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To Judge a Soul part 1 is good for this.
Essentially, the combats in this operate as bookends to the nice big chunk of RP. It's a very well paced scenario that I've come to really love.
I can second that the bar has been raised in season 7. If you show up without your A game, you're going to pay for it through the nose.
07-06 and 07-08 are no joke, and there's at least one encounter in the first couple of scenarios that came out that are more than happy to chew through your party.
Play up at your own peril.
GM 7thGate wrote:
I mean, dragons are kind of a special case...
This brought to mind an occasion in which a roughly 11th level party or so took on an adult red dragon who had been casually looping about above them, observing. They began by buffing for the coming fight, so the dragon, succeeding in its spellcraft and sense motive checks, did the same. Up went the fighter to charge the dragon (Thanks, friendly mage!) Dragon full attacks fighter. Down floats the fighter's dead body...
Moral of the story: be careful with flying. Even if you can manage the mechanical logistics of getting your full plate'd greatsword wielder airborne, if he's the only aerial target, it's entirely possible for him to be focused down if the critter doesn't want to kite him. In a way, an aerial combat can very easily be an instance of splitting the party.
That fighter did, eventually, get better. By that point, the revolving door of death was spinning pretty well (my own fault, for not catching the limit on negative level removal)
While I'm posting in this thread: Any ideas for a PFS unchained monk to answer fliers? So far I've seen Scorching Ray ki power (eww), Air Walk scrolls/wand (expensive and requires a druid/cleric/oracle/shaman/hunter), shuriken with ki volley power (ehh...) and I've considered just taking MWP: composite longbow and rapid shot. Am I missing something epic and amazing?
I really love both of my Spirit Guide Oracles. The highlights:
I've got a PFS Spirit Guide that's a kitsune with all the tail feats (accessed from a nifty curse in Dirty Tactics Toolbox, which you might consider picking up, if your GM's on board) that's proven significantly effective. I also have a home game Spirit Guide that started out a halfling but ended up a Troglodyte that plays quite differently, focusing more on tanking and melee compared to the kitsune's battlefield control (Confusion and Dominate Person tails rock!)
tl;dr - look into the Spirit Guide Oracle Archetype from Advanced Class Guide, particularly in combination with the Kitsune race and the tail feats if you have access to the Wrecking Mysticism curse from Dirty Tactics Toolbox. Or just look at the archetype, as it's neat!
I've found the optional encounter earned more pc kills than the "boss" in Confirmation.
But then, I've been on a kill spree in the last six games I've run, including kills on character builds that are notoriously hard to nuke (Life Oracle, and it wasn't life link that killed him!). TPK in Rivalry's End with the first combat encounter, TPK in Thornkeep 1, TPK in Rise of the Goblin Guid, PC kills in Confrontation and Tapestry's Toil, 0 prestige/reduced gold/negative boon in Darkest Abduction... I decided to take a break from GMing when the local group got a slew of fresh faces.
It's also why I warn people when they sit at my table that the dice fall as they may and that my tables tend to run a little more bloody than they may be used to.
Scenario difficulty is perfectly fine as is. Heck, some of the recent stuff is plenty scary.
@Ryzoken: out of curiosity, why did the other party members move away from the gnoll chieftain after he took down the fighter?
If I remember right, and it's been 10 years so I may not, it was for tactical benefits such as flanks on other gnolls and the like. They definitely weren't expecting the suddenly deadly shift the campaign took. Game fell apart months later due to fatigue and my poor adventure writing.
When I was younger I ran a (admittedly terrible) game of 3.5 D&D wherein I managed to get the party to absolutely loathe a random side quest NPC.
Party was travelling through a town that was engaged in a serious conflict with a tribe of gnolls. Upon hearing of the town's plight, they step in, and take the fight to the gnolls. So I throw together a CR appropriate gnoll encounter with a chieftain, his bride, and a pack of gnoll mooks. Party slaughters every gnoll save the chieftain, who they run off. A week or two out of town, they get ambushed by gnolls including a familiar chieftain who was now out for revenge. During the battle, one of their party is dropped unconscious and the remaining party members step away from the chieftain, who stands over the downed fighter who had contributed in the earlier battle against the gnolls.
Jaws dropped as I announced the coup-de-grace.
Having slain one of his quarry and seeing his new followers mostly slaughtered like the last, again, the gnoll chieftain flees.
