It's good to listen to your players, but it's not helpful to follow every of their whims. Sometimes players don't even know what they want (they just think they do) or what's good for them, and sometimes they enjoy giving someone the runaround.
Given how they act in game, I think they are better off with a light-hearted campaign. Keep the intrigue part to a minimum, let their PCs be pirates and jerks (their PCs, not them). And stick with it - players are totally capable of adapting, and a GM shouldn't be more stressed out than necessary.
If the campaign breaks apart - well, so be it. Gives you the chance to start over some day, with a probably different player composition - and more fun for everyone.
Phew, the closest thing I found is: Wolf Style, probably augmented by Wolf Trip. Deal enough damage by an AOO and you get a trip attempt on top of it.
Rogue is nice if he wants to avoid spellcasting this time. Interesting archetypes might be:
Consigliere (three different boosts to Diplomacy at the first three levels)
Is he actually ok with the fact that some foes can't be talked with? Mindless undead, oozes and vermin comes to my mind. If not, he might want to look into combat options for Bluff etc..
If you want several additional full BAB attacks, attacks of opportunity are an option. Enlarge person is a level 1 spell, the same applies to longarm. Longspear is a simple weapon, so available for most casters. Combat Reflexes is an obvious feat choice, but a Wis based caster could go Divine Fighting Technique (Torag's Patient Strike) instead - a dwarf is recommended since you must use a warhammer.
Eldritch pool only unlocks bloodline abilities, so personally I'd only use it when I really need the abilities. That might be the first round of full-attacking (aberrant: staggering critical, abyssal: claws etc.), an incoming dangerous effect (aberrant: aberrant fortitude, abyssal: demon resistances etc.) or a specific foe (arcane: disruptive bloodrage, celestial: angelic attacks etc.).
As I read the ability, it's not a rage effect. So you can combine it with any rage effect, including real bloodrage. Might be nice for a crossblooded bloodrager - get one 1st level power from crossblooded and the other from mystical focus.
When it comes to power, level isn't the only source. Double the wealth of a level 20 character, and it will become significantly more powerful. Add some templates, and it is improved again. Finally, Paizo used mythic in PF1 as another track of advancement.
So you can totally play a level 20 character with the power of a CR 30 creature.
Personally I don't feel any need to justify my multiclassing. It's my character, so the player most affected by my build decisions is: Me. Now fellow players and the GM are also affected, true, but as long as a) the PC's power level fits to the campaign, b) I don't invade someone else's role and c) I don't create a roleplay conflict (such as necromancer vs. paladin), they should be fine and be able to enjoy the company of my character.
The flavor can suffer to multiclassing, but that's also true for single class characters with a bad background story, inconsistent behaviour or barely any RP at all. Nope, I am not here to win the "100% pseudo-realism award", I am here to have fun.
That said, the free multiclassing is an important thing that sets Pathfinder apart from many other RPGs.
Comparing the 4 example feats with others, they are of pretty much average power level, hence ok.
There is a huge gap between what some players expect from feats (gamechangers or significant numeric boosts) and the intended power level since 3.0 (small tweaks to focus your character). The fact that a few feats are gamechangers (allowing you to fly etc.) or offer significant numeric boosts (Power Attack etc.) just supports the gap - players consider these few feats normal and dismiss the rest as "crap". The latter also helps them to cut down an enormous number of choices to a manageable amount.
April Henderson 283 wrote:
So my group is about to start chapter six, and I have an aasimar paladin that can't be touched.
Oh, he can totally be touched - by touch attacks. If I counted correctly, 33 points of his AC are from armor, shield and natural - so they are gone against any foe with touch attacks. Up to you whether you want firearms, brilliant energy melee weapons*, nasty monster touches, touch spells or some other class ability.
* For this one natural armor still counts, but that might be ok.
The healing from Lay on Hands can be halved or stopped by a few options, but I don't have them at hand right now.
