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SheepishEidolon's page

1,118 posts. 9 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist.


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Sir_Andrew wrote:
it mentions under weapon finesse that you can use your dex for combat maneuvers like disarm, sunder and trip, because you use your weapon with such checks. most others maneuvers need agile maneuvers to apply dex. but what about dirty tricks? what if my swashbuckler takes a swipe with is rapier(weapon) at his foes eyes to blind them?

Well, a PC could also use a hammer to bull rush a foe, a quarterstaff to reposition them, a sword to drag them etc..

But rewarding player's creativity with mechanical advantages has drawbacks. It favors creative players (who already have an edge at RP) over the others and it can result in creativity feeling like a must (during a tough encounter) - which makes it stop being fun.

So I'd rule 'No, get Agile Maneuvers for all these standard action* maneuvers.'.

* I mean the default action cost, feats etc. can of course reduce it sometimes.

Well, the reminder has some merits for GMs. When you close to CR 20, some monsters have a BAB beyond 20. Humbaba from Bestiary 3 is CR 19, with BAB 22. Skipping the fifth (etc.) attack speeds up combat a bit, so it's welcome at high level.

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Jynnjun wrote:
Mike Schneider wrote:
Human rogues trying to do a halfling's job and failing miserably are an embarrassment to the profession.
Halflings? The poor dears don't even have low light vision, let alone darkvision. No, halflings aren't the best rogues despite Bilbo's history.

The missing darkvision is an issue, but otherwise halflings are quite focused on making up some of a rogue's weaknesses (AB, AC, saves) and improving some of their strengths (Acrobatics, Perception, Stealth).

Ideas how to deal with missing darkvision:

300g darkvision potion, lasts 3 hours
5,000g permanency on darkvision, needs CL 10 though (and can be dispelled)
12,000g Goggles of Night (60 feet)
14,900g Belt of Dwarvenkind (60 feet, various other bonuses including +2 Con, only if you don't mind the occupied belt slot)
20,000g Darkland Goggles (120 feet, and +4 Perception)

Or hope for a wizard / alchemist in the party who can cast it on you. After all, you are risking your b*** for them when scouting, right?

As long as you don't sneak around, a good old light spell suffices anyway.

Malik Gyan Daumantas wrote:

Standard bard


Cons:Little to no combat capabilities on their own least not compared to others and thus very team reliant.

A bard qualifies for Arcane Strike, a feat which provides slightly more damage (per hit) than weapon training or rage. At the moment I don't see much a bard could do otherwise with their swift action.

Since you have solid Cha anyway and might not mind Skill Focus, you qualify for Eldritch Heritage. Abyssal bloodline seems perfect: At level 3 you gain 2 claws which make good use of your high damage bonuses per hit - and circumvent both the Dex requirements for TWF and your rather lousy weapon proficiencies. Getting a bite attack from a ring of rat fangs doesn't hurt. Improved Eldritch Heritage comes late (level 11), but boosts your Str over the course of levels.

Raging Blood is another small boost with its +2 Str & Con - and its second pool of claw rounds. If you go for Eldritch Heritage anyway, there is no additional cost in picking it up. Alternatively you can go for the rage spell - no feat spent, but needs a standard action to cast it.

Since this is feat intense (especially at low level), pick your race carefully. Human is one option, consider Focused Study to exchange the bonus feat for three instances of Skill Focus. Half-elf comes with Skill Focus. If you prefer another race, you can delay Arcane Strike.

Quick level breakdown:

1: Skill Focus (Knowledge: Planes), Arcane Strike
3: Eldritch Heritage
5: Raging Blood ?
7: ...
9: ...
11: Improved Eldritch Heritage

Cunning Killer and Know Weakness give you situational bonuses for identifying a creature, might be worth it or not.

Would all your players actually appreciate such an offer? Because it's quite some work to dig through all these options and make decisions. I am pretty sure 3 of my 5 players would prefer a ready-to-go race, and the other 2 would only do the work to squeeze out some additional power, not because of fun.

Terminalmancer wrote:
I know Paizo really appreciates reviews. There's no reason to say I can review the pawns and you cannot. If you have or will get a set of them, write a review!

No worries, I already planned to get the collection and review it. Getting different reviews is not only helpful for Paizo but also for other customers.

If you are going to suggest ways to possibly make use of the pawns, specifics would be helpful, though. When some of us complain that Paizo has removed all information that we could use to easily sort the pawns, saying that we could use "other" criteria is not as helpful as pointing out some specific criteria we could be using to sort with. Since there's no text associated with any of the new pawns, I'm not sure what that would be--but if you have a good idea I may very well adopt it!