The party is ambushed thrice more by this same gnoll, each time with newly recruited allies from the local 'neighborhood'. He press ganged orcs, ogres, and bandits from the various isles he pursued the party across, managing increasingly daring escapes until the very last time, where the party manage to kill the beast once and for all.
Want to make an npc your players will love to hate? Take an npc they've wronged, and fight ruthlessly and without mercy, but always with an eye toward survival. Undermine the group from afar between confrontations, break their gear during fights, take the coup-de-grace should it be safe to do so, flee when the fight turns, and never show up without support. Have an NPC fight a war instead of a battle.
Dragon in Antimagic Field: Swoop down, consume Cleric, leave. Dismiss field, heal up, recast field, swoop down, consume Wizard, leave. Dismiss field, heal up, breath weapon remaining targets over multiple rounds. Disengage if needed to heal again.
Is how I'd try it. Seems a sound plan, provided you can prevent charge lanes from the bruiser types long enough to chew through the squishies. If you can kill the casters, the fighter types are down to arrows or flight consumables, either of which the dragon can out maneuver with its triple digit flight speed and mediumish range breath. If the cleric isn't under a flight effect when the dragon shows up, a grapple isn't a terrible way to completely ruin the cleric's day, particularly if the dragon makes grapple checks to fly off with his prize. Fly in, grapple, fly off, deal some damage with more grapple checks over a couple rounds, drop for 20d6 falling some 5 miles away.
Makes me want to run a dragon fight...
Which is how my PFS Spirit Guide Oracle was tossing out Confusion and Dominate Person in the last couple games I played... :)
BTW: it is super duper fun. "Hmm... so I have the choice of a quartet of hill giants... well, the upholstery on that one is faded, I don't like the color of that one's tunic, and the one back there seems to be leaking... guess I'll take the one with a bunch of miles on it. This is what I get for buying used...*
So they do. Meh. Dual cursed is better defensively, spirit guide is more flexible. Take your pick.
I used earth elementals in the past, but scent works ok too.
Just need a way to spawn an earth elemental (small works fine) and a wand of faerie fire. Speaking Terran helps, but isn't necessary. Instant invis suppression. Elemental gem works, but it's two grand a pop and spawns a large, which is overkill. Wand of SM II is 4k, but is much more cost efficient in the long run. Only need one for a long while...
Dual Cursed Spirit Guide Life Oracle.
Dual Cursed gives Misfortune which is, by itself, a very powerful probability control ability, allowing you to cancel crits and failed saves on your team.
Spirit Guide gives you spells and a hex known that can be swapped out each scenario to cover holes in your party composition. No knowledge monkey? Lore Spirit makes you instantly competent in every knowledge skill you have a rank in (which should be all of them) and gives you some handy divination spells. Nothing for dealing with swarms? Grab the Flame Spirit and drop burning hands, fireball, and wall of fire. Team lacking in mobility? Heavens Spirit gives you a free teleport for each of your team mates, as well as a stack of save or suck/lose spells.
Life Oracle? That's for Channel for team heals when the poop hits the proverbial fan. Snag Selective Channel early on. Party member drops? Channel for ranged aoe heals to keep them alive. At level 4, you're going to want Burst of Radiance, a spell from Champions of Purity, as the aoe blind status and piddly damage go a surprisingly long way to keeping the party alive.
Remember that succeeding in a PFS scenario often requires more than simple combat viability. I just played my oracle in a scenario the other night, and without my knowledge skills, our party would've been incredibly hard put to earn even one prestige, let alone both. Defensive healer is a good start, but make sure to be versatile in your capabilities.
There's always that ring that you could use to pass teamwork feats out to allies who are feat starved/stingy.
We had an Emerald Spire PFS group that was build around a Butterfly Sting crit fisher Swashbuckler, Outflank, Paired Opportunists, and... it was gross. We hit one target for 300 damage in the surprise round of a fight due to clever positioning and tactics... at level 8.
I've also seen paired PFS half orc barbarians utterly destroy scenarios with Amplify Rage, Lookout, and a couple other things I don't fully remember. 30-ish strength at level 2 is... pretty silly.
My PFS hunter is... pretty crazy. Does similar things to what the ES group did, but with her animal companion and with the Feinting teamwork feats added in. Dumping 8 attacks split between wolf and hunter after moving is... pretty scary.
Teamwork feats are great, if you know what you want out of them and how best to leverage the opportunity costs involved. The ring helps a lot.
