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The Scribbler

Silent Saturn's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,296 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Sczarni

Poison is a woefully under-implemented part of the game. I would recommend talking with your GM to try and homebrew some new poisons, with some new poison effects.

If you're an alchemist, perhaps you could incorporate your extracts and their effects into the poison? Perhaps a poison that deals fire damage? One that replicates the drawbacks, but not the benefits, of your mutagen?

Sczarni

williamoak wrote:


1) Daenal, the high oradin of arshea: A tiefling with the "hermaphroditic" visual trait. Their appearance needs to be androgynous, yet still VERY physically attractive to both men & women. They have high strength, decent con, and EXCEPTIONAL charisma. They also have a tail and vestigial wings, though those can be hidden.

This would make a decent Daenal, minus the vestigal wings.

Sczarni

I didn't see any problem with Veteran's Will. Since it scales with fighter level, it discourages dipping and most other classes won't get a benefit from it.

I suggested a fighter feat in another thread that gave a bonus to Spellcraft checks, and granted a bonus to save against any spell the fighter had correctly identified. It would solve two problems in one-- bolstering the fighter's saves, and giving him a reason to invest in Int for more skill points. Did you want other people to post homebrew feats here, or just feedback on your own?

Sczarni

Okay, so an Orc warlord who's into crossbreeding. Could be interesting.

His footsoldiers all employ nonlethal tactics to maximize the number or prisoners they take. I'm thinking an order of monks-- nonlethal damage and lots of grappling/pinning/tying up, with plenty of nets, mancatchers, or lassos as sidearms. Maybe a Blue Rose Cavalier to act as the sargeant.

There should also be some illusion/enchantment based spellcasters-- either bards, witches, or sorcerers. This could allow for orc "spies" to seduce the enemy under disguise spells. In combat, it means Hold Person at low levels (to more effectively take prisoners) and Suggestion at higher levels. It also opens up the possibility that various NPCs might actually be orcs in disguise and may try to seduce the PCs. After all, if the PCs are great heroes, surely claiming their offspring as part of the tribe would be a victory, yes?

As for feeding all those extra mouths, raiding the humans' food supplies should also be a high priority on this warlord's list. A good opportunity for an escort mission or a "standing guard" assignment, should you want one.

The warlord himself? I have to think he'd be a half-orc himself. He might be trying to build a horde where half-orcs like him get more respect. If he's the grandmaster of that monk order, he might be following Irori's teachings and seeking "perfection" by combining the human's cunning with the orc's power. (This may lead to discussion of eugenics and the eventual invocation of Godwin's Law-- proceed with caution.) Or he may simply understand the basic truth that war begets casualties, and he wants to keep the population's numbers up.

Actually, I think he'd be great as a Battle Herald. As a bard and a cavalier, he'd have the combo of enchantment and nonlethal tactics, and he'd be a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield when he's got his troops with him.

Sczarni

Orcs of Golarion mentioned that sometimes Orc tribes keep Half-Orcs around despite their apparent "weakness" not only out of respect for what their cleverness can accomplish, but also because they're a living symbol of the orcs' conquest over humans.

What if there were a warlord whose primary goal was to produce as many half-orcs as possible?

This... might be dark territory you may not want to go into, and I wouldn't blame you. If you do, though, it would certainly require some thinking. This would be a tribe of orcs that doesn't kill its victims if they can avoid it, instead taking them hostage for use as breeding stock. (If the party loses a battle but you don't want to TPK them, you could use this as an excuse.) They might also have spies who use disguise self to pose as human, with the goal of either getting impregnated or doing as much impregnation as possible. They'd probably have enchantment magic in order to induce lust, on themselves and their captives.

Is this line of thinking worth pursuing? If you're uncomfortable, I won't go any further.

Sczarni

I noticed a bit of copypasta in the Smite sections-- you occasional still refer to the judge as the Paladin and the target of its smite as evil.

