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I doubt I'd discover the GM's opinion on ACs and IUS until it was far too late... not like I'd feel comfortable withdrawing from a game I'd signed up to play, potentially making the table illegal/dooming the other players to death without the heals...
Of course, I also doubt I'd be doing any unarmed strikes with the cat. As tempting as a pounce of Strike/Strike/Claw/Claw/Bite/Rake/Rake would be, I'm more interested in the +4 Grapple CMB and being able to do a grapple check as a move action (twice per turn) to do Bite/Rake/Rake during round 2+.
The funny part is, this is the least of the cheese the character's doing...
All my searching hasn't come up with a clean answer for this, so I figured I'd create a thread.
I have a searing need to put Improved and Greater Grapple on an animal companion, specifically a big cat animal companion. Provided I raise said cat's Intelligence to 3 (via that ability score increase ability buried in the AC progression table) before doing so, would it be legal in PFS to select Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple, and Greater Grapple over time?
My research indicates that the only restrictions on an animal companion taking feats are Int 3+ and physical capability to perform the action. The former restriction is cleared via the ability score increase, the latter is fuzzier (pardon the pun.) Improved and Greater Grapple are supported by the cat's inherent Grab ability, but the Improved Unarmed Strike prereq for those is more curious. I imagine a cat would totally be able to perform an unarmed strike, using one or more limbs/headbutt, so I think that's clean enough to work, but am unsure. I'm totally visualizing the cat performing either the aforementioned headbutt or a wheeling double pawed kick with its hind legs, similar to how a horse would kick with its rear legs.
tl;dr: Improved Unarmed Strike on a 3+ Int Animal Companion. PFS Legal?
...I do not see any faults in this interpretation. Interesting.
So essentially you have access to any of the human FCBs other than the Gunslinger and Magus, as those are the two that don't show up in APG.
I... may need to get another Aasimar grandfathered in...
The thread linked in this thread upthread (not the link in the post I quoted here, a different link) carves an exception for half-elves and half-orcs due to their specific racial traits, but does not extend that exception to aasimar with Scion of Humanity, ergo, the ARG restriction applies.
Aasimar with Scion of Humanity cannot take FCB for humans. Which is fine, since their own FCB has some pretty amazing utility depending on your Mystery Revelations...
So, the human FCB thing aside, this discussion really opened my eyes to how spiffy the Primal Companion can be if you pump it with Aasimar FCB and take it early -ish. Before I read the FAQ/Clarification thread, I just figured I'd take the thing at level 5 and maybe find some edge use of it as a auxiliary thing. Flank with a rogue or something.
Then I read the thread. Then I really looked at it.
So if I take the thing at level 3 and sink my FCB's in at every level except 7 and 10, I'll end up with an animal companion that is, at its worst, equivalent to that of an equal level druid (or so I surmise) and which scales quite well.
You are aware that a mithril shirt only weighs 10 pounds right? At an 8 strength, you've got 26 pounds of carry capacity, 30 pounds if you picked up a masterwork backpack. You're an aasimar, so you don't need a light source, you're blackened cursed so you don't need weapons (unless you want to provide a flank, but you've got a cat for that), your spell component pouch weighs 2 lbs, a heavy darkwood shield weighs another 4.
So you're at 16 lbs out of 26 or 20 lbs out of 30 with the masterwork bag. Create Water cantrip eliminates the need of a waterskin, so you've got 10 pounds to play with for a bedroll, cup (for create water), and a few days of rations.
Even the squishy casters tend to have 14+ AC from Dex and a haramaki if not mage armor or shield (which usually pump them up to 18 AC or thereabouts.) AC isn't the end all be all of defense, but it is a very good starting point and should not be neglected. You'll be in better shape with Prophetic Armor under your belt, but you still need to survive til you get that. Some decent armor and a shield will help that immensely.
John Compton wrote:
The last line of that clarification seems to indicate the opposite of what's presented in this thread. Essentially, because only characters with Elf or Orc Blood can select FCB's from other races, Aasimar can not.
Is there another clarification somewhere?
