With +4 from total defense, shouldn't Nonono's AC be 32? Or did I miss something?
3 skill points in Acrobatics--I always try to squeeze them in even on the most skill starved frontliners ("If you have 3 or more ranks in Acrobatics, you gain a +3 dodge bonus to AC when fighting defensively instead of the usual +2, and a +6 dodge bonus to AC when taking the total defense action instead of the usual +4.")
(I somewhat question the usefulness to cost ratio on the disruption chain unless added to a serious reach build.)
Absolutely agree. Normally, I wouldn't pick those feats. Only reason I chose it for the playtest was the fleeting hope I could use it.
Yes, I agree it's a bit too much at that early level. The number of spells available should've been limited to one at level 4 and then scaling, like some other bloodrager powers, up to the full number over six additional levels or so, IMO.
That's a good call--the Arcane bloodrage buff spells are earned like regular spells and pool grows as you level. You have to make a tough choice on what buff spell(s) you choose at L4, L8, etc but you gain more flexibility as you level and learn more.
Crusader of Good wrote:
The overall plan is grapple, pulling them onto my spikes, then start burning them with the flame touch spirit ability. Basically I have now nicknamed myself the Human BBQ. :P
Until you get Greater Grapple at L9 (when you meet the BAB requirements as Monk 2/Shaman 7), you'll use your standard action either maintain the grapple OR Touch of Flame them, but would not be able to both. Hilariously, at Shaman 8 when you gain Fiery Soul, you'll be able to grapple them and then during the next round maintain the grapple and deliver fiery cone of fire kiss right at their face....
This is my second game with a Skull & Shackles homegame that needed a sit-in. The first time I played, my poor Heavens Shaman got squished and the party got beat to a pulp. This week, a couple of the regular players were back in the mix and we continued the mission of clearing out the island and searching for the Eye of Serenity.
Life Oracle 10
Barbarian 8/Rogue 2
Since a Shaman would be redundant given the caster-heavy party, @redward advised me to go with a beatstick.
I decided to build an Arcane Bloodrager tank. The keys of the build would be using a wand of Shield, choosing Protection from Arrows & Displacement when raging and aiming for a respectable AC--high enough that even when raging the primary attack only had 50% chance of hitting (and the iteratives much less) with Displacement hopefully nixing any hits.
And with that, I created Nonono the nodachi-wielding Bloodrager--whose personality and mannerisms were based on Dikembe Mutombo's performance in the Geico commercial ("No no no--not in my house!")
Male Half-Orc Bloodrager 9/Fighter 1
CG Medium humanoid (human, orc)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0
hp 113, 143 (raging)
Fort +14 (+4 vs. hot or cold environments and to resist damage
Defensive Abilities uncanny dodge, orc ferocity; DR 1/—
Melee +1 furious nodachi +17/+12 (1d10+10), +21/+13 (1d10+24) (raging w/ power attack)
Bloodrager Spells Known (CL 9th; concentration +10):
Base Atk +10; CMB +16; CMD 31
Feats Deathless Initiate, Diehard, Disruptive, Endurance, Eschew Materials, Furious Focus, Ironhide, Power Attack, Raging Vitality, Spellbreaker
Traits fate's favored, reactionary
SQ blood casting, disruptive bloodrage, fast movement, arcane bloodrage, bloodlines (arcane)
Combat Gear Jingasa of the fortunate soldier (1/day), Amulet of natural armor +1, Belt of physical perfection +2, Cloak of resistance +2, Ioun stone (clear spindle), Ring of protection +1, Wayfinder
OFFENSE: Raging & Power Attacking = +21/+13 for 1d10+24
DEFENSE: Raging (Prot Arrows / Displacement) & Shield spell = AC 28
1 Level of fighter to pick up one more feat. Deathless feats to fight to the bitter end.
I went to the game straight from work and literally walked in the door as the party was rolling initiative. Oh my!
In the ruins on the island, the party had entered a room with 2 Cyclops and a Giant Cyclops.
I roll low and sit at the bottom of the order, which buys me time to settle in.
The Sorceror tosses a Haste while the Oracle channels (apparently the Barbarian was still hurt from the last game). The Giant Cyclops critically hits the Barbarian with a boulder for long range pain. I Wand of Shield myself, rage for Prot Arrows/Displacement and move up with the Barbarian to engage the incoming pair of mook Cyclops AKA Mooklops.
The Sorceror casts Displacement on the Barbarian. The Barb full attacks and finishes off one of the Mooklops. The Giant Cyclops AKA Bosslops charges in and, thanks to Displacement, misses the Barb. The remaining Mooklops and I trade blows, my Displacement canceling out some of his hits.
The Sorceror casts fly and seeks higher ground. The Witch Misfortunes the Bosslops and the Oracle casts Blind on the Bosslops, only to have him make the save. I only take one swing at my baddie and slowly work my way to help the Barbarian. The Mooklops flanks and misses me.
The Bosslops, frustrated by missing on the Barbarian due to Displacement, swaps to attacking Oracle. The Oracle is not happy about this.
The party focus fires the Bosslops as the Sorceror and Oracle drop scorching rays. I finish off my Mooklops just before the now-enlarged Barbarian demolishes the Bosslops.
Yarrrrr, pirate victory!
Quoth the GM: "If you guys didn't have those displacements, you would have been effed."
Except for one or two hits, my high AC and Displacement allow me to ragetank. Bad rolls (low single digits) and crappy positioning on my part kept me from doing any significant damage this fight.
Main reaction: Holy crap! In one round and I had 3 buffs up and STILL had move action left.
Second thought: I'm not really doing anything with my swift/immediate actions.
We continue our search of the ruins and are ambushed by 2 Caryatid Columns. One smacks the Barbarian and it's on.
Both the Barbarian and I cringe because we know what this could mean for our weapons.
Once again, I roll low at go last in the combat.
The Sorceror makes his knowledge checks and gives us the low down on the Columns then casts Displacement on the Barbarian. Still flat-footed, a Column crunches me. The Oracle begins a summon. The Witch flies up and begins poring over his spellbook for spells that will work on the Columns. The Barb swings away on a Column, his weapon taking minor damage. I rage for Prot Arrows/Displacement and attack my Column. Luckily, I escape any weapon damage.
The Sorceror casts Magic Missile. The GM and I share a look--the Sorceror just learned last round it was immune to magic spells that allowed spell-resistance. (facepalm)
Minor hiccup aside, the Witch Ice Spears a Column that is then smashed the Oracle-summoned Anklyosaurus. The Barbarian switches to back up weapon and helps me with the remaining column, both our weapons accruing minor damage. Luckily, the Anklyosaurus charges over and finishes the fight before our weapons break.
Yarrrrr, dinosaurrrrrrr victory!
After the casters pull out some mending cantrips to patch up our weapons, the Sorceror earthglides about the ruins, scouting possible paths. He passes into a room where he makes a Will Save (success) and then a bright eye/gem/thingy shoots an Enervation at him and misses. The Sorceror reports back to us and we move to the dome/room/temple place.
By the door to the interior, we find Cyclopean writing saying something to the effect of "You must blind yourself to truly see." After some discussion, the Oracle volunteers to cast Blind on himself. The Barbarian offers his potion of Cure Blindness/Deafness for the Oracle to carry as a cure. We tie a rope around the Oracle and off he goes inside.
The Shadow of the Valley of Death:
Upon entering, he makes his Will save (against what, we still don't know). Then, while blinded, he gets hit for TWO negative levels by Enervation.
He presses on, stumbling with a single digit touch AC to the altar.
He gets hit again! The GM rolls a d4. Another TWO negative levels!
We ask if he wants us to pull him back outside. The Oracle decides to go for it and blindly soldiers on to the altar.
Blasted by another Enervation! Another negative level!
