What you have done is a good first step in pricing an item, but can't be the last. As I am sure you noticed, this comes out WAY cheaper than any AC boosting item in the book. Which is exactly where the next step needs to take you.
You need to look for existing items or formulas that already exist and compare them to the effect you are trying to create. In this case, there is one:
According to the table for this type of thing there are a few formulas that would be applicable
Effect: Armor bonus (enhancement)
Effect: AC bonus (deflection)
Effect: AC bonus (other)
Based on those numbers, then you would get 16,000gp for a +4 armor bonus to AC (the equivalent of a continuous effect Mage Armor spell), which is spot on with the costs of Bracers of Armor +4.
If there is an existing method/formula already in place for the effect that you are trying to create then that is the formula that should be followed.
Next step (if necessary, in this case probably not because it is already spelled out) would be to go look at existing items and see if any are replicating what you want to do.
I would actually advise skinning... but you seem deadset against it.
If you have a race that is very different from humans thematically, but has the same (very generic) mechanics, then you should be good? Right? Your complaint is that the core races are boring, not that you want more power mechanically than the other players get?
But instead you argue that it is just calling something by another name. The roleplaying aspects of a character and the mechanics may inform each other but they do not mirror one another. I would reconsider your GMs offer to skin just about anything you want.
For example: You decide that playing a serpentfolk sorcerer sounds thematic and fits in with the campaign but the GM won't allow the race and does allow skinning. Does it really throw off your character idea that you get to put +2 in any stat, get a free feat, and an extra skill point per level? Not really...
It seems to me he offered you a pretty big concession and is concerned about the power level your present.
He is right that the race builder in the ARG is not balanced for people who are making a character. It wasn't designed to be. It is for making races not tailoring a race to work with a character concept... that allows it to become broken.
I can't speak about how he handled it in the moment but offering the solution to allow you to skin while retaining balance mechanically was a good one on his part.
My first thought is to always determine if there is actually a problem.
How does the player of the cavalier feel about the situation? Is he taking it in stride or is he pissed there was one encounter of the night that he didn't get to participate in?
If he is fine with it and understands that he got some bad rolls against a save or suck spell, and that can happen, then I wouldn't worry too much. If he is taking it poorly I would continue looking.
Next up, I would ask how this is different than someone who gets one-shotted by a critical hit or dies to a save-or-die spell. They are even more out of the game, but most groups accept this as part of the game.
If those are not good enough, and they may not be for your group, then I would consider taking a page from 4th edition and get rid of durations in exchange for continuing to save each round.
Before I pop into my criticisms, I want to point out that the reason I am posting this at all is because this a good Player's Guide... I just want to give some feed back. I also want to take a moment to honestly thank you guys for putting out a free product to support the games I run. It really helps.
My first comment would be that I really miss having the ability to buy a five pack of printed copies of these suckers. It was REALLY nice to be able to hand them out to players. Perhaps just not enough people bought them?
Next. There seems to be an awful lot of time spent on describing why there needs to be spoilers in this type of product and why you as a GM should deal with it or edit your own dang Player's Guide! Interestingly the majority of spoilers in the product are held in this section warning about why this product exists and why there needs to be spoilers. WAY too much time on this. Next time try to edit yourself down to one paragraph on the need and one paragraph of the actual spoilers (if they are actually needed).
Which brings up what spoilers are actually needed. Now, I have to preface this with the fact that I have not read the adventures so I can't know as well as the Paizo folks what is actually needed. However, my guess is that the two points needed are 1) this adventure will not stick around in the town it begins in. You will travel a lot and when you do... 2) It is going to get cold. I am not sure there is a need to tell us of Baba Yaga's involvement or that there is planar travel or even that this takes place in Irresen rather than a vague point in the North.
Next up is character advice. This changed from a list of each class and how they can fit in (Fighters can be found anywhere, etc. etc.) to more generalized but relevant information. I applaud this change. I did see a complaint up thread about the lack of info on what favored enemies should be taken, but it was there... maybe call it out a little more next time? (low: animals, fey & humans; Mid: giants & magical beasts; high: outsiders, undead and a few dragons).