Whoa! Really?! I mean, I know it says you're treated as human for all effects related to race, but I can take human FCB?!
Not to doubt you or anything, but is there any other literature to support that beyond the entry in the ARG?
Your oracle and mine look... very different, lol.
Given you're leveling to 2, I'm going to assume you've got about 1100 gp laying around, since it's reasonable you've made about 1500 off your chronicle pages. You might have squandered that gold by purchasing consumable magic items, but hopefully you instead used Prestige on the ubiquitous wand of CLW(1). That 1100 gp would be well served going into a mithril shirt, bumping your AC to 13. A Hvy Shield would further enhance your AC up to 15, making you significantly less likely to get pulped by goblins.
I'm not sure I'd bother with Divine Favor. Your first action in a given combat should probably be Bless, buffing both your cat and your party. Doubling down on buffs will chew through your level 1 spells quite quickly, so any module with more than 2 combats will see you start to run out of steam. Consider swapping that Divine Favor for something like Sanctuary or Murderous Command. The latter potentially eats the actions of one foe and removes another from the fight, a 2 for 1 in spell efficiency.
I recommend keeping Sense Motive and Perception capped, rank wise. As opposed checks, you'll want them high to account for outlier enemies with artificially high values.
I assume you're taking Misfortune at level 3, possibly with Prophetic Armor using a feat? If you weren't planning on doing so, I highly recommend it, as Misfortune is amazingly fun (and strong!) and Prophetic Armor is pretty key to your AC not being terrible.
I'm presuming my watermarked pdfs will be good enough
You presume absolutely correctly. I commonly carry all my books in pdf form as a single tablet is much easier to transport than 10+ books. A GM has asked me to present the relevant book exactly one time thus far, I showed him my watermarked pdf, and we kept rolling.
Just make sure you've got battery enough/a charger handy!
A no gp cost Restoration might be worthwhile, if removing a negative level and the party's broke?
Maybe the druid's broke and doesn't want to pay food/drink costs for a week/month, so goes and takes a nap?
Cool RP (-ish... kinda more an RP dodge) potential? "Oh, we've got a week or two of downtime? If anybody needs me, let me know, I'll be over on that very comfy looking cushion there." *bamfs into a cat with Wild Shape, curls up, and Hibernates*
Big Bad Evil Guy
Well, with one more level you'll be out of range of CoD, so there's that. That won't save you against Finger of/Symbol of Death or Wail... but yeah.
Of course, these spells seem to all allow SR. You might consider grabbing some of that as a secondary layer of protection beyond your Fort save. It won't be as fool proof as a Scarab, but it might be cheaper.
How difficult was it to pass the saving throw? If you only fail on a significantly low roll, some way or rerolling your save might be a better path than either the Scarab or SR. On the other hand, if your saving throws are weak, that speaks to a more concerning deficiency than death effect protection and you'd be well served pursuing improvements to those stats.
More than one way to skin a coeurl, so to speak.
Not that I can think of. In PFS, you'll have access to that item at 45 Fame or about level 8, so I imagine the cost of the scarab could be easily absorbed and should last you all the way through 12. You could shell out MORE for an Elysian Shield that operates 1/day, but the fame required could push the purchase out even further.
Really, I wouldn't expect to see many death effects before level 8, making the scarab a well timed investment, albeit an expensive one. Still, I suspect it's the cheapest of options for what you want to do. A wand of Death Ward would cost you 21k, but would require a standard action and only lasts 7 minutes per casting. Enough to handle an encounter, maybe two, but you'd be burning through charges fairly recklessly over a session.
Fireball's rough, but I can get ya Flaming Sphere and Wall of Fire. The Blackened curse out of Blood of Angels (irony, there) gives you spells known in exchange for a stiff penalty to weapon attack rolls. Starts with Burning Hands (good for lowbie levels) and progresses to the aforementioned (and Scorching Ray, which doesn't mesh with what you're doing, but is still a not bad spell.)
I'm thinking of something that might get automatically have a use(s) used up when a death spell is cast and saves the characters life type of thing. Anything like that?
Scarab of Protection?
