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His combat role would be debuffer/controller caster and his non-combat role would be face/skill monkey. In combat, I'll be looking to Hypnotic Stare my opponents, slip in an Intimidate and then hit them with a spell. Spirit Walker archetype lets me affect undead better and has the silly fun Continued Animation and Command Undead to help my frontliners (or give me a personal meatshield).
I'm uncomfortable dumping STR any lower than 8. Even though I'm a full caster, DEX is low because I'll be using Noble Scion of War (+CHA to Init) instead of Improved Initiative. WIS at 10 because I'll get the Mesmerist Towering Ego (+CHA to WILL) at L2.
Best option: Scale yourself as needed
You can build a combat beast or skill maestro, but you don't always have to use every ability for every encounter...and you don't always have to be the one who shines.
A combat beast can toggle off power attack, intentionally move so he only gets one attack instead of a full attack, set up flanks for others or aid another. If you hit THAT encounter and it's obvious it's go time, cut loose.
A skill maestro can, believe it or not, can aid someone else on their checks first. If it's plot important and they flub it, then you can step in, but you don't have to roll every time as the primary for every skill check you're eligible for.
I tend to do those options more with folks I don't know at Cons or at local tables with newer players. With my regular cohort or local tables with veteran powergamers, we enjoy cutting loose with our silliness.
Did they tone down the kineticist from the playtest? We had one in our PFS group during the playtest and it was extremely overpowered.
I would chalk that up to A) low-level play & B) perhaps your group composition. I playtested a kineticist all the way to L9 in PFS--if you play a turret-style ranged kineticist in a game where the enemies are never in your face and you can move action gather then fire off an empowered blast, you will seem OP to the melee who are constantly moving and only getting a single attack. Once iteratives and haste/blessing of fervor comes online for martials, depending on the group's charbuilding skills, you will be at par or behind DPS-wise.
My worshipper of Rovagug was originally Sczarni and then flipped to Liberty's Edge when the faction switch happened.
He treated the Society as a way to strengthen himself, test his abilities and prove himself worthy of being destroyed last by Rovagug. Thanks to PFS' 3-4 combats a scenario structure, it was a fun RP opportunity to have him revel in the carnage that party often caused and praise them for hastening the arrival of the Rough Beast.
His best "friend" is a Paladin Stonelord of Torag. They have had some great adventures together.
What Steven said: it's part and parcel of the game. Sometimes the dice are with you and sometimes they're not.
What if that player had been on the receiving end of a power attacked Great Axe critical?
Do critical hits add to Pathfinder Society play specifically? Do you think they have the potential to drive players away? Do you think they are fun? Do you tone them down some way in your own home games? Do you feel good about killing players with critical hits as a PFS GM? How do you feel about being killed by one as a PFS player?
Proposal: Please fix the "XP / PP / GM star credit" disparity between scenarios and Thornkeep / Emerald Spire
Unaware Combatants: Combatants who are unaware at the start of battle don't get to act in the surprise round. Unaware combatants are flat-footed because they have not acted yet, so they lose any Dexterity bonus to AC.
That means aware combatants are not flat-footed once they have--
nah. i'm not even gonna derail.
Proposal: Please fix the "XP / PP / GM star credit" disparity between scenarios and Thornkeep / Emerald Spire
You want to fireball the gaggle of goblins.
I'm in the middle of the gaggle of goblins.
You want to cast Fireball.
You ask if you can Fireball me too.
I do not want to be Fireballed.
You decide to Fireball anyways.
I hope the GM stops that action as that violates the "don't be a jerk" rule. If the affected player does not want to be affected, then as courteous players we should defer to their request.
Just because your attack won't kill me immediately, I would still consider it PvP as you intentionally damaged me against my wishes.
I honestly can't get onboard with anyone who thinks it's ok to intentionally damage another PC against their player's wishes.
Thanks to a little GM credit, my geokineticist is level 9 and this is my last pre-release adventure.
brief recap of main stats:
DEX 20 (+2 belt)
CON 20 (level ups, +2 belt)
HP 111 (toughness, favored class bonus)
+16 to hit (+17 Point Blank)
Because Snaking form has come online, I never had to deal with cover--I simply maneuvered my blast as needed.
After traversing some of the dugeon, finding a new mechanical friend and picking up some spiffy tech items along the way, we entered a scrap yard were 3 mooks and a boss with a chainsaw awaited us. Luckily, we had heard them before entering and I had chugged a potion of Reduce Person before entering.
The Inquisitor tossed a Zero Grenade and laid a hurting on the 3 clumped and fire-vulnerable mooks. The Tower Shield specialist moved in and tossed a chakram. The sorceror threw out an Ice Storm that caught all the bad guys, dropping the mooks. I Gathered/Empowered/Snaked one the boss (Hit 36, Damage 45) and dropped her unconscious.
