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That's the best TPK story I've read in a long, LONG time.
Jeffrey Fox wrote:
How is that any different than what the residents of Godhome are already doing to the place?
I ran a 5 player table of floor 1 and a 6 player table of floor 2 on the same day. It was about 5.5 hours per floor due to low damage output from the party.
I ran a 6 player table of level 3 on Saturday in about 5 hours. The damage output was still fairly low for some sections (basically until the Magus felt comfortable clearing out his spells for the day), but the Gibbering Mouther caused a lot of problems for them and soaked up a significant amount of time. This was made up with a surprise round against the cleric and her minions, as well as a creative solution to the wight.
I gave up on ideal party configurations because I found that I will build 12 characters and pick 1 in home games after everyone has picked what they want to play. Now I play PFS and have a bunch of 3-4 characters to pick from, which nets the same effect. My region has a lack of hammers, generally, so I've moved towards having more hammer-ish characters. I'm typically at a table of 6 when I play, which is also a completely different dynamic than the age-old 4 player party.
In a 4-player table:
Barbarian/Bloodrager (practically the same class)
In a 6-player table:
My feedback: ditch daggers in favor of chakram. D8 damage and 30' range increment, but you can still stab.
My other feedback: rather than going Dex focused, just focus on getting a Belt of Mighty Hurling. Instead of Archery, get the TWF Combat Style, which will allow you to melee just as much as throw. As long as you have Quick Draw, you can use the TWF feats to get the additional throws. If you go this route, the daggers are arguably better than the chakram as the latter is not a light weapon and has an intrinsic penalty on melee attacks, as well. Carry both.
I think the slayer is the superior choice.
Unfortunate consequence of my choice of wording: the players decided that eliminating lawlessness only took a swift action, leaving their moves and standards unaffected.
Fortunately, I had no problem getting them to explore the entire floor and the players were pleasantly surprised by the existence of bathrooms.
Depends on the stat outlays. Terrible in 15 pt buy, ok at 20, reasonable at 30. If you have rolls as your base system, you can benchline 30 pt buy as 14 in all stats before racials.
Either way, it's going to be exactly what you expect: you're stretched in a lot of different directions and do well against CR appropriate encounters, but struggle in major encounters.
Because he is PFS, his motto is "I will explore, cooperate, and make sure you can report."
I GM credited the character to 3rd level and have only 1 session played so far, but I solo'd an encounter with 12 or so CR 1 opponents (Hall of the Flesh Eaters). 1 of those levels is Brawler, so I can Martial Flexibility in some shenanigans, as well.
I was boring and went with a half-elf Aberrant bloodline. He's dumb as a post, but doing the Combat Reflexes build with spring loaded wrist sheathes for Enlarge Person and Fly potions. In 2 levels, I'll threaten 30' (I have improved unarmed and a lucerne hammer).
Being as dumb as he is, he doesn't know that when his mother said she was researching eugenics (which he remembers as huge eunuchs), she meant that she was magically infusing herself with craziness while pregnant.
Of course, by doing so you're bypassing much of what others have touted as the main advantages of PFS: portability, social nature, to steal from Jiggy's early post.
Optionally bypassing. More like supplementing. I can choose to go and play at any other game store or play a PFS-legal home game (like 2 continuous levels of Emerald Spire, as I GM'd on Black Friday). Opting to consistently table with familiar folks but occasionally have to play elsewhere is part of the experience.
There are some railroad-y bits that aren't customizable and it's true that you can't directly impact the campaign at a single table, I think it's a stretch to say that you can't customize the scenarios and modules to some degree. NPCs are given tactics, not rote scripts, and there is an acceptable level of table variance to be seen all around.
Here's a big advantage, though: as a GM, you don't painstakingly craft a world just to have the PCs promptly ignore the things you prepared to have them do.
So, I want to put out there that people who prefer home games tend to express the opinion that you're not consistently tabling with familiar characters in PFS. This may vary by region or FLGS, but the store I most frequently play at hosts 2-3 tables a week, maybe 4, and there are consistent character developments between sessions.
Hrolfir, the barbarian who thinks he's a cleric is consistently at a table. He saw a successful Command and, being dumb, yelled "DIE!" as he attacked an enemy and killed them. Obviously, "the spell" worked. Hrolfir and my skald, Heiki, have worked together numerous times and have a bit of a shared history because of it.
There's a foursome that plays at a single table with their own continuity that I joined last weekend. Players 5 and 6 rotate at their tables, obviously, but they're basically doing a home game in PFS by always tabling together.
There are plenty of people that make team-based characters and only play them together. Most organizers will allow you to table together as long as there's not some crazy conflict that comes up because of it (i.e. over limit with both, you were last to RSVP).