Personally I use only race and gender to sort PC / NPC pawns.

Race: Half-orcs and half-elves are simply added to their orc / elf parents, that saves me from staring at tiny ears for hours respective from analyzing the green hue of the skin. If I can't figure out the race, there is a special pile for such pawns. Sometimes you might want to have an NPC where the race is a mystery - so the pile can be useful. But it's actually rare for a pawn to end up there.

Gender: This one is usually clear, just elves can sometimes give you a headache. In doubt I'd simply assume it's male, since I need slightly more male pawns for both players and NPCs. Alternatively you could go for a separate 'ambiguous gender' pile for this race - or throw it on the general 'ambiguous race' pile.

Alternative: You can also take a pen and add both a name and number you find fitting. Or let your players do it, if they enjoy it.

I personally have no stake in this. Both ways work fine for my collection, I just wanted to point out how to possibly still make good use of these pawns.

Given the replies and reviews on the one hand, and Paizo's usual customer monitoring on the other, I guess this will be an one-time thing anyway.

avr wrote:
Some of the combat maneuvers are decidedly suboptimal to invest in. Reposition, drag and steal mainly

Yeah, these aren't easy. I will give it a shot:

Reposition and drag basically do the same: Put the foe at a less favorable place (for them). Reposition is more flexible when it comes to your and their initial position, but handicapped by the 'no dangerous target space' clause. However, the latter can be fixed with the Tactical Reposition feat. Drag is especially good if you move into an area that is no problem for you, but for your foe: Down a cliff when you can fly but they can't, into lava when you are fire resistant, into darkness when you can easily see there etc..

Less favorable places can include putting them into flanking, out of reach (especially if the party has a reach advantage) or into a hazard created by the party (e.g. wall of fire).

Steal is a tougher story. If I played with a GM who tends to say 'NO' to everything, I wouldn't bother. It might be most useful against full casters: Steal their component pouches, holy symbols, scrolls, wands and rods. Martials and especially alchemists might have potions with them, at least. Stealing such things has double benefits: They can't use it and you can - maybe even in the same battle.

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Hmm, the absence of names is surprising, but might have some merits: It will be more the PC's (NPC's) exclusive pawn, with no name pointing to another person. If you want, you can even add a custom name.

For the people who usually sort by name: Maybe keep these pawns separate, sort them by other criteria only. Technically you can add names and / or numbers to relevant pawns, but I get it's quite some effort.

Lady-J wrote:
everything that's in the books including templates and bestiary races are available for player use and if they are banned for players they should be banned for the gm to use as well

Your table can of course handle this that way, but:

Bestiary wrote:
A template is a set of rules that you apply to a monster to transform it into a different monster.

And the definition of monster only has a small loophole (marked in italics):

CRB wrote:
Monster: Monsters are creatures that rely on racial Hit Dice instead of class levels for their powers and abilities (although some possess class levels as well). PCs are usually not monsters.

You could have both:

1) Let the boss talk to them, urging them to go.
2) If they don't, the boss attacks for one round, then retreats to a safe spot (as safe as possible, at least).
3) Let him talk again, this time slightly open to discussion. But combat for another round is pretty inevitable...

Repeat until it's settled either way, with the Diplomacy (or Bluff or Intimidate) DC dropping after each fight. The boss needs serious defenses to increase chances for a long conflict: Freedom of movement, flight, dimension door, mirror images, spell turning, healing etc.. Not necessary by his own powers, some abilities could stem from magic items.

When it comes to offensive, he should probably focus on a mix of disabling spells (Hold Person, Fear etc.) and blasting spells (Fireball etc.). Both categories are menacing - but actually are not that dangerous.

It's weird that seeing invisible helps against blinking foes, but Blind-Fight does not. However, as written Blind-Fight has completely no benefit against a blinking creature, as Saethori said.

Giant template is more handy for GMs because it's always the same bonuses, no matter what the initial (and target) size is. It's roughly an average of the different lines, even though each line is significantly different from the template.

So it depends on what you want. If you want just a fast, limited power-up for a creature, giant template is relatively useful (though the little size modifiers to AC, AB etc. can be a pain). But if you plan to turn a creature into a much bigger one, you probably want to deal with increasing HD significantly and then use the size table.