He's almost at the Eye!
To both our horror and joy, The Oracle eats yet one more Enervation and one more negative level!
But he has the Eye.
And that's when the Giants attack.
The Giants, which the Oracle couldn't see due to blindness, emerge from the corners of the room. One of them smack him--already down 30 HP from the negative levels, he's in a bad way.
The party moves into the room to save our buddy from the (undead?) giants! The Oracle blindly starts working his way out of the room. While the Witch flies in and drops a hex on a Giant. I rage/Wand as usual and, with the Sorceror, and burst in to the rescue...promptly failing our Will saves and suffering a Slow effect.
So, that's what the Will save was for. Blerg.
The Barbarian enters and makes his save...but eats a critical hit from Giant, getting both diseased and critically staggered.
So, to recap, one round in and we have a self-blinded party member with 6 negative levels, a staggered Barbarian, and a slowed Sorceror and Bloodrager.
We decide to retreat and take the fight out of the room.
The Witch flies out, the Barbarian staggers out and the blind Oracle stumbles out. The slowed Sorceror uses his single action to cast Fire Snake to cover our retreat. I take a 5' step towards the door to block it and declare total defense, boosting my AC to 34.
The Giants full attack me.
Between my AC and displacement, not one blow lands.
ARCANE RAGE TANK! AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!
Everyone makes it outside and prepares for the Giants to exit. I cast Mirror Image and prepare to facetank the Giants at the door...but they do not leave the room/temple.
From the outside, the Oracle channels and the Sorceror fireballs and the encounter is mopped up handily.
The GM handwaves the clearing rest of the Island as the other battles are minor fights and we've accomplished the main goal of securing the Eye.
Turbo boost, KITT!
I wouldn't advise that, Michael...
What are my options, KITT?
SUGGESTION: Replace Fast Movement with Arcane Strike at L1. This will help separate the the Bloodrager from the Barbarian AND give it an ability in line with its conceptual space/flavor.
What do these buttons do?
If I think of anything else, I'll add it later tonight/tomorrow morning.
@blope I'd have a couple more playtests in but, sadly, I have a class during my FLGS' PFS night.
I'll be playtesting a L10 bloodrager Thursday night. I was going to try and run a Shaman, but the party consists of a Sorcerer, Life Oracle, Witch and Barbarian/Rogue--so hit-like-a-truck melee was more called for than another full caster.
(What I was tinkering with was a Monk 2 (MoMS/Sohei)/Shaman 8 (Battle/Nature) that had ridiculous AC, Crane Style feats, could do "ok" damage and L8 spellcasting ability--you couldn't hit it, it would constantly be in your face and it could drop control/buff spells as needed.)
I have a greensting scorpion familiar and the idea of slow flying, sparkly scorpion tickles me to no end!
I do plan to use it for scouting ahead in dark areas (stealth +15, darkvision 60') or for pop-up aerial recon--but that has to wait until I can communicate with it at L5. So, L1-4, not much use for me other than a party trick. L5+ I'll get much more use out of it.
While the 5' fly speed a nice little flavor perk for non-flying familiars, it's more on the player to make it useful and it will most likely only have utility out of combat (unless you have a flying familiar benefiting from 10' speed boost zipping in to deliver touch spells).
This is my first familiar-owning character, so I can only approach this from a theory standpoint: Stone's DR5/Adamantine pays off right away for touch spell familiars thanks to the extra durability. Life's Fast Healing 1 is nice because it's a little peace of mind about your familiar's longevity. Both Stone and Life offer excellent familiar survivability AND trump Heavens for in-combat use, but out of combat, Heavens offers more party utility with familiar flight.
@Rogue Eidolon, yeah, in PFS where you can get very random parties of PCs, I'll be lucky if I ever get the "all lowlight/darkvision all-stars." On the plus side, once I get See in Darkness at L6, I won't feel bad tossing out EV on baddies who cast darkness on the party and turn the tables on the them.
Quick Preamble: In the interest of "real world" playtesting in PFS, I like to share what the table is like from my POV. I realize that sometimes my words might be a little unkind or that my attitude might seem a bit elitist--the intent is not to make anyone look bad but to be honest about the actual situation(s) at the table that I'm playing under. Theorycrafting in the perfect world of math is fine, but rarely will you have ideal situations at the table.
Shaman Spells Known (CL 4th; concentration +9):
2nd (1/day)—hypnotic pattern
1st (1/day)—color spray
Base Atk +3; CMB +1; CMD 11
Feats Augment Summoning, Extra Hex, Spell Focus (conjuration)
Traits dangerously curious, reactionary, world traveler
Skills Diplomacy +9, Heal +12, Knowledge (nature) +7, Knowledge (planes) +7, Knowledge (religion) +7, Perception +7, Sense Motive +14, Survival +10, Use Magic Device +10
SQ hexes (enveloping void, heaven's leap), spirits (heavens), stardust
Combat Gear Pearl of power (1st level) (1/day), Cloak of resistance +1,
L6 Fighter (Archer)
L4 Sorcerer Pregen
L3 Fighter (Sword & Board)
We were playing subtier 3-4.
The L6 Archer would be playing down and the player said he would be toning down his attacks. High level of system mastery/tactics.
The Sorceror and S&B Fighter were the couple I had played with the previous night in Penumbral Accords. Average level of system mastery/tactics.
The Rogue and Barbarian are an older couple who I've played with or been around before. To put it kindly, they are nice people who are extremely frustrating to play with as you are basically teaching them the rules over and over every game, if not every fight.
Our mission is simple--pathfinder supply boats are being attacked. Spend some time in town making ourselves enticing targets, fend off the pirates, and find out where they're coming from and who's behind it.
We hit a local tavern and promptly began boasting of our prowess in combat, purposely showboating our skills poorly.
My 7 STR Shaman proclaimed her strength, flexed her 'muscles' then armwrestled the weakest girl in bar (purposely losing). The Barbarian tumbled around and crashed into a table. Hilariously, the Fighter actually didn't roll well enough to fake being bad, so he looked competent when he clambered on the bar's walls. After the other characters finished selling our party's 'weakness' we went to our ship.
Since I expected this to be a combat heavy scenario, I chose Nature as my Wandering Totem to boost my AC and let me use Barkskin. I didn't choose Life because despite not having combat healer if things got dire, the L6 Archer could go turbo and bail us out. Because of the party size, I skip out on my typical summon spells and go for more control spells to help the martials out.
After several days on the boat, we rounded a bend in the river and saw a small ship with archers coming at us.
Even though my Shaman had the highest initiative, she was resting in the ship's supply room. The rest of the party was on the deck and engaged the enemy.
The archer, who only does non-lethal damage with blunt arrows as part of his personal code, dropped one of the raiders on their ship's tiller. As the ships closed, the groups exchanged more ranged fire (quite literally in one case as the raiders had a druid with Produce Flame toasting the Sorceress).
Then a crocodile plopped onto our ship from the water. Yes!
I open the door to ship's interior and see the oncoming ship about to ram us. I ask the Barbarian from the doorway, "You want to be on their boat?" She says yes. I Heaven's Leap her onto the prow of their ship where she immediately cuts down a raider. Meanwhile, the party slowly reduces the enemy's numbers as their ship crashes into ours.
The next round the crocodile wanders over and snaps at me. I toss Enveloping Darkness on it, causing it to treat the light level as dim (Bright > Normal > Dim). Because it has low light vision, it is unaffected.
I tell the GM, "With my move action I close the door."
The ranged and 'ported Barbarian finish clearing out the raider's boat. The crocodile outside my door runs around the corner and drops the Sorceress with a chomp. The Archer goes full auto and leaves a crocodile stain on the deck.
Our interrogation and search of the raiders gave us the location of their base. While there was some discussion about the best time of day and approach to their base, we just settled on openly approaching it.