I'd be quite interested to see the spell list...

Sczarni

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How about a Warlord who is near-obsessed with siege weapons? His troops go in with battering rams and siege towers while his cavalry pummel the battlefield with catapult fire. His base camp is actually a warship made to slowly amble across dry land either by magic or by slave labor (like in the Conan remake.) When the party goes up against him, he's piloting an Apparatus of the Crab.

A Blight Druid or Alchemist who specializes in plague warfare. Why risk the lives of his fellow orcs when plague rats are so plentiful and so effective? His geurilla troops throw stingchucks and other splash weapons full of poison, and probably have a few "trained attack oozes" to let loose on their foes. His lieutenant is some sort of necromancer who raises fallen soldiers on either side and sends them back into battle to continue spreading disease.

A cadre of elite Orc warriors who are actually lycanthropes-- either were-stags or were-bears would be cool. They motivate lower-ranked soldiers with the promise of making them lycanthropes if they prove their worth.

An Orc sorcerer who prepares for battles by casting Exploding Runes and Symbol spells onto his warriors' shields for the enemy to see. He bolsters his troops' morale with talk of "using the enemy's language against them" and legends talk of his troops winning battles as soon as the enemy is in sight.

A golem-crafter who commands four or five different golem "lieutenants". Each liutenant commands a squad containing at least one spellcaster, who can heal or bolster the golem with the right kind of spell. Each golem has banners attached to its shoulders, and acts as a living rally point as well as a military force.

Sczarni

The on-paper rule for Will saves versus Illusions is that you don't get a Will save until you "interact" with the illusion, which is supposed to take a standard action.

In actual execution, how illusions work seems to vary a lot from one GM to another, and depending on what the illusion is an illusion OF. Some GMs will have monsters stop to examine things they shouldn't have any reason to "examine" except that they know it's an illusion and just need to burn the standard action so as to get permission to disbelieve. Sometimes GMs forget and just have enemies or PCs roll Will saves when the spell is cast, like most other spells. Some GMs try and take the plausibility of the illusion into account (it's easier to disbelieve a unicorn illusion in a city than in a forest) but this is all "what makes sense to the GM".

So, your original answer, is most likely your GM went with his gut instinct according to the situation.

Sczarni

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Some more rogue talents:

Adrenaline Rush: The rogue gains the ability to enter a rage-like state in much the same way as a barbarian. This functions as the barbarian's rage class feature. The rogue gains a number of rounds of rage equal to her 3 plus his Constitution modifier. In addition, whenever the rogue would gain a new rogue talent, she may instead choose a barbarian rage power. If the rogue gains the rage class feature from any other source, this talent stacks with those rounds of rage.

Unsanctioned Theologian: The rogue has spent time among the church, either in practicing her own faith or having infiltrated it for her own purposes, and has learned quite a bit from this time. The rogue adds Knowledge: Religion to her list of class skills. In addition, the rogue chooses two of her deity's domains. She now treats those domains' spells as being on her class spell list for purposes of activating magic items. Finally, she gains Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat, even if she does not meet the prerequisites. If she does not have the ability to cast spells, she may only scribe scrolls of her domain spells, and only if her rogue level is more than twice the spell level of the scroll she is trying to scribe. If the rogue has levels in a spellcasting class, she may prepare these domain spells or add them to her list of spells known as though they were on the spell list of her spellcasting class.

Pinpoint Strike: The rogue is especially adept at aiming her sneak attack strikes. Whenever she makes a sneak attack, she gets a +1 insight bonus on the attack roll for each d6 of sneak attack dice she has.

Sczarni

If you really want to roleplay as a "prick wizard", I'd recommend roleplaying as a totally magic-obsessed person. It's not that you have a big ego, it's that you think magic is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and you're the best one at it. Best complimented by occasional "drooling fanboy" moments when you come across arcane phenomena or other powerful spellcasters... even if they're currently trying to kill you.