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Shinigami02 wrote:
It's a shame Cecaelias are such a high RP value, my group barely lets people play Aasimar for their RP value so there's no way I'll get away with 23 much of ever.

Would your group accept a weaker version? Given the RP values are given here, you could cut three abilities or so, to get down to something like 15 RP.

Fromper wrote:
Or did you mean using magic staves, rather than quarterstaves as a weapon?

Yes, but I'd consider using them as melee weapons as one step into making them useful.

A few proposals to increase difficulty, without too much effort:

1) Add +2 to any d20 roll and to AC (and CMD, if relevant).
2) Double the amount of minions.
3) Place foes in a smart way - choke points, difficult terrain and hiding can all work in their favor.

Introduce these changes slowly and see how it works out - applying all three at once might result in a TPK.

Probably the best way to make experienced players sweat is: Surprise them. Appearantly mundane creatures which suddenly have devastating powers, harmless environment turning against them or NPCs coming up with an elaborate intrigue - it all boils down to catching players on the wrong foot.

That needs more effort than the proposals above, though. You can add creatures from the bestiaries that make sense for the encounter - but are significantly different from the others. For example a pet magical beast for the caster. Further there are numerous templates to make encounters unique. And finally, sometimes you can simply change foes' appearance so they have to figure out what they face.

Blymurkla wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
But you still need a fitting item (maybe have to skip another helpful one in favor of it), you spend a feat on it

The Iron Caster build ignores those two problems. Martial versatility (through dip in Brawler or one of a few archetypes) or the Barrom brawler feat means you don't have to spend your feat slots on niched Item mastery feats that becomes obsolet when you level. Advanced Weapon Training Item Mastery means you can use any magic weapon.

This guide can tell you more about it, but it, like me, has missed the rule that Ascalaphus quotes.

Hmm, that's a good point. These builds shine at level 5 or 6, for little cost. Fighter (weapon master) 4 with a level 1 dip in brawler seems like the most straight forward choice, sacrificing just a bit of fighter progression.

A GM might decide that activating an item costs an use of Martial Flexibility, as for combat feats (which Advanced Combat Training is, while the item mastery feats are not). Then you are suddenly down from 4 uses/day to 2, at level 5. Increasing the uses per day of Martial Flexibility is expensive, and any increment will be reduced by this double-taxing.

Blymurkla wrote:
As you can imagine, that can give some weird results. With the right (or wrong) multiclassing, a single save can sky-rocket while the other saves and/or your BAB stays low. You can also do some shenanigans, like gaining early access to item mastery feats like this one. I think it's a bit cheesy (though I suppose many disagree).

The Dimension Door one is an extreme example - the Fortitude requirement is high and even-numbered, making multiclassing extremely helpful here. And (I think) it's the only level 4 spell you can acquire with base Fortitude 6.

Yes, it's cheesy: You are tough as bones due to your mixed experiences, so you can force magic items to do your bidding? Hmm. But you still need a fitting item (maybe have to skip another helpful one in favor of it), you spend a feat on it, most item mastery feats don't scale that well and the necessary multiclassing has the tendency to backfire (unless you are very careful).

So as a GM I wouldn't see a problem here, rather the chance for a new way to develop PCs.

avr wrote:
Mister Cavern is what one Czech roleplaying game calls the GM. It gets used on an odd, hostile gaming forum called The Gaming Den (

Wow, I started reading a random thread there... And it's so toxic that the most vicious threads here feel like pink unicorns playing with fairies, in comparison. If someone feels the urge to give me a 'Welcome to the Internet', do so...

To get back on topic, I collected some non-class related options which I'd consider tough to pull:

Splash weapons (without bomb class feature)
Offensive use of diseases

Mashallah wrote:
The Brute Vigilante archetype is the only tier 7 class in the game, so that might also be an interesting option for a gimped character.

Hmm, I gave it a try, at least theoretically.

The brute is amazingly unpopular in this forum, and given the impressive amounts of drawbacks that's understandable.

I will try a systematic approach to find build paths in his favor.

Mitigate drawbacks:


* Only Fort as strong save: Try to compensate with items and feats
* No medium armor proficiency: Go for reach weapons
* No martial weapon proficiency: Go for unarmed or longspear (reach 15 and 20 when Large!)

