Baron Ulfhamr wrote:
+1 to all these choices. Hamatsula! Gnoll with hyena! (or, eventually, hyaenadon!) The 'human female from Sunnydale' made me laugh.
Slavery in the Pathfinder World and it's implications...(series of weird questions regarding a controversial topic)
Alex Smith 908 wrote:
Saying "you're free to go and here's to helping you rebuild" is good but also likely hopelessly naive. Then again the latter worked for dealing with Nazi Germany.
But, but, but! Naïve! Hopeless! Please ignore any examples where the moral choice turned out to be the effective choice!
We *have* to make expedient immoral hard serious grown-up choices to be all realistic and stuff! Also, namby pamby and Disney princess and sandal-wearing hippy peaceniks and whatever other derogatory stuff I can say to belittle anyone espousing a moral viewpoint!
Tis the season... for ridiculous hours at work and a crowded kitchen and last minute shopping and wild crowds and familial obligations galore.
Once we're past this holiday stuff, we can start churning out unholy water or whatever we need to do to unwrap this Vetra-Kali present we want to gift to the Iomedans!
Slavery in the Pathfinder World and it's implications...(series of weird questions regarding a controversial topic)
And this is why people can't play Paladins. GMs deciding that the paladin will instantly fall if he *does what the GM has his boss orders him to do.* Catch 22.
Easier to just say 'No, you can't play a Paladin' during character generation than hose your player this way.
If a region in the setting both has active Paladins, and has slavery, then there will *have* to be some sort of accomodations or 'wiggle room' built into the system. Religious exceptions to lawful orders, for instance, or forms of slavery that a LG Paladin can reasonably accept (such as prisoners who would otherwise be sentenced to death for their crimes being allowed to choose a lifetime of servitude, instead, making them slaves by their own choice, and yet also in that situation because of their own wrong-doings, making their status as slave also their *just and lawful punishment*).
The crappy thing is that while I love the way Marvel has been setting up their universe, they have already sold large chunks off to other studies which they will probably never get back. Marvel can't touch X-men, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Dr. Doom, etc. DC actually has there entire stable together, but can't seem to get their acts together to figure out what to do with the characters. Oh how I wish the roles were reversed, and DC had sold off their properties and Marvel had everything in house.
I actually kind of prefer the way it's ended up, if only because the Avengers movie might have been the 'Wolverine and his Amazing Friends' show, if they'd been allowed to go that route. Because Wolverine (and Spider-Man) are unavailable, we instead got an Avengers movie with more 'classic' Avengers in it.
As for DC, if they can dominate the small screen with Arrow and perhaps this new Flash venture, then more power to them. And I think I'd rather they keep shying away from doing a Wonder Woman movie, than put out a bad one, and perpetuate the notion that movies about superhero women won't sell.
Heck, the AP Players Guides even *suggest* both thematically and tactically appropriate build options (like characters able to handle cold weather hazards, for Jade Regent, or characters with aquatic / seafaring utility for Skull & Shackles).
And, best of all, if you *don't* make a character that fits into the GM's plans (like, you want to play a member of race X or class Y, when the GM would rather not have race X or class Y in the setting at all), you are a 'special snowflake' worthy of ridicule and all selfish and entitled and whatever!
Eh. Make a character to fit the game, you're a bad person. Don't make a person to fit the game, you're still a bad person.
Roll on with your bad person-ness and enjoy the game.
Vanulf Wulfson wrote:
I think he was still referring to Early's co-star from Common Law, who was indeed the blink-and-you'll-miss-him bridge dude on the helicarrier.
I think he was the only SHIELD person on the Helicarrier bridge (or the entire helicarrier, come to think of it) who had a speaking line apart from Fury and Hill.
Ooh, a second page! Thanks Freehold DM!
39. Life, Without End A portal to the positive energy plane permeates this area. All living creatures heal unnaturally fast (fast healing equal to your Hit Dice), and objects crafted of once living material (such as wood, bone or hide) return to life, in a fashion, as your leather armor ripples on your flesh, and reacts to the touch, and your wooden weapon hafts sprout buds. Most disquieting is the dried rations within your pack, some of which, breads and grains and dried fruit, simply become fresher and more flavorful, others of which, cuts of jerked meat, begin to twitch and move about, as you bring them to your mouth...