Pathfinder Swagger, y'all.
Two guards saw us and began ringing a bell. We ranged them down then stacked on the front door. I drop a bless from my wand and the Fighter walks in.
And a bunch of lurking archers fusillade him. Luckily, this is L3-4 and he survives.
The Rogue and Sorceress run around to the back door, hoping to flank from the inside.
Through the doorway, I Enveloping Void a baddie in the room.
IT WORKS! IT WORKS! HE'S BLIND! OH DEAR ARODEN! IT WORKS!
I take a free action to wipe the tear of joy from my face.
The Archer lights up what we think is a caster cleric baddie but the baddie's still standing. The Rogue and Sorcerer finally break in the back door and work their way towards the battle. I cast Enveloping Darkness on the cleric and he makes his save.
I KNEW IT WAS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME ARODEN! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
The Barbarian and Fighter start clearing out the room and the Archer drops the Cleric. I successfully blind one of the remaining mooks.
I'M SOMEWHAT AMBIVALENT ABOUT MY FEELINGS ABOUT ENVELOPING VOID BUT INSIST ON TYPING IN CAPITAL LETTERS ANYWAYS
The Sorceress blasts the blinded mook's pathetic touch AC with a scorching ray. The GM handwaves mopping up the remaining mook and the base is ours.
The interrogation and a search reveal that the BBEG is a respected local gladiatorial muckity-muck. Thanks to the regional culture of might makes right, we challenge her to a gladiatorial battle and that if she loses, she no longer preys on Pathfinder ships.
Fast forward to the Arena. Our research reveals that there are hidden pits in the arena, so I mentally get ready to use Heaven's Leap to retrieve people. (We also get a brief heads up from the GM that a type of performance combat will be in play--spoiler: absolutely not a factor for us.)
In the holding pen, we finalize our strategy: Archer on the boss, the rest of us clearing out mooks. We are surprised when the arena announcer calls for a "warm-up" fight.
We enter the arena from our pen and face a Manticore. I drop a bless and the wide-open arena allows the party to range it down in 2 rounds. During the fight, some of our party members spot pits and we note where they are.
We are reset in our pen and then the main event is announced. We get our game faces on.
The boss, her pet and her 4 mooks enter the arena floor and its on.
I emerge from the pen and drop a bless, putting the pit between me and the blob of baddies. Others follow suit. The groups exchange ranged fire and a mook goes down. The boss sucks down a potion and enlarges.
Our Fighter moves to the center of the Arena. The enlarged boss, her pet and two mooks move to meet the Fighter. Trying to slow down their advance, I drop a soundburst in their midst.
They all fail their saves.
Cue the entire party focus firing and ranging the stunned boss into unconsciousness. This breaks the morale of the mooks. The GM handwaves the remaining pet because it was all pretty much over at that point.
Pathfinders rule! Gladiators drool!
Quick Note: Even if the fighter was at-tier for this scenario, it only would have extended the fights by a round or two--the scenarios were so range-friendly that it allowed all the martials and the Sorceror to plink away unaccosted.
80s TRAINING MONTAGE
ROM COM HAVING A BAD DAY MONTAGE
SUGGESTION: Keep the Shaman WIS/CHA-based and reduce MADness by changing the limiting stat to CHA? ("To add these spells to her spell list and cast these spells, she must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level, but the saving throw DCs against these spells is the same as her other shaman spells.")
THE LOSERS PLOT THEIR REVENGE MONTAGE
At this point, I have a L5 playtest and a L10 sit-in session or two tentatively scheduled. While I will stick with a Shaman for those, I may not stick with a Heavens-based buffer/summoner.
Now, at L4, it's now even with an Aid Another (+2 AC vs -2 to hit), so it's definitely more in the mix.
I see it more as a back-half-of-the-battle/mop-up ability for *me* since I'm likely to open with a casting riff on Buff > Control Spell > Summon(s).
Unless I'm specifically trying to conserve spells or it's an overstacked party-vs-solo-BBEG battle, I definitely won't open a fight with Stardust and probably won't use it mid-fight.*
*=(unless we already know it's an invisibility using foe).
While it's a nice spammable debuff, when I think about how short "typical" fights are at higher levels, by the time I would consider using it the fight has most likely already been decided.
I have no quibbles with it since it scales (hooray), I just don't know how much use I personally will get out of it with my specific build playstyle.
We enter the foyer and are immediately attacked by a skeletal guardian. Since it is undead, it means no Enveloping Void ('wah wah' goes the trumpet). I toss off a bless from my wand and we surround our bony foe. The fighter muscles through the DR while the cleric and I plink away with our CLW wands as it becomes Flank n' Spank 101.
Amazingly, after the scenario WE JUST PLAYED, no one picked up an alternate weapon. I hand off my morningstar to the rogue to use for the rest of the adventure.
We open a door to a room marked Cold Storage and a Iron Cobra ambushes us. My knowledge check reveals it has darkvision, so no Enveloping Void. (The trumpet rests on its musician's knees -- the trumpeter simply sits on the stage, looks at me and shrugs.)
Bless from wand, Flank n' Spank, etc.
After the encounter, I double check the Rogue's math because she's missing way too much...apparently she's been not adding her BAB and STR bonus to hit for this scenario (or the previous one) and only been adding my Bless and situational flank bonuses.
Bonuses properly tallied, we push into the office in the back of the room.
So, while we were fighting the iron cobra, we made so much noise the alchemist in this room had time to prepare. We walk into the room and the invisible, spider climbed, strength extracted L4 Alchemist hiding on the ceiling drops a bomb on the frontliners, severely hurting the fighter and cleric.
My knowledge check reveals it's a fetchling. Fetchlings have darkvision. (The trumpeter has left the stage. He sits at the bar, buying a tipsy Enveloping Void a drink. They laugh a little too loudly at jokes only they can hear.)
The L4 (!) alchemist runs down the wall and drops the fighter. The rogue plinks away with her bow, missing. A super-brief disagreement occurs when the rogue urges me to walk over and wand the downed fighter, who's laying next to the full attacking melee alchemist. I briefly explain to her that healing is not the best option right now and begin a summon spell.
The next round the Alchemist drops the cleric. The rogue misses.
I grab a die and hope the dice gods are kind to me.
Boom! 3 eagles!
All three full attack and enough attacks hit to drop the alchemist.
Oh. Thank. Gygax.
Recovered, we decide to dispense with further nonsense and head straight to the Blackros Museum's Great Hall.
In the hall, we see the Blackros daughters kneeling before a fetchling in the midst of a ritual. Fetchlings, if you recall, have darkvision.
A dim room. Cracked plaster and broken bedsprings. Enveloping Void silently gathers its clothes. The trumpeter snores, his body sprawled on a too-thin mattress. The door is too embarrassed to creak when Enveloping Void slips out.
Bless is dropped. The cleric charges in, is summarily crit and drops. The fighter and rogue engage the best they can. I begin a summon spell.
The fetchling tangles with the other two PCs and then my summoned cavalry arrives, three beautiful celestial eagles. I Heaven's Leap the cleric to me so I can heal him next round. Before I can even get that far, the eagles tear up the fetchling.
Damsels rescued. Cleric rescued. Museum rescued.
...I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark...
...we're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks...
I really need you tonight
That's it for tonight. I have one more game tomorrow (as a L4 Shaman with wandering spirit). I'll do a fuller feedback then with how that plays out.
Right now, other than Heaven's Leap, my lowbie shaman no different than any other low level buffing/summoning cleric.
Knocked out two PFS games at Wolfcon today. They were surprisingly quick--we did them both in about 5ish hours.