Brute form
* No size bonus on Str & Con: Don't go toe on toe with the enemy
* Typical -1 AB from Large: Not much you can do here
* -2 penalty on AC & Cha / Dex / Int skill checks: Again, don't wade directly into battle (especially since Large adds -1 AC also)
* Can't use most Cha / Dex / Int skills anyway: Don't build around them (e.g. feint makes no sense here, unless via Intimidate); keep in mind what still works (Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, Ride)
* Spellcasting doesn't work: Don't multiclass with a caster
* Combat start forces him into brute form unless Will save: Plan to go brute form in combat anyway
* Flat-footed during transformation, needs a full-round: Don't be the first who meets the enemy (see above)
* When all foes are down, will attack allies unless Will save: Drop your weapon when battle is going to finish (and don't go the unarmed route) or use just weapons with nonlethal damage (unless foes are immune)
* Only 3/4 BAB counts to qualify for feats etc.: Don't plan for high BAB stuff like Stunning Critical
* Mundane clothes and armor get destroyed: Buy some cheap replacements - becomes cheaper if you don't use much clothing outside of settlements
* Magic weapons and armor don't grow with you (initially): Pick up Sizing Equipment at level 2
* Fatigued / exhausted after getting into social identity, with no chance to shorten the time: Estimate whether next battle will be soon (also ask your scout in the group) - if yes, stay in brute form

Make use of bonuses:


Archetype specific
* Untyped size increase: Depending on the GM, you might be allowed to add Enlarge Person on top of brute form
* Increased reach: Focus on AOOs (no Dex penalty for Combat Reflexes, after all) and / or on maneuvers
* +1 to CMB from size: Consider a focus on maneuvers
* Full BAB progression for attacks: Use Power Attack
* Bonus to melee attack & damage rolls: Go melee
* Heavy Punches: Better unarmed damage than a Medium sized monk, but you have to get relatively close and can't disarm yourself before combat end
* Scale Surroundings at level 4: Climb speed 30 is neat, whether you want to jump down on enemies or help your friends to get up somewhere; remember the +8 to Climb checks from a climb speed and you can always take 10
* Awesome Blow talent at level 8: Push your foes back into longspear reach, down a cliff or away from the (other) squishies
* Total Destruction: Probably the weakest brute vigilante talent, but you can throw some / all friends (depending on your and their size) to a more favorable position, once you hit level 8
* Tear Them Apart at level 20: Might be the strongest rend effect a PC can acquire, at this level it's a nice little bonus when you full-attack anyway

* Social talents for discounts, better Intimidate, Mockingbird etc.
* Expose Weakness: Dirty Trick with reach, to reduce DR / hardness? nice
* Favored Maneuver: Another argument for going maneuvers
* Inspired Vigilante: Be a skill monkey, works rather in social form though
* Lethal Grace: Works well with unarmed and the nonexistant penalty on Dex
* Perfect Fall: Fits to climbing based tactics (Scale Surroundings)
* Perfect Vulnerability: Should be compatible with some maneuvers, e.g. trip or disarm
* Returning Weapon: Consider a throwing build
* Shadow’s Sight: Darkvision never hurts
* Shadow’s Speed: +10 (later: +20) speed are nice for many things, e.g. a longspear user who wants to keep foes on a distance
* Strike the Unseen: Well, you don't have hidden strike, but still you get the three Blind-Fight feats for a single talent
* Sure-Footed: Full speed at Acrobatics and through difficult terrain? Fits well with the speed increase from Shadow’s Speed
* Vital Punishment: Muhaha - deal Large weapon damage on an AOO (which you get a lot with your reach), as bonus, this one is extremely brute-friendly
* Startling / Frightening / Stunning Appearance: You still get these class features, for example after striking from invisibility (ask the friendly little mage on your side)

To summarize: No, the brute is not suited to simply wade into battle and destroy everything. Instead, he does better when attacking from reach, especially if the GM allows Enlarge Person on top of brute form.

Longspear and unarmed seem to be the most obvious weapon choices, both get damage boosts from the size increase, level based bonus and Vital Punishment. The longspear gets special benefits from Power Attack, but you will (more or less) need Sizing Equipment at level 2. Unarmed becomes better by Heavy Punches and Lethal Grace. Consider combining both weapons - longspear for the distance, unarmed if close melee is necessary.

Combat maneuvers profit from the size a bit (+1 CMB and sometimes the reach), also there are some talents around it: Awesome Blow, Favored Maneuver and Expose Weakness. You might have to sacrifice some longspear / unarmed damage for this utility, though.

Your size gives you an occasional edge on Intimidate - you might get the +4 from superior size or avoid the -4 penalty from being smaller. Further, the brute is surprisingly good at climbing, which can be helpful both in combat (jump down on them) and out of it.