Ivan Rûski wrote:
Wars have been started for less!
No true dwarf (tm) drinks aught but mead.
And sipping? No. Chugging, pouring and shotgunning are the accepted means of imbibement, with the odd exception for bodyshots off of an elven lasses tummy.
Sara Marie wrote:
I can't decide if I like this one or the first better.
Cute little fiery elemental / demon dude he's conjuring up makes all the difference. As often happens with fantasy art, it makes me want to write up a spell that could do that. (As I don't think there's anything on the Magus list that creates little winged fire demon dudes and chucks 'em at people.)
Dude should be wearing a mithril shirt, 'though. Isn't that standard Magus-wear?
I blame chainmail for being a pain to draw. :)
(Same with Alhazra. Why not use that armor proficiency, chica? Not that you aren't dressed fabulously for a blind woman, but still, no use wasting a revelation to have magic armor for a small fraction of your work day, when you could just shell out pocket change for some jangly metal protection, or even a nice white dragonhide breastplate, to keep your core cool in those warm climates.)
The one thing I do not want to see is a list of really cool monsters and animals and then not being able to summon any of them. As far as I can tell very few monsters have been added to the summon monster/nature's ally list. I would love to see a list in the back of monsters that can be summoned and at what level. I would almost be willing to kill for that.
Agreed. I'd love for there to be at least two options for each alignment (CEGL), and a few neutral ones (elementals, etc.) for each level of summon monster, and for all the templated animals to be removed. I don't find the idea that the heavens or hells are populated by cetes of heavenly badgers or pods of infernal porpoises all that compelling.
And when it gets up there in summon monster levels, and you've got resolute/examplar tyrannosaurs apparently wandering around the city of Axis, and anarchic/entropic giant squid splorping around the Maelstrom, it gets pretty surreal.
With the change from 3.5 to PF, and the celestial / fiendish templates no longer granting an alignment, it's even more weird, as the 'good' and 'evil' planes are now heavily populated with non-good and non-evil creatures.
37. And Graves Give Up Their Dead The village lies in a mountain valley, and as you arrive, the sun has yet to crest the mountain side, casting the sleepy community in shadow. On the slope you cross, a small graveyard covers a field, and upon every grave, a body rests, above ground, some little more than rags and bones, others only years old. One in particular, a young woman, seems almost pristine, and lies upon freshly turned earth, her headstone revealing that she died only the day before. The other graves show no sign of disturbance, other than the occupants of their graves lying peacefully atop the earth, instead of deep within it. The sun crests the rise and the bodies disappear, as if sucked back into their graves, leaving no trace of their unnatural appearance, although the body of the young woman, who you now note has bloodied hands, marring her otherwise pristine form, awakens and screams before disappearing.
If the party digs up that grave, she was buried alive last night, thought to be dead after a bad reaction to a mushroom she ate, and through some unnatural circumstance, is alive still, but will suffocate shortly if not saved!
It did seem weird that someone trapped interspatially would just vanish if they 'let go of the girl.'
For an actual supernatural ghost resolving their past life issues that have them lingering between the world of the living and their afterlife, that's a tried and true method of dealing with stuff and helping them move on.
For a living dude trapped in some sort of quantum dimensional whoziwhatsit, I wouldn't have thought 'letting the girl go' would be any more or less relevant than lighting candles, drawing a pentagram and chanting in Latin...
In other news, both May and Agent Jawbone seemed inhumanly perfect at everything, and their fling might be the thing to humanize them a bit.
36. Sinister Drums The crack of the thunderstone caused the noise of the battle to be shorn away, leaving you feeling like you've been thrust into another world, where the melee around you is but an illusion, and the only sound is a strange rushing roar, that sounds like a waterfall, but is only the sound of the blood rushing through arteries near your ears. You quickly notice that you can not only hear your own heartbeat, but also those of everyone else, mixed into a strange discordant rhythm, or, more precisely, two warring rhythms, with your allies heartbeats forming a hopeful familiar pattern of beats, and your foes, a more desperate sinister symphony. The second 'song' grows dimmer as foes fall, until they have all been slain, or fled the scene. And yet, a single discordant beat remains, even though no one stands save your travelling companions. You turn to try and find out where this lone discordant beat is coming from, but your hearing returns, and you lose the ability to perceive it, only having determined that it came from one of your company...
