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Go read Fervor. I'll wait.
I kinda want to write up a formalized speed running scoring category. Something that standardizes the category. I imagine it'd be something akin to:
You get points for difficulty, speed, and execution.
Difficulty would be based on party make up with bonus points available for doing stupid things like 3-manning it and leaving the pregen back at base camp to guard the beer.
Speed would be a toughie. You could just tally based on run time length, but that would punish people for making the game fun with off the wall characters and silly NPC chatter. Probably better to tally based on rounds or turns taken. Maybe add a bonus for run time length, maybe not. Maybe run time length just gets recorded for posterity and braggin rights.
Execution, I envision, would be an interesting 'forked' category. Obviously you get significantly dinged if your party fails to obtain both prestige in your speed run, but I could envision this category being either you get points for each success condition you meet, OR you get points for having achieved the absolute barest minimum required to squeak through with both prestige. This turns into a question of which way does your team want to attempt the challenge? Do you go full bore, hoping to get the maximum possible by hitting all the success conditions, or do you play the comedy of errors team that fights the <REDACTED> before entering the caves instead of after, and generally makes a massive mess of the mission but somehow earns both prestige in the end? Probably give bonus points for earning both boons as well.
It would be interesting to do this with a bunch of the replayables. Kinda create a "Speedrunners League" with various groups of like minded competitors striving to see who can do it the best, the fastest. Could breathe new life into some of the stale scenarios. And it's not like this is something crazy or new, it exists in video game country, and could totally be instituted in RPG land too, provided a good set of rules gets figured out.
Burning Infusion: I apologize in advance if this has been brought up or if it's something I just missed, but I did not see any mention of how one puts oneself out. They get the initial reflex save against ignition, and they then burn until they put themselves out... but what type of action is that, does it require a roll, does it provoke AoO's? Our group ad lib'd it with the rules from Alchemist Fire, but it would be good to have a couple lines about how one puts oneself out.
General impressions: I played a pyrokineticist 1 (could ya tell?) in a PFS scenario and had quite a bit of fun with it. Not having Precise Shot made things incredibly difficult, as I was looking at a -8 to -12 to hit due to cover and melee penalties. I basically only hit things when I had a clear line, on a strong roll. Had I been using a non touch attack, I would have been utterly useless. My character was built with 16 dex, no point blank shot.
The scenario included a stationary mass-of-hp type encounter, which let my character shine as we sat back and I just repeatedly sunk Burning Infusion Pyroblasts into it round after round until it burned away. Without the infinite supply of firepower the Kineticist class provided, this would have actually been challenging, but being able to sit at 30' and plug away rendered the threat moot. I suspect this was an edge case, as it is exceedingly rare one encounters a foe one can reliably 'kite' let alone a stationary one.
Random Musings: I suspect a more melee oriented type of character with the Kinetic Blade talent would be a more functional level 1 character. This is particularly true if Weapon Finesse works in conjunction with Kinetic Blade, which I suspect it should. Does it? A character built with 18 Dex and Con (under 20 point buy, racial included), with Weapon Finesse and a KT Blade looks more effective on paper than the ranged character I put together (Go figure, Precise Shot matters.)
Zen Archer Monk.
Your character's father taught you archery, but where did he learn his art from? No reason he or his father before him weren't taught in a monastery that has since been abandoned resulting in you being taught by him directly rather than by the monastic brotherhood.
Mechanically, ZAM is a pretty solid class, boasting strong defenses, potent offense, and a nice suite of mobility enhancement for when you need to reposition, not that you need to once you've hit level 3. It'd also be interesting to see how high you can crank your saving throws, combining the monk's strong saves with the half orc's sacred tattoo and the Fate's Favored trait. That's +4 to all saves before stat modifiers at level 1. Figure on 14's or so in your relevant stats and that's +6 to all, with strong scaling as you level. If you can stomach the dump stats, you could possibly eke out something like:
Just my two zeni.
Crap. That... is really annoying. Also, sorry I mislead ya on that. Now I need to figure out what my magus is going to use Close Range for... Guess I'll be swapping Acid Splash over to Ray of Frost for starters...
As to the issue with Opportune Parry and Riposte vis a vis Swift action economy: don't riposte. You're really taking the deed for access to the parries, which eat up your Attacks of Opportunity, not your Immediate Actions. The riposte, while nice, isn't a huge benefit because your damage relies heavily on spellstrikes.
I would definitely do the feat unless you have a specific reason to take the class level (like I did.) I would also find room for Extra Panache. With your Cha being what it is, you'd have 3 parries at the start of the day and could go up to 5 total. You'd miss out on Derring-do, and you'd be locked out of the Precise Strike deed, but I'm thinking that if there's a thing magi don't need, it's more damage. Better to augment your defensive capabilities, imo.
Oh good, they got around to updating the Additional Resources page!
The arcana isn't a bad idea, but taking the Amateur Swashbuckler feat gives you a pool separate from your Eldritch Pool to power your parries. A pool that you can recover points in over the course of adventuring. Given the amount of parrying one typically does, I suspect you'd end up resource starved if you just take the arcana.
I went a different path for mine. Essentially, I wanted to avoid being yet another scimitar wielding magus, so I went Half Elf (Human was another option) for katana proficiency, took a level in Swashbuckler, and picked up Slashing Grace at 3. It was utter dreck at level 1 and 2, but due to having played through two scenarios and a sanctioned module level on a different build, getting to 3 (where the build snaps together) was a relatively simple matter of surviving a single scenario in which I spammed Snowball and Acid Splash.