Each player must have their own Society number. They're free, after all, and it's for tracking players as well as characters.
Thinking 3D doesn't necessarily make sense a lot of the time. Perfect example: I have a 6' tall Half-Orc Medium (the Occult playtest class, not the size). At 7th level, using The Bear and seancing it for the level 13 ability, I become Huge, which puts me up to 24' tall (round to 25'). You'd think my natural reach at this point would be an additional 15' up from there, but I technically don't occupy 10' of height and can only reach 6' above my head.
That said, a medium-sized character on a large-sized mount should threaten based on being in any of the 8 cubes that the large mount occupies, which actually extends the reach out a bit further since that puts a standard melee weapon (non-reach) at the 15' increment from the ground. To put it in topographical terms, with M = Mount and T = Threaten...
TTTT 0-5' above ground level
TTTT 5-10' above ground level
TTTT 10-15' above ground level
GMs report session conditions when they enter who played scenarios on the PFS site. The most common option chosen is what is selected by the campaign. On the tracker sheet you fill out at the beginning, the GM section includes checkboxes labeled A, B, C, and D for this purpose.
Tieflings and Aasimars were the only Native Outsiders allowed for PCs without a boon. You can still use a boon to get Tieflings and Aasimars.
From a rules perspective, a FAQ was released related to early entry into prestige classes that made a SIGNIFICANT change to the way that characters could progress. Being able to make a 3rd level Eldritch Knight or 4th level Mystic Theurge is pretty significant and the racial spells allowed that.
Why do I PFS instead of home game?
"James is sick, so we're canceling this week."
That last one happened to a letter in one of the last home games I played, backstory included.
Would I like to play in a home game at some point? Sure. I'd love to be able to play with things that are not PFS legal that I've had my eye on for literally years (Words of Power). Top contenders for that home game? Some guys I met through PFS that want to run Kingmaker outside of PFS.
And here I'm just happy to have a character that can go up to Huge size at level 7 for a minute at a time.
An alternative to the Hunter is actually the Summoner. At 8th level, you can move the base size of the Eidolon to Large and cast Enlarge on it. At 13th, you can move the base size to Huge and still Enlarge, going to Gargantuan (!!!!). The Mount evolution is only 1 pt.
My interpretation of the readied action rules is that you can only set one action, but you can select multiple conditions for that action.
Jingasa of the fortunate soldier
Price 5,000 gp; Aura strong divination; CL 15th; Weight 3 lbs.
Those stats are redonkulously good. WOW.
I agree with the assessment that Arcane casting is currently quite limited. I think that the Cleric/Shaman is going to handle a bulk load of casting support, though, and if they have similar stats, they'll be able to effectively Wandering Spirit into Lore for the Sorc/Wiz spells you need each day.
That leaves you with a couple interesting options that still focus on melee: Magus, Bloodrager, Bard, and Skald are all good additions in terms of adding casting versatility. If I were to pick from those options, my choice would definitely be Bloodrager due to the nature of Gestalt play, which would tick you up to full BAB and make use of those stats extremely well. Having a "dump stat" Int of 14 is craziness.
Recommended Bloodlines: Arcane, Elemental (Air), or Aberrant - these are the best 3, by far.
Archetypes: Primalist for sure, which will allow you to take a small selection of Rage Powers in place of the Bloodline Powers you might not like with no actual penalty. Steelblood is also good and you can take both it and Primalist.
I decided I'd use the following note as a player handout while the characters are resupplying in Fort Inevitable, to be given by a Hellknight guard.
Hopefully, this and some very low DC Kn: Local checks should cover the loose ends.
Undeath subschool Necromancer Wizards are still legal, so you've got that going for you. They're pretty solid. If you're concerned about recurring costs and are willing to spend a feat, False Focus can cover your material costs up to 100gp for any spell by waving an equivalent cost divine focus at it.
If you play any character focused on one subset of possible monsters, even if it is a common one like undead, you're going to have limitations. The key, though, is that a wizard is not particularly limited because of their spell choices. Magic Jars on the high end, Cause Fear and other similar utility on the low end, and you can keep plenty of great schools around, too.
I haven't played, but the theorycraft is solid enough and there's even a Necromancer guide for PFS that's floated around.
Sammy T wrote:
That's pretty much why everyone around here either has Maneuver Master for Flurry of Maneuvers or the Snapping Turtle line (or both).
The current builds floating around in my region involve Monk of Many Styles dips for Snapping Turtle stuff or Manuever Master for Flurry of Maneuvers, at least 1 level of Brawler, and (much to my surprise) a couple of these guys have Cleric and Paladin levels.
MoMS level 1 for Snapping Turtle Style/Clutch or Maneuver Master level 1 for Flurry of Maneuvers are pretty much the only easy ways to get a target to pinned in 1 round until Greater Grapple, which is rather difficult to get otherwise due to the BAB requirement.