In a world now overflowing with speech and laughter and other mundane sounds, drowning out your brief moment of perception, you are left to wonder, which of your trusted friends is not as they seem, and has a heart that beats to a sinister drum?
Free channel smite sort of deal, only with the favored weapon? That could be funky.
I'd definitely hope that the warpriests stuck with daggers and quarterstaves as their favored weapons (followers of Pharasma, Nethys, etc.) get something to make them competitive with those who get fun weapons like longbows (Erastil) or whatever.
Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
So the iconic ranger shouldn't use an axe and a crossbow (not traditional), be a dwarf (very not traditional), or be a dwarf that drinks tea instead of ale (practically heresy!)?
And the iconic fighter shouldn't use two-weapon fighting?
And the iconic cleric shouldn't carry a scimitar?
The 'iconics' have been quirky (and tarred and feathered for making un-optimal choices, in some circles) from the get-go.
Indeed, it could be said that, in Golarion, 'iconic' is *not* the same as 'traditional,' 'cause this isn't your grandpa's setting, where dwarves can only be fighters or clerics (and therefore the only dwarven iconics will be Tordek and Eberk), and, of course, the half-orc is a barbarian, because they aren't smart enough to be anything else, and obviously the iconic thief is a Halfling, because they aren't good at anything else.
[threadjack] If Charisma is where *currently* the two camps meet, and there is already the arcane Scarred Witchdoctor that uses Constitution, I've just realised a Divinely imbued "Vessel/Avatar/Godscion" is the perfect design space to make a Constitution-based divine Caster - mapping the demands of the divine energy to the caster's endurance and vitality. Aaaand, on that note, a Summoner that uses Con is also a nifty idea. Runs off to Homebrew sub-forums...[/threadjack]
The Con-based caster would likely tap into their own life-energies, and learn to tap into / manipulate them, to buff them, debuff them, heal them, harm them, etc. With advanced training, they'd learn to link up to others and mess with their life-energies...
A Strength based 'force mage' that is all about building up and storing kinetic energy within himself to use later to generate forceful ranged strikes (or telekinetic effects), or deflect incoming attacks, could also be fun. One part graceful martial artist, doing his morning kata and flowing dance-like exercises to charge up his battery of kinetic energy, striking walls or boards over and over, and, instead of breaking them, just storing the impact energy, his fist seeming to stop soundlessly when it strikes his practice tools, one part mage, just a leetle dash of jedi.
A Dexterity based mage could be all about time manipulation, as Dexterity is the score that best reflects an individuals interface with the dimension of time.
I'll use dark or bleak if it fits the theme (my Freeport game had the PCs bust up a child-slavery ring, for instance), but the example sounds kind of weird to me, because you've got people who are, in theory, kind of greedy (willing to sell people for cash) and selfish (willing to buy people for cash), who are killing their hard-won slaves *to mess with other people's heads.*
That doesn't really make a lick of sense, to me.
Evil 'for the lulz' may exist, but it isn't the sort of evil that could run a slave market or, indeed, any sort of business venture. Running a business, one needs to turn a profit, not petulantly destroy your own wares to spite potential customers or annoy individuals who find your business practices objectionable. I go to Home Goods, and there's not a dude in front of me in the aisle, "Quick, buy this lamp or Imma smash it!" <Smash!> "Too late! Quick, buy this carpet before I set it on fire!" Similarly, I walk into a butcher's shop, and I don't expect to see owner shoving all the bacon into his mouth in an attempt to offend any potential vegetarians, Jews or Moslems in the place.
And if there is, I know that I've wandered into a universe that functions on Joker-logic...
I don't find the scenario where the owners of a slave market might kill anyone that doesn't sell after a few days to be more cost-effective than feeding them to be all that shocking (getting rid of / removing from the shelves 'inventory' that doesn't sell is a time-honored business practice, after all), but the manner in which it occurred seems to be purely meta, to shock the players, and therefore, not so much 'morally offensive' as 'implausible, dragging people out of the game and making it feel more obviously like something the GM is doing to affect the players, and not an organic part of the game.'
Instead of the on-stage executions, a slower-dawning horror, perhaps even more horrible for its banality, would be for the party to leave the area to find a cart with some human bodies stacked on it, of elderly people or ugly people or whatever, and to hear one guard tossing a body on the cart complaining about having to get rid of the 'merchandise' that didn't sell (not complaining about the morality, just annoyed that he has to drag these bodies out and throw them on the cart). Same thing, just as evil and monstrous, but not 'staged' to specifically annoy the players (and, from a business standpoint, less likely to drive away potential customers!).
34. Shadow War Old bones and corroded gear litter the floor of this ancient chamber, crunching underfoot. Four braziers ignite, one at the center of each of the rooms four walls, and you quickly see that the shadows you cast from their light begin to replay some ancient conflict, sliding across the walls to attack one another.
For each shadow that 'falls' to this conflict, the person casting that shadow suffers harm, as the 'wound' that appeared to lay that shadow low appears on their body. By extinguishing the braziers, you can end this 'war' early (suffering no harm for shadows 'extinguished' along with their light source) until the room is only lit by whatever light sources you brought with you, and only your original shadows remain.
[Alternately, the room has a brazier lit with continual flame behind a spear-wielding statue of a Greco-Roman soldier. A large greater shadow attacks with an incorporeal longspear (that conducts the greater shadows touch attack, rather than doing any damage on its own), anchored to the base of the statue, but able to reach the entire room. The shadow is hard to hurt, but extinguishing the flame behind the statue causes it to disperse, as does destroying the statue itself. But that's less of a 'freaky occurence' and more of a standard encounter...]
A book of players options themed around a particular area or sub-setting;
So, one for Osirion or Hamunaptra or Mulhorand or 'fantasy Egypt' would have some 'Egypt-y' options for Clerics, Druids, Fighters, Rogues, Fighters, Paladins, etc. (all 11 core classes, plus a few others, that seem particularly appropriate). The cleric section might have some particularly appropriate sub-Domains, the Druid section some desert-friendly animal companions, the Fighter section some weapons, armor and / or feats, etc. Each class would have at least 1 page of options, to 'flavor them up' for this sort of campaign.
The next book in the line would do the same thing all over again, but have a 'fantasy Persia' or 'fantasy Araby' vibe, and be suitable for use in Casmaron/Greater Kel, Qadira, Al-Qadim/Zakhara, Calimshan, etc.
Or 'fantasy India' for a Vudra or Naranjan, etc. set campaign. Again, at least a page of options for all eleven core 'base classes,' plus maybe some options for others that seem appropriate (like appropriate Witch hexes or a reincarnation / Karma / ancestry based Oracle mystery, etc.).
Or 'fantasy Africa,' for a Nyambe or Mwangi set campaign.
A fair number of SGG products have been fairly tightly themed towards one class (specialist wizard school expansions, for instance, or the Talented X line), and these might be less obvious immediate buys for fans of one class over another (having one or pages devoted to every class), but serve instead to allow one to put some regional flavor into a character of *any* class.
The same sort of deal could be done with a book on racial flavor. A book with a page each dedicated to options to flavor / theme an elven or dwarven cleric, or druid, or rogue, or fighter, to make them 'elf-y-er' than a sorcerer who just happens to be an elf, or 'dwarfier' than a ranger who happens to be a dwarf, etc., could be neat. While a 'complete book of dwarves' might focus heavily on the more intuitive dwarven divine casters and warriors, this more even spread would have just as many pages devoted to options for less intuitive or optimal or 'classical' choices, like dwarven wizards, or elven barbarians, or Halfling monks.
You could also pick a race that seems less likely to get official support in this fashion, and go nuts with it. The tengu still has plenty of 'design space' left to it, for instance. A book with some tengu specific options for every class could be neat, since a lot of races tend to get pigeonholed around whatever classes their attributes and racial features make them 'best' at.
Human ethnicities and regional class variants would probably get too Golarion specific, although an entire book of Shoanti or Varisian class options would certainly be neat, so perhaps best to stick to more generic regions like 'fantasy Persia/Araby' which can apply not just to Qadira and Kel, but also to Ekbir, Tusmit, Zeif, al-Wazif, al-Haz, Zakhara, Calimshan, etc.