Otherwise, all the advice in the OP seems solid. Thanks, spalding!

Sczarni

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Silent Saturn wrote:


Familar: The rogue gains a familiar, [...]

Great idea! I can imagine the rogue in the jail cell giving instructions to his tiny monkey near a sleeping guard, "No!!! not his hat! the key! the key!!!"

However, I don't think you need to impose a skill tax on the rogue, as familiars can use the rogue's ranks to make Sleight of Hand, Disable Device, and Escape Artist, and it has an Intelligence of 6, which means it will understand common and you don't need to use Handle Animal anymore. Handle Animal is just used for creatures of Intelligence 1 or 2. I'm guessing that the familiar will be one with high Dexterity as well, so his skill check will be decent.

Thanks, PDK. That's exactly the idea I was going for. Though I didn't think of it as a skill tax-- more of a skill consolidation in the same vein as the bard's Versatile Performance. Instead of putting ranks in SoH, EA, and DD, just put ranks in Handle Animal and have your pet rat make the other checks for you. I didn't realize familiars get Int 6 and their own ranks.

The rogue may have more skill ranks per level than any other class, but things like Versatile Performance and the Inquisitor's Track and Stern Gaze give them "phantom skill ranks" that mean the rogue isn't even the most skillful despite that being his niche. Giving a rogue a literal skill monkey for a pet would definitely help in that respect.

Sczarni

How many other Force spells are there? It seems like Toppling Spell only exists to make Magic Missile worth using after level 2 or 3. Most of the Force Hand spells are a high enough level that Toppling would put them over level 9, aren't they?

EDIT: Never mind, for some reason I thought Toppling was a +4 level adjustment. I'm still wondering if there are enough Force spells to make Toppling more than a one-trick feat until level 10 or so.

Sczarni

The only problem I can see is that if someone really wanted to max out, say, Diplomacy, they could take Investigator, Negotiator, Persuasive, AND Skill Focus for a total of +9 from feats.

I'm not exactly sure how maxing out a skill breaks the game-- at some point you just stop encountering DCs that high-- and you are spending four feats to pull it off, but be aware that the potential for such a shenanigan exists.

Sczarni

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Here's another I had come up with a while ago:

Familar: The rogue gains a familiar, using her rogue level as her effective wizard level, with the following modifications. The rogue gets a +4 bonus on Sleight of Hand checks to conceal her familiar on her person. In place of the share spells ability, the familiar can instead make Sleight of Hand, Disable Device, and Escape Artist checks on behalf of the rogue, using the rogue's Handle Animal check in place of the relevant check. The rogue must have line of sight to the familiar in order to use this ability. In place of the deliver touch spells ability, the familiar gains 1d6 of sneak attack damage. (A Tiny creature does not have sufficient reach to count towards flanking an enemy, but a familiar concealed on the rogue's person can attack any creature the rogue threatens, and has concealment from all creatures expect the rogue.)

If the rogue has class levels in another class that grant a familiar, her rogue levels now stack with levels in that class, and the familiar gains the share spells and deliver touch spells abilities in addition to those listed here.

Sczarni

Looked it over, and it definitely looks pretty cool, but there's a LOT to consider here.

The biggest problem here is that there's a lot of choice overload. The combat style, for instance, lets you choose from a list of bonus feats longer than any of the ranger's style lists, OR any teamwork feat, OR any summoner evolution, OR the wild tricks? I can see a player staring at the book this gets published in for a solid hour when he hits level 2. And the wild tricks themselves feel like the kind of thing that should be tied to the greentouch ability and naturally acquired as you level up, like a gunslinger's deeds, instead of chosen in place of a style feat.

And speaking of greentouch, it seems like a lot of the goodfellow's class features expend a use of it. At higher levels, it seems like you're going to have a lot of different abilities to track, but only one resource pool with which to make use of them, and it's going to be difficult to figure out which ones to use. Especially since using spelltricks to cast a 3rd-level spell expends three uses, which you could have used on three different 1st-level spells.