I am strongly of the view that if a group decides on a non balanced party it is the player job to make it work, not the GM's.
Isn't it much easier for the GM to adapt the campaign?
Don’t design for a perfectly “balanced” party. You want your players to come up with unique solutions to in-game problems, right?
Well, you could design challenges for a balanced party and throw them at inbalanced parties. That might result in the desired unique solutions, right?
At least it worked for my campaign - the players didn't have a dedicated trapspotter, just a barbarian with a single level of rogue. They had a hard time to disarm the magic trap and came up with some ideas and teamwork. Finally they got it, and it was way more interesting than "disable device X, problem solved".
Stone Dog wrote:
There should be plenty of space for mundane martial artists though. People who are just phenomenal hand to hand fighters without mucking about with all that "Ki" or possibly "Monk Adjacent" classes like the old Battle Dancer from the 3.5 Dragon compendium.
Or the martial artist archetype in Ultimate Combat. Somehow it's often overlooked...
There are some arcanist exploits that work well on low class level:
Dimensional Slide (60 feet should be good enough usually)
When it comes to the comparison with magus, EK gained some ground a while ago, with the Prestigious Spellcaster feat.
There is no duty to stick with the same weapon from level 1 to 20, unless you have important class features that are really tied to a single weapon. I'd start off with a greatsword - you gain +1 damage (or more) in average, and you are less likely to roll low on both dice than on one die. Over time, weapon base damage turns less important in the whole picture (unless you do something Vital Strike related) while critical hits add more and more (since your static bonuses to damage increase). Around level 8 to 10, I'd consider to switch to a 18-20 weapon.
I assume you are not a caster and so I present you the feat caster's champion
If you happen to be an ifrit / oread / sylph / undine, Elemental Strike is also an alternative:
As a swift action, you can imbue your weapons with elemental energy. For 1 round, your weapons deal an additional 1 point of energy damage. The type of energy damage depends on your race: acid for oread, electricity for sylph, fire for ifrit, or cold for undine. For every 5 levels you possess, this bonus increases by 1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.
I planned a phantom thief myself a while ago, and thought about combat contribution just with skills. Avoron already mentioned Intimidate, I second that.
Depending on whether the group has a dedicated healer, the Heal skill can be good at lowest level: Stabilize, treat deadly wounds, fix the occasional caltrop damage / disease / poison etc.. Even if there is a cleric, they might enjoy spending their resources on something else.
Putting a rank into each Knowledge skill relevant for monster identification at level 1 doesn't hurt either - so you can tell your allies what they are up against. Depends on whether there is an Int based ally is around, you might be stepping on a wizard's toes - or agree with the player what skills to focus on with each character.
If there is no opportunity to use skills, you could fire a shortbow at lowest level - not a game winner, but it barely costs you anything either. Upgrade it to be a cruel weapon later - so you can demoralize a foe first, then add the sickened condition on top of that.
Over time I'd switch to Perception (consider One Eye Open), Use Magic Device, Craft (Master Craftsman!) and maybe Bluff for feint (but taking feats for feint slows down your general skill progression). Typical rogue skills like Disable Device or Sleight of Hand would get a few ranks, but there is no real need to focus on them.
Now his stats were mostly mundane: Str 8, Dex 12, Con 8, Wis 12, Cha 13. To really get going with skills, a high Int helps a lot - I went for 18+2. But I could see this guy start with 10 10 10 10 10 10.
I'd be hesitant to allow players to hide traps. It devalues the original Perception DC (which is part of the trap costs!), and it might lead to barely detectable traps. Nobody says only PCs could hide traps - what if some thieves guild is so adept at hiding their traps that the players start complaining about impossible odds...
If you want to reward players for caring about setting the trap properly, maybe a +2 bonus to the DC is fine. But I wouldn't go much further.