I see you're a Halfling! May I recommend that you work into your backstory that you are, perhaps, a fugitive on the run? It would make you a small medium at large...
His issue with Druids is actually an issue with animal companions, an issue he has expressed in many threads. In fact, it's been so prevalent that I mentally associated him with the gripe, which is impressive given how little attention I pay to who people online are.
On topic: I regret my bloodrager and brawler. They're fun personality wise, but by the hammer do I hate the mechanics behind them. Just a pair of wind up large katana wielding bashers. Rocket tag. Boring and not much fun for everyone else at the table. Haven't played them in a year and a half.
Kevin Willis wrote:
The GM generosity is a negative feedback loop of sorts as well. I've been at conventions and had players get very upset at me if they didn't get full Fame. As in "Why did I not get 2 Fame like I'm supposed to? How come you are trying to keep me down? You are keeping me from getting the item I really need to make this character work. You just destroyed my whole level plan." Their local GMs always gave full Fame and if someone didn't they were a bad person. So there is enormous pressure to always give 2 Fame in that area.
Response: "You did not get 2 Prestige and Fame because you failed scenario objective X, Y, and/or Z. Would you care to learn why you failed scenario objective X, Y, and/or Z?"
GM runs the game, players play the game. Players fail to complete their objectives, GM is expected to penalize the players. Playing scenarios is pointless if there is no penalty for failure. As long as the GM ran things correctly and by the script, any blame for failed success conditions should land solely on the players or on the author for writing a punitive scenario, with the latter being the exception than the norm.
The last three tables I've run have seen players get the snot beat out of them resulting in two near TPKs, and one where the players received a negative boon, reduced gold, and no PA/Fame. When confronted, I calmly explained why things occurred the way they did, sympathized with their plight, but ultimately issued the chronicles with the appropriate reductions with a "I hope you have better luck next time."
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
I'm running with it as fast as my scaly legs can carry me. But that's a non PFS campaign, and theoretically off topic.
It's important to remember that the most complex and convoluted character build is really only a conveyance for a good story to be told. It's hard to tell a story when the cast is dead...
The assertion that powergamers do so in a bid to 'win' Pathfinder needs to die. It's inflammatory and quite often (90+% I'd wager) wrong.
I build strong characters because I was taught to do the best I could. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. I take my time on each character, researching every option for every component of my build, considering which pieces fit best for what I want the character to do. Some of these choices inform the personality I eventually develop for said character. In the end, I come up with a design I enjoy because it does something unusual, while contributing to parties in whatever roles I selected when I wrote the character and hopefully providing an entertaining persona to bind the whole thing together.
I do this not to win, nor do I ever need to cheat. The very implication that I would do either is insulting in the extreme. I build strong characters because I should. Because to do less could lead to my letting other people at my table down when a critical check or action arises, but more importantly, because I would let myself down by not giving it my 100%.
For Magi? Not much better than just mainlining the class.For martials that don't cast? 3 levels in Horizon Walker, oddly enough.
An encounter occurs in a small inlet of a nearby body of water the city sits adjacent to. The GM calls for initiative, then sets out four crab figurines.
He does seem a pretty stand up chap there, eh?
And how exactly will you force me to GM for this person?
Who said I'd force you to run a table you weren't comfortable running?
If you have a problem with a jackhole player who's making players uncomfortable for reasons not pertaining to in game mechanics, talk with your VO.
SO that player stopped the game for 30 minutes to complain about how she offended by the use of that word. That same player does this often.
Discuss this player with your local venture officers and consider how best to deal with this going forward, since it's clearly disruptive behavior if it's taking 30 minutes of game time away from 4+ other people on a frequency of more than once.
Paladins can not prepare Infernal Healing nor use wands of it as it's not on their class list.
Use Magic Device.
*looks at thread* Yeah, because more outrage is totally what we need around here... >.>
There's actually a slower but far easier way too. There's also a new Kitsune curse for oracles that lets a Kitsune take a tail feat instead of a mystery spell. It's slower, sure, but it seems good to me. It also gives you some extra spells known in addition to that.
That curse effectively means you can take a Magical Tail feat at every level starting at 1 until you get your last tail at level 8. Not a terrible way to go. It does lock you out of quite a few archetypes for Oracle, but hey! Spirit Guide is not one of the locked out archetypes! So a Kitsune Spirit Guide Oracle 8 would have all the tails, virtually no benefit from their selected mystery other than a single revelation chosen at level 1, but would get flexible extra spells known and hex from Wandering Spirit, making up for the lost spells from mystery...