Taking a step past tattoos into ritual scarification, could be one way to differentiate them from the plethora of Golarion cultures that already embrace tattoos (such as Varisians and Shoanti).
Poke some holes, smear in some ash, and you've got neat dark bumps and perhaps lines, forming whatever designs fit the theme. Make it ash from a prey creature, or a humanoid, or even an ancestor, and there could be a little necromantic resonance there, with the 'magic scar' made from the ash of prey target (animal, humanoid, whatever) being able to be invoked to grant a short term weak variation on a favored enemy bonus by tying the scar-bearers spirit to that of the creature type that provided the ash, giving them some mild insights.
Weak versions would have no such effect, merely serving as a necessary focus for a shaman to use actual magic to place a similar effect on someone with a spell or class ability (or by 'awakening' the scar with real magic ash he's created via Craft Wondrous Item). More powerful versions, made by those same shamen, would be 'wondrous items' themselves and activate-able by the scar-bearer, perhaps once (and needing to be recharged by the shaman, with costs similar to a potion), or multiple times, for a more expensive treatment (reserved for chieftains and the like).
Instead of a necromantic effect, a different effect could be transmutation based, and, instead of bonuses to attack / understand a creature, the scarred warrior might gain bonuses similar to those of the creature itself (a la Beast Shape), using the ash of the creature within the scars as a focus (or the bits of antler, talon or fang piercing his skin, etc. in any case inserting some of a creature type into his flesh to absorb it's properties).
Mythic D/s couple waiting to happen right there. But besides that, it's got to make for some interesting dynamics. Like say an already-involved couple goes Mythic. One of them begins the process of their apotheosis wtih Divine Source, and the other turns to their worship in order to remain close as they move further away from mortality and mortal perspectives(or to keep them anchored to it).
Power dynamics in relationships can already be a romance-killer, even when the 'power dynamic' is just that party A is richer or smarter or more famous than party B, I could see it going to a whole new level if one is successfully climbing the ladder to divinity, and the other... not so much...
That could lead to not worship, but resentment, with the partner beginning to passively, and then actively, work against their lovers ascension, perhaps starting with whisper campaigns that fragment whatever fledgling faith is sprouting up to actual violent action against them or their followers, to try and bring back the person they remember (or punish them for 'forgetting about me in your mad rush for power'), and not the quasi-deity they are in the process of becoming.
Or, a failed attempt at trying to 'catch up' or 'be worthy' or 'remain equal,' by taking the Test of the Starstone, or some other very risky means of personal apotheosis, leading to the lover becoming a mindless god-thing, spat out the other side of the Starstone powerful, but utterly mad, or having attained some Mythic levels through unwise dealings with wicked wish-granting genies, capricious fey or ye olde infernal pacts.
"Sign right here. (The blood does not have to be your own. In fact, I rather insist that it isn't...) You shall indeed be made the equal of your mythic lover."
"Equal, I say."
"The 'Opposite and' is implied."
Cthulhu Kid wrote:
28. Sleep Tight
Ew! Love it!
29. Home, Under the Sea
Moments later, the water clears, and your reflection returns, although the eyes are oddly dark, like those of a shark...
Cori Marie wrote:
Why wouldn't they be able to? The iconics may appear in Core books, but they are Golarion characters. Seelah's Garundi, Kyra's Kelish, Amiri's Kellid.
Which makes the notion that Iconics can't be Golarion-specific (non-human) races, like Gillmen or Androids or Suli, let alone Bestiary races like Aasimar or Tengu, kind of suspect.
Anywho, definitely would like to see an Ulfen or Mwangi or Osirioni (in traditional faux-Egyptian dress) iconic.
What I really can't see him doing is the usual god schtick of delivering messages through dreams or visions or the classic burning bush stuff.
Cayden's omens and portents and warnings to his followers might come in the form of fortuitous happenstances like bumping into the exact person who knows what you need to hear (and is also drunk enough to blurt out what you need to hear), spontaneous outbursts of information during drunken rambles that contain useful information, terrible hangovers, liver failure and waking up in strange places next to satisfied-looking goblins of indeterminate gender.