Jason Wu wrote:
On the thread topic:
My recent Aasimar characters:
Musetouched Rogue (yes, Rogue) focused on sap sneak attacks until level 6, when she (hopefully) breaks out a +1 Merciful Earthbreaker, keeping her old mw sap around for the odd antimagic field. Early on (level 2) works okay, fighting super tactically. I might charge, I might throw an alchemical item, I might shoot them in the face with an arrow, all depends on what I'm staring at and who I'm hanging with. Last game I was the party healer by dint of having UMD.
Musetouched (sensing a theme?) Dawnflower Dervish Bard I haven't gotten a chance to play yet. Seems plenty potent. Lots of neat stuff to do, bit low on damage, but I can (eventually) start inflicting Shaken with the Enforcer feat with my non lethal scimitar strikes.
Musetouched (I'm addicted...) Dual Cursed Lunar Oracle I'm still finishing the touches on. Super casty instead of fighty like my last... three-ish builds (the two aasimar above and a human Zen Archer.) Still figuring out whether I want to take Gifted Adept and, if so, whether I want to take it for Burning Disarm or Burning Hands.
In general, if a class you're looking at has a use for Cha, Aasimar is a strong choice. That's a gross simplification, but it should generate some stuff to look into.
For a Human Bard taking his FCB and loading up on spells known this would seem to be an automatic choice.
It's a pretty automatic choice for any bard with a pulse. Much like Power Attack for Barbarians.
Only caveat is that you have to own the sourcebook (Dragonslayer's Handbook) to use in PFS.
It doesn't seem very grey at all.
I have a masterpiece that lets me use Bluff in place of Int skills. I have a class ability that lets me use Perform in place of Bluff. There are no restrictions on when I can do these things.
If Bluff = Int Skills (under Peacock effects) and Perform = Bluff, Perform = Int Skills.
The only grey portions are: do you still get the +4 bonus (forum post by James Jacobs supports keeping the bonus) and do you need skill ranks in trained only skills (aforementioned forum post suggests you're getting 'virtual ranks' so no, you're good)
Either way, totally an ancillary trick I'd only bust out when noone else took knowledge skills.
That... Is an excellent set of questions. I honestly have no idea, but could see that working.
I suspect the latter option works, albeit without the +4 circumstance bonus, but don't know about whether I need skill ranks in, say, knowledges and linguistics to Pageant them.
I also suspect I'll need to play it safe and throw a rank in them just to cover my bases. Mreh. Not like I needed two level's worth of skill bonuses (minus two points to keep my Perform skills up)... *whimper*
EDIT: a quick search (amazing function that!) indicates it all works.
You've got me convinced. The extra hit points would also be more sorely needed at the lowest levels, or the skill points to get you a bit of training in skills where 1 rank + class skill could net you a nice bump. I'm sold.
I recommend taking the hp at level 1 and the skill point at level 2, possibly in something like Swim or a knowledge skill.
Hmm... Tangential question: Pageant of the Peacock lets you use Bluff in Int based skill checks (and grants a bonus.) Do I still need a rank in said Int based skills to perform a check if they're Trained Only?
And that leads to another tangential question: can I combine use of Versatile Performer and Pageant of the Peacock to use Perform(Sing) in place of Int based skills with a +4 circumstance bonus?
The most you would need is 10 levels of the FCB. Level 4 gets the level 5 bonus (4+1, 2 levels needed), level 8 gets the level 11 bonus (8+3, 6 levels needed), level 12 gets the level 17 bonus (12+5, 10 levels needed). Use your first 2 FCBs for extra HP.
This was what my 'napkin math' was getting at. 10 levels of FCB for a 5 level acceleration of Inspire Courage, with the first two going to whichever of the regular FCB's you wanted. I think I went with hp at level 1 and a skill point in swim at level 2 (because drowning sucks!)
Heh, that tower shield idea has me picturing Ogres in a column stacking up SWAT style on the corner of the dungeon before tossing in a thunderstone and breaching...
Which led to the thought of "Well, what if they're outdoors?" Which produced the mental image of a phalanx of ogres.