Now, probably the brute's biggest problem is attacking his allies. I wouldn't spend too many resources on improving the Will save - rather knock yourself out at the end of battle, with nonlethal unarmed damage. Or forgo the save on a disabling spell (sleep, deep slumber etc.) from an allied caster. Or keep an enemy alive but grappled or pinned or otherwise mostly neutralized. Or run away shortly before the battle ends. Or be a one-person-shock-trooper to begin with. While I don't see any perfect solution for all situations, there are several approaches possible.

A few concepts I find rather hard to pull:

* Rely primarily on bleed damage
* Improvised weapons user
* Performance combatant
* Parry build
* Someone who makes good use out of many racial SLAs and level 0 spells from feats etc.

I guess any of these can be made viable, though.

Mirage Wolf wrote:

Gory Finish (Combat)

(...) If you reduce your target to negative hit points, you can spend a swift action to make an Intimidate check to demoralize all foes within 30 feet who could see your attack.

Hmm, is it actually possible to reduce an object to negative HP?

There is a mostly up-to-date, free to access list at d20PFSRD. Look out for the little source marks at the end of new options, e.g. 'Source: PPC:SpyHB'. An alternative source is Archives of Nethys.

Personally I try to buy books with good options after figuring out the content (and neglect the others), but that's up to you.

Feuerrabe wrote:
Unfortunately the advice for d) (taking another bloodline) clashes with a) (because then the tiefling Fiendish Sorcery trait would not be useful anymore, without which a malus on Cha is devestating)

Fiendish Sorcery works with the Infernal bloodline. While you don't get the spectacular Str boost of Abyssal, a flaming weapon 3/day is a good start, and the bloodline keeps adding nice things. You might want to trade Fiendish Resistance out for Scaled Skin, to get rid of fire resistance and another resistance in favor of +1 natural AC.

And if this Str boost still tempts you, remember that you can go for Improved Eldritch Heritage (abyssal) at level 11.

For a combat rogue it can be still worth it to take Master Craftsman to qualify for Craft Magic Arms and Armor and Craft Wondrous Item. While the lost feat hurts, goodies like the Sword of subtlety (+4 attack and damage for sneak attack) can boost you quite a bit. The skill ranks should be no problem, at least.

My Self wrote:
Is there an objective value to knowing the exact value of a roll before you make it? What are some good uses for knowing your rolls beforehand? What are the pros and cons of certainty? From certain perspectives (Player, GM, writer, etc.) is it more frustrating or helpful? Is it overall a good thing?

Objective value: There is some value, but it depends heavily on the situation. Take 10 on a skill is a straightforward example: If you are sure you'd only fail at a low roll, take 10 has its value. On the other hand, in case you estimate that success will be unlikely (but the attempt still has merits), take 10 has a negative value.

Good uses: I'd want predetermined numbers on encounter deciding rolls, this includes social situations like haggling for a sell price or convincing guards to let us in.

Pros and cons: Beside mechanical considerations (see 'Objective value' paragraph), predetermined numbers both provide a feeling of control but they can turn the game more boring.

Player perspective: It's quite frustrating to see yourself fail on something you think you are good at - disappointment comes from unfulfilled expectations, after all. Predetermined numbers avoid this issue - unless the DC, AC etc. is unusally high.

GM perspective: Here I see frustration when the players predictably waltz through the encounter by taking their predetermined values.

Writer perspective: If these tactics become more common, you have approach encounters differently - make up situations with unpredictable DCs, for instance.

It's a good thing if it supplements rolling - but at least for me it shouldn't replace it.

icehawk333 wrote:
I really wish there were more ways to negate nat 20's rolled agaisnt you.

The Black Cat feat for Catfolk enforces a reroll for your foe, once per day.

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There is the Dimdweller alternate racial trait:

Blood of Shadows wrote:
Whenever characters with this trait benefit from concealment or full concealment due to darkness or dim light, they gain a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate, Perception, and Stealth checks. Humans can take this trait in place of the skilled trait, also gaining darkvision to a range of 60 feet.

Amiros Valeri wrote:

"Pick one spell when you choose this trait. When you apply metamagic feats to this spell that add at least 1 level to the spell, treat its actual level as 1 lower for determining the spell’s final adjusted level."

The wording prevents the merciful spell metamagic feat to be used (as it does not meet the prerequisite of being a metamagic feat that adds at least 1 level to the spell).

