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The Scribbler

Silent Saturn's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,518 posts (1,522 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Sczarni

rainzax wrote:

Silent Saturn,

your proposal is interesting:

using a Class skill Trained: Advantage
using a Class skill Untrained: Normal
using a Cross-Class skill: Disadvantage

greatly increases the importance of class skill lists. I would recommend amending those lists positively rather than negatively in that case (ex: granting Fighter extra class skills like Acrobatics, Diplomacy, Heal, Perception, Sense Motive, etc, rather than compiling lists of 'anti-class skills')...

I think you've misread my post. I was actually making two distinct suggestions.

The first was that you are at a disadvantage when using an untrained skill. If it was a class skill, then that would negate the disadvantage, and you'd roll 1d20. Otherwise, you could put a rank into it to negate the disadvantage. Trained class skills only would get advantage.

The second was that each class gets "anti-class skills" at which he or she is at a disadvantage, regardless of ranks. A paladin with Greater Feint might have max ranks in Bluff and a beastly CHA bonus, but he'd still be taking the lower d20.

Sczarni

"Lapidan" is an anagram of "paladin", so I first assumed that you'd created a race specifically built to make good paladins.

The rules for stabilizing say that you stabilize if you receive ANY amount of healing. This means that Stored Vitality prevents Lapidans of ever being in danger of bleeding out, unless someone tries to coup-de-grace them. And how often do NPCs or monsters try to coup-de-grace a downed PC? That, plus the CON bonus, means this will likely be a race that just doesn't die unless the GM is going all-out (or decides it would be cool to have enemies wielding scythes and then confirms a crit).

Are you also going to homebrew some exotic Lapidan weapons for them to treat as martial?

Sczarni

It's an interesting idea to be sure, but here's a question-- would you ever have the DISadvantage with this rule? Would the existence of circumstances under which you take the LOWER of 2d20 balance things out? If so, what circumstances should those be?

Perhaps you have disadvantage when you attempt a skill untrained? It would cut down on instances where a player who invested resources in a skill does worse than a player who didn't, but it would also make sure that characters with few skill points to spare (fighters and paladins) are absolutely garbage at skill checks.

Maybe each class has a list of class skills, and a list of "anti-class skills"? Things like Bluff for paladins, Knowledge: Arcane for fighters, Acrobatics for wizards, etc. Rogues would be the one class that never takes such a penalty.

Sczarni

103. A local family's young son has been replaced with a derro. The derro claims to BE the missing son, right down to knowing things only the son should know and even having a faint facial resemblance.

Sczarni

93. The local candle-maker has just taken a wife a few months ago. Since the wedding, the once-waifish woman has put on an astounding amount of weight, far more than even an expectant mother ought to in such a short time. The candle-maker's two great-uncles, now deceased, had been exposed as cultists of Urgathoa shortly before their deaths. The candle-maker himself has been nothing but an upstanding citizen and is well-liked in town, but neither he nor his wife will acknowledge the woman's drastic change in physique as unusual, and rumors are starting to spread.

Sczarni

80. A grippli antipaladin has been hiding in the town's well for the past few days, befouling the water supply and engineering the spread of a plague.

Sczarni

33. A mage has launched a series of minor attacks on the city by teleporting in various magical beats set to run amok in crowded areas. The city guard has had no luck determining who's doing it or how to stop them. It's actually a local summoner who lives in the city with training in Stealth, who hides in crowded areas and summons them in. He's upset at the failings of the city guard, and is doing all this to prove a point.

34. A local merchant caravan returned a few weeks ago with a wagonload of cheaply-obtained magical items, from everflame candelabras to self-pushing brooms to shoes that triple your running speed and let you kick harder than a mule. They're all cursed, in various horrible and/or hilarious ways, and the PCs must save the villagers from their new toys.. and the merchant from his dissatisfied customers.

35. The local blacksmith has been dabbling in conjuration, hoping to summon a fire elemental to heat his forge. He accidentally got a Hesperian (accomplice devil) instead.

Sczarni

I enjoy giving rogues the surname "Tumblers" and then giving them max ranks in Acrobatics AND Disable Device.

I also once had a druid named Treow-- Middle English for "tree". Also Middle English for "truth"-- this is why "tree" and "true" are only one letter off from each other; they have the same root word. The people of the era associated nature and the natural world with the secrets of the universe and the like, which is why Druids are still a trope today.