I also agree that the faerie beast is stronger than it needs to be. If it's supposed to be a mount, I'd say limit the choice to just a few animals suitable for riding. (A unicorn should be a choice.) Then you could keep the eidolon evolutions, but still let the druid claim its title as King of the Tamed Beast.

Sczarni

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

Rogue talent:

Practice Makes Perfect: A rogue that selects this talent gains nothing immediately. The next time he gains a rogue talent, he gains three rogue talents instead. If taken before 10th level, this cannot yield future advanced rogue talents.

Can it be taken multiple times?

Level 2: PMP
Level 4: PMPx3
Level 6: Nine rogue talents?

Is this even good?

Sczarni

Maybe they didn't want any one weapon showing up in too many groups? Dagger is already in the Thrown and the Light Blades category.

Sczarni

I had one a while back:

Attacks of opportunity treat their target as flat-footed.

This applies to any creature who is provoking or making an attack of opportunity. Suddenly, rogues are solid anti-casters and anti-archers. They also want Combat Reflexes, Step Up, and a longspear.

Actually, I'd also give them whip proficiency. A well-built AoO rogue could be a fearsome thing indeed.

Sczarni

deinosuchus wrote:
I had a house rule for fighters only that changed iterative attacks to a standard action. Fighters (and only fighters) could move and still get full attacks.

I think the two-weapon warrior archetype already gets something like that-- or maybe just once with each weapon?

I like the idea of a few feats along the lines of Sea Legs, but just for fighters. Instead of having them choose extra class skills, let them take a feat that grants bonuses to a certain collection of skills?

Soldiers' Legacy
Prereq: 6th level Fighter
Benefit: You get a +3 bonus to Diplomacy, Knowledge(history), Knowledge(nobility), and Perception, and may use those skills untrained.

Rough and Ready
Prereq: 4th level Fighter
Benefit: You get a +2 bonus to Climb, Handle Animal, Swim, and Survival, and may use those skills untrained.

Sczarni

I didn't see that you were starting at level 4-5. Then you'll have access to level 2 bard spells right off the bat.

You should definitely get Gallant Inspiration. Being able to make an ally's failed skill check a success retroactively is a very nice ability to have. Blistering Invective is a nice room-clearer, and Hold Person is a good single-target debuff. And of course, that's the level you get Invisibility. ;)

Sczarni

As far as choosing your spells known, at first level I recommend grabbing Grease for terrain control and instant disarming, Touch of Gracelessness for a single-target debuff, and Sleep for when you need something locked down. You might want Cure Light Wounds, but you're better off just getting yourself a wand of it and using that instead. Identify is another bard spell that's good, but you don't need to learn it yourself if you can just buy a scroll of it.

Sczarni

The hardest thing about making a Hedonism Bot adventurer is that is requires you to imagine Hedonism Bot actually doing something.

I'd second the Summoner idea, but Calistria could work well too.

Sczarni

I like to carry a hand drill on any character that can make ranged attacks, for arrow slits on demand. Improved or even total cover can be a very handy thing.

Sczarni

I do like the idea of fighters applying feats like Weapon Focus to a weapon group, but as much as this thread's going to hate me for saying it, I still believe that we can "fix" the fighter just through the addition of new fighter-only feats, without having to errata the CRB. The release of the qinggong and zen archer "fixed" the monk, right?

People seem to really want more skill points, but I like that there's a few classes that only get 2+Int. Plus, the fighter gets enough bonus feats that he can afford to spend one or two of his regular ones on Skill Focus, yes?

Sczarni

When in doubt, there's always the Golden Rule.

You might also look up Hammurabi's Code.

Sczarni

If a Ranger chooses to share his FE bonuses instead of the AC, how does that compare to Banner and Tactician (which the Cav gets in addition to his mount?) If the Cav's mount is higher level than the Ranger's, AND he's better at buffing his teammates, where does that leave the Ranger exactly?