If you assume Paizo's current stance (you cannot reduce spell level below original) to be in place for any such option, merciful acid splash etc. is actually possible. Which might even be useful: Slow level progression, an urban campaign and a table prone to disband all favor such low level tricks.

Indagare wrote:
But what if Orcs, Hobgoblins, and Goblins were also standard? Would they even look the same? It seems to me that there's a lot of evil = ugly (not all but enough). So would good orcs actually look the same if, going in, one planned on them being one of the 'good' races?

Good-aligned orcs actually exist on Golarion: In the Belkzen Campaign Setting book two paragraphs were spent on the Burning Sun tribe, led by a warpriest of Sarenrae:

Belkzen, Hold of the Orc Hordes wrote:
While Mahja has moved the tribe’s culture away from wickedness, orc values such as the weak serving the strong are still deeply entrenched among the Burning Suns—though the strong are expected in turn to provide for and defend the weak.

As a GM, I usually stick with the stereotypes. My players are not that experienced, so most things are still new to them, even without modification. And I am not that interested in worldbuilding anyway.

Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Actually, the fact that the Antipaladin has a code they must follow should tell you that the 'Chaotics can't work with a code' is absolutely hogwash.

First, please keep your tone to a reasonable level, even if this is an emotional topic for you. Second, there was no black-and-white statement like 'chaotic characters can't have codes'. The example of a CG cleric works to dismiss the black-and-white statement - if it would have been there. But given that clerics have weaker codes, it doesn't justify a CG paladin on its own.

To rephrase my opinion: I see a conflict between a chaotic alignment and a strict code, not enough to dismiss the combination, but enough to question it.

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Why should a champion of chaos (CG / CN / CE) be bound to a very limiting code of conduct, at all? It might help to spread your deity's will, but the permanent restrictions are a burden a chaotic character is very unlikely to endure.

Antipaladin already had a compromise built into their code: They are free to do (appearant) good and to ally with goodies as long as it serves the greater evil. Now it's debatable whether that's really a 'paladin of CE' (with its weaker code) or whether it's still too restrictive for a CE creature. I would have preferred the antipaladin to be LE in the first place.

A 'paladin of CG' would face the same problem, in my opinion.

Hmm, you could download the free PDF and print whatever seems useful on paper. It's just 20 pages, after all.

Maybe the kineticist is a superior healer - but there are not enough of them around who a) can heal and b) are willing to do that all the time. From the fluff text it's way easier to become an adept or cleric than a kineticist.

Filthy Lucre wrote:
What have you other DMs done to ensure that combat is not a boring slog or so one sided as to be anti-climactic.

First, I like John's ideas to boost the NPCs.

If you want to address slogs specifically, go for rather offensive NPCs: Pouncing big cats, magical beasts, blaster mages, archers etc.. Ideally they will make the players nervous by dealing significant damage, but are defeated quickly enough for a relieving breath. Of course, it's risky, PCs are more likely to die a surprising death.

When it comes to one sided, remember that you can bring in significant reinforcements or let hurt enemies flee. Maybe the boss is holding back a very strong move (because it's expensive or whatever), but if the battle looks well for the PCs, he pulls this move.

I've been playing around with the idea of using armor as DR, (light 3/-, medium 5/-, and heavy 7/-), so that low level enemies can still ping characters who are meaningfully higher than their CR.

Low level enemies can do a lot of things to contribute without attacking directly: Aid another, heal, provide flanking, grapple a caster, use a switch to activate a trap, yell while they are abused as fixed meat shields by a stronger foe. From my feeling there are numerous more options.

You can limit content to CRB only, but be aware half of the broken options of entire Pathfinder is located exactly there. Ok, 'half' might be exaggerated, but CRB contains so much legacy content, from times where balance was a second-rated concern at best. All the books afterwards did put more emphasis on it (to various degrees of success), so the density of broken spells became much lower.

If I were a powergamer, eager to get the most out of a wizard / sorcerer, I would first grumble because of your decision. But then I'd realize you actually made my powergaming easier - now I don't have to dig through all these long lists, just through the Core spells. Which I know better than the newer ones, anyway.

And I wouldn't worry too much about a sorcerer. A level 5 wizard probably comes up with fly and haste. A sorcerer will need till level 6 to get one of these gamechangers.

Well, the other way round works: VMC monk, monk dip, Monastic Legacy, Ascetic Style chain. The vigilante talent Fist of the Avenger might be interesting, too.