Traits - I really like the ones you have, but they seem a little sparse. I would have liked to see more. They did inspire me though. For example, Players are notoriously contrary and if you tell them this is going to be taking place in the north and make a character that fits there you are likely to have at least one in a group who is fixated on the Qadiran fire mage and doesn't care how they are living in a Taldan town or that it will be in the North. I think that is an opportunity. Another would be for people playing odd races. Perhaps a few for native Taldans who are going for love of country? Anyway... I think there is a lot that can be cut (1 page of warning of spoilers & reprint of material from other sources).
Heldren - This is the other area I felt was pretty sparse. I would have liked to see a little more on the town and it's inhabitants... things that the people who live there would know. I get that you are not trying to get people attached to the location though.
Cold Weather Primer - Perfect. Short and to the point but also hammers home the fact that this is moving north into the cold.
Additional Class Options - This is exactly the type of thing I like to see in a players guide. Until I see how much is just reprints. Point to locations of good choices like the winter witch but unless your goal was to say there needs to be at least one winter witch per party (and I missed that?) then this seemed excessive. Now, if it had been a whole new Prestige Class and/or archetype that would have been exciting. My suggestion in the future would be several new archetypes. Would be fun... but a lot more work, so maybe not the best choice for a free product.
Anyway... overall a good product. Just keep warning down to small snippets, make a short list to yourself of what needs to be conveyed and keep spoilers only to that. Keep down the repeat material from elsewhere (but lists of locations for good stuff would be fine and significantly shorter).
When putting ranks in the perform skill, you do indeed need to note which type of perform (from the 9) that you are choosing.
Interestingly, you do not need any ranks in Perform to use the Bardic Perform ability. That said, it is a good idea to be taking ranks in perform (see the Versatile Performance ability).
Which performance you choose to do will dictate how you can fight. If you are wanting to fight with a rapier, you had probably choose a performance that leaves at least one hand free (act, dance, comedy, oratory and sing are all good choice and you might be able to make a case you can do some of the others one handed).
Regardless of which Perform you go with, you will not be able to fight the first round that you start the performance (since it uses a standard action), but can while maintaining it (since those take free actions).
Choosing a Perform that doesn't take an instrument is a great choice for the Bardic Performance ability. At some point you want the others (again, see Versatile Performance and there are some masterwork and magic items that you could only use with the right performance skill).
Personally I would go with something like the Dervish Dance bard and fore-go the prestige class all together.
Aldori Swordlord has a couple of meanings.
There is the fighter archetype and the prestige class... they are game abstracts and would have no meaning in the actual game.
Then there are those people from Brevoy who study under the masters with a style that allows them to create a flurry of steel around themselves and fight with the distinctive aldori dueling sword.
If your goal is the second, then don't worry specifically about the archetype or prestige class if you are wanting a high charisma type person. Just make sure that you are meeting the description of the second.
By RAW it can learn any spell. Only arcane spells not on the casters spell list are treated as one level higher. Diving spells would remain the same level.
It would not, by RAW, allow a summoner to teach it a paladin spell. You would need to find a paladin for that (or item like a wand or scroll).
The intent though seems to be that it would be restricted to arcane spells with any not on the casters spell list as counting as one level higher (might still be worth it with some early access, additionally there are spells on various arcane lists, like the bard, that are traditionally divine).
My experience has been that the individual variations of taste of each individual trumps any other trait (like sex).
My advice then would be the same regardless of gender. You have new players and you need to figure out what they like. Try to plan a short adventure (one shot would be ideal, but it may not be possible) and try to play up anything that you think they might like.
Make sure there is plenty of RP, make sure there is a dungeon crawl and combat, etc. etc.
The biggest part then would be to make sure you take some time after the first game to ask them each what they liked and what they didn't like.
Then go from there.
Pretty much anything could fit well enough and/or built well and there is really nothing to go on in your post... so I am not sure how best to answer.