Sczarni

511. Short Stories by Kib Glibwit This book is a collection of 34 short stories by a gnomish author from Riddleport. Glibwit's stories all feature gnome or halfling protagonists, and a major theme of his work is the struggle of living in a human-dominated city and dealing with human prejucides against the shorter folk. Reading this book grants you a +2 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy and Knowledge: Local checks involving Small races or the city of Riddleport.

Sczarni

What other classes should a rogue be able to mimic? I was hesitant to do a monk talent, because several Ninja Tricks already have that covered. Likewise, I wasn't sure how to do a bard talent, or a sorcerer talent that didn't A) overlap with the inevitable wizard talent, or B) make the rogue feel like a worse bard.

I also wasn't sure how to do a paladin, summoner, witch, or oracle talent at all. Any ideas?

Sczarni

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I had meant for all of them to be basic talents, and then for each one there'd be an advanced talent that would give the rogue a little more of the class feature it's stealing. For example, the rogue could copy the Cavalier's skill bonuses and 2nd-level Order ability as early as level 2, and then at Level 10, an advanced talent could give her the 8th-level ability.

I wasn't aware of the talents that grant bombs or favored terrain, but I am glad they exist. I considered having the Alchemist talent grant the rogue bombs. I declined to do a "mock gunslinger" talent because I know one already exists.

For the most part, I wasn't so much trying to just copy other classes' iconic abilities, but for the rogue to put her own spin on them. That's why I gave her a rage power but not the ability to rage. Its why I gave her the skill bonuses from the cavalier's ability and tried to substitute the bonus challenge damage for sneak attack damage. It's also why the fighter ability gave me so much trouble. Here's my second try:

Fighter:

Choose a weapon group from the fighter's weapon training list. The rogue gains a +1 bonus on all attack and damage rolls with weapons from that group. In addition, whenever she deals sneak attack damage with a weapon from that group, she deals an additional 1d6 damage.

I feel like Weapon Training isn't as powerful for rogues as it is for fighters, since fighters are proficient in martial weapons and have more options to choose from, and have the benefit of full BAB and the option of Weapon Specialization.

Sczarni

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In another rogue thread, I suggested that the most quintessentially "roguish" thing to do is to pretend to be something you're not. To that end, I decided to try and come up with some rogue talents that would let a rogue steal some abilities from other classes. Here's what I've come up with so far; feel free to add your own ideas or comment on mine.

Alchemist:

The rogue gains Brew Potion and Throw Anything as bonus feats. Choose a number of 1st-level alchemist formulae equal to 3+the rogue's Int. The rogue may brew potions of those formulae as though she had a formulae book containing them. In addition, the rogue adds her Int bonus to all damage rolls made with thrown weapons, including the splash damage (if any). The rogue must have at least 11 Int to select this talent.

Barbarian:

Choose a rage power that the rogue qualifies for, using her rogue level as her effective barbarian level. The rogue gains that rage power. This does not grant the rogue the ability to rage. If the selected rage power is usable once per rage, the rogue may use it once per day. If the selected rage power is always active when the barbarian rages, the rogue may use it for a number of rounds per day equal to 3 + her Con modifier. The rogue may also use this rage power during any rounds of rage she has from additional sources, or while under any effect that simulates a barbarian's rage (such as a skald's ragesong or the Rage spell).

Cavalier:

Choose a cavalier order. The rogue gains the challenge class ability, and the skill bonuses, challenge bonuses, and 2nd-level Order ability of that order. The rogue's melee attacks against the target of her challenge deal Sneak Attack damage instead of the bonus damage normally granted by the challenge class ability. The rogue is not required to follow the edicts of this order to gain these bonuses, but gains a +4 bonus on Bluff, Disguise, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks relating to his order as long as she is not known to have violated her order's edicts recently.
If the rogue already has levels in cavalier, or gains levels of cavalier later, she must choose the same order.

Cleric:

The rogue gains the ability to channel energy using a holy symbol, using her rogue level as her effective cleric level. Channeling energy in this way is a full-round action, and requires a DC15 Knowledge: Religion check and a DC20 Use Magic Device check. Whether the rogue channels positive or negative energy depends not on her own alignment, but on the alignment of the deity whose holy symbol she displays. A rogue may not use a neutral deity's holy symbol to channel energy.
The rogue must not have any levels in a class that gains the channel energy class feature to select this rogue talent. If the rogue later gains the channel energy class feature from another class, she loses this rogue talent and gains Extra Channel as a bonus feat.