As for falling in love with your god(dess), I'd imagine that many young elves fall in love (or lust) with Calistria, to some degree, and that's regarded as a phase among her clergy.
'Count Vertigo' veered from almost entertaining me this episode with his hamming it up to going over the top for me. Looks like Ollie will be facing his first superhuman-ish threats, if Brother Blood's 'strong' recruits are any indication.
And perhaps the first hints of Thea's 'Speedy' nickname being more than a shout out begin, with her starting to get her punch on.
Daeron Lareththor wrote:
And as always, Set manages to knock the RP out of the ballpark. Quit making the rest of us (or at least me) look bad. :P
Thanks. It felt appropriate as Garands heavy focus on finding a family, his selection of the god of community and family as a patron, and the possibility of Ameiko having to raise a child without a father.
Enough to pointedly email only them over everyone else who has signed up for their site.
Emailing everyone who has signed up for their site would probably constitute spam, since not everyone who has ever signed up for this site plays Pathfinder, or *still* plays Pathfinder, or even *ever* played Pathfinder.
(Tons of people, for instance, were registered before there ever was a Pathfinder, back when Paizo ran Dungeon and Dragon, and would have zero interest in some playtest for some game they never transitioned into.)
Many of us who have signed up for PFS, on the other hand, even those, like me, who have never *played* PFS, have invited them to send us email on various subjects, which they, unlike some other companies, don't abuse with weekly or even daily spam.
I've also noticed that. I wouldn't mind so much if it was Thea or Moira or Felicity or Laurel, but when Shado or Sara or otherwise butt-kicking non-damsel-y ladies need to be rescued (like the military / agent woman from this last one), it gets annoying.
Shado, recently, having to be rescued by Ollie, just annoyed me, because even after his toughening up, she still seems to be above his level, and the one who should be rescuing him.
Then again, Roy and (last season) Tommy seem to have been 'the damsel' a fair bit of the time as well (so much so that Tommy even got to play the traditional female role of being the one who dies to set the hero on a new course, so that their characters death is reduced to 'how did it affect the main characters arc?'). :)
Still, regardless of gender. Too many damsels. I don't care if it's Tommy or Laurel or Shado or Willow and Xander, I don't really like anyone bumbling into danger and needing to be rescued, as if 'hostage' is tattooed on their bum.
Magician is a book that I read probably once a year.
Not quite that much, but yeah, way too much.
There are scenes I start to get all verklempt before I even get to them. (The scene where Tomas is about to kill the slave always gets me, and Pug losing it at the Great Games.)
1) Mite Driders! The upper half of a mite, the bottom half of a size Small giant spider! (Bottom half of a small giant centipede or scorpion or wasp, for variety, or to avoid some grognard wrecking the mood by breaking into the Knight Rider theme song.) Normal mites and giant bugs of the appropriate sort work along side these deformed hybrid monstrosities.
2) A crazed alchemist died ages ago, and the town kind of forgot about him, but some idiot thief broke into his boarded up 'laboratory' and disturbed what should have been left undisturbed. People are disappearing, and it's because a couple of 'free range' homunculi have decided to kidnap people and try to perform various improbable experiments on them to restore life to their dead master. In addition to the homunculi, threats in the lab include 'alchemical golems' that consist of 1 HD animated objects with properties based on the sunrods, thunderstones, tanglefoot bags, alchemical fire or acid that they were created from.
3) A hooded figure approaches the party from a dark alleyway, seeking their help. The figure is a tengu, and the town have recently been whipped into a frenzy by a crazed bird-man sending trained crows to attack and steal from passersby. The actual enemy is a lone dire corby, more insane than usual, who believes that the ravens he is training are his children (or contain the souls of his ancestors, or something, he's not terribly consistent on this point...). He can't fly, but has a magic ring that adds 10 ft. to the height or distance of any jump (before the results of any Acrobatics roll) and subtracts 10 ft. from the height of any fall before calculating damage (again, before the results of any Acrobatics roll), allowing him to make incredible jumps and drop from great heights with little fear of being killed. Combined with his use of alchemical fire and smokesticks, and trained ravens, he has the local community in a conniption, as 'Spring-Heeled Jack' continues his reign of terror.