I would probably look at things from the area and see what sparks your interest.
Aldori Swordlord - Thematically fits very well as the campaign kicks off in the city these folks are from. Can be a VERY effective build (I would suggest fighter w/ the archetype and 2 lvls of master of many forms).
Razmiran Priest - Actually a sorcerer, but I would play it up as the primary healer in the group. Take Infernal Healing, the higher level version, and extend metamagic and you are healing just fine, especially once you throw in UMD... which you will excel at. Thematically the nation of Razmiran is not far off from where this takes place. Would be fun to be the primary healer of the group as an arcane caster.
Mounted Charger - Any of various builds will work fine here. Unlike many campaigns there is a LOT of encounters in which this will work just fine. If there is a perfect campaign to be a mounted character this is it.
Bard - Frankly a high cha face man can do very well in this campaign.
Anyway... just about anything will work. Any preferences? What are other people doing?
Advanced firearms change the world... you state that you know that, but don't really seem happy with the implications. My advice? Embrace the change in that area.
Anyone who could afford an advanced firearm would be using them. This would even be regardless of proficiency (as you have seen looking at the numbers, the -4 to hit would not be terribly significant).
If they are not readily available to everyone what is the implications of that difference between the haves and have nots? Make sure you play that out in your game.
Tactics would need to change. Yes, people use cover occasionally in Pathfinder now, but in an area dominated by advanced firearms cover would become the focus of early combat.
In fact, looking at all the types of bonuses that would help against firearms and using those tactics would be a high priority.
Play up that the world is changing. Let the PCs see a group of fairly low level gunmen ganging up and taking down a large, low touch ac creature that would have crushed a typical town guard earlier. Then have a later encounter that shows just how successful a quickling or similar high dex, high touch ac opponent is against a similar group.
Basically you should think through the implications of the change and make sure that you bring them into the game.
I might even suggest recording it and sending them the file to listen to prior to the first session. Describe it to each of them as one of the many history lessons that the professor used to spontaneously burst into. That way they are integrating it into their backgrounds rather than using up game time.
2. He's an elf and therefore already has proficiency.
Racial Weapon Familiarity works a little different in Pathfinder. Instead of being proficient with any weapon with your race in the title, it is treated as a martial weapon. Great for classes like Fighter which get all martial weapons, but not as good for a bard, who does not gain the proficiency.
Weapon Familiarity: Elves are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), longswords, rapiers, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the word “elven” in its name as a martial weapon.
Dip two levels of Master of Many Styles to go into Crane Style, keep the free hand doing double duty reloading and negating attacks.
Then pretty much straight single pistol pistolero.
I am picturing a lightly armored cowboy type in a poncho and wide brimmed hat that is as much of a Raiden look as a cowboy.
The best defense in Pathfinder is a good offense. Rocket Tag if you will... kill them fast before they kill you fast. PCs also have an advantage in that there tend to be more of them (more actions) than the bad guy gets.
Shut the bad guy down with a single Save or Die spell to their bad save
Dish out a ton of damage fast
A fireball that does 5d6 is not that impressive when most people can cast it. But at second level when you cast from a scroll? It can pretty much end an encounter. I think this is a fantastic plan. Especially when you factor in that you will be able to pretty much count the number of encounters you are likely to happen upon.
I think people really under estimate the power of using scrolls of spell levels higher than they can cast themselves... good on you for looking at the option.
It's not actually horrible. One of the ways to get the most out of smite is to hit more often (yeah, depending on the situation the first hit does more damage, but you are still getting bonuses to all)... To that end a two-weapon fighter is a fine way to go, and you already are one.
My bigger concern would be looking forward to what feats you are wanting as a two-weapon fighter and determining if you can get them as a Paladin in a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise, play him as a holy warrior, devout in his faith who doesn't happen to have smite evil and lay on hands.
Just read through this section last night. The door to the right of the entrance area that is covered with pictures of Sorshen trapping demons into statues and such can most definitely be used as foreshadowing (it even discusses that use with the statue on the island).