I got a little side-eye for 45 points of damage on one shot (and having DR 9 and having 100+ HP pre-burn). However, considering the other damage dealers are a Tower Shield Fighter who switch hit with a Blinkback Belt and Chakrams, a Sword and Board Pally who has accuracy/DPS issues, a monk, a sorcerer who wasn't built for blasting and an investigator who primarily is based for out-of-combat, 45 damage in one round at L9 might seem like a lot.
We head to a forge/computer core (?), where we do some skill checks to turn off some nodes. Thanks to my UMD skill (& Pragmatic Activator), I Take 10 and contribute 3 (out of 4) times while the other martials struggle. The investigator crushes his node checks and the sorceror manages 3 out of 4.
Then a huge robot attacks us and I'm just a move action away :(
The Investigator/Sorceror tag team on deactivating the nodes, while the Pally, Fighter, Monk and I hold off the robot.
The Fighter manages to get between me and the robot and throws a chakram. The robot moves up, hits him and succeeds on a grab. The Pally double moves up and the monk moves in and tosses a shuriken along the way. I Gather/Empower and blast the 'bot (Hit 30, Damage 47).
The next round the fighter flails at the robot. The robot lets the fighter go then attacks me for 10 points of damage (DR eats 9) and misses its grab. The pally misses his attacks and the monk lands one. I delay...because I know I can end the fight with some blasts and want the other players to get their licks in.
The other players cycle through their attacks and the robot goes again, grappling the paladin. I Gather/Empower blast (Hit 34, Damage 40ish) and finish off the robot.
So far, I'm 3 for 3 on shots and right about the calculated average damage for empowered blasts for me of (45.75).
The sorceror and investigator finish off the nodes. I toss up kinetic covers in front of a Stargate-looking portal.
So, naturally, when all the nodes shut down, the bad guys come flying out of the ceiling.
The boss is Salamander with a blaster and a jet pack and he has a posse of 4 mephits.
The first two-ish rounds, we spend clearing out the mephits, during which we eat an anemic fireball from the boss. I hit twice with a 30 and 23, helping finish off 2 mephits that have been damaged by the switch hitter fighter, shuriken throwing monk and magic missiling sorceror.
We turn our attention to the jetpacking Salamander, who is 50' in the air. The sorceror fails on 2 glitterdusts to blind him and then shadow conjurations a dire bat for the paladin to ride. The Paladin rides the bat, gets one smite hit in and then the firey aura of the Salamander burns away the shadow dire bat, leaving the paladin mountless and 50' in the air....KA KLANG...5d6 falling damage.
The inquisitor readies an action and interrupts one of the salamander's spells. The monk is spending actions to climb the walls to get in shuriken range. The fighter can't reach with his chakram, so he chugs a potion of levitate.
So...I stall for one round to see how much of a threat the boss is and to let other folks maneuver/act. I raise a kinetic cover to protect the investigator and scope how effective our party tactics are (turns out, not very). I ask the party if I should go nova. They say yes.
I Gather Energy and let loose with an Empowered Maximized Mud Blast (hit 33, damage 118) and take 3 burn for 27 HP, ending the fight.
Oh wait, I calculated the Burn cost wrong. Crap. Too much Burn (5 burn - 1 from gather = 4...when I can only take 3/rd).
I Gather Energy and let loose with a Maximized Mud Blast (hit 33, damage 79) and take 3 burn for 27 HP.
I severely damage the Salamander and the rest of the party finishes him in the subsequent round of attacks.
I was 100% on 6 attacks and hovered at average damage on the empowered normal blasts (45ish) and obviously capped out on the maximized blast.
Because this was dungeon crawly and we had a skill monkey, my biggest contribution was via UMD when taking care of my node.
I'm sure redward can throw some other table feedback.
Other than that, my kineticist is officially parked until the book comes out and I do the Ruby Phoenix Tournament Module at L10.
@mark, I know I should be reserving a headband slot for a kineticist-specific item, but is there any chance for an approximate gold quote so I know how much to save? My PFS kineticist is L9 and will probably be L10 when the book comes out and I want to make sure I have enough $$ budgeted for any items in the final release book.
For your first question, I'm gonna quote myself from a different thread:
For your second question, if you keep healing downed party members at the feet of enemies and the revived party members attack/cast/act/etc, the enemy has two options: eliminate the threat at their feet beyond healing or attack the healer. Depending on the boss and situation, they will tilt one way or the other. I often make a point of trying not to heal unconscious PCs at the feet of the boss because all you've done is made them a very vulnerable low-HP target (unless they have a specific way to end the fight other than "swing from prone with a -4 to hit").