The tengu will reward adventurers bringing this dire corby to justice (and clearing the name of local tengu, persecuted for his actions) with training in any languages or sword proficiencies they wish, as well as the gratitude of their small racial community.
Toughness synergizes well with the shield other spell if you make use of that on your Paladin (or other tank type).
If you can use Craft Wondrous Item to halve the cost of your headbands of wisdom/charisma, cloaks of resistance, phylacteries of channeling, amulets of natural armor, ioun stones, etc. you are going a long way towards making that feat pay for itself.
I've never regretted Improved Initiative (although it's exponentially better if you have minions, such as commanded undead or Leadership cohorts or summoned critters or planar allies or one of those domains like Animal that gives you a companion or a(n Improved) familiar from Eldritch Heritage, since they go on your turn, and you've essentially just added +4 to their initiative as well).
Leadership, if the GM allows it, can always be handy. A 7th level class X (with X being whatever the hell you want it to be!) can fit into any party. In the case of a cleric of Nethys, a 7th level Wizard would fit the bill nicely.
Crazy dwarf (gnome, whatever) snuck into a giant ant warren below the city and has covered itself with giant ant gunk and tricked the giant ants into thinking that it's another giant ant. Using these tricks, it has the giant ants 'trained' to follow it around and attack foes it's marked with thrown pheromone bombs.
Giant ants are a terribly under-used 1st level foe, compared to goblins, kobolds, skeletons and zombies, and are creepy and fun and can, used properly, even have a bit of an Aliens vibe.
When you shoot a dragon in this kind of movie, it's breath weapon builds up inside of it and explodes all over the place.
Same thing when you have climbed up on a dragon and stabbed it and it fell out of the sky and crashed into the ground and exploded, as you attempt to roll to safety.
It's a rule. Dragons always explode.
Demons, too, for different reasons. Kill one and everyone in 30 ft. is all covered in green steaming demon splooge. It's like staking a vampire in True Blood, or a Gallagher concert. The first three rows will get wet.
Loved Magician, and then the rest of the first trilogy got a little too 'high level' for my tastes. I've got three copies of that first book, two in trade paperback (both held together by scotch tape, they've been read so much) and a hardcover I loan out to people whom I don't expect to return it (and yet it keeps coming back...).
Then there was Daughter of Empire, etc. which were *amazing.* The completely non-epic nature of the protagonist was incredible, and I loved how political and intrigue-y it got.
Pretty much everything I've read by Feist after that was not really my cup of tea. Any new characters introduced, even *decades later,* always seemed to be living in the shadows of the old immortal super-powered people from the first books, and the fact that they kept dying off (while the old immortals kept hanging around, stinking up the place, like cheese that has gone past it's expiration date) didn't do much to change that impression.
If you aren't playing PFS, and your GM is amenable, just use the stats for a Big Cat, and never ever use Pounce or Rake, and describe your 'Big Cat' as being a Jandavian Striped Bear.
If anyone points out that your 'Jandavian Striped Bear' looks exactly like a tiger, just scowl at them and remind them that you are the Druid, and know more about animals than they ever will.
Without using pounce or rake, you'll still have an animal companion that ends up less effective than if you'd just taken a tiger companion, and get to have a 'large bear.'
Some lady once fell from a plane over a mile and wasn't hurt.
*Obviously* this one specific example means that nobody should ever worry about falling damage, ever.
Besmara and Gozreh are both popular local gods, and neutral aligned, so they could easily have clerics capable of channeling positive energy, either to destroy undead normally, or, with a feat, Turn them. Or, as mentioned above, channel negative energy and be able to Command Undead, which is a possibility for both gods' clerics (since they aren't good or evil).
There are also various spells and effects that are extra useful against undead, such as the damage from magic stone spells or walls of fire (both doubled) or searing light (1d6 / level instead of 1d8 / 2 levels) or consecrate, chill touch or command undead (to list off some 1st and 2nd level options). If you look around, you can probably find a couple of spells at each level that have bonus effects against undead (or, like command undead, specifically target them).
Plus holy water. Even a lowly 1st level commoner can fling a vial of that stuff as a ranged touch attack, if need be, and blow up a 1 HD skeleton with a single hit, or a human zombie with a couple of flasks.