Anyway, there's all kinds of ideas for how to minimize the archers' potential to destroy an encounter from 100+ feet out.
I'm actually working on a similar character for PFS myself, so the stuff in this thread is interesting to read.
That said, I wonder if its necessary to take the Aasimar FCB at every level. My rough napkin math indicates that by the end of PFS play you end up at an effective level of 18 for Inspire Courage, one more than is needed as IC caps at 17. Further, the extra level doesn't push your IC boost in any meaningful manner, indicating you can afford to skip 2 levels of the Aasimar FCB in favor of, say, hp or skill points. Thoughts? Heresy? Common knowledge?
Dimensional Anchor or Dimensional Lock aren't terrible ways to go, if you're willing to forgo teleportation effects. The latter of those has a duration measured in days, but it's an 8th level spell so you might have issues getting a hold of it. Anchor only affects you, is 4th level, but only lasts minutes per level.
Buy another set of shackles and make sure to pump your saving throws high?
Pit of Screaming Ghosts notches another kill to the tally.
Character: Rowne, gunslinger musketeer.
It's not the damage that'll kill you, it's the Con loss.
No word as to what will replace Rowne.
Another session, another death, or so it goes.
Name: Wallace, Human Barbarian of surprising intellect and Moldspeaker
Close fight! I intentionally threw both CR8's against the lvl 6 party as I wanted to see what they could accomplish. The last time I ran the adventure the party went against each threat separately, with similar results; one party member dead, the rest surviving. This was a deadly combat, that easily threatened a TPK. This marks the second time the moldspeaker has died in book 2, the first time our moldspeaker sorcerer died in the Pit of Screaming Ghosts not more than two rooms after Ghartok. It's uncanny.
No word as of yet as to what will replace Wallace.
Party at start of today's session:
Xel will apparently be replaced by a Ninja after an unfortunate incident involving a pack of wyverns, a cliff edge, and a failed poison Fort save. He and his undead monstrosities shall (not) be missed...
For those playing the home game: yes, that character did not last an entire session (intro'd five minutes in, died five minutes before we ended.) Some nasty critters in them mountains... (random encounter dice were not kind, generating 6xCR5, 4xCR6, and 1xCR8 all in one day.) Puts this campaign up to 3 PC deaths and 2 Animal Companion deaths at the start of Book 2.
It turned out that Krackenbuckle was replaced by a (wizard) elven necromancer named Xeleoniel. As none of us were able to pronounce his name satisfactorily, he was referred to as Xel ("zel") or X depending on the addressing party. This proved to be a short lived irritation, as the elf was equally short lived.
Name: Xele... Xelele... X anyway.
Rumor has it the necromancer will be replaced by a ninja.
Well... in LoF the pugwampi have it as an SLA 1/day and you fight a LOT of pugwampi in the AP. I think this last time I broke the barbarian's sword twice and his armor once. They started having to borrow weapons and armor from the camp's mercenaries to keep fighting, which made things tricky when the barb discovered the mercs only had leather armor (desert environs) which was significantly worse than his chain.
While he hasn't started whining about unfairly targeting him and whatnot, he was suitably aggrieved with the pugwampi, such that he violated alignment to torture one they captured (fell from good to neutral for it. Would've fallen further but he kept the torture short.)
We'll see how annoyed they get when I start busting equipment later on. Firebleeder bleeds fire!
You'd have better reliability if you Mozambique'd your player instead of relying on a single shot. You should also consider rendering the body to ash to prevent them rising as a zombie, skeleton, or revenant in the future... you can never be too sure your property isn't centered over an ancient indian burial ground or secret bio-weapons lab or near a radioactive ancient meteor or what have you... I'm just saying, if horror movies have taught us anything, it's that proper burial detail is critical to staving off the undead.
Why DO gm's make their players destroy the character sheet after death? Is it just adding insult to the injury of the lost PC? Are they trying to make sure the player can't sneak the character into another game? Are dead character sheets some kind of threat to be dealt with?
Early game: kill them harder next time. The wealth boost isn't really enough to make a difference in the long run and if the pc's start piling the bodies high to amass more wealth... there's always thieves and other forms of scum to lower wealth.