Druid:

The rogue gains the wild empathy, woodland, stride, and trackless step class features. The rogue's version of woodland stride and trackless step function in urban as well as natural surroundings, and apply to any sort of difficult terrain one might reasonably expect to find in those terrains. In addition, the rogue gets a +2 insight bonus to Knowledge: Nature checks and all Wisdom-based skill checks.

Fighter:

The rogue gains a +1 bonus to her BAB and proficiency in one light or one-handed martial melee weapon of her choice. In addition, the rogue treats the max dex bonus of any armor she wears as +1 higher, and her total ACP as 1 lower (to a minimum of 0).

Inquisitor:

The rogue gains the stern gaze, track, and cunning initiative class features, using her rogue level as her effective inquisitor level.

Sczarni

All of the "Aspect of the [animal]" spells would be interesting choices, especially for the ranger who spends more time in his favored terrain than he does interacting with people.

Sczarni

160) A commoner drags a large iron box into the tavern, chained and locked. He approaches the first reasonably tough looking patron he sees, (possibly the PCs) and offers to bet them 10g that they can't open the box, by force or guile. After an hour or so, a large man in hide armor barges in with a massive steel warhammer, points to the commoner, and demands "double or nothing!"

Sczarni

You know the GM is out to get the ALCHEMIST when every group of random goblins has a wand of Shatter.

You know the GM is out to get the RANGER when, every time he chooses a new Favored Terrain, the story moves to a completely different terrain.

You know the GM is out to get the REACH WEAPON WIELDER when the battlegrid is nothing but 5' wide corridors.

You know the GM is out to get the ANIMAL COMPANION CLASS when he's trying to calculate the DC of a Handle Animal check every time the AC needs to do anything more complicated than lick itself.

You know the GM is out to get the GUNSLINGER when suddenly all the enemies are Tiny and not a single point of their 26 AC comes from armor.

Sczarni

My group has always run death by the book. At -CON, you are dead. Thanks for playing. Resurrection is rare in our group too, since we don't often play at high enough levels for it.

OTOH, we don't roll for hit points at each level like you're supposed to-- everybody gets their full HD+CON every level.

It hasn't really caused any problems-- characters don't hit -CON very often at our tables. Most of us have just learned to play conservatively, like a real adventurer would if he wanted to make it out alive. Also, nobody dumps CON.

Sczarni

Halflings are excellent at being Summoners, especially "stealth summoners"- a strategy where the Summoner himself hides from the enemy while dropping summoned monsters in to do the fighting. When done right, the enemy never even knows where these monsters are coming from or why.

Sczarni

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Allfood is a little silly. You survive in the wilderness by eating... random stuff that you've magically transformed into "food".

Also, the material components are a pinch of salt and pepper. Given the description of the "food" this spell creates, you're going to need quite a bit more than that.

Sczarni

If there were a feat that gave +2 to an ability score, what kinds of characters would take it? Would everybody take it? Nobody?

If you could take it multiple times, how many times would you take it?

If there were six such feats, one for each ability score, how many would you take?

Sczarni

140. You've inherited a large iron box from your father, chained and locked. There was also a letter, instructing the executor to release the key to you after 10 years, unless...

You didn't pay attention to that last part, because you figured you'd just break into the box. The local locksmith spent hours trying to pick the lock and failed. Your safecracker friend didn't even try to pick it, but he did try to buy the box off you. You took it to a tavern and bet a barbarian 10gp he couldn't break the chains, but his +1 greataxe wasn't enough to cut it. (Hey, you won 10gp.)

Now, rumors of you and the box are starting to spread. Unpleasant thuggish types have started showing up at your door to bet you they can break the chains. Other unsavory folks keep pulling you aside on the street to strongly suggest that you sell them the box. An old friend of your father's came by to beg you to throw the box in the river. A Kuthonite cleric left you his calling card and politely requested that you notify him when you get it open. What did the executor say about they key again?

Sczarni

If I could change the rogue, I'd give her a gimmick that no other class has, that she could focus on and become better at than any other class. And I think I've come up with a good one.

What do all the traditionally "roguish" things have in common? In combat, Sneak Attack lets a sub-par scrapper hit like a brute far above her actual weight class, and feinting is a classic rogue maneuver that sets up a sneak attack by distracting the enemy with a fake attack. And as for the classic "rogue" skills? Bluff is all about lying, Stealth is all about making them think you're not there, Sleight of Hand is about hiding what you're doing, and Use Magic Device is how a non-magical character pretends she can cast spells.

Truly, a rogue is a master of faking it. Of course a rogue isn't as powerful as any of the other classes. But she can pretend she is quite convincingly, and that's what matters.