The first few years of PF2 will be critical for its success. They could go for rehashs to get a few more veterans over the fence, or they go for new APs, hoping to blow everyone's minds. A rehash can be as good as it wants, it will never be as exciting as good new content. It's partially about expectations: People already expect the rehash to be better than the original, so it will be hard to surprise them positively. And it's partially about the chance of introducing new stuff: You can't simply throw out all the mediocre stuff at a rehash, but at a new product you can try to make everything above average.
Now after these first few years they could do a rehash. It will be less effective to get some veterans - if they didn't switch yet, they probably never will. And the rehash will compete with all these ideas flying around in developers' brains. If you only do 2 APs per day, you really have to be picky what's it going to be.
So the odds are against a rehash. But Paizo is always good for a surprise...
Just my opinion.
There's a monk archtype with a capstone that gives +2 to... dex wis and str, I think.
Yes, it's those three stats, and it's the weapon adept from APG.
Wish allows you up to +5 on any score, but it's expensive. Paizo took quite some care to leave no loophole to get the stat increase for free.
But you can get increased permanent enhancement bonuses: Pick up the shapechanger bloodline via Eldritch Heritage and its improved version. At character level 11 you can turn bull's strength etc. into an 1 hour / level spell, 1/day. Now be an arcanist with brown-fur archetype to increase the bonus by +2, and take VMC wizard to pick up the Idealize discovery at character level 15, for another +2 (+4 at character level 20). That's a +10 overall. Extend Spell makes sure the bonus is basically permanent.
It might be more efficient to do that with size bonuses to ability scores, since you can get a +6 enhancement bonus from items anyway.
I'd argue that the spawn slayer was designed with the intention to take down Spawns of Rovagug, that includes the tarrasque. And the archetype comes from a much younger book, so I'd count the ability to be more specific (while they are equally specific otherwise, IMO).
That said, the slayer will still have a hard time to pull it off. They must hit, the tarrasque must fail the save and then the group has only 2d6 rounds to both not be defeated and take that thing down.
The tarrasque has a relatively weak Will save of +12 - still, against a DC of 20 + Int mod it has some chance to succeed.
If you had the ability to decide what kind of AP or Module Paizo would put out, what would you choose?
I'd ask the available writers what they would like. Because if it's really the AP they want to write, it automatically becomes much better. As a player or GM I prefer an awesome AP with a (technically) dull theme over a dull AP with a (technically) awesome theme.
Anyway. When it comes to interesting countries in the Inner Sea, I'd like to see more about Galt, Nex, Geb, Rahadoum and Razmiran. Beyond that, the First World could make an amazing playground. And storywise, I wouldn't mind more proteans as opponents (up to the
I find the description of ice armor ambiguous: You can interpret "same protection as a breastplate" literally as +5 armor AC or read an implied "it acts like a breastplate".
There is the Ice Armor revelation of the Waves mystery, but it also doesn't state anything about slowing you down. And there is the instant armor spell, which says it works in all aspect like the normal armor, but doesn't list the slowed movement at the examples.
From a balance perspective: The classes who can cast the spell can wear medium armor anyway. The spell has a limited duration (hours per level, but still) and the created armor is vulnerable to both sundering and heat. If this armor would limit your speed, the only benefit would be the meager +2 circumstance bonus to Swim checks and the option to summon armor out of nowhere. Hence I'd give the druid full speed.
It's rough for a GM to put a lot of effort into something which ultimately doesn't get appreciated. That can happen with puzzles, storytelling, roleplay, complex NPC casters that simply get stabbed before acting and many more things. Don't take it personal - it's not about you, not about your campaign in general, but about this particular game element. If your group doesn't enjoy solving a puzzle, give them something else to do.
It happened to me too: I spent some work on making their town alive, with several NPCs and their quirks and quests. But at the end I was told they actually prefer to quickly return to the wilderness and kill things. Well, I grudgingly accepted it, changed priorities in the next sessions - and the players were happy again.
The thing I am having trouble with is getting the AC's intelligence up without just throwing a +4 Headband of Vast Intelligence on it.