Late game: reincarnation/resurrection makes this a non-issue. It just creates a death tax. In fact, enough death in the late game actually eats up the early game boost in economy gained by cycling characters.
Totally don't mind PC's looting the bodies of dead PC's.
Sort of... Hypnotic Pattern was called out in the critter's statblock as its initial hostile action pattern. I adjudicated (in the spirit of not nerfing the SLA and spell into the ground) that it took overt hostile action against the fascinated creature to break the fascination, and potentially hostile action against the fascinated creature such as advancing enemies to give a new save. This allowed the creature (or the players!) to make use of its abilities as the stat block called for.
So if the creature attacked the fascinated target, fascination would break. If the creature cast a spell or spell like while the target was fascinated, the fascination would break. If the creature advanced on the fascinated target, the fascination could be saved against again. Attacking friendlies of the fascinated target did not inherently break fascination. Friendlies waving weapons around didn't necessarily break fascination, unless those friendlies started waving weapons AT the fascinated creature.
I THINK there's enough leeway in the effect's description to allow for my interpretation for allowed actions that wouldn't break fascination. The party was pretty good about breaking the fascination within a round anyway (except in the case of the animal companion, who got to sit and stare at pretty colors for three rounds. Had the demon swung on the druid in those three rounds, I'd have broken the fascinate, close bond between animal companion and master after all, but the demon was busy whaling on the cleric and barbarian, which the wolf probably didn't give a dropping about.) In fact, the barbarian never spent more than a round fascinated.
My interpretation was a bit charitable toward the Hypnotic Pattern, but without that interpretation the spell is virtually pointless. Bad guy casts Hypnotic Pattern. Good guy fails will save. Hypnotic Pattern breaks (or at least is saved against again) because bad guy is within sight range. ...
Just ran a heck of a fight this Saturday past wherein a group of intrepid adventurers encountered a unique advanced glomeray camping some very entertaining spell like abilities...
AoE confusion aura was highly entertaining, particularly when the druid's animal companion tripped the druid right before the cleric nearly killed him (both rolled attack nearest and the druid stood right between the two. Cue wolf-cleric fist/paw bump.)
But what really got to be fun was what happened with the barbarian.
So we have a charmed barbarian with a murderous command in a Hypnotic holding Pattern. Cue the gnomish sorcerer's turn, who decides using his standard action to awaken the barbarian would be a wise course of action... until he's reminded that he'd be the nearest (only) friendly target next to the barbarian, who's still Murderous Commanded.
They wisely opted to let the barbarian stay fascinated for a turn, though the gnome did end up biting the big one anyway (Chasing an advanced demon is a bad idea. Engaging in melee with said demon is just suicidal.)
tl;dr: I counter-countered Murderous Command (cast as a counter to Charm Monster) with Hypnotic Pattern.
New group, new campaign, new heroes (and corpses!)
We started with:
And just lost (see the obits thread):
We'll see what joins us this week when we play Saturday. One player mentioned wanting a gunslinger, the other mentioned he'd be playing something evil, possibly an Antipaladin (it's one of those groups... the barbarian was the only good aligned party member... until he tortured a pugwampi to a slow, slow death and desecrated the remains)
A new group brings a new campaign and with that, new PC (and companion) deaths!
Name: Arc (Tiefling Rogue)
Name: Wolfie, Druid Animal Companion
Name: Wolfie mk II, Druid Animal Companion replacement
Name: Krakenbuckle (Gnome Sorcerer)
So our druid will be calling a THIRD wolf from the Mwangi wolf pack (which is rapidly shrinking, due to attrition), and two players will be making new characters to rejoin the campaign with. Arc will be replaced by a gunslinger of some stripe, and we're unsure, as yet, what will be replacing Master Krackenbuckle, gnomish sorcerer of doom.
Pax Veritas wrote:
Well... you've been given percentages given per encounter @ CR for various levels. Logically, if a fight gives 5% of the xp needed to level, 20 such fights would give 100% of the xp needed to level (20 x 5 = 100). 20 fights is a lot, though, so tossing in various other xp awards equivalent to a CR X encounter should help to alleviate the hack and or slash gaming.