Sczarni

It's also worth pointing out that the idea of lycanthropy being "contagious" is actually a fairly new addition to werewolf mythos. In a lot of the older stories, especially the ones you mentioned where it's a punishment, the victim can't accidentally create new ones because it's not a disease, it's a curse placed specifically on you.

The 3.x version of lycanthropy was probably the best example of folklore not being able to decide if it's a disease or a curse.

Sczarni

If you're throwing, then you want Close-Quarters Thrower. There were a whole bunch of other threads on throwing weapons around (and I think you participated in quite a few of them) that detailed a few other feats for a thrower to consider.

Bull Rush is useful when you're a melee character who also casts heal spells. In addition to letting you cast without provoking, as I said earlier, it's also one of the most reliable ways to stop monsters from attacking your lower-AC party members-- just push the offending creature away from your ally, and in doing so position yourself "between" the threat and the ally you want to protect.

It might not come up much, but if you have extra combat feats to burn then there's basically zero opportunity cost, and when you finally end up engaging an enemy on top of a clock tower or next to a cliff, that's gonna feel REAL good.

Sczarni

Rerednaw wrote:

Also to OP, in what context are you asking? Are you weighing pros and cons for a specific campaign/build?

Both sorcerers and wizards have feats or builds available that allow them to mimic each other's abilities to an extent. Wizards can spontaneously cast, Sorcerers can memorize.

For me the biggest difference is that wizards access to higher level spells one level earlier.

Honestly, I've just never really been able to make my peace with the fact that there are two core classes that A) have very little utility besides casting spells, and B) use the same spell list. It's bothered me ever since 3.5 and it continues to do so even after PF helped differentiate them.

Also I saw two other threads in as many days of the form "what can Class X do that Class Y can't?" and they both seemed to generate some interesting insight, so I decided to continue the theme with a pairing I had always wondered about.

So far, I'm enjoying the discussion.

Sczarni

Well, if you're focusing on a single weapon, there's more feats out there that make you pick a weapon. Improved Critical comes to mind, though not much else does.

Would you consider TWF with a pair of clubs? That's pretty much all the feat choices you need right there. If you'd rather leave your other hand empty for spellcasting, then Dodge and Mobility can help with AoO's, and are really just generally useful anyway.

You're going to be taking Power Attack, naturally, right? Whenever I build a character with Power Atttack and wonder about other feats, I usually end up giving them Improved Bull Rush or Improved Sunder just in case an opportunity to use either maneuver comes in handy. Bull rushing became much more useful for warpriest-like characters in PF, because you no longer have to move along with the target-- you can push him out of your face and cast once you get Quick Bull Rush. Sunder is also a trick that pretty much always finds uses.

Sczarni

I had been wondering what use exactly a prepared caster gets out of this when they can't pick Expanded Arcana. There's some good advice here, and some good uses.

I like the idea of an all-half-elf party using their Alchemist to hand out Infusions of this. What feat would a Half-Elf Fighter want to grab? What about a Half-Elf Cavalier-- could he drink an Infusion of Paragon Surge, get a new teamwork feat, then grant it to everybody via Tactician?

Speaking of teamwork feats, it's a shame Inquisitors don't get this on their list. They would love an extra teamwork feat of choice on command, and also have quite a few "niche" spells on their list that aren't worth burning a spell known on, but would be nice to grab with Expanded Arcana.

Sczarni

My advice: persuade the Paladin to sell you the horse (for less than what you're getting paid for it obviously). This brings up a whole new set of challenges, of course, but handily solves all the previous ones.

Your client now legitimately owns a horse that was once that paladin's bonded mount, without fear of it being summoned away because the paladin has already taken a new mount. And you can live without fear of smiting or other divine retribution, because you have done nothing evil, you've simply negotiated a business deal.