So, the changes I'd make would take that and run with it. Give rogues a class bonus to Bluff, Disguise, SoH, UMD, and Stealth-- enough that they become the class those skills are associated with. For each other class, rogues get a talent (and later an advanced talent) that lets them emulate one of their iconic class skills, preferably in such a way that makes them feel more like "impostors" than "dabblers". I'd also want some mechanic that lets a rogue use Sleight of Hand to set up an opponent for Sneak Attacking. Maybe rogues get the option to replace Bluff with SoH for feinting? Then they wouldn't need CHA so much (but could still get mileage out of it if they wanted).

Sczarni

Rubber's simplest use is to waterproof and seal stuff, so a world with rubber probably has less mildew than a rubber-free one.

Also, graphite sticks are now more useful, since they can be erased.

Sczarni

When you say "Arcane Gunslinger" how arcane do you need to be?

If you take a race that gets a SLA, like Gnome or Aasimar, you can take the Arcane Strike feat, which lets you add a bonus to your damage rolls and all your shots are treated as being magic. If the mental image of shooting magically charged bullets is what appeals to you, then just go straight gunslinger the rest of the way.

If you want to actually be able to cast spells, then you'll probably need to multiclass or at least dip. Go Mysterious Stranger and a CHA-based casting class (bard, sorcerer, summoner, skald, or bloodrager) so you won't have to worry about your stats.

The ARG has a second Gunslinger archetype, the Buccaneer, that uses CHA instead of WIS for grit, but it also trades away the Quick Clear deed and commits you to Human. Then again, given how many feats you need so early (Rapid Reload, Deadly Aim, Point-Blank Shot) just to wield a gun effectively, Human is already a very effective choice.

As for your spellcasting class, Bloodrager could be a very potent choice, if you're willing to wait until you get 4 levels into it to cast spells. Sorcerer is a good choice too, since that spell list gets you a few firearm-based spells like Jury Rig.

Sczarni

In my experience, you're better off not starting with an alignment and working to justify it, but starting with a character concept, and it gets labeled as Alignment: _E, so be it as long as you can play it properly.

Put another way, why do you want to be evil in the first place? Is it just for novelty's sake? Or do you have some nefarious goal you want to dedicate yourself towards?

I think the most compelling reasons to be an evil character (and for a GM to allow you to be so) is if you want to play a Cleric of an Evil deity. In this case, the GM understands that you're motivated not by a secret desire to backstab your allies, but by a desire to play the class you want to play and cast the spells you want to cast. Just about all the evil deities in the CRB have deep enough portfolios that you could build a cleric of any one of them, and simply focus on the non-evil aspects of that deity.

Sczarni

I'm going to go off the board and say an all-Sorcerer party.

Healing? In a room full of CHA-casters, somebody's going to have a decent UMD score. And if not, Infernal Healing will be okay until somebody learns to summon something that can heal.

Meanwhile, you've got a pretty decent variety of potential builds. One guy can fill the boards with summons, one can load up on transmutation and touch spells and try to go melee, a debuffer Necromancer, an Illusionist or Enchanter to be the "face", and of course an Evoker for when you just need stuff dead.

The only trouble is when you need some niche utility spell that nobody wanted to spend a spell known on. But honestly, most sorcerers are versatile enough that this can be worked around.

Sczarni

So I'm 2-for-2 so far. Nice! Let's see if I can pull off the hat trick.

Spoiler:

Greex was one of the bravest warriors of the Mongrelheart tribe. Nobody was half as good in the saddle of a goblin dog as he was. He was so good at riding, he once leapt off of his gobdog onto the back of a human riding a horse, threw the human to the ground, and managed to ride the horse for a few minutes. He honestly thought that if the Mongrelheart tribe ever fell, he'd fall with it, his feet in the stirrups and his hands on his horsechopper. He never could have imagined how it ended up happening.

The raid came in the middle of the night. Greex was dead asleep when the warning horn blew, and by the time he understood what was happening it was too late. The invaders had already snuck past the watch, silently killed almost half the tribe's fighting force, and were now burning down the fortress. Greex stepped out of his tent, armor half-donned, and saw that the stables were already smoldering, and his steed was surely dead.

Greex was afraid, but oddly, he wasn't angry. He'd never seen so much fire in his life. It was beautiful. What goblin wouldn't want this to be his last sight? He was happy that the invaders had at least given his tribe a proper goblin's death. But this wasn't his last sight, nor was it the most beautiful thing he'd see tonight.

In a relatively unburned clearing, he saw his tