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Hooded Man

Serisan's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,767 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 7 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Myrmidarch and Kensai are out for totally different reasons than spells. Diminished Spellcasting doesn't touch the Spells class feature. Both of them have other abilities that are modified, though, like Knowledge Pool.

They try so hard.

archmagi1 wrote:

Ended with a TPK? Yes, and it was the party's decision to do so. Setup: the party was a bit OP, but the druid had 3 trained wolverines and 1 wolverine animal companion, so it was a bit of an overkill party. They were tracking an assassin, who had set up an ambush zone circled with concealed bear traps coated in drow poison. Each 30' movement a player made had a 20% chance to hit a bear trap. They had to make 90' of movement to get to the (also trapped) tent that the assassin was (not) sleeping in. By the time the last character (the only one not to hit a bear trap) got to the center of the death circle and hit the fireball trap, the only PC's still standing were the attack wolverines. Who killed all the bad guys by themselves. PC's threw their hands up and said they wanted to retcon that to everybody died.

That's the best TPK story I've read in a long, LONG time.

Jeffrey Fox wrote:
Serisan wrote:
Depending on how the waste is taken care of (does Jaris make potions for that?), I've been wondering why they'd put them in the bedrooms. Seems smelly.
I assumed the waste drops down into Godhome, which is rather horrible.

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.

Depending on how the waste is taken care of (does Jaris make potions for that?), I've been wondering why they'd put them in the bedrooms. Seems smelly.

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)
Bard/Skald (practically the same class)

In a 6-player table:
Ranger (Archery) or Zen Archer

Why do Combat Reflexes without reach and/or the Aberrant bloodline?

I mean, I'm using slws Enlarge pots and a Lucerne hammer currently and 20' reach doesn't quite do it for me. Looking forward to 30' in 2 levels.

Ravingdork wrote:

I was about to post to the OP just how weak a combo this was, but then I realized the OP was me. Hurrah for thread necromancy. :|

I lol'd. I knew it was coming and I lol'd.

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.

Numerous Arcanist abilities function off of CHA and INT is the primary casting stat.

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.

Gruugdúrz wrote:


Sounds like that Bloodrager would be fun to play. His motto sounds like "I'm not too smart, but I can lift big things!" :D

That Lucerne Hammer is a cool weapon. At the suggestions of others on these message boards, that's what I kitted out my Half-Orc bloodrager with. Since my Half-Orc is not a thicky, though, I've been using the Lucerne Hammer to sweep ahead to trigger traps. Although I do have to try to remember using it's cool +2 armour sundering bonus.

My half-orc also has combat reflexes. Very handy for the opposition closing in when you have that Lucerne Hammer! Even without resorting to bloodrages, he's done decent damage with that weapon. But it sounds like yours is far more impressive than mine with all that reach in addition to the Lucerne Hammer's normal reach!

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.

Kensai Magus/Shaman

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.

A boon is not an item, even if it sounds like an item, unless it says explicitly that it's an item.

That'd be my ruling, at least.

thejeff wrote:
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.


And not gaining most of what some have been touting as the advantages of home games: ability to directly affect the game and have it tailored for you and your characters. It's not just "consistently tabling with familiar characters". It goes far beyond that.

Other than the adventures being more disjointed, which can be somewhat minimized, with such a set up you're approaching playing a home game using published modules/APs which the GM runs scrupulously by the book with no customization for the characters actions.

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.

lol Blackberry.

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Because Grandmaster Torch deserves a slow and even more painful death.

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

thejeff wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Maybe you're not looking for the same things in games that I am, or you just weren't actually getting them in home games.

Plots that revolve around your characters. Decisions that actually drive where the campaign goes.

That's the big thing for me.

Actually, PC actions DO "actually drive where the campaign goes" in PFS. Right on down to the life or death of major NPCs.


On some kind of weird, abstract scale, right? Or just that the scenario is written to do that?

If I do one thing in a scenario and someone else does something entirely different, we can still play together in the next game and we'll be playing the same scenario. If I killed the NPC and he saved him, he can't be simultaneously alive and dead when we play together.

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.

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I have characters that I've built as NPCs because I've never been able to play them. I still keep them in the "I want to play that character" pile. Does that count?

thegreenteagamer wrote:

Thejeff more or less adequately responded to your questions, Jiggy, but there's one in particular I felt I should address...

Jiggy wrote:
How are your restrictions any less "arbitrary" than those in PFS?

Well, I don't change them for no apparent reason based on the season, for one thing. Let's take my example of the tiefling, and their holier cousins, the aasimar.

What, exactly, was broken about them before Blood of Angels and Blood of Fiends came out, to where they were forbidden?

Whatever it was, did those two books "fix" it to make them more balanced? If ANYTHING, it made them considerably more powerful, yet they were added as acceptable races.

Change of the season, however, and suddenly they're broken again, and not allowed, despite nothing in particular coming out making them more powerful.

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.

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Why do I PFS instead of home game?