What do you want to achieve?

haremlord wrote:
Or is this more of an "ask your GM"-type of question? :D

I'd think so. While the familiar gets a 'social identity' in addition to its normal one, there are no specifics on how long it takes.

For the player's sake, I'd assume the following: The familiar does its transformation on its own and needs the same time as the vigilante. Once the vigilante becomes faster due to feats, they teach the familiar to also become faster. Given that the small buddy will have a solid Int by then (outsmarting half of the party, probably), it should be ok. Being more restrictive seems like a unnecessary burden for the player.

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I'd like if it gets added to the game, sooner or later, but it should be a niche option. Maybe an archetype, to satisfy the planners and DnD veterans.

That's from a design and mechanics perspective - flavor for a magic system can always be made up. Prepared casting could be presented as saving magical energy in catalysts, like a PF alchemist does - it needs too much time to do it in combat, so you do it in the morning.

Saldiven wrote:
Wrong John Silver wrote:

Related question: Are there any prestige classes that, on original blush, were only okay, but later class/archetype options improved the possibility of them?

Example: I'm looking into using bloodrager/blade adept arcanist to qualify for an Eldritch Knight. There are more synergies that can be had than with the traditional fighter/wizard combo.

When it was ruled (briefly) that Spell Like Abilities counted as spell casting requirements for Prestige Classes, Mystic Theurge was pretty good. Back then, it was possible to start Mystic Theurge at 5th level if you picked the right race and class combination (as opposed to 7th level being the earliest you can start now). It made a surprisingly large amount of difference to get in those two levels early.

On the other hand, as a half-elf you can now boost CL for both base classes in two ways: Multidisciplined alternate racial trait and Bifurcated Magic race trait. If you want to go fully Cha based, druid with feyspeaker archetype is an alternative to oracle. For solely Wis based sorcerer with wildblooded: empyreal is around for a while already.

taks wrote:
I'm actually considering doing a combined pool, maybe 35 RP + ability, for my next AP (either Hell's Rebels or Ironfang Invasion).

That's a great sandbox, but easier to exploit than the usual rules - and might lead to choice paralysis. Depends on the players, as so often.

It's possible to know you are evil but to stick with it because you don't see any real alternative. Even if one of these annoying Sarenites tells you there is a chance for redemption: Yeah, might work for other people, you are already too deep in sh*t.

I wouldn't fix the casters, I'd fix the martials. That means both the players (who should be encouraged to spend some character options on versatility) and the characters (who should get items improving versatility).

Assuming the issue is relevant for the campaign anyway - meaning the level is high enough, the casters actually care about optimization and the martials are very focused on combat.

If you insist in weakening casters, cut where they are strongest: At spell level 7 to 9. A few GMs seem to outright ban 9th level casters, an alternative would be: Spell level 7 to 9 can only be used for metamagic.

If you don't mind being neutral and worshipping a neutral deity, Versatile Channeler allows you to also channel the other energy type - 1d6 weaker, but the difference will matter less over the course of levels.

Reactive Healing can save you when you would be killed by HP damage.

There are actually two feats for more channeling per round: Channel Surge allows a full-round action to burn 2 uses for 150% effect, while Quick Channel means a move action to also burn 2 uses for 100% effect. The latter means a normal standard action channel is still possible, resulting in a total of 3 uses for 200% effect - seems like the more powerful option.

When it comes to specific deities, Pharasma worshippers have access to Fateful Channel - providing a reroll to allies. If you worship Gorum, Channel Viciousness gives the vicious property to all allies' melee weapons - works best with discussing this beforehand and healing them steadily, I guess. There are many more such options in Inner Sea Gods.

AntipodeF wrote:
Does this imply that I could simply purchase a non-scroll sheet of parchment with a spell on it with intent to copy it? If so, what's the price for such a thing?

A scroll is a magical item, and carries the spell. If you use something nonmagical, it might contain some description of the spell, but that's not enough to cast or learn from it.

In case you still care about the price of a non-scroll sheet: According to Ultimate Equipment a sheet of parchment costs 2 silver pieces, paper increases the price to 4.

I once had a gm rule that purchasing a new spell for your spellbook costs half as much as a scroll of the spell, but I'm now finding out that he was wrong about a lot of things.

Price for a scroll: Spell level * caster level * 25 gp

Learning a spell: Spell level^2 * 10 gp

So for level 1 he was pretty much right: Buy for 1*1*25 = 25, learn for 1*1*10 = 10. It's a bit more off for higher level, e.g. a Fireball scroll (level 3): Buy for 3*5*25 = 375, learn for 3*3*10 = 90. So a bit more than factor 4.