And I now know what I'll be rebuilding my level 8 PFS Occultist Arcanist into. Kineticist? Pshaw. Kitsune Oracle baby! Assuming it's made legal...
Alex Mack wrote:
Kitsune Rogue can asesmble all tails by level 9. Taking the swashbuckler Rogue Archetype allows you to take 3 bonus feats via Ninja Trick: Combat Trick and Combat Trickx2.
A rogue cannot select a ninja trick with the same name as a rogue talent. As such, a Kitsune Swashbuckler Rogue can assemble all tails by level 11.
I don't actually do this; it's much more entertaining for all involved to watch the players earn their losses of prestige/gold/boons or accrual of negative boons. As far as what characters show up to play, I only look at things when we encounter a grey area, something doesn't add up, or if I have a known cheater sit the table, at which point I audit the entire table. I don't want to know your tricks before they become relevant, and I don't particularly care how mechanically strong your character is. I'm going to present the scenario as written to the best of my ability, if your group is good enough to win, then great. If you don't have the mechanics to get through the challenges, be they combat or not, then I will cheerfully hand you your butt!
In theory, the campaign leadership, scenario writers, and devs have provided us a mechanically balanced construct with which to play games. It should, therefore, not fall to a GM to veto legal characters due to imbalance concerns. That said, I recognize the system ain't perfect, but I'm still not comfortable with GMs exercising that level of executive power, given the whole point of Organized Play is having characters you can play literally anywhere on the planet.
This is where my point regarding perception lies. You are dead set to frame things negatively, referring to loss of a talent for expanding to other elements. I am choosing to frame things positively, highlighting the gain of a talent for sticking with your base element. In theory, either observation is valid, but framing things negatively results in undesirable negative emotional responses and rhetoric.
Ultimately, this is the point where I cease arguing about this topic.
WRT Earth's Expanded Element options: I'd say Air, for flight, but you get it at 10 and it is pretty much diametrically opposed thematically. Aether could be neat for TK Invis in theory, letting you burrow underground, vanish, then resurface invisibly somewhere. The composite blast for Aether is pretty bad though. Fire gets you Eruption for area nukes and an energy blast, which you might care about. Water can give you its awesome shield ability with Expanded Defense, further amplifying your defenses. I know a guy who built a tanky earth kineticist, but I think he went full Earth instead of splitting off into Water.
False equivocation.A more accurate equivalence would be: You're scheduled to work on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 9th, and 11th. If you come in on the 7th, we'll pay you extra.
At no point does the class say "you get an infusion every odd level unless you expanded element into a different element, then we're taking your 7th level infusion away" it instead says you get talents at 1, 2, and every two levels thereafter and infusions at levels 1, 3, 5, 9, etc. The inference that you're gaining an infusion every odd level is just that: an inference.
Gaining infusions at level works fine, it just means you'll actually take burn (maybe) instead of mitigating it entirely with infusion specialization.
We're lucky the Extra Talent feat exists at all, given statements by the devs regarding similar Extra X feats. That said, yes, the -4 level is painful.
Maybe I missed something. Are there Wood and Shadow kineticists? Or is this something being added in one of the other books? I'd really be interested in a Shadow kineticist.
Currently kineticists are only the five elements described in the Occult Adventures supplement (barring 3PP sources which I don't look at) but hope springs eternal, it's entirely feasible to see other elements like the eastern elemental wheel represented in future products. Further separation into light and dark based descriptors, while interesting, might be a bridge too far, but one can never be too sure.
This has been clarified by the design team in one of the kineticist threads. The short reasoning is: the replacement mechanic in no way invalidates or removes any restrictions placed on talent acquisition.
As far as the expanded element talent thing: I'm not saying it's perfect. I am saying I can sort of see what they were going for. As far as the way we react to it, viewing it as a benefit for specialization or a penalty for expanding, that's entirely up to us. We control how we feel, not other people. Which is a fact that is seemly lost on people in general, given the amount of outrage over various issues on a daily basis, but I digress. Point is: mechanically, we get +Talent for going single element or we get +options going multi element. Which is preferable is entirely up to the individual. I, for example, have elected mono element for my Aether kineticist so I can get Foe Throw at 7, opening up 9 and 11 for Snake and Kinetic Whip.