"James is sick, so we're canceling this week."
"Work is getting crazy, so we're canceling until after the New Year."
"Brian can't play anymore, so we're bringing in [person you hate] to fill the slot."
"[Person you hate] is going to play [character that's exactly like yours] because he that's what he wants to play."

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.

I don't have ISC, but my interpretation would be similar to that of the Faiths of Purity code for Paladins of Shelyn. In this case, I would say that deformation would be separate from killing/attacking.

Honestly, every time I saw references to "Pineapple Express," I thought it was a designer pot strain.

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.



The ready action lets you prepare to take an action later, after your turn is over but before your next one has begun. Readying is a standard action. It does not provoke an attack of opportunity (though the action that you ready might do so).

Readying an Action: You can ready a standard action, a move action, a swift action, or a free action. To do so, specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you will take it. Then, anytime before your next action, you may take the readied action in response to that condition. The action occurs just before the action that triggers it. If the triggered action is part of another character's activities, you interrupt the other character. Assuming he is still capable of doing so, he continues his actions once you complete your readied action. Your initiative result changes. For the rest of the encounter, your initiative result is the count on which you took the readied action, and you act immediately ahead of the character whose action triggered your readied action.

You can take a 5-foot step as part of your readied action, but only if you don't otherwise move any distance during the round.

Initiative Consequences of Readying: Your initiative result becomes the count on which you took the readied action. If you come to your next action and have not yet performed your readied action, you don't get to take the readied action (though you can ready the same action again). If you take your readied action in the next round, before your regular turn comes up, your initiative count rises to that new point in the order of battle, and you do not get your regular action that round.

Distracting Spellcasters: You can ready an attack against a spellcaster with the trigger “if she starts casting a spell.” If you damage the spellcaster, she may lose the spell she was trying to cast (as determined by her Spellcraft check result).

Readying to Counterspell: You may ready a counterspell against a spellcaster (often with the trigger “if she starts casting a spell”). In this case, when the spellcaster starts a spell, you get a chance to identify it with a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level). If you do, and if you can cast that same spell (and are able to cast it and have it prepared, if you prepare spells), you can cast the spell as a counterspell and automatically ruin the other spellcaster's spell. Counterspelling works even if one spell is divine and the other arcane.

A spellcaster can use dispel magic to counterspell another spellcaster, but it doesn't always work.

Readying a Weapon against a Charge: You can ready weapons with the brace feature, setting them to receive charges. A readied weapon of this type deals double damage if you score a hit with it against a charging character.

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Jingasa of the fortunate soldier

Price 5,000 gp; Aura strong divination; CL 15th; Weight 3 lbs.
This conical iron jingasa, or war hat, grants the wearer a +1 luck bonus to AC. Once per day when struck by a critical hit or sneak attack, the wearer can spend an immediate action to negate the critical hit or sneak attack (similar to the fortification armor special ability, but without requiring a roll). The damage is instead rolled normally.


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.

Str: 18
Dex: 16
Con: 18
Int: 14
Wis: 17
Cha: 15

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.

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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.



It has come to my attention that a group of bandits may be inhabiting the Emerald Spire. As Maralictor of the Order of the Nail, I charge you with the task of eliminating lawlessness in this region by handling them as appropriate. With your swift action, we may avoid unnecessary trade impacts and further loss of citizenry to savagery. Do this and the Hellknights will continue to sanction your exploration of the ruins.

Maralictor Dandru Wolfhelm

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:

Rules heads up for players and GMs:

Unless you start the round grappling someone (like via Turtle clutch or an AOO with grab), you cannot one round grapple and pin--Mark Seifter clarified that in scenario discussion in the GM forum.

While James Jacobs has said the opposite, he's not a rules guy and Mark is.

Do I agree with Mark? No--especially since the level you can Grapple/Greater Grapple/Rapid Grapple (L9) is the same level full casters start getting their L5 spells and at L11 full martials are full attacking 3 times a round.

But the rules are the rules.

That's pretty much why everyone around here either has Maneuver Master for Flurry of Maneuvers or the Snapping Turtle line (or both).

In Society, I don't believe so. In a home game, ask the GM. IMO, the Shaman class is not going to allow the AC to progress as an AC via the Spirit Animal class feature, which is probably fine because the Shaman can do everything already.

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.

I picked up AoW3 on the Steam sale a week ago. I'm not 100% sure why, but I'm really not thrilled with it. Perhaps my expectations of play were out of alignment. It looks pretty, seems like it's pretty deep, but I couldn't really get into it.

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.

My default question if I only get 1: "What are their reproductive habits?"

You'd be amazed how often this matters.

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.

Emerald Spire:
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.

Pendagast wrote:
Dafydd wrote:

The belief is that Slashing grace ONLY works with 2 finesseable weapons (the dueling sword and the whip), for non swashbucklers.

The thought is that even though the weapon is wielded in one hand, with no benefit to being 2 handed, it is not a one handed weapon.

Talk to your GM, as they may see the light and allow it.

the feat specifically called out LONGSWORD in writing as working with the feat.

sheeeeesh…. rules lawyers.

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.

thegreenteagamer wrote:
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.

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