My personal opinion is that any sorcerer who is only using spells that provide SR saves has already long gimped themselves.
Buffs, walls, pits, summons... pretty much anything that doesn't do direct damage or harmful effect. This type of thing should encourage him to at least look into broadening his woefully narrow spell list.
I love me some adventure paths, but the sad truth is that I will never have the time to run them all (Shackled City, Rise of the Runelords, and played through part of Kingmaker and Skull & Shackles). This means that the majority of content that I am paying for is for the sole purpose of my reading enjoyment.
Don't get me wrong, that is not a bad thing. I LOVED reading Dungeon Magazine and it was reading it that kept me into gaming through a dry spell of opportunities to play. Similarly I love reading through adventures.
Bringing this back to Shattered Star though, it has helped illustrate to me just how comparatively boring it is to read through a heavy dungeon adventure to one that is chocked full of political intrigue and interesting encounters.
It very well could be that this AP plays beautifully, but it isn't much of a read. For the first time, all the episodes of an AP are really good at putting me to sleep at night. I just opened the fourth installment I got in the mail today and realized I hadn't finished the second.
So far... it just hasn't been much fun to read.
The short answer is no, but if it is a home game your GM can house rule if deemed appropriate.
The longer answer is that traits represent about 1/2 the power of a feat. Using one to replace a feat requirement would not be a good idea. The idea of the feat requirement (or feat tax as it is sometimes termed) is that the acquisition of that requirement limits the power in some way that then offsets what is gained by the class. This being the case, it wouldn't make sense mechanically to allow a trait to substitute.
From an RP point of view though, if you are a Qadiran Princess (trait) then that probably should meet the requirement presented by the Noble Scion feat that says you are a noble.
Maybe a half way point would be to allow the character who has the trait to take the feat after first level.
I think you will find that if they take resources from the PCs then they will be much less likely to use them.
The XP would be the biggest deterrent I would think.
Personally I would just to disabuse them of the idea that someone has to be healer and learn to love out of combat healing with wands.
Have them set off the trap... basic carpentry skills let you hammer things to a wall, but it turns out hammering on a trap is a bad idea.
Also... have them miss other parts.
If you are really feeling generous I would allow them to come up with a creative solution and that would let them make the roll untrained.
Basically as long as you let them role play around the need for the skill, they will never take the skill. If the skill is needed they will take it.
I agree that there is no good way in a real game to limit the situation so that you have either a single encounter per day or lots of encounters per day.
I think the important lesson of the 15 min adventuring day is that the PCs need to plan their resources accordingly. This is especially true of your spells caster who have the limited resources and is part in parcel of their ability to manage their resources.
If you believe that you may be having lots of encounters then you need to conserve and work appropriately. Use a buff and let you fighters do the work.
If you think it will be the only encounter of the day (because you can teleport the group back to your castle or rest in a rope hole), you can go a bit wild.
The real trick is memorizing the spells that make you good in both situations and recognizing which situation is which.
I am a HUGE proponent of skinning. One of the favorite examples I have heard is skinning a Samurai class who uses a Katana as a Knight wielding a bastard type sword. The role-playing is paramount and the skinning allows the rules to stay consistent while allowing the imagination to run wild with what type of character someone wants to play.
Another case might be using non-lethal sneak attacks and unarmed strikes as light touches from a master martial artist to disable an opponent using special locations on the body.
Yeah, to me skinning opens up a TON more options in the game with out giving up control of the balance.
AC is designed to be outstripped by attack bonuses at higher levels, so simply adding numbers to the Monster Creation High Attack value won't work.
Not disagreeing with you, but can you explain that? (this is the type of thing that I think adds a lot to the discussion).
Forgive me, many people use the terms "fighter" and "warrior" interchangeably. which other class could have you meant? The NPC warrior class?
The NPC class warrior is exactly what I meant. The reason being that it is as vanilla as I can make it.