For whatever it's worth, I will throw in the section of the CRB about the topic:

CRB p. 402 wrote:

Cheating and Fudging: We all know that cheating is bad. But sometimes, as a GM, you might find yourself in a situation where cheating might improve the game. We prefer to call this “fudging” rather than cheating, and while you should try to avoid it when you can, you are the law in your world, and you shouldn’t feel bound by the dice. A GM should be impartial and fair, and in theory, that’s what random dice results help support. Some players have trouble putting trust in their GM, but dice offer something that’s irrefutable and truly non-partisan (as long as the dice aren’t doctored or loaded, of course). Still, it’s no good if a single roll of the dice would result in a premature end to your campaign, or a character’s death when they did everything right.

Likewise, don’t feel bound to the predetermined plot of an encounter or the rules as written. Feel free to adjust the results or interpret things creatively—especially in cases where you as the GM made a poor assumption to begin with. For example, you might design an encounter against a band of werewolves, only to realize too late that none of the PCs have silver weapons and therefore can’t hurt them. In this case, it’s okay to cheat and say that these werewolves are hurt by normal weapons, or to have the town guard (armed with silver arrows) show up at the last minute to save the PCs. As long as you can keep such developments to a minimum, these on-the-spot adjustments can even enhance the game—so the town guard saved the PCs, but now that they have, it can give you leverage over the PCs to send them on their next quest as repayment to the guards!

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Calybos1 wrote:
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to play a character with high Int and Wis who is still Chaotic Neutral?

High Int can result in high frustration about the stupidity of 'normal people'. You soon figured that you shouldn't care too much about them - otherwise you would be dragged into their pointless problems. And once you saw the flawed patterns behind the rules (supposed to be generally applicable, but fail often enough), you didn't feel obligated to follow them anymore.

High Wis means a keen perception (in the broader sense) of your environment. But noticing all the normal people's flaws so clearly just makes you want to keep distance even more. And while laws make sense for such people (you totally get that), they were clearly not designed with you in mind.

Childhood was a nightmare for you. People noticed quickly you were different, asking too many smart questions and noticing things that were supposed to be private. They tried to turn you into a 'normal child' - and you hated it. A strong desire for freedom was born in these years.

What motivations do they have, beside traveling to the coast and becoming pirates? Greed can lead to dungeons with shiny treasure, curiosity might make them meet strange fey and pity could make them help other travelers (with all trouble that comes from it).

Beside this, I'd play with the pirate theme even before reaching the coast. Let them meet a pirate hidden in a cave, afraid of being found - and paranoid enough to attack them after some talking. Maybe they stumble upon a part of a treasure map and must search the area for the other parts. Or some shady bounty hunters meet them, getting bounty for pirates (and would-be pirates).

When it comes to creature types, I personally love mites. They are amazingly pathetic (probably more than goblins), have an impressive amount of senses, can shaken your players and trample them with giant vermin. If you can get your players into caves, kobolds with their traps and ambushes likely will become a memorable experience. Ogres as sadistic dorks have a lot of RP potential, especially with their games like skullball. And there is the good old zombie apocalypse.

Actually, I'd start with something light-hearted, like the free and popular We Be Goblins!:

So players can have fun, get more familar with the rules and figure out more precisely what they actually want to play. From my experience, newbies are prone to pick character concepts they don't really enjoy - so it's better they do that just for a small module instead of a whole AP.

After this one there are three more (also free) similar modules, if you want. When you move on to an AP, Curse of the Crimson Throne is a well-received one, focused on a single city though (might be a plus or drawback).

Pluribus wrote:

I have an idea for an epic feeling low level adventure, but it requires the inclusion of a "stone to flesh" spell or something similar.

If I include an NPC who can cast 6th level spells it would take some crazy excuses to justify that NPC not solving every problem. If I give them an item that can cast the spell the party could just sell it later and be crazy rich for their level.

There are a few creatures which have stone to flesh as SLA. Checking the bestiaries, I found the pech:

Bestiary 2, page 206 wrote:


N Small fey (earth)
Pech Magic (Sp) Four pechs working together can cast wall of stone once per day. Eight pechs working together can cast stone to flesh (DC 17) once per day.

So these creatures could be partners of the desert nomads, getting wool, milk or whatever in return for a daily stone to flesh. The spellcasting is limited (8 pechs needed, only 1/day) and pechs are not really interested in changing the surface world.

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