Side note: if I were able to select infusions as 2*talentLevel-1, I'd have taken Foe Throw at 5, Kinetic Whip at 7, Snake at 9 and Disintegrating Infusion at 11 instead of adding two levels to each of those entries. This would've put Disintegrating Infusion right at the time when wizards get actual Disintegrate, instead of an entire spell level behind (a character level behind when sorcerers and arcanists get the same spell.) Similar effects, similar timeline.
Wilson Abrams wrote:
I know I've said this a number of times before, but I find this design choice seriously questionable, it's like holding class features hostage.
Well, it does make a kind of sense in that there needs to be a strong incentive to expand your initial element. Expanding to any other element opens a plethora of options, so to even begin to match that versatility, something akin to an extra talent makes a great degree of sense. I recognize that we're already paying for improved element access with that painful -2 to talent level access and a feat tax if we want the defense of that element, but these restrictions aren't enough on their own, something else was needed.
That said, the way talent levels are lined up with regard to leveling is... clunky and annoying. If the access to talents were 2*(talentLevel)-1 instead of 2*(talentLevel), things would snap together significantly better than they do currently. You'd get access to infusions at appropriate times, making all those level 3 talents actually accessible instead of being gated behind your choice of 3 levels or expanded element, and there'd be no functional change to utility talent acquisition since we get those on even levels.
My familiars have proven better pathfinders on occasion than some of the dregs they drag out of bed at 2 am to go investigate the thumps and bumps in the museum...
They've certainly been less likely to commit serial murder at the drop of a hat.
The idea with suggesting telekinetic blast for the use of a rod is more to circumvent the restriction on holding something while gathering energy. While it's not super useful, using the rod as a kinetic blade focus ignores the restriction on holding it and allows you to use it's effects for that telekinetic blade.
And then you need to buy a new rod...
Duly noted. Apologies for the misinformation upthread.
I've been working up a PFS kineticist for the last two weeks... I think I'm just going to make it a gunslinger and call it a day.
Wouldn't you be dealing damage to the rod with each hit? ;o)
Not necessarily.TK Blast operates in two ways: option 1, you deal blast damage, the item takes no damage. Option 2, you deal damage as if throwing the item, swapping Con for Str, and dealing damage to both item and target.
Adding KT Blade to the mix, you can full attack in melee dealing blast damage, or you can full attack in melee dealing damage as if you'd thrown the weapon, swapping Con for Str, dealing damage to both item and target with each swing.
KT Whip functions as KT Blade, which makes things odd when considering whether one get the benefits of magic items that operate when held in conjunction with TK Blast.
Three Scenarios in which it is possible to earn full rewards without combat:
Library of the Lion, The Disappeared, and, if you're clever, the Technic Siege can all be done with zero combats taking place, IIRC. There are more, but those three are ones I have experienced.
Physical blasters tend to pick up Deadly Aim too, since with empower mixed in it's fairly analogous to 2 handed Power Attack (-1atk/+3dmg)
Of course, a physical blader/whipper would grab Power Attack or (more likely) Piranha Strike for the same idea in melee, netting even more raw damage due to iteratives. Whether the acc loss translates into these feats resulting in less dpr instead of more is a question for people who want to bother crunching the numbers. I just know those feats are nice for raising the damage floor and ceiling a little bit more.
That content would be nice to see.
My recommendation is to give it a spin, see what kind of viewership you end up with. If you build it, they will come. If you talk about building it, you'll be shouted down by everyone who feels threatened because you aren't playing a fighter with 20 int.
DM Beckett wrote:
Actually, if it's the scenario I'm thinking about, you know the one that's specifically designed for brand new players and explicitly has a lot of NPCs sitting there to be on hand to help the Players along with questions and lore like this, I'm tempted to say this is a case of worst DM. :P
Yup, it's that scenario. The only one I've run across with that particular item in it. And yeah, it's a 1-2 scenario, so not impossible for a character to not know about the item and not have a wayfinder in the group.
Really wish you'd stayed with the standard color scheme. Makes it harder for readers to use your guide if their brain is used to purple=best when your purple=meh.
Kensai aren't proficient with armor, so armor enchantments are harder to get.
Haramaki. No ACP, no ASF. Doesn't turn off your class features. Lets you get armor enchants.
Alternately: Silken Ceremonial Armor is the same.
Alternately alternately: Bracers of Armor.
Armor enchants are in no way difficult to get, regardless of your proficiencies. More challenging is shield enchants, since even the lowly buckler disables your canny defense.