L3 Shaman of the Heavens:
Female Human (Taldan) Shaman 3
Init +6; Senses Perception +6
AC 16, touch 10, flat-footed 16 (+6 armor)
Speed 20 ft.
The Inquisitor & Gunslinger were true L1s with just their starting gear and played by a mature couple. The Rogue and Fighter were also played by a mature couple. These two mature couples would be variously cranky and curt with each other at times over what to do and how to do it. (sigh) The Cleric was played by new-ish Pathfinder player but it was very obvious he was a quick study and picked up the game easily.
We were sent into the basement of the ever-nefarious Blackros Museum to find missing people. Literally, at the first decision to be made (to enter storage room 1 or storage room 2) there are disagreements about which way to go between the couples. The cleric and I gently push them into a decision and into storage room 2 we went.
The store room is full of stuffed and mounted creatures.
So, naturally, one them attacks us.
The skeletal owlbear (?) smacks the fighter and gunslinger. I do a knowledge check and confirm it was undead (and immune to Enveloping Void). I look over at the Rogue and asked, "Want a flank?" then Heaven's Leap her behind the skeleton. The party surrounds and finishes it off, but the frontliners get roughed up in the process because they have problems overcoming DR--none of the characters (besides me, in the back row) have a blunt weapon.
Again, there is some back-and-forth between the couples about which way to go. For those of you who have never done this scenario: this level is literally just 5 small rooms that all connect to each other AND we could see the whole map since the GM trusted us not to metagame. I couldn't believe they wouldn't just say "yes" to each other and just move things along. The cleric and I head to the next door to speed up the decision process. We open the door.
And see a musk creeper plant creature in the middle of the room. Knowledge checks made, we realize that if we stood 30' away, we could range it down and not be subject to its attacks. I also learn it had tremor sense, so no Enveloping Void this fight.
Cue Shaman tear rolling down my check as I use the bless wand again while everyone else ranged it down.
Again, there is some back-and-forth between the couples about which way to go between a door in one wall and another door behind some boxes in another wall. The cleric and I just went and move boxes from the blocked door and get folks to join us.
Opening the door, we spy a brown mold. Knowledge checks reveal not to use fire on it--or even go near it. Luckily, a stairwell down is nearby and we head down, avoiding the brown mold entirely.
The party enters a large room with a curtain on the far side and a metallic box in the middle of it. Detecting magic but not finding traps, the Rogue opens it.
Out erupts the spider swarm all over the Rogue.
The Fighter runs over and bullrushes the Rogue out of the swarm, pushing her so hard she falls prone.
Then begins a ballet of scurrying about, tossing alchemists fire, missing, and splashing fellow party members. After 4 or so throws, we finally nail the swarm and disperse it.
While healing up, the cleric realizes the box had "magic aura" cast on it and it was just a sucker's trap. While he and I laugh about that, the Rogue peeks through the curtain to the next room...
...and eats magic missiles in her face, taking her to 0 HP. A sorceress, connected to a brain in a tank via 6 tendrils, had heard our racket and was fully prepared for us. Alongside her was a fast zombie, which charges the staggered Rogue and, luckily, misses.
I drop a Bless from the wand while the Fighter and Cleric rush to engage the zombie. The Rogue retreated to the backline and collapses. The Sorceress moves up and Color Sprays the frontliners. The fighter fails his save and is knocked out of the fight for 10 rounds.
1 round into combat and 2 people are down.
The Inquisitor Rebuks Death and gets the Rogue back into the fight. The Cleric engages the Sorceress and the Gunslinger fires off her musket. I begin a Summon Monster II, intending to conjure multiple eagles.
The next round, I find out the Gunslinger is not Musketmaster when she declares, "I take the full round to reload."
The Cleric rolls a 19 to hit...and it's still a miss.
Double uh oh.
My Summon Monster II only conjures 1 out of a possible 3 eagles.
Triple uh oh.
We noticed the cord/tendrils running back to the brain tank. I tell the Cleric, "attack the tank" and Heaven's Leap him towards it. He dashes off and sunders a cord from the tank. Amazingly, he makes the sunder check and does enough damage to cut it. The Sorceress screams in pain and comes after the Cleric, casting and missing with a Shocking Grasp.
The party focus fires the Sorceress but can't hit her AC--she's had time to buff. The Sorceress connects with a Shocking Grasp and drops the Cleric. We scrambled to sunder the cords and dropped the Inquisitor with a magic missile.
Another one of my Summon Monster II spells only brings 1 of a possible 3 eagles, but it's distracting enough that we finish sundering cords and I can wand our Cleric back to consciousness. The Rogue, lacking ranged feats, misses constantly on her attacks and almost gives up doing anything. The cleric and I convince her not to just sit there, but to keep attacking because you might just roll a 20.
She rolls a 20 and plinks the the baddie for damage!
The Sorceress, weakened from being disconnected from the brain, is now surrounded and dropped. The GM handwaves us shattering the brain tank as there is no one to stop us.
These are not the Voids you were looking for
I have a bad feeling about this
I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m here to rescue you.
Next up, The Penumbral Accords
Working on the assumption the Shaman wouldn't get a customized spell list, I would be absolutely fine if it eventually ended up as:
A) Your choice of initial spirit determines your spell list i.e. selecting the Life spirits as your base spirit means you cast from the Cleric spell list while selecting the Waves spirit means you would pull from the Druid spell list. This allows PDT to determine which spell list fits better for a particular spirit and customize the spontaneous spirit spell list to complement the available spells.
B) You choose as a level one Shaman which spell list you pull from, allowing you to flavor the type of Shaman you are i.e. you decide your specific spirit of life draws its power from the forest and you choose the Druid list while I decide that my particular spirit of life (for whatever RP reason) would draw from the Cleric spell list. This allows more player customization of their character without drastically breaking game. A little more work for the PDT to customize the spontaneous spirit list, but gives much more player agency in the creation process.
Will McCardell wrote:
haha, that's what happens when you work on a post piecemeal and then don't see the blog gets posted. duh.
Rules Question - Heavens Spirit:
Guiding Star wrote:
Guiding Star (Su): Whenever the shaman can see the open sky at night, she can determine her precise location. When the night sky is visible to the shaman, she may also add her Wisdom modifier to her Charisma modifier on all Charisma-based checks. In addition, once per night while outdoors, she can cast one spell as if it were modified by the Empower Spell, Extend Spell, Silent Spell, or Still Spell feat without increasing the spell’s casting time or level. The shaman doesn’t need the feat to use this effect.
Spirit Familiar wrote:
The flesh of the shaman’s familiar accurately reflects the stars that would be visible in the night sky, no matter where the familiar is or the time of day. Due to this, it can be used as a star map. In addition, it gains a fly speed of 5 feet; if the familiar already has a fly speed, it instead increases its fly speed by 10 feet. When it uses this ability to fly, a small nimbus of light surrounds it.
Does this mean that as long as the familiar is in reasonable visual range, like next to the shaman, he gets the WIS mod on CHA-based skill checks?
Lack of Synergy - Waves Spirit Hexes:
(deleted -- missed blog post regarding Shaman switching to Druid spell list)
I was thinking about this on my bleary-eyed bus ride to work this morning.
Enveloping Void (which I keep calling Enveloping Darkness) as written is entirely dependent on your GM's campaign:
In dungeon-crawler or darkvisioned monster heavy campaigns, it's too situational to be depended on (unless your party makes specific preparations for it).
In human-centric or darkvisioned monster light campaigns, it's a pretty good ability that would see plenty of play.
In PFS, it's utility will literally swing from battle to battle (unless it's a dungeon crawl).
I'm glad it's not an "I win" button that slumber has become but because it lives in a rules space that most GMs hate (light and darkness) and is dependent on your party members (do they need to provide their own light to see? is that light radius spilling onto the target?), it can potentially be an unfun mechanic to deal with.