As for how to convince the paladin in the first place? I'd say give him a lead on a more exotic steed, such as a mammoth or a hippogriff. Maybe those tricks you were going to use to steal his mount could instead be used to help him subdue a replacement?

Sczarni

Cavaliers are THE mounted class, but are they really that much better at it than a Ranger with a horse AC? Does the Challenge ability compare to Favored Enemy?

Sczarni

Odraude wrote:


Those are all good points. Folklore-wise, I'm unsure about the act being evil, as it was used as a punishment as often as it was used to be evil. But certainly, losing control over your character every time you change can be very detrimental.

My rationale for considering it "an evil act" is that you are causing a monster to come into being, knowing full well that this monster is incredibly powerful and will violently attack people but without knowing where or when that monster will manifest or how many people will die before it can be successfully subdued.

If you're casting this on a willing ally, you don't know how long it will be before your ally is capable of controlling the change. Until then, he's a danger to society and a liability to the party.

If you're casting this on an enemy, that's an overt act that tells your enemy where you stand, but doesn't actually hinder his ability to retaliate against you... and may incidentally give him a powerful weapon to use against you. At best, you've turned the society against your enemy, at the cost of an unpredictable number of innocent lives. At worst, you've turned society against yourself, while your enemy is seen as a victim and the local authorities are able to provide a cure.

Sczarni

Whenever we used lycanthropy at our tables, we also rule that the victim loses control over their actions, unless they can succeed at three DC25 Will saves in a row. Since the characters who most benefit from hybrid form are martials and thus have the poorer Will saves (typically), this means that it truly is a curse.

For a PC to inflict that on somebody would definitely be an incredibly evil act, because it effectively unleashes a powerful, ravening monster onto society. The change isn't even instantaneous, so you can't use it to deny a spellcaster their ability to cast, unless for some reason you need to make sure in advance that they can't cast a spell during the next full moon. And since said monster would likely go after them at its first opportunity, one wonders why a PC would even want to do this.

Sczarni

What book was Count Ranalc in? And what domains are you going for exactly?

Sczarni

And vice versa, for that matter?

Sczarni

blackbloodtroll wrote:
I don't really want to multiclass.

I was joking anyway.

Do the clubs have to be one-handed clubs, or is the greatclub also on the table?

Also, which deity has the club as their favored weapon?

Sczarni

sunbeam wrote:


3) Dealing with spells and magic in general.

This is the big one. The one that has to be addressed. The two classes that seem to be the cream of the non-caster classes have ways of dealing with magic.

Paladins have good will and save bonuses. They get charisma as a bonus on saves. They have lots of good reasons to pump charisma. Lay on hands can be a swift action on themselves, and they can remove a lot of debilitating conditions even if they fail a save, in addition to the hp's that give them a lot more effective hp's than a fighter.

Barbarians get bonuses to saves from Superstiton (face it, it is a class feature, just like beast totem and invulnerable rager), and fort and will bonuses from rage. If they fail a save they can get another from Eater of Magic, or if bad enough they can Spell Sunder whatever the problem is. This is guaranteed to work due to Strength Surge.

Well, Fighters are the only ones that qualify for Disruptive and Spellbreaker-- trouble is, you have to be threatening the caster when they try to cast for those to work, and 5-foot steps exist.

I think a few more combat feats that have "X-level fighter" as a prereq and specifically act against magic or spellcasting could go a surprisingly long way here. Here's one off the top of my head.

Insert Name of Feat Here
Prereq: 3rd-level Fighter, Spellcraft 1 rank.
Benefit: You get a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks to identify a spell as it is being cast. In addition, you get a +2 to AC and a +2 on all savings throws against spells you have identified.

Maybe an "improved" version down the line that grants attack/damage bonuses against spellcasters whose spells you have saved against?

Sczarni

Have a local peasant girl tied to the sawmill, slowly advancing towards the saw each round. Moustache-twirling black-caped villain optional mandatory.