I was NOT trying to make examples of good builds, but of the type of build that someone who is not really trying would come up with for their "tank."
Being a high AC tank means focusing on having a high AC, it doesn't just fall into place. If someone takes a build focused on either nothing but whatever they feel like taking as they level up or a build just focused on damage, then they are not likely to be hitting numbers necessary to be an AC tank.
I agree that these number ARE achievable. You just have to be aware of them and focus on hitting them to a degree.
The next challenge of being an AC based tank is to stay relevant in the fight. You HAVE to be able to dish out some damage as well. Otherwise intelligent monsters are well within their right to just not swing at you and go at your squishier allies.
Sorry, this seems like back peddling to me.
Then with all due respect you need to go back and read my initial post because I lay out all of those assumptions before I put down the numbers.
OF COURSE no one is playing a warrior... but they very well may be playing something that isn't adding anything to their defense. I wanted a generic example... and warrior fits that bill. It isn't special in any way, it presents no exceptions (with the exception that it is one of the two classes in the game that gets Tower Shield proficiency, so I avoided that). Again, NOT back peddling because I mentioned it BEFORE the numbers.
Also, a tank likely should be using more than 50% of his wealth on defensive items.
I am not sure that is a fair statement at all. I think in a LOT of games whoever is playing the full BAB type is simply proclaimed the tank with no thought to if it works at all. He gets whatever heavy armor they find, picks up some AC boosting stuff here and there when convenient and calls it good.
My argument is that doing that isn't enough to be a decent AC based tank.
Also, you failed to mention that if the thing hitting you is counting on iterative or secondary natural attacks to hit then they are only going to be hitting you with the first attack.
I did take it into account. It just isn't relevant. The reason is that sometimes you will be fighting the creature with a bunch of small attacks and sometimes you will fight the one with one big attack. If you are able to handle the bonuses on the one big attack then you are fine against the lots of small ones. But the opposite isn't necessarily true.
If your plan is to tank, you should be able to tank in all the situations that come up, not just the common fights against lots of creatures who are low CR to you, or ones with iterative attacks (heck, just keep moving and they can only hit you once).
And you didn't take into consideration party buffs which very likely would be taking place in the type of boss encounters that you are referring to. Or, you know... combat expertise and/or fighting defensively.
My point is that you have to plan for additional ways to get AC, you can't just fall into it with out thinking. If you need party buffs, then you need to be asking for them (which is reasonable). But a lot of parties out there won't really think of it if you are not asking.
If you stick around these boards for a bit I think you will see that it isn't very hard to hit with the builds that you see posted frequently. Especially if you don't use some sub-optimal choice like the NPC Warrior class when comparing to PC classes.
<sigh> if only I had been around these boards for a while longer, I might have picked up on that.
Did you really take it as me saying that warrior was a good build for a tank? Really?
So again I would posit, what is a reasonable % for them to hit you?
25% would be what, 16+? so jut drop all those by two.
Getting hit 50% means you are relying pretty heavy on HP and may as well be going into things with miss chance as you get up in levels, so that seems too low. (not that you wouldn't want the miss chance as well at those higher levels... certainly cheaper than AC and stacks with it).
Again... the point of my numbers was to show how hard it would be to keep up with that AC race... it's doable, but only if you are focusing a portion of your build and more than 50% of your cash on it... which is only really worth it if you are going whole hog.
In fact, I would put forward that if you are not going to exceed 11+ to hit, then there is little to no value in paying for AC items. You would be much better off focusing on being able to lay down more damage with that money rather than trying to keep going at the losing end of the AC race.
Also your AC at level 5 is off by a fair margin. Firstly, your missing a point of Dex from Armor Training.
Nope... as I stated, the character was spending approx 1/2 of his WBL on AC boosting items... not the whole thing. I also stated it was a Warrior, not a fighter.
Remember that I was using a warrior class (not fighter) and only 1/2 of WBL for the gear...
So the question would be if 18+ for a creature of CR = APL+2, what is a reasonable goal? 18+ for CR=APL? 16+ for CR=APL+2? There is certainly a lot of middle ground between my 18+ for CR=APL+2, and the original 16+lvl (which was scaling down to 4+ hits for these normal solo monster encounters).
In fact, it is important to look at the points where spending money AC boosting items just isn't worth it... in my examples above there is no reason to go more than 1 higher than the ACs I list... after that a natural 20 hits anyway. Likewise at low enough rolls needed to hit then mirror image and miss chance type things are MUCH better ways to go.
Just some things to keep in mind.
Yeah if you want to solo encounters 2-3 APL above you, you might need AC's like those above, but I run a 28 AC level 11 rogue in PFS and I havent had issues with being dropped in 1 round, so your numbers are a bit skewed.
That's why my first question was what you wanted the enemy to have to roll to hit you.
If the goal is just to not to be one-shotted, then the need is very different... and I wouldn't say you are a tank.
To me a tank could stand up there for a while with out the need for a lot of party resources. If getting hit by half there swings is the goal though, then yeah... you need a lot less.
It's also why people say that D&D (and Pathfinder) is a game of rocket tag... do more damage first and they can't hurt you at all... having a super high AC is just another way to hit that goal. Not wrong, but not easy to do.
It's an interesting question. The answer will really depend on what you think it should take for a tough creature to hit you on an unmodified die roll.
Looking at the methods I commonly see 16+lvl is pretty common. Let's see how that holds up.
I am going to use the average high attack bonus for a creature 2 CR higher than your level.
Lvl 1 - AC 17 - 11+ to hit
Seems way too easy to get hit for a tank.
So going by my earlier statement, what roll makes sense? I would say, if you are looking to be a tank's tank, you should be shooting for what... an 18+? (remember this is the high attack value of things CR 2 higher than your APL... so tough, but not boss fights).
To get that, you would be looking at:
Lvl 1 - AC 24
Them's some high AC's!!!
Are they reachable?
Let's take a look at a sword and board warrior at each level who has average PC wealth at each level. I will assume this guy wants to be a tank so he went with a 14 dex (seems reasonable at most point buy levels). I will also assume our tank spends around half his wealth on AC.
Lvl 1 - AC: 19 (Scale Mail (Armor +5), Heavy Wooden Shield (Shield +2), Dex +2)... so not cutting it... have to play catch up right out the shoot or have some way of boosting AC besides these.
Lvl 5 - AC: 25 (+1 Full Plate (armor +10), +1 Heavy Steel Shield (Shield +3), Dex +1, Amulet of Natural Armor +1 (natural armor +1)... not doing real well here.
I could keep going, but you have already spent a good portion of your career before my next benchmark... you might not live that long?
The point is that if you want to do the AC route, it is doable, but you REALLY need to focus on AC. Class abilities, synergies, bonus stacking, obscure items (a tower shield would have been good in this case). Etc.
My answer to the poll and my personal opinion is that I want important information or mechanics that the players should know about during the game (like caravan rules, ship to ship combat, or kingdom building) to be in the Players Guide.
Of course, I would really like to be able to buy a pack of 5 players guides that are printed so I can hand them out to my players (much more likely to read them than sending them a link).
For my vote thought, bigger, better planned Players guide that actually have everything they need would be great. I am willing to pay for them and get them as a print product.j
If that is not an option, I am happy with the current level of inclusion in PDFs.
I don't think Knowledge skills really work like that. It's just a reflection of what you know, you're not looking stuff up in your Arcane monsters book, then your nature monsters book etc.
By RAW they don't. By Raw the GM would simply ask at the beginning of the combat that anyone who has ranks in the appropriate knowledge check make a roll and then would give them that info.
But that was the problem that the OP was having. So I suggested what I do in my game that seems to work pretty well for me.
Besides that just brings the metagame back in. If the player recognizes it, he'll know what skill he should use and then have to go through the double think of trying to figure out which one his character would think applies.
It doesn't bring it back in, but it isn't eliminating it either. Instead it is reducing the amount of time that the check takes up each round in combat so the focus stays on keeping things moving rather than a big info dump.
I do personally think that it is a better way of reflecting real memory of obscure things though. You don't always remember all you are capable of remembering in the first six seconds you see something. Sometimes the way the monster moves or getting a better look sparks or jobs a memory... that is how I see using the wrong skill for a couple of rounds then hitting the right one.
It's all in how you describe it I guess.
I would do a couple of things.
First, I would talk to your players and let them know that you think this breaks immersion and makes the game less fun for you. It's possible they all strongly disagree... if so, you need to have this talk before making any changes... the best solution might be to suck it up for everyone elses fun. More likely they don't really care or agree with you though... so let's move on.
Next I would let them know that you will not answer the question to which knowledge roll they would make. Instead I would ask them which knowledge check they would like to try. Based on the description they can make a guess.
Next let them know that they can make one free knowledge check a round. The can use a move or standard action for additional checks that round if they would like or make another check with another knowledge skill the next round as a free action. (Sometimes you don't realize what something is right away... but are reminded by something it does that gives it away... this reflects that).
Finally I would give the info to just one person. The skill one useful piece of info if they succeed and one more per 5 points they exceed the check by... typically I wouldn't include the name as one of those pieces... just give them that if they succeed. If they fail and it is the right skill you might just give them info about the creature type... like typically they have high HP and low AC ("their giants of some kind, while you don't know which kind you know giants are very tough but tend to be easy to hit"). If the person succeeds by a very large amount just let them see the stat block for a minute while you keep the combat moving, then take it back... it's not a reference.
Let them know that this knowledge has to be given out in character. They can call out things on a limited and reasonable basis, "Seoni, hit is with fire, these things will burn!" "Amiri, hit them as hard as you can!" Whatever...
Basically use it as a tool to enhance role-play and make them feel that being knowledgeable helps... but don't give up everything or let it bog down play.
Why do the dip at first level?
If the character is built like a witch, presumably you want to play it like a witch, will take most of it's class lvls as witch... why not start as a witch?
Take the dip at 2nd level so you can use the tactic to make you that much more witchie.
I guess the real question is would you trade that one ability for a level of spell casting and class ability progression? If yes, then it's on like Donkey Kong.
Thanks for the comments!
We do indeed have another forum, and would love to have you join us there!
You're spot on in both cases though. I think we even mention the Oracle/Barbarian synergy in later podcasts, but we cleanly missed it in that one.
Alric Rahl wrote:
1. Can you choose 2 of the same type of gun to be your arcane guns. ex: 2 Muskets or 2 pistols? or does it have to be 2 different types of guns?
You could absolutely have two of the same type of gun at the same time... though I would recommend against it. One of the biggest advantages of this archetype is getting a x3 crit on your spells. There are not many ways to do that and if you crit on a Distintegrate... well, it is pretty darn impressive... that much more so at x3.
If you choose two guns you COULD do two muskets, but you wouldn't be able to wield them at the same time (there are limitations that say regardless of size they still take the same number of hands, so even a small sized musket would be a two-handed weapon for a medium sized creature)... so there really isn't much advantage to going that route.
The intent seems to be to allow you to have two pistols that you are double wielding. Oddly this is actually one of the better classes for doing it as you can get spells that reload for you. You see, there is difficulties loading without a free hand, and having two pistols makes that tough with out house rules, strange rules twisting with weapon cords, or odd character with prehensile hair or extra limbs. On the hand your not that great at just shooting guns... your a wizard, you are good at casting spells. Even though you can add some nice bonuses for ditching spells, typically you are not a gun slinger (unless you are dipping a level of spellslinger, I suppose), so you are not that great at just shooting for damage.
Personally I think the real gold with the class is shooting things out of the gun that can take advantage of the x3 crit range, and that requires you to cast spells through it and have just one weapon.
But yeah... you COULD have 2 muskets.
Alric Rahl wrote:
2. if you were holding both guns, one in each hand, could you apply the magical enhancement, say dancing, at the same time as a swift action, sacrificing 2 spell slots (one for each gun)?
No. You only get one swift action per round. Which means you could only use the ability once in a given round.
That said there is a rule that says that you can take a move action in place of a standard action, and many GM's will allow you to take another swift action in place of a move or standard action... but I don't think that is RAW in Pathfinder... though it may have been in D&D 3.5.
So if that alternate rule is in place, then you could take two swift actions and pump both guns in the same round. Otherwise you are waiting until the second round to pump one of the guns.
Alric Rahl wrote:
3. Could you then release them at the same time as one standard action?
Dropping an item is a free action, so release away!
Alric Rahl wrote:
4. what would the rule be for reloading them while they are dancing, do they reload themselves or would I have to reload them in the air? I ask because dancing is allowed on the guns but it doesnt say anything about reloading them or about ranged weapons, and it says if they are grabbed the dancing ends and cant be redone for 4 rounds. it does however say that "they fight on their own for 4 rounds" so again would they reload themselves?
I would rule that you can reload them if you have a free hand without interrupting the effect... but the rules are vague and unclear on this point.
Regardless, I recall a spell that will reload for you... that could be going on them at the same time.
Alric Rahl wrote:
Yep. I am with you so far... and I like where this is going... it is fun.
Alric Rahl wrote:
so Have both muskets drawn before engaging the boss, imbue both with dancing aspect as a swift action, release as a standard action. They take their shots this round. I reload them as a free action if they dont reload themselves and as a move action I draw a 3rd regular musket. 2nd round, Take a Full-Round action with Rapid Shot and gunslinger 6th, giving me 3 shots with the one Im holding and 1 shot each from the Dancing Muskets.
Your pretty close here, and I think you can still do the type of effect you want to do... the Quick Draw feat would be fun here.
You can only wield one two-handed firearm so you would only be able to have one musket out. Since you only have one swift action to imbue a round though, this isn't a bad thing. Full attack fire (assuming you have multiple attacks... those reloads are free after all), then take the swift action to imbue and release. As another free action you could draw a new musket using the Quick Draw feat.
It's unclear if the gun would get to attack that round on it's own as well (using free actions to keep reloading it), act on it's own initiative, or be done firing for the round. Reading the Dancing weapon property, I would say it can fire that round on your initiative as if it had your BAB... so full attack.
The next round you could repeat this process, get the second in the air and pull out the third. Since you can only have two bonded weapons that would be it... still pretty impressive since they could be full attacking.
You would be burning through spells like there is no tomorrow (the dancing property is a +4 bonus, so you are burning through 4th+ lvl spells each round. But if this is an NPC he isn't likely to be in any more encounters after this one, so why not?
Anyway... fun idea. I like it!
It would take a minimum 10th lvl character to pull off (Musket Master 3/Spell Slinger 7) though. For the free reload from Musket Master and the ability to cast lvl 4 spells.
My suggestion would then be to have a series of quick social encounters in the game that bring out the points from the Players Guide that you want them to know.
First guy starts having lunch with an old friend who is complaining about the corrupt politics...
The next starts at night with a group being escorted down one of the few lit paths and someone else telling their child about the creatures that stalk the night...
Another might watch a patrol of Hell Knights in action...
Basically go with the motto, show, don't tell.
If you look at any spells description, it will include what school it is a part of. This goes for the spells of any class.
The feat then works for any spell casting class. It really is just only good for one that is focusing on casting it's spells on the enemy (your party members don't try to resist buffs so it doesn't matter what the DC is).
The other big consideration for getting your DC up is if you are a full caster or not. If you are playing a class that only gets up to lvl 6 spells, it can be tough to get your DCs high enough to be reliable... not impossible, but you really need to focus.
In general whether or not to focus on spells that affect the enemy is a big question you should ask yourself when making a spellcaster, and if the answer is yes, regardless of class, you should be taking this feat... maybe even multiple times for different schools.