This is mostly a question due to the piecemeal nature of Godhome's chronicle, but what happens if the PCs successfully bypass the dungeon level and progress down to 4? Do they get full credit? Do you push them back up to 3 and tell them to do it the murderhobo way?
Players can make an opposed Bluff check, a DC 20 Diplomacy check, or bribe the guards (50g minimum) to get them to open the gate and let them pass to the level 4 (Godhome) stairs. These 3 options would all allow players to bypass the level.
This level has a breakout of XP/Prestige awards for several different objectives in the level. One of the options involves following the NPC's instructions, "sacrificing" 2 lbs of iron per character, and walking to level 5 (The Drowned Level). If the players complete only this objective, they get 1 XP and 1 PP, but are completely able to move to level 5.
My impression here is that the players shouldn't get full credit for doing a bypass because they don't actually explore the level, but there's no way to handle that on the chronicle short of giving them a zero for the level.
I'm not sure that you can specify proficiency for a weapon not designed for your size. Sure, EWP: Falcata is fine, but I don't think you can pick a size for proficiency at said size.
If you're seeing a lot of damage come your way, you could always grab Extra DR as a rage power. You're already at DR 3/-, but you can push that up via rage powers.
Nothing in the Bestiaries are legal player options unless unlocked through another legal source. I can't think of a single legal source for the Flail Snail language. In fact, I honestly can't find a legal source for sign language. There are references to it (Vow of Silence for Monks) and there is a special Drow Sign Language, but there is no sign language available in ISWG or the CRB that I can see.
When playing, if the encounters seem too easy, I tend to Dwarven Door Game. When GMing, if the tactics allow it, I'll do the same. That said, I'm more than happy to let players roll over encounters if they're built to do that.
I just GMed Emerald Spire 1 and 2 on Friday and found plenty of ways to make some encounters difficult while using the listed tactics as well as allowing the players to shine at other points by wiping out some of the more trivial encounters.
On level 2, the players encountered Gorloth without having been to anything east of the laboratory. That meant they were running into traps without the benefit of "Take 20 Perception Check" all over the place. His tactics took him right through the trapped chest room as he fled to the laboratory. Imagine the surprise when the ceiling fell.
Challenge when I can, but if I can't, it's still ok. I'm especially ok with it if a PC takes a risk to make it happen, but if they're just built that way, it's no skin off my nose.
Ok, "the low AC on his animal companion." Really? At level 1, assuming you take Light Armor Proficiency on the AC, you can easily afford Wooden Armor at character creation (40gp for a medium-sized non-humanoid). That's almost universally 17 AC for a level 1 druid's animal companion. If he's not interested in using a feat for actual armor, Imp Natural Armor or Dodge are also available, which means more like 15 AC. I'm literally just looking at the CRB animal companion list here.
Sure, Druids are a little weak at level 1 as pure casters. That said, those stats are absolutely amazing in general and he opted for a poor choice. Cleric, Empyreal Sorcerer, Shaman, Zen Archer Monk...these are all very reasonable choices with that stat outlay, though the ZA would admittedly be a little low-damage with the lack of a STR mod. Still, there are a ton of ways to play a Druid with those stats and be very effective, even at level 1. Those are Party Face stats if I've ever seen them and the player is opting to complain about low DEX instead of looking at the roles available to him.
Honestly, if I could build a Shaman with those stats, I'd be having a blast in his place.
There is mechanical benefit: Emerald Spire is the only module set currently sanctioned that gives you a way to earn 5 Fame for completing the modules. There are 6 spots that allow you to do this. One of the interceding spaces between these opportunities costs you nothing but the purchase slot (2 PP cost, 2 PP given back). A player completing levels 1 and 2 of ES are able to get to 9 Fame for 2 modules, putting them up a purchase bracket in Fame vs any other pairing of modules.
That's a pretty reasonable mechanical benefit, honestly.
Dafydd likely meant that you can only get both Weapon Finesse and Slashing Grace to work together on those two weapons if you're not a Swashbuckler or Daring Cavalier.
This is definitely one of those times where I think pretty much anything will work, and I say this as a chronic character flipper. Try something you've always wanted to play, but never found the right group to play it with.
If you're dead-set on getting a suggestion, I would tend towards Skald, Inquisitor, or another 6-level caster, as that will handle role-swapping well.
Why would they redo barbarian? It's the only pure martial that even comes close to closing the M-C disparity gap.
The stated reason is that a lot of the rage powers have unintuitive mechanics, like Raging Swimmer, and they were planning on moving those to straight swim speed, etc.
I would have liked the Fighter in there instead of the Barbarian, but it's pretty well set at this point.