Sczarni

Grab the Bludgeoner feat, and also a level of monk, so you can fight unarmed after you've thrown all your clubs. Use Bludgeoner with your fists too. Then call yourself Clubber Lang. *rimshot*

Sczarni

@Rogue Eidolon: Are you saying that I won't even need to make up a character for PAX? If not, how will the modules I play in count towards my experience saved up?

@Fruian: I do seem to recall the modules I've played being long on skill checks, so maybe Pvt. Half-Orc isn't the way to go. It's just so rare that I actually get to play The Big Guy. I might take a look at an Alchemist guide-- I was sort of thinking Elf for the DEX/INT bonuses and weapon familiarity, but I was a little worried that an Alchemist who can't grow extra arms isn't worth running.

@Magda: Can you PM me some links? I'm interested but my work schedule is pretty erratic-- I can't commit to the same time every week.

Sczarni

341. The PCs find a clearing suitable for camping. In the center of the clearing is a strange sundial-like obelisk made of stone and wrought iron, covered in carved geometric markings. A DC 15 Int check reveals that it is a "pointer" of sorts, and it is pointing to a specific spot on a hillside about a day's journey from here.

If the PCs investigate, traveling to the spot will require a DC20 Survival check. Once there, they will find that clearing has a similar pointer, leading them to another clearing another day's journey away, and so on. It's up to the GM to decide what, if anything, is at the end of this series of pointers.

If the PC's camp at a clearing, upon breaking camp the next morning they will find another traveler who is following the series of pointers. Who this traveler is, what he hopes to find, and how he reacts to the PCs, are up to the GM.

Sczarni

I always imagined Vancian casting as the wizard going to his cupboard of magical ingredients, breaking out his measuring spoons, and doling out the exact ingredients of each spell he wants to cast that day into his spell component pouch. Three Fireball spells? Okay, that's three teaspoons of bat guano. Two Feather Falls? Two down feathers out of the feather jar, careful not to let any of them blow away.

Doesn't make as much sense when the wizard is traveling or camping, but c'est la vie.

Anyway, to defend a rule I REALLY don't like? Here goes!

Combat Expertise uses Int as a prerequisite to illustrate that a clever combatant can wait until the right moment to strike and watch his stance for weak spots more effectively that a brawler who just swings a weapon and hopes for the best. It opens up the possibility for melee characters to actually prioritize Int, which would give them more skill points and open up new styles of play for martial classes. It also gives other classes who already want Int, like rogues and bards, a straightforward option in combat that lets them do more than "I hit it with my sword, just not as good as the fighter." Using it as a prereq for Improved combat maneuver feats invites these players to actually think more tactically instead of just bashing away for as much damage as they can.

Sczarni

If you take nonlethal damage equal to your remaining HP, you pass out.

If a character with 50 HP takes 50 points of lethal damage, he is unconscious and in danger of dying.

If a character with 50 HP takes 50 points of NONlethal damage, he is unconscious... and also in danger of dying, because the thing that dealt that damage is still there, ready to coup de grace him at its leisure.

Nonlethal damage is just as dangerous as regular damage.

Sczarni

Here's the story. I joined PFS way back at PAX East 2012,assuming I'd be able to find a local playgroup. Turns out, not so much. I've played a grand total of TWO PFS sessions since then, both with pregens at conventions. Well, PAX East 2014 is almost upon us, and I hope to get to play in one or may even two PFS sessions there, so that means I'm going to hit level 2 and therefore need to finalize a character build. I've got some ideas, but I want advice.

My Requirements:
1.Core and APG only. I have friends that own the other books for home games, but I'm not buying my own copy for the sake of a character that I only get to play once or twice a year.
2.Must be able to "do its thing" straight out of the gate. I'm not building a character around a class feature or item I won't be getting for another three or four years.