After the critical opening 3 levels, I opted to advance my Swashbuckler abilities with Extra Panache and Combat Reflexes. I took Close Range as my first arcana for the ability to shorten up my Snowballs for combination with Spellstrike and Spell Combat. Being able to toggle between electricity and cold damage as needed (casting either Snowball or Shocking Grasp) has been fairly nice.
An entire level of Swashbuckler might not be needed in your build, but taking Amateur Swashbuckler for the Opportune Parry and Riposte deed would give you a pretty effective defensive ability and dovetails nicely with your high Cha. I'm not big on familiars, but your mileage may vary.
Lunge is a really nice feat to consider shoehorning in somewhere (late, 9th level or later). I don't recommend stacking Initiative as you have here. Doing so means party buffers go after you, so if you move out, you're going to be excluded from all those tasty buffs. You mitigate this somewhat with your auto self buffs, but being able to glean Haste before activating your eldritch focus lets you grab Displacement with less mental turmoil. I recognize why you did it (gotta get in the caster's face before they cast!) but do recognize it is a double edged sword, so to speak, for characters that aren't casting party buffs or ending the encounter in a single spell.
I think you still need to have the alchemical item in hand. Happily, the action economy issue vanishes when you hit 6 in Grenadier, so for my simple Bolt Ace 1, Grenadier 11 PFS build, it's no big deal. Just means I add alchemical damage every other round instead of every round until level 7, where I start Alchemical Weaponing as a swift action instead of a move.
Jon Otaguro 428 wrote:
You are, of course, absolutely correct. I really should've checked the feat before I posted. Blerg.*eyes his grandfathered level 1 tiefling*
You are incorrect. Free Actions take no time and as many can be taken as the GM permits. There is no mechanical restriction to the number of free actions one gets.
Swift actions, however, you only get one of.
Free Action: Free actions consume a very small amount of time and effort. You can perform one or more free actions while taking another action normally. However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM.
Grenadier puts alchemical weaponry on the arrow, the Explosive Missile discovery from Alchemist in general lets you apply bombs to arrows and the like.
I think I'd rather just take Quick Draw than have my Half Orc sprouting tentacles... I know, boring, but there's only so much ugly I can stand in my characters. I also might want to use that discovery for something else... Infusion for example.
One big issue I can see is that the build is pretty MAD. Dex for hit, Int for a number of important things, Wis for Grit, Con for not dying... Makes it hard to fit it all in inside of 20 pt buy...
EDIT: MAD alleviated at cost of a feat. Sink a 12 in Wis and take Extra Grit when you take your level of Gunslinger. Leaves you 18 points to play with, which goes back to 20 after you take a -2 to Cha. Or Str. Probably Cha. Half Orcs don't need that stat anyway... *snerk*
Now I'm picturing a half orc doing the Most Interesting Man in the World thing with a maxed Cha... Which seriously damages my 3.5 preconceptions of the Half Orc race...
So building on the Grenadier Alchemist X, Bolt Ace 1+ chassis (specifically a Grenadier4/Bolt Ace1/Grenadier++ with an eye toward PFS play)...
On a non Tiefling, would Quick Draw be helpful/requisite for replacing the lost swift draw tail? Note this would also open up silly Quickdraw Shield cheese, letting us draw/stow said shield around our normal stack of actions to gain AC between turns while avoiding free hand issues and ACP penalties for non proficiency.
A typical turn at level 5 would appear to be:
So it'd hit for 1d8(bolt)+2d6(bomb, default fire)+1d6 fire+1d6 acid(alchemical weapon)+int x3 (bomb, alchemist fire, acid flash)+assorted bonuses?
The short answer is: Harrowed is a legal feat, but was (accidentally) skipped when updating the Additional Resources page. There is a post from Mr. Brock buried in the thread Kyshkumen linked to this effect. Commence shuffling!
If you go Lunar/Lore/Nature, you can go the Cha to Everything route. Noble Scion: War (Inner Sea World Guide) for Init, revelation from those mysteries for AC and either Reflex or CMD, Divine Protection (Advanced Class Guide) for saving throws, and that's on top of it being your casting stat.
I recommend going more casty that fighty given your race. -4 Str stings something fierce and you'll already be pretty feat starved as an oracle so it'll be rough (but possible) to fit in the feats for dex to hit and damage.
Dual Cursed Oracle is an incredibly good archetype, giving access to a very potent revelation in Misfortune.
Actually, he's +7 to hit. (5 Str +1 BAB +1 Weapon Focus)
I can't recommend 20 ft land speed. I've played with a few fighters the last few game sessions who were utterly unable to contribute for 2/3 of the fights due to lack of mobility. One session saw a fighter get kited by a gnoll for three rounds before said gnoll got shot to death. 30 foot land speed would've let the fighter catch up and charge him several rounds earlier. Switching to Leather Lamellar gets you 30 ft land speed for a single point of lost AC, which you can make up for by fighting defensively since you're camping a pretty solid to hit bonus. As soon as you get 350gp, you can get a mw greatsword pushing your to hit to +8, or +4 when fighting defensively which is still plenty to hit most (nearly all) opponents.
Here's a guide, it covers more than core, but should still be helpful:
Defaulting to Arcane Bloodline is not a bad idea. Make sure he diversifies his spell list (ie, doesn't take multiple blasts every level.)
Hmm... I think I'll avoid the potential table variation in general and go a different route. 3 feats investment for +4 Grapple and the ability to do two grapples in a single round feels... not worth. Certainly not when I can take Power Attack, Skill Focus and Combat Reflexes instead.
[+4 Grapple] and [two grapples per round]
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?