What can be done to simplify and streamline it?
Simple and quick, but potentially hoses creatures with darkvision.
Still simple and quick, does not shut down darkvision creatures but weakens shaman's debuff.
eta: I still think 1 rd/level is a bit long. 1 rd at 1st level and additional rd every 2 levels thereafter (2 rds at L3, 3 rds at L5) seems a bit less onerous.
I decided to skip my improv class and sneak in a game of PFS tonight.
After getting my butt handed to me, I should just gone to class ;)
First off, a quick recap of where my build is now:
Female Human Shaman (Heavens)
Init +6; Senses Perception +4
AC 16, touch 10, flat-footed 16 (+6 armor)
Speed 20 ft.
Ranged light crossbow +2 (1d8/19-20)
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 3rd; concentration +7):
Spirit Spells available
Str 7, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 19, Cha 15
Base Atk +2; CMB +0; CMD 10
Feats Augment Summoning, Extra Hex, Spell Focus (conjuration)
Traits dangerously curious, reactionary, world traveler
Skills Diplomacy +8, Heal +11, Knowledge (nature) +6, Knowledge (planes) +6, Knowledge (religion) +7, Sense Motive +11, Use Magic Device +9
Combat Gear Pearl of power (1st level) (1/day), Wand of Bless, Wand of cure light wounds
Enveloping Void (Sp)
Heaven’s Leap (Su)
SPIRIT FAMILIAR (Greensting Scorpion)
Quick comments on build choices:
Human for the bonus feat and skill point a level.
Because Shaman is MAD, the caster stat priority runs WIS > CHA > INT > CON > DEX/STR. I don't want to dump DEX and kill my AC/REF save, so STR it was.
3 traits (1 extra from a PFS boon): Dangerously Curious because UMD is always handy for a backrow caster, Reactionary for the Init boost, and World Traveler for Sense Motive. I am absolutely of the opinion Sense Motive should be a Shaman class skill.
Scenario: The Beggar's Pearl
Party: I ran the muster for the tables tonight, so I tried to give us a balanced 4-person party in the 3-4 subtier.
L4 Fighter (DEX based)
(I note the visions for later reference)
I was excited to play this one as I was looking forward to giving the melee blinded targets to tee off on and Heaven's Leap them around the battlefield.
On ascent up a mountain, the RogueSlinger and I ended up fatigued from the weather. My STR dropped to 5 and my DEX to 8. I handed off my backpack to stay mobile.
We heard yelling from a cave that had a barrier across the mouth. While the Fighter and RogueSlinger tried to batter it down, I popped the wand of bless and the Alchemist activated his Ioun Torch. The barrier dropped and we saw at the far end of cave a giant ant attacking a prone dwarf.
I used one of my Knowledge: Nature Qs to determine if the ants had darkvision. They did. Blerg. But positioning was in my favor.
I dropped an Enveloping Darkness on the Ant and blinded it--it was in dim light radius of the Ioun torch, so treated light levels as Supernatural Darkness, which trumped its darkvision. The alchemist sprang to the rescue and was attacked by hidden ant with a readied action and then AOO'd when he tried to move away.
Down went the alchemist...his Ioun Torch's normal light radius was now kicking my Enveloping Darkness from supernatural darkness to just darkness. Sigh.
The RogueSlinger burst in and got hit by another hidden ant, and was grappled and poisoned. The Fighter tumbled in and poked away.
I told the RogueSlinger to delay. I Heaven's Leaped him out of the grapple but within his pistol range increment. He popped off a shot, crit the ant and killed it.
How awesome is that?
Very, very, awesome. ;)
Not wanting to metagame, I wasted a Murderous Command on an ant since this character didn't know about vermin's immunity to it.
We wrapped up the battle shortly after, but not before the RogueSlinger and Alchemist had eaten STR damage from ant poison.
After this fight, I thought 3 things: 1) Heaven's Leap still rocks! 2) Did I waste a hex slot on Enveloping Darkness! 3) It didn't help our DPS alchemist went down right away, making this fight feel a little more desperate than it should have been.
When we tried to rest, nightmares assaulted us and I failed my best save, WILL. I awoke Fatigued AND took 2 pts of CHA damage. I was too tired to regain spells, so I had to use my pearl of power to regain Murderous Command.
We traveled to the next mountainous area and failed my cold weather FORT save again. My fatigue progressed to exhausted and left me at 1 STR and 4 DEX. Dear god, that was just not fun. In trying to keep my WIS high and my CHA and INT decent because of MADness, I left myself open to physical debilitation.
We made camp for an hour while I recovered, then entered the dungeon.
We found a double door. As a party, we hadn't found our groove yet and weren't really thinking, so the alchemist checked the door for traps and opened it (even though we had a RoguesSlinger)...
...and got sniped down by bolts launched from the darkness beyond.
For the second battle in a row, our Alchemist was dropped right away. I ran around a corner and used my bless wand because I'm a brave Shaman like that.
The RogueSlinger and Fighter moved into the doorway, but before they could go any further, an Ogre rumbled out. The melee tangled with the Ogre and dodge bolts from beyond, eating damage.
Instead of running into the Ogre's reach, I Heaven's Leaped the unconscious Alchemist to me so I could wand him back to action.
The rest of the fight played out with me summoning a Celestial Eagle that took down the ogre with the melee. Then, being the only creature with Darkvision in our party, it flew after the archers hiding in the dark only to have the summon spell expire the round after. Our party, humiliated and not wanting to run face first into archers, slammed the doors closed and tied them shut with rope.
2 fights in and we were 1 & 1...and that single win wasn't very pretty.
The thing that annoyed me as a player was the constant re-ascertaining of light levels as the Alchemist's Ioun Torch moved to and fro with him--even though I didn't cast Enveloping Darkness this fight, the thought of having to force the GM the constantly adjudicate the monster's personal light level seemed like a huge potential headache.
At this point, we were a little frayed as players. The alchemist and I, who also GM regularly, took it in stride as we normally run characters who sleepwalk through scenarios unchallenged. The RogueSlinger and Fighter, being newer players, seemed a little incredulous at how the fights had gone so far.
We crept into a huge foundry/forge area with tools strewn about, making the area difficult terrain. I would cast light on a rock and the fighter would toss it where we planned to walk (the Alchemist's Ioun Torch kept our party lit). Just as we circled around to check a door, a dart struck the Fighter from the darkness.
The alchemist moved to investigate and promptly triggered a pit trap. Yes, that's right, another combat the he was immediately neutralized for. The Fighter tried to navigate around the pit--the player didn't realize she could just jump over it, ended her turn by the edge and fell into the pit (despite DEX being her best stat).
2 of 4 members were out of the fight in the first round.
The RogueSlinger jumped across the pit and landed on the other side unscathed...but the Ioun Torch was in the pit, so he couldn't see where the foe was attacking from.
I summoned a Celestial Eagle and it percepted a Mite in the darkness and attacked it. Then, while moving up, I promptly fell in a pit too.
Then began the so-frustrating-it-became-hilarious-then-it-became-frustrating-and-stayed-fr ustrating part of the encounter. The alchemist couldn't make a climb check to get out to save his life. I failed a couple of climb checks then realized I could heaven's leap myself out. Of course, I forgot not to end my turn next to the pit--so I promptly fell back in. The RogueSlinger stumbled around trying to find the Mite. The Fighter finally got out, but he couldn't do much either. The eagle harassed the Mite, but never killed it and it disappeared after 3 rounds.
Finally, many rounds later, the Mite escaped (or the GM took pity on us) and the encounter mercifully ended.
So, three battles in, we're 1 - 2, the alchemist has yet to throw a bomb, the RogueSlinger and Fighter are frustrated by darkness rules and I pretty much resign myself to just trying to complete 2/3rds of the adventure for my 1 XP.