My current ideas:

Halfling Cleric of Zon-Kuthon:

Kyra was one of the two pregens I played, and I liked it well enough, but I also like the idea of a spiked chain and Inflict spells. I'd probably start with Weapon Finesse to go with my DEX bonus, and act as a melee blaster with some support spells on call. I know the table won't be thrilled that their cleric channels negative energy, but I'll keep Bless memorized and that should make them happy enough.

Roleplay-wise, I'm imagining that he lost his parents at a young age and turned to religion to hear bear the grief. And what better deity to help cope with the pain of loss than the god of pain and loss? I'd roleplay him as "in mourning", having memorized all the platitudes by rote yet not really taking any comfort in any of them.

Half-Orc Fighter:

The idea here is that he's a half-orc who's determined to prove that half-orcs are good for more than just hired muscle. Trouble is, he himself isn't good for anything more than hired muscle-- not with his 7 INT and CHA. He joined the military to prove he was more than a mindless brawler, and because there's a prestige to a man in uniform. Trouble is, the military he joined was in Galt, and the general organizing the army were soon overthrown. He escaped the guillotine only because he wasn't high-ranked enough to be worth executing. He still identifies as a military man, though-- his armor is a military uniform, he introduces himself as "Private", and he carries the book on politics that his former CO gave him, so people can see him read it.

Mechanics-wise, I'm thinking Weapon Master archetype, but what weapon? Polearm and spiked gauntlet? Maybe sword-and-board? What weapon most suggests "rank and file soldier" yet is still effective? In my group I'm usually the arcane caster, so straight-up martial could be fun for a change of pace (and you don't have to wait around for the good spells).

Alchemist. Just...alchemist:

I've had good luck with half-casters like bards and inquisitors, but my group frowns on alchemists ever since one fateful session where bomb splash damage killed more PCs than the enemies. I'd like to try one out, but how best to build one? Since it's an APG class, I can't use any archetypes or non-APG discoveries; was the alchemist robust enough to run with fresh out of the gate? Can you focus on bombs in PFS without killing strangers' characters and getting beaten up in the parking lot? Is "mutagen melee" worth it, or are you basically a rogue who thinks he's a barbarian?

Any and all suggestions welcome!

Sczarni

Homebrew a wingsuit for them to wear so they can glide sans magic.

They'd have to take their armor off to wear the wingsuit of course, so the benefits of improved navigation might be mitigated by the possibility of a random encounter upon landing.

Sczarni

Actually, I'd call this guy CG-- he's basically staging a revolution because he wants to fight against the institutionalized prejudices against half-orcs. The monarch who banished him is LE, using her position of power to ruin this guy's life.

Sczarni

I've been curious about this myself-- it seems the biggest obstacle besetting the rogue is a need to be in melee but a lack of ability once there. A decent shield would shore up the rogue's AC letting him focus on Strength and more to-hit/damage without feat-taxing him for Weapon Finesse.

I'd say your first level should be Fighter, for proficiency and a bonus feat. Then go Rogue and focus on feats and talents that improve your combat capability-- Power Attack, Weapon Focus, and a few good sneak attack talents. Maybe a second fighter level if you really feel like you need it.

Alternatively, you could try TWF with a spiked shield as your off-hand weapon, but that comes with all the drawbacks that traditional TWF rogues have faced, just with a few extra points of AC. I'm not an expert on building rogues, but I'd definitely be interested in seeing if this can work.

Sczarni

I voted for "soup up bravery" and "more fighter-only feats".

Right now, the biggest argument in favor of playing a fighter is Weapon Specialization (which other classes arguably don't need, as they have other class features to improve their damage) and the Critical Feats, which let fighters supplement their damage with their choice of debuff. Sure, swinging that zweihander for all the damage you could ever care to and more is fun, but the critical feats allow you to dual-wield kukris and crit-fish on every enemy in range if you'd rather play more controlling. If there were more fighter-only feats, there'd be more reason to play a fighter.

Also, Bravery really is a joke.

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