I would also like to point out, somewhat heartlessly, there are the rare times that you may have PCs who don't contribute enough in combat to be worth spending an action on healing when they're downed. A rare occurrence to be certain, but between using an action to bolster/support/flank with a still-standing 2HW raging power attacking barbarian or heal a small-sized TWF rogue who's been missing regularly, I'm choosing the barbarian unless the rogue is going to -CON next round. On the flip side of the coin, I've been the character that's gone down and had to talk the healer out of healing me so they could go and finish the fight by attacking/flanking/etc.
Good tactics by the party (or bad tactics by the enemy) decreases the need for in-combat healing. I'm not saying in-combat healing is never needed, but it is not inevitable in every combat.
Healing should never be the one and only shtick for a character. It should be an option a character possesses. My life oracle is a buff/debuff/summons-style character. Even when I play a pregen Kyra, I swap out her spells to be buffs or offensive spells so she can contribute during combat.
At high levels, proper preparation (resist energy, stoneskin, blur/displacement, boosted ACs, alpha striking, etc) combined with rocket tag means a dedicated healer better find a way to contribute during combat other than healing because otherwise they risk being a bored bump on a log as the party SWAT teams through a dungeon.
Re: Paying Attention Box text
I feel like there's a confluence of factors here.
1) Players may be still be settling down and dialing into their full-on gaming mode and may not be 100% mentally present.
2) Some GMs are atrocious box text readers (droning tone, mumbling, etc).
3) Some box texts are overly long and overstuffed with information.
As a GM, I make a point to have the NPC recap the main takeaways at the end of the briefing ("Just to be clear, Pathfinders, find the Foozle, save Sir Wooble and DON'T HARM THE NATIVES.")
As a player, I make a point to ask the GM if I understood the briefing correctly ("So, we need to find the Foozle, save Sir...uh...who again? Wooble. Gotcha. And don't kill the natives. Oh, "harm"? What exactly does "harm" entail?")
GM Lamplighter, I actually work in CS for a large online company so I am familiar with delayed responses to systemic issues.
I understand the issue not being resolved quickly...but not receiving any acknowledgement after 3 weeks is a bad experience on my end. Obviously, my e-mail (or their reply) could have been eaten by the e-grues of the internet, but since I've received other Paizo correspondence, I'm guessing that's not likely.
If DR stops all damage, then riders like trip and grab would be negated.
How often do you inspect character chronicles or character sheets? How often do you ask for resources?
This is not a discussion about whether it's a positive or negative thing to audit (and definitely not a discussion about whether you are a good or a bad GM if you do or don't audit), but a discussion on what your routine is when you do check someone's stuff.
My routine at the FLGS--
ALMOST EVERY GAME
I honestly am not looking at boons or exact purchases, I'm just making sure they have their sheets and they're being properly being filled out.
A MAJORITY OF GAMES (2/3rds)
VERY RARELY (only a handful of times)
All this is done in a very amiable, efficient way. If there is an issue that needs to be resolved, I try to work with the player to find a solution. I've only had to flat out deny a player their character once (and they were a problematical player for many other reasons).
And I would like to reiterate that for #4 we have no context and calling out the GM is in poor taste. Taking 2 AOOs sounds like an intentional move to give the party a chance to win on AOOs versus standing still and killing the alchemist anyways...
...because if the previous channel had knocked the alchemist to -8 HP, that means he was ALREADY in range for the next channel as the previous one dropped and left him in range of the cleric's channel, and no AOO-provoking movement was required.
I will be perfectly blunt with you...in the friendliest and most well-meaning of ways ;) --
SKR gave the RAI how it's supposed to work. PFS uses RAW. As this is could be considered a gray area (or just confusing) by some GMs, GMs would defer to RAI straight from a Dev's mouth to help them adjudicate this situation.
You are combining 4 different classes and pushing towards a fringe-type build. If you want to play in that conceptual build space, you'll have to decide for yourself if you want to spend the time and effort building and playing a character that is subject to table variation every single time you play them.
And even if you said yes to that, do you want the reputation of a player who builds a character on potentially shakey rules grounds that constantly tries to prove it is legal?
I always consult with local GMs when something veers towards a gray area to get their read on it. If half of them would rule against it (and these are folks who know me and know I've done my homework), I kibosh the build.
I'm sure other folks will have very good rules references for you, but I'm just putting out what could potentially happen when you put theory into practice in PFS.
Jtaylor, if you take this much umbrage at your pretend character dying in a make-believe game, you should re-evaluate why you feel "anger, hurt, and confusion" since character death can happen at any level. Also, if you are making assumptions about the other GM's motives (that you are unwanted at the group), then you may be reading too much into things.
I know everyone here on the PFS boards wants folks to have a good time every time they play (I know I do), but ups and downs are part of the game and you need to be prepared for that. Was this an ideal first experience? No. But you seem to be taking this way too hard for a game.