty much sucks (you have to be lucky enough that the enemy casts a single-target spell focused on you), but, honestly, the spell-absorption isn't the main draw here.
Compare it to Defensive Duelist and you'll quickly see it never scaling back.
In my experience, the class as-is is not overpowered (in our Wrath of the Righteous campaign it is severely underpowered due to demons and their pesky resistances/immunities/SR) even with Spellstrike.
At mid-high levels they are probably balanced with the rest of the classes due to facing many hurdles to perform their shtick. On the rounds they do manage to crit their shocking grasp they are head-to-head with the pouncing barbarians (provided they don't face energy resistance or fail a concentration or SR check).
You no longer have the image of a warmage casting enveloping his weapon in magic before striking and you lose cool combat spells such as Bladed Dash.
Not that I'm defending Rhedyn's suggested fix (I think it would perform underwhelmingly, since so much of the Magus' efficiency depends on those crits) but that guy would still be "enveloping his weapon in magic" by using the Arcana Pool, Greater Magic Weapon spell and many many others.
Conceptually, the thing that would change is that Spellstrike-less Magus would have to make *gasp* choices on which spell to cast each round. I missed my last attack, should I buff myself more? Maybe an energy resistance spell to protect against the dragon's breath? Or should I capitalize on its fire vulnerability with a scorching ray?
Wolfgang Rolf wrote:
That free attack that seems to be bothering a number of posters can only be done for as long as the magus has spells.
I do not care about the extra attack. I care that that ability pigeonholes an entire class into one true build with little variation (Strength vs Dexterity).
I care that that build needs so many resources (traits, feats, spells, arcana) to function at its basic level that it leaves almost no space for customization.
I care that the concept of a "functional spellcasting warrior" has become reduced to "that guy using a scimitar to deliver shocking grasp criticals".
That's bad design.
First, I love the concept of the sword-and-spell warrior. For me, a spellsword would mingle spell-use with swordplay, buffing while attacking or throwing fire rays. Conceptually, my problem with the Magus is a single ability: Spellstrike.
It is so damn good that it shoehorns an entire class into the cookie-cutter mold of high-damage touch-attack spells fishing for scimitar crits. It forces the whole class to focus on one specific (and boring) kind of spell. If magi didn't have Spellstrike, they would be buffing themselves mid-combat, throwing around a few blasting spells or dispel magic to debuff enemies. We would have buffer magi, blasting magi, debuff magi. Note those are all somewhat possible but are such inferior choices than the regular magus that they are generally ignored. It introduces those awful damage spikes (1d6/level spells were never supposed to crit on a 15) that most people negatively associate with the Magus.
The second part comes from my experience playing alongside one mid-level magus (on Rise of the Runelords) and playing with a high-level one (on Wrath of the Righteous). They tend to be one-trick ponies inside and outside of combat. Their skills are limited (they perform the "arcana" side of skills well enough but that's it), they have very few utility spells. They are too limited to fulfill a wizard's role in a group and too redundant if the party has an actual wizard (their skills simply overlap too much and the wizard will have a better bonus/more skill points/better knowledges).
They depend on too many rolls to function normally in combat. In order to achieve that "big burst", the magus has to:
Most high-level enemies have a lot of incidental resistances, spell resistance and even random immunities. Most demons have damage reducation, SR, electricity and cold immunity and other resistances valued 5 or 10.
A single bad roll can throw your entire turn out and you're left with the rest of your attacks with a low bonus and mediocre damage. When the magus works well, it does it too well for some. The rest of the time it is mediocre.
James Jacobs wrote:
Strange Aeons is the AP after Hell's Venegeance; it's a Lovecraftian-flavored Adventure Path that starts with your PCs being amnesiacs imprisoned in an insane asylum, and follows their investigation into what caused this situation and their growing fight against an eldritch ancient evil.
Is there any chance that the campaign traits are going to be different mental disorders, like "Schizophrenic" or "Pyromaniac"?
I love gish-types, but they always seem to underwhelm compared to either full casters or full martials. It took me like 7 levels to notice my Finesse arcane duelist bard simply didn't compare to the archer ranger or the sword-and-board cavalier in terms of damage. I always thought "Well, when I get to use all my buffs I'll get there." The time finally came and he came short.
At least after that I had found my niche - buffing and supporting the party while dealing medium amounts of damage.
We converted some AD&D characters to 3rd edition and mine ended up something like a fighter 5/sorcerer 5 (he was a fighter/wizard with the swashbuckling fighting style). I had been DMing 3e and made the most of it.
First serious combat, I buff myself to oblivion (including a true strike). I charge, Power Attack AND Combat Expertise to the max, hit the monster, and deal something like 25 damage. The group's wizard casts a magic missile. 23 damage.
James Jacobs has stated repeatedly that the aasimar age categories on ARG were a mistake and should not apply to Golarion, since at least one official storyline (one central NPC in Rise of the Runelords) depends on them having human lifespans. The same thing has been said about tieflings (albeit considering a different Adventure Path).
He has announced it will be corrected in the future, but Golarion DMs are encouraged to just use human age categories.
I don't know about you guys, but I just found my "Welcome to Numeria" theme. Either that or this will announce their first encounter with hostile robots. Production music FTW
Holy moly! That gave me chills!
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.