What would be so bad about it? Yes, gold is a tight resource, but character levels, class features (to be traded for archetypes), feats etc. are tight resources too. There are very few options for characters that are really free, and be it just the opportunity cost (you could have taken something else).
If you are low on gold, you could start with the +2 version. And if it's really just for RP, negotiating with the GM is also an option.
Creepy makes some sense if you go for Shatter Defenses. Silent Hunter should help occasionally to get into position - or away, after creating a distraction respective withdrawing around the corner. Assuming chaotic, lawful and neutral creatures are about equally distributed in the campaign, Vigilance is nearly a +1 dodge bonus to AC, in average.
Fey-Sighted and Envoy are not bad, either. At the end, it comes down to what kind of rogue you actually want...
If you are willing to also sacrifice Weapon Familiarity, Human-Raised (Skill Focus) and Poison Minion are options, too.
Advanced Race Guide is one of my favourite books, and in comparison Inner Sea Races was a disappointment for me:
1) For my taste it focuses on humans too much. One fifth of the book is dedicated to them - pure fluff, not a single rule element during these 54 pages. Yes, Golarion is dominated by humans - but not every player wants to play them.
2) The descriptions of several races were more inspiring in their respective source books (Blood of Fiends, Blood of the Moon etc.). I see that a book that has to rehash an already well-described race suffers from a handicap - but ARG got it done in a better way.
3) Too focused on teamwork feats - which always have one restriction too much to be attractive. Maybe they work for hunters or inquisitors, but there are a lot of other classes out there...
Now the book has its gems, like a new reincarnate table, the Elemental Strike feat and a few interesting race traits. This book got an average rating of 3/5 - and I totally agree with that.
Did anyone notice that the page numbers in this book are off by 2, compared to the table of contents and the way page numbers in Player Companions are usually assigned?
Not sure whether I get the question. In my experience Player Companions, Campaign Settings and Adventure Paths are always off by 2 page numbers: Page x of the book is Page x+2 in the PDF. At the hardcovers the offset is just +1.
I got so used to adding +2 or +1 that I caught myself doing so when using the physical books...
If it's too many dice, you could always replace a good share of them with average values and roll only the remaining two (or so). In average it results in the same, but at the same time some randomness is preserved and the throwing stays handy.
Of course this is a houserule, so everyone at the table would have to agree to it.
That's exactly what happened to our barbarian: he escaped twice, and he saw that because his AC was too low, he was just wasting his turns in vain: that doesn't even slow down the damage, since the monster don't have to chose between attack and grapple... he's doing both.
Sorry, but this sounds more like a tactics problem than a build or encounter problem. Instead of desperately trying to escape, a barbarian should rather do it the barbarian way: Grapple the foe himself, or beat the crap out of it. The former has a solid ~50% chance to succeed (CMB +11? vs. CMD 22), the latter works even with unarmed strikes (1d3+5? is a serious increase to grapple DC).
And it needs a standard action to maintain a grapple - if the creature fails the check, it can't attack during this round. Well, it can do AOO again.
Hence I'd join the "play the STR magus, if you like" choir. Tactics and rule knowledge matter more than build - as it should be.
Tengu is listed at the examples at the end of ARG (emphasis mine):
ARG, page 246 wrote:
So there are a lot of small bonuses - and swordtrained.
Swordtrained can be great, especially if you don't get proficiency with all martial weapons. Rogue comes to my mind, a class which gets a lot of support from tengu anyway.
But even if you are proficient with all martial weapons you still get proficiency with some exotic weapons. For example the elven curve blade or the option to use a bastardsword one-handed. Both weapons have their niche. And it doesn't hurt to be able to switch between weapons over the course of levels (big die first, dual-wield later, good crits around level 10).
Personally I prefer a mix of printed and PDF, depending on whether I want to read casually and in context (printed) or whether I want to search automatically and copy & paste into my electronic notes (PDF). If some PDF pages turn out to be very interesting, I print them - maybe black and white, maybe with two pages on one, maybe only parts of the page.