There's some minor exploration stuff, but the RogueSlinger is frustrated as a player (understandable) but acting a little petulantly (not cool), but we push on and ascend some stairs.
Encounter 4 or Choo Choo, All Aboard the Fail Train:
At the top of the stairs, we crack open a door and see some sort tribal celebration with a bunch of derro and mites. We spy a door nearby. The RogueSlinger sneaks unseen to crack it open while the three of us cast buff spells in case things go wrong. He triggers a trap. The monsters scatter except for the Priestess and 3 mooks who come at us.
Round 1: The Priestess casts Blindness on the RogueSlinger. He fails his save. The mooks surround him. This seems to break the player's will to play.
The fighter and alchemist move in and engage. I do a knowledge check, learn the monsters all have darkvision and the ambient light level means my Enveloping Darkness is useless. I begin casting Summon Monster II to summon multiple Eagles.
Round 2: The Priestess moves closer and we're all hit by her fear aura. The blinded RogueSlinger fails. And me, after buffs, rocking a double digit WILL save, rolls a 1. The fighter and I are feared for 4 rounds.
I lose my summon spell, which would have summoned 3 eagles.
The RogueSlinger player basically shuts down and from this point onwards, stops contributing in any way. He basically says, "it doesn't matter" "whatever" and puts his stuff away while the combat is still going on.
The alchemist finally gets a chance to start tossing bombs. He analyzes the field and does his best to whittle down the mooks.
The mooks don't coup de grace the fighter (what a nice, merciful GM), but a pair do take a few swipes while another chases down the alchemist.
Alchemist eats AOOs dancing about and tosses another bomb, taking some mooks out. It's just one mook and the priestess now.
I cheer on the alchemist and try to get the RogueSlinger player back into the game. No use. He's checked out.
Thank God, it's over.
I take my 1 XP and 0 PP with a smile, just happy to be alive
In a perfect world, I would have made my WILL save, summoned 3 eagles and Heaven's Leaped the held fighter to safety. Too bad this is the real world and we got the crap kicked out of us.
Best? Once again, Heaven's Leap is a FUN and versatile ability. Being able to Leap someone out of combat and next to me for healing was clutch. Also, leaping someone out of a Grapple continues to be satisfying. It truly and deeply appeals to the battlefield tactician/support player in me.
Bench? Enveloping Darkness for the second scenario in a row was borderline unusable. Both scenarios took place underground where the denizens had darkvision, so obviously that plays a role...but couple that with the logistics of PFS where you have random party members who may or may not have darkvision and sprinkle on the complexity of moving light radii in combat and it just becomes a headache to think about. Not to mention the growing disappointment every time a knowledge check reveals a creature has darkvision.
I'm playing 4 more scenarios this upcoming weekend, so hopefully it won't turn out to be a total bust.
Bless? Just call me BlessBot. Beep bop beep.
Bense Botive Sense motive should be a class skill.
It's almost 2 am in Chicago, so please forgive any grammar/spelling/cognitive errors. I'll add more if I'm functional at work tomorrow.
4 upcoming play test games this weekend:
stuart haffenden wrote:
With the enveloping void ability, surely in a dungeon the resulting light condition would have been supernaturally dark - meaning darkvision wouldn't help?
This particular dungeon had normal light from torches on the wall--and even if it didn't we had a party of with non-dark vision characters (including me until my Greater Spirit ability kicks in) which meant we had to provide our own light. Because of the limited range of the hex, I was always casting it in party-provided normal light levels.
Knocked out the first level of Thornkeep (The Accursed Halls) with a PFS group.
Notes: 1 big-hitting, greatsword wielding Warpriest, a X-Bow Warpriest and another melee Warpriest...all with different builds.
WIS 19 (Human)
High WIS for DCs
L1 feats: Spell Focus: Conjuration, Augment Summons
L1 Familiar: Scorpion (+4 initiative)
L1 Heavens Spirit ability:
L2: Heavens Hex ability:
Having played Thornkeep L1 before, I knew it would be a true dungeon crawl with 7-8 fights. I picked up a Wand of Bless & Wand of Cure Light Wounds for buffing and post-combat.
We ventured in Thornkeep. Immediately, in the first combat, we got bottlenecked and clustered up in a 5' wide hallway when the centipedes waylaid us. With only one character able to attack, just used the Wand of Bless while on of the Warpriests fought up front.
I tossed out an enveloping darkness. "The melee will love this," I thought.
Nope, the centipedes had darkvision. blerg.
While the frontliners tackled the centipedes, I pushed out a weak -1 to hit for 1 rd Stardust debuff.
We won the battle, but not without some poisoned folks and 1/2 the party unable to contribute.
We entered a chamber knowing it would be an ambush. I buffed with a pre-fight bless and in we went to tackle a pack of Goblins spread out over two tiers of elevation.
I moved into the room, invoked Enveloping Darkness to blind the---oh, goblins have darkvision. Dammit.
The War Priests pasted the goblins and the party made a pretty quick fight out of it.
We entered a room where we were ambushed by two hoppy thingies(tm) that pounced and full attacked us. I was one of the targets but did not get hit (luckily).
This was the first ugly fight.
I backed out of the fight and blessed with the wand. The Hoppy Thingies dropped two characters. I tried using Aid Another to boost the War Priest's attack: fail. I flanked and tried to hit: fail. These were not so much bad rolls as they were as a consequence of being a low level caster that dumped STR with no good spell options for that particular fight.
Finally, one of the warmages took out the monsters and we recovered.
I start to joke that I'm the Bless bot.
We found the goblin den. Great, more goblins with darkvision--no hexing shtick for this fight. Dropped a bless via wand while the War Priests made short work of the mooks. We got a little sloppy and the boss goblin got off a pair of burning hands, but like most rooms in Thornkeep, it gets crowded and messy given the tight spaces.
Fifth AND Sixth Combats, combined:
The infamous TPK zone. We passed through an ominous, dark colored room and then entered a crypt. 3-4 of us were crowded into a single file line in a hallway between the dark room and the crypt while two other folks were a bit further into the crypt.
They trigger the Wight and 2 zombie encounter. The wight hits the L2 Warpriest (thankfully) and he eats the negative level, but lives. I drop a bless because, wouldn't you know it, undead have darkvision and enveloping darkness wouldn't work.
The party begins to untangle itself from the hallway when...
...a Shadow comes from the dark room and attacks me at the back of the line. Boom 1 point strength drain. Meanwhile, a zombie drops the investigator. And there's still that wight...
Things, are looking bad.
Then pure awesome hilarity happens. The Arcanist pulls out a Chill Touch and panics the wight! The War Priests kill it with AOOs as it flees then one and one of them revives the investigator. I start summoning a celestial eagle...but before I'm done the Arcanist slips behind me and chill touches the Shadow! It panics! AMAZING!
We hurriedly search the room and move on.
3 Stirges attack us while we're at the edge of a cavern. I wasted my knowledge check just to ask if they had Darkvision for funsies (they do). Ugh. We polish them off pretty easily.
Finally! A wide open room. Ah, crap. Skeletons. I begin my turn with, "I think I'll Enveloping Darkness--no, I'll Color Spray--no...I'll just use this wand of bless. Even though they have some DR, the melee War Priests are prepared with blunt weapons and it's over pretty quickly
Not much to say...
I had a wand of bless, Summon Monster I/Murderous Command/Prot Evil memorized and a spontaneous Color Spray from my spirit...given how the combats played out, the specific monsters we fought and tight spaces of a dungeon crawl, I really was reduced to "use bless wand", "maybe Stardust" and then positioning myself to benefit the melee peeps who were just cleaning house. Basically, I felt like another low level cleric or oracle muddling along and dreaming of level 2 spells.
If I had picked the Heaven's Leap ability, it would have been *perfect* for some clutch tactical repositioning during various fights.[/b]
Enveloping Darkness was Developing Sadness
War Priest A-Go-Go
Re: skill monkey role--We had enough skills to go around the party already, so I couldn't remember how he fared in relation to others in skill use.
I'm sure I had more thoughts, but after 5 hours of gaming and typing this up, my brain is fried. If I recall more tomorrow, I'll post again.
Landon Winkler wrote:
Do you think the wandering spirit flexibility would present less problems if the class's spellcasting were spontaneous
If it were a spontaneous class, it would definitely infringe too far into the oracle playspace.
Caveat: Just like any prepared caster, the power of the flexible Wandering Spirit is directly tied to the style of game you're running. If you have 15-minute adventuring days, the Shaman will have plenty of opportunities to swap from an unlimited spirit pool to cherry pick for next day's one-encounter challenge.
I think a possible solution to still offer choice but not unlimited choice would be:
A vanilla, non-archetype Shaman gets base amount X of wandering spirits to choose from. X increases as the Shaman progresses. For more flexibility (short of an archetype), the Shaman may take feat(s) to add Y number of wandering spirits he can commune with.
This way, regardless of how many Spirits are ever published, there is a reasonable limiting factor.
Anyways, looking forward to trying Thornkeep tonight with a L2 Shammy.
SKULL & SHACKLES
On short notice, I built up a L9 version of the character above. All I knew about the game was it would be 4 people total. The other characters were a L10 barbarian, L9 fighter and a L10 witch (while a home game, they were built by PFS rules).
While not ideally built for a Life Link build with 66 HP, I figured why not.
CON 14 (+2 belt)
WIS 22 (Human, L4, +2 headband)
CHA 16 (L8)
L1 Spell Focus: Conjuration, Augment Summons
Heavens Spirit: Enveloping Void, Heaven's Leap
Other relevant gear: Phylactery of Positive Energy Channeling
Since I was dropped into the campaign mid-stream, all I knew were that we were clearing an island and there were cyclops on it. I Life Link everyone and away we go.
(minor note: by previous table agreement, the witch would not use slumber hex as to prevent a literal snorefest)
We get caught up in a net and peppered with arrows. I Liberating Command the Barbarian out. The next round, I Heaven's Leap myself to safety. Two rounds into combat and I already love that ability.
I have enough time to cast bless and the witch stops the cyclops' approach cold with a Black Tentacles. I summon an Ankylosaur to meatshield us just as the Cyclops break free.
While the barbarian and fighter do their thing, I toss out a pair of DC 20 Enveloping Darknesses--it's normal light, so they get personal light levels of darkness and are blinded.
Due to poor rolls on our side and big hits on the Cyclops side, I end up burning a channel and then a Breath of Life on the barbarian. After combat, I use another channel because the party doesn't have any wands and are almost out of potions. I've used 2 of 6 channels already...which hurts. Even worse, if I didn't have the Extra Channel feat, I'd have used 2 of 4 already!
After some other non-combat stuff, we explore the ruins, enter a cave and some sort of huge-sized nasty blobby thingy drops from the ceiling and immediately hits/grabs/constricts/suffocates the Barbarian. I drop a Liberating Command, but his roll is not good enough. The fighter moves up and whacks away and witch does some witchy thingy while I channel.
The next round, I Heaven's Leap the Barbarian. I use it to teleport him into flank with the fighter. Man, did I mention how much I love that ability?
However, trouble is brewing. The blobby thingy has grappled and is decimating the fighter. The Barbarian is rolling poorly. I drop a Quick Channel then Heaven's Leap the fighter out of the grapple (marry me Heaven's Leap).
The fighter summarily gets regrappled and murderized. The barbarian is almost dead. The witch has dropped some hexes and done some damage, but we're in a bad place. I Breath of Life the fighter. The next round, I gamble on eating an AOO so I can get the 1 HP Barbarian in channel range--I get smooshed and murderized.
(rest of battle / session not relevant to playtest)
Heaven's Leap is a fantastic hex! 1/day per ally is a solid limit to prevent abuse and makes you weigh whether or not to pull the trigger on using it...but then makes you feel awesome when you do!
Is 30' range and then the 30' reposition on top of that too much too soon--especially as you can get as soon as L2? Perhaps. I'll have a better feel when I play the low level scenarios with it.
Enveloping Void is nice but not an encounter destroyer like slumber hex. Pluses: Not all creatures rely on sight, a good portion have low light/darkvision, there's enough encounters that take place during the day outside, it's a WILL save so caster baddies won't suffer as greatly their meatshield mooks. Minuses: It affects a majority of creatures so this may become a "Go To" hex.
Why you MAD, bro? Already pointed out elsewhere, but the Shaman is MAD and you have to know early where you're going as not to gimp yourself.
Life Spirit Channels Currently, you get 1 + CHA bonus. For a Life Link Oracle, you only need to pump CHA and CON. If you want to be dedicated Life Link Shaman, you need to pump CHA for more channels, CON to eat the damage and WIS so you can cast your Shaman spells. Not only are you splitting your abilities three ways, you also have way less channels to work with.
Suggestion to reduce MAD: Make Shaman channels WIS-Based, but you get only get your WIS bonus for your # of channels. Numbers-wise, Shaman will have less Channels than a Life Oracle and about even with a Cleric until the double digit levels.
Unlimited Wandering Spirits access gives too much flexibility? With access to the cleric spell list, you already have the opportunity to totally prep and change your playstyle as circumstances. Having access to ALL the spirits might be too much in the long run--as more material is published, players will have a spirit for every occasion.
Suggestion: perhaps set an upper # of wandering spirits the player has access to in his "spirit pool"?
On the docket:
In combat? Debuff/buff and summon.
Out of combat? Party face.
High WIS for DCs
Strategy: Cleric spells for buffs and condition removal. Heavens Spirit for debuffing and battlefield movement. Secondary spirit will float as needed.
L1 feats: Spell Focus: Conjuration, Augment Summons
L1 Familiar: Scorpion (+4 initiative)
L1 Heavens Spirit ability:
L2: Heavens Hex ability:
This is my battlefield debuff spam. Melee, especially rogues, will love me as I blind targets and make them easy pickings.
L3 Feat: Extra Hex (Heavens)
So, I can move a buddy into flank, position them for a full attack or get them out of dodge.
L4: Wandering Spirit Ability (will vary)
L5 Feat: Superior Summons
Before I could play her in a PFS scenario, I got asked on short notice to sub into a home game of Skull & Shackles. Their normal healer was out so, I played a L9 variation of the above build. The next post will detail that session.
So, maybe a silly question: would it be possible to farm panache points by critting or killing creatures summoned by an ally, assuming they had enough HD? They wouldn't be helpless or unaware, they just wouldn't retaliate.
There is not much style or, dare I say, panache in slaughtering creatures that offer no resistance.
As someone who ran a character with the Flagbearer feat, I'm somewhat concerned about the the Raging Song penalty:
"Affected allies are fatigued for 1 round after they’re no longer affected by the song (whether because the skald stops maintaining the song or because they’re no longer in range)."
Given the nature of combat, it is quite possible to fall out of the 30' Raging Song multiple times during a battle (incurring fatigue regularly). I saw allies drift in and out of my flag's radius regularly, so the idea of causing fatigue for doing with Raging Song is pretty frightening.
Might I suggest cribbing a page from the Freebooter archetype, Freebooter's Bane?
"...This ability applies only to allies who can see or hear the freebooter and who are within 30 feet of the freebooter at the time she activates this ability..."
This way you still have the tactical consideration of positioning when triggering the ability but without the Skald constantly handcuffed to maneuvering about the party afterwards.
I also agree with @dunebugg that this will be a versatile caster (albeit potentially MAD).
I wrote elsewhere:
"So, let's say your L6. This is when you can swap out that second spirit AND also pick a hex from it.
Maybe LIFE is your main spirit and you took the Life Link hex. You know it's gonna be a dungeon crawl, so you pick BATTLE as your second spirit. You get BATTLE spirit ability (maximized heals) and choose a debuff hex.
The next day, you know you'll be at the grand library doing research. You decide to pick LORE as your wandering spirit for a boost to your knowledge skills via the Benefit of Wisdom hex.
On the final day, having learned their opponent is a bad guy who is a melee bad ass, you pick the HEAVENS spirit for your second spirit for the Enveloping Void hex to effectively blind him.
Only the main spirit will ever progress to be powerful, but with judicious wandering spirit swapping, you'll always be relevant."
First blush thought on the LIFE spirit:
The 8th level Greater Spirit Ability feels very lackluster.
While I understand that the design intent is clearly stated in the "role" section ("While she isn't the healer that a cleric is, she can still fill the role when needed"), the ability gained at 8th level is at best underpowered and at worst an ability that would be simply ignored in favor of a one-off channel or multiple uses of the Stabilize cantrip.
The other two classes were dropped in an interview at EN World:
Brawler: This class blends the fighter and the monk, creating a warrior whose sole focus is unarmed combat and martial maneuvers, without any of the mysticism of the monk. This class is designed specifically to beat up monsters, with a full base attack bonus progression (like a fighter) and improved unarmed strike damage (like a monk). To top it off, the class is also very skilled at making combat maneuvers.
Skald: Taking parts of the bard and the barbarian, this class can rage and inspire rage in its allies (we initially called it the “bard-barian” in-house). Instead of inspiring speeches and words of encouragement, the skald incites fury and anger in his allies, allowing them all to go on a murderous rampage.
Other two ACG classes:
Jason B wrote:
vs Purple Worm
The Purple Worm bursts from the ground. Technically that is his move action, but what the heck, let's say he swallows a flat-footed Valeros too.
Ezren, as a free action, soils his robes. Kyra openly weeps.
Touchy spring attacks (no AOO incurred) while fighting defensively (only a -1 penalty to hit thanks to Crane chain). Since WIS is his attack stat, hitting the Purple Worm's AC is not too much of a problem after buffs. He uses Touch of Serenity, which the Purple worm can only save on a nat 20 thanks to its absurdly low will save and prayer. The Purple Worm is pacified for 2 rounds.
Valeros cuts his way out of the Purple Worm, cursing the entire time.
After this, it's up to the GM how the rest of the fight plays out. Does the Purple worm go underground until it can attack again or does it stay aboveground?
I would say the purple worm goes underground and the party takes pot shots here and there when it surfaces. Touchy is a high AC(mid 30s) frontliner who can autoavoid one attack (Crane Style chain) and has a a nat 20 save or suck that will shut down the Purple Worm for 2 rounds. All while buffing the party with his monkish inspired courage.
I'm sure most if not all the of the party will have fly options and can plink from the air (touchy would probably stay on the ground to draw out the worm). Worst comes to worst, the party teleports/flies away or hurts the worm just enough to convince it to go hunting for easier prey.
For fun, let's have a L10 Grippli Flowing-Qiggong Monk. After 20pt stat buy, level 4 & 8 stat boosts and WIS/DEX items, her WIS is 24 and DEX is 18. After Mage Armor and Barkskin (self), Blessing of Fervor & Prot Evil (Kyra) & Haste (Ezren) he's at 37 AC and 29 Touch.
Pre-Combats: While buffing, Slippli the Grippli Monk looks right at Ezren and Kyra. "Right on me. Don't worry." She reaches up and pats Valeros on the arm. "Just like we practiced." Valeros takes a deep breath and opens the door...
Slippli slips into Crane Style. She hops into the middle of the room and, fighting defensively, swipes at a mook.
Valeros curses under his breath. "This is madness." He closes the door.
Slippli the Grippli is all alone with 55 HD of mooks and a lich.
The mooks, hungry for living flesh, collapse in on Slippli. They totally surround her...which, as a flowing monk, only boosts her AC into the high 40s. They miss their attacks. Slippli uses Crane Wing to stop any nat 20 outlier that may come out.
Valeros opens the door then readies an action to close the door. Ezren drops a fireball on the clustered enemies, followed by Kyra's flamestrike. Again, Slippli's high REF and improved evasion means she'll very likely take no damage. Valeros closes the door.
Slippli spends a pair of Ki Points to activate the Qiggong-granted Whirlwind attack. She then trips all the mooks around her. She looks up at the lich and gives a chuckling croak.
The handful of mooks left attack Slippli (and miss).
Valeros opens the door and moves into the Throne Room. Ezren tosses a lightning bolt to wipe out some mooks and Kyra moves to channel and finish off the others.
The rest is a 4-on-1 fight with the lich.
Another team player monk.
Halfling Manuever Master/Underfoot Adept
DEX 26 (20 start, +2 leveling, +4 belt)
Thanks to the alternate racial trait Fleet of Foot, his normal move is 60'. He spends a ki point for additional 20' of movement as a swift action. He has 80' total movement from the ki and haste, so he moves adjacent to the dragon. The dragon is still flatfooted, so no AOO is incurred.
He will more than likely make his save vs. fear. He pretty much will ace his save vs. the breath weapon (high REF) and take no damage due to improved evasion.
He spends a ki point on Ki Throw to land the dragon in the most advantageous squares, takes his AOOs from Greater Trip and Vicious Stomp (getting rid of any remaining images) and watches his pals smile as they drop Greater Trip AOOs on the Dragon.
The Dragon can attack the monk from prone (high AC = not likely to hit) or try to stand up (provoking more AOOs from all the peeps nearby). After standing up, it can try to fly away, but the monk will take his AOO and attempt, wait for it, a trip...
For funsies, I made an unconventional team player monk.
Human Sensei/Monk of the Lotus
He will more than likely make his save vs. fear and his save vs. the breath weapon (half damage).
He spends a ki point for additional 20' of movement as a swift action. He has 80' total movement from the ki and haste, so he moves adjacent to the dragon. Thanks to mobility, high WIS/DEX and the standard AC boosting items, the Dragon is very likely to miss his AOO.
The monk fights defensively (but only at -1 thanks to Crane Style tree). Thanks to WIS being his +hit stat (Sensei), weapon focus feat, haste and monk advice, he has about 40-50% chance to hit before counting party buffs. He uses Touch of Serenity, which the Dragon can save against 50% of the time.
We could toss on ioun stone with True Strike or get the Qiggong archetype for the True Strike SLA to guarantee a hit.
While this monk won't stop the dragon alone, he buffs the party and can, if the dragon fails a will save (from an ability this monk can spam the entire fight), keep it from acting offensively for 2 rounds.
Quick Correction:CMD: Slotted Dusty Rose Ioun Stone should be +1 Insight to AC, +2 Insight to CMB and +2 Insight to CMD from these effects. You can't stack +1 Insight AC (which would go to CMD) and +2 Insight CMD for a total of +3 CMD as they're both Insight bonuses.
Re: Night March
@redward may be correct in that it may be player problem (however, as we're only getting your side of the story, it's not fair to assume it's a player problem--confirmation bias and all that jazz).
I let the players prioritize what they want to know (Special defenses, attacks, etc) and then I try to give them the most relevant piece of info that I would find helpful if I were in their place. I tend to be more on the generous side because I'd rather see the players pull together tactically using that info to succeed rather than being stingy just to pull one over on them.
Walter Sheppard wrote:
However the summoner can have a summons up from a normal spell casting of Summon Monster (not the SLA) along with their Eidolon.