You can derive the values you need by referencing the xp charts at the front of the core rules for how much xp is needed and the chart in the back of the Bestiary to determine how much xp is granted per encounter by CR.
Needed xp (Core Rules) / xp per encounter (Bestiary) = # encounters needed at that CR to level.
In standard campaigns it's still "Da Bomb!" as you then don't have to pay to upgrade your primary weapon, an expenditure that swiftly becomes expensive due to the exponential formula used to determine weapon cost. Thousands and thousands of gold available for use on armor, scrolls, wonderous items, etc. well worth a single Magus Arcana and a few Arcane Pool points (which are easily recouped through feats)
Similar concept but tactical scale instead of strategic:
Spell Combat (spell = Dimension Door)
Thanks to our 90 foot fly speed (can be higher, this is just top of the head stuff; Fly grants 60 and Haste improves to 90) and our feat selections, our plucky Magus teleports in from upwards of 160 or so feet out, drops a full attack action of 4 swings, then pops out again. If we included Dimensional Savant, he could even flank with himself on half of those attacks.
Yeah, UC added some neat tricks for a Magus... just a few.
Blerg. My bad. They (Overhand Chop anyway) used to be feats, it didn't occur to me they'd bring them back as archetype abilities.
...and this messageboard doesn't support editing past a short amount of time. Wonderful. All right, there ya go. I fail.
Apologies for the guy I went off on, etc.
Hey look! Non Pathfinder rules! No wonder the system is broken! It's so easy to build a broken fighter when we just toss out the rules!
Power Attack caps at -5 to hit for +15 damage (if using a 2hander), Overhand Chop and Devastating Blow were removed for the Core Rules release... for good reason, obviously.
"real" fighters don't do nearly as much damage, based on my experiences, without a good deal of set up. This typically involves using Deadly Stroke, which can bump damage up to a good 100+ damage hit, but nowhere near 180.
I'll just leave that there...
The Planar Shepherd prestige class of Eberron gives a Druid the ability to wildshape into outsiders and magical beasts with templates of his chosen planes.
It does so many better things than that.
Like letting your entire party take 10 rounds to every 1 round your opponent takes, as long as they're close enough to you. Yeah... that PrC is... a little borked.
The very first thing I begin looking for in any game that I ever play in is a ring of sustenance. Food and Water are simply too much of a PITA to keep track of, without the biological imperatives behind their necessity. My lv 1 characters have 10 days rations as standard, and I pray that I find a ring in those 10 days of adventure.
If playing with the 3.5 Magic Item Compendium, I swap the ring for Everlasting Rations.
Or I play a Cleric and get to lv 5 ASAP.
HATE tracking food and water...
Doskious Steele wrote:
I agree that a Wizard (or whatever) with a single level of Rogue and full ranks in Perception and Disable Device makes for a character who can deal with traps of all sorts almost as well or better than a Rogue can, with lots of other non-rogue class mechanics layered on top. That's a very different proposition than doing everything a Rogue does better than a Rogue can, though.
Outside an Antimagic Field?Diplo/Bluff/Sense Motive: Charm/Dominate Person/divination spells
Disguise: Alter Self
Stealth: Invisibility, Silence
Sleight of Hand: ya got me there. Unless I were to just strongarm the poor mook and take his stuff when he's unconscious or dead.
Really, rogues suck. The better thief is the better mage.
Antimagic Fields not withstanding...
Doskious Steele wrote:
And yet, I did not restrict my enquiry to the field of disabling traps - how well does the Wizard Bluff, Diplomacize, Escape Artist, Sleight of Hand, Intimidate, Stealth, or Disguise in an Antimagic field? How well does the Wizard fight? The rogue still has a chance at dealing sneak attack damage. What of the wizard? Support the entire claim, please, before dismissing my doubt so capriciously...
This just in: it sucks to be a magic focused class in an antimagic field.Next up: Rogues against Heavy Fortification, and the sky is blue.
Real news at eleven.
Play an elf with the Swift Hunter trait.Stealth run at -20.