Souls At War wrote:
They can do a lot of magical things on their own, with the right gear or feats. When it comes to flight, winged boots aren't that expensive and Flight Mastery is available at level 9.
Hence the Aerial Assaulter Fighter might still make sense, even without a built-in way to fly.
Psychics are spontaneous casters and don't prepare spells, so when/how does a Rebirth Psychic make this decision?
She never* does. The Rebirth discipline was in Occult Origins, a Player Companion. These books are more likely to contain oversights (less proofreading, just one printing) - I guess the author of the discipline wasn't aware psychic is not a prepared caster, and the proofreaders missed it too.
Since spontaneous casters have to spend 15 minutes each day to get their slots refreshed, this time should be the most fitting to also make the decision about the Mnemonic Esoterica spell for this day.
* Unless there is some option to turn a psychic into a prepared caster, but I am not aware of such a thing.
I'd be surprised if 2E PCs would be weaker than their 1E counterparts. Players gladly take power upgrades and become unhappy when their powers are reduced.
It's all relative though: If monsters improve faster than PCs, the game becomes tougher despite more powerful PCs. The same happens if the monsters stay the same, but their official CRs are reduced - the GM will create a tougher encounter for the same XP budget (assuming he builds encounters that way).
I found the GameMastery Guide to be incredibly helpful. It not only gives you a wealth of ideas but also a positive mindset: Play with your players, not against them. Disclaimer: I am aware there are groups which enjoy the competition between GM and players.
Further I played with a couple of GMs. Each of them showed some positive and negative behaviour, so I tried to learn from the positive and avoid the negative. Reading this forum also helps, especially the Advice and General Discussion sections.
Finally don't forget you are there for the fun too. There is no point in going for a campaign style you don't like, just because your players enjoy it.
How detrimental do you think a low DEX score will be?
It's not that detrimental. However, you don't save much by keeping it at 10 either. Dex 12 is cheap (assuming point-buy), and the upgrade to Dex 14 is nearly as cheap - you get a bunch of small boosts for little investment.
INT 12 (13 at 4th lvl for Spell Specialization)
Usually it's a good idea to add the ability score increases only to the highest score. That allows you to keep the highest score a bit lower at level 1, saving a lot of points for other scores.
If you shuffle it around a bit, you get the following:
At level 4, your CHA will catch up with the original plan.
A dwarven paladin feels 100% on-theme, as well, but, again, Cha is kind of important to paladins
Well, there is the stonelord racial archetype.
Many small race combatants seem pretty dire, as well. I like the visual of a Halfling monk or gnome barbarian (with a badger theme!), but a Str penalty combined with reduced damage die for small weapons (fists) feels like deliberately choosing to piss into the wind.
Hmm, barbarian doesn't necessarily mean Str based. The urban barbarian archetype can add the boost to any single physical stat, and Unchained barbarian gets a direct boost to melee attack and damage, no matter whether you use Str or Dex (or whatever) to attack.
Further, +1 AB from size equals roughly +2 damage. That compensates for the smaller weapon dice, even when using a greatsword. It's only the Str penalty (and the absence of a Str bonus) that make the difference. There is at least one Small race without a Str penalty: Wayang.
Playing mostly with people who only do the hobby for a few years, I never encountered anything beyond Ultimate Combat (samurai). If you don't count a single ranger archetype from ACG, that is.
For a more representative survey you can check this PDF out. Page 9 shows a pie chart with classes, just be aware this also includes dips. It can be roughly split in quarters:
1st quarter: "Classic four", meaning rogue, fighter, cleric and wizard
I see a leaning towards old and straight-forward classes here.
I wouldn't rule it for complete races but for the actual creatures you encounter. When you meet human desert nomads, their native terrain is desert. It makes sense to get favored enemy bonuses against them - you are very familiar with the terrain, so you are likely familiar with the people there, too - including their weaknesses.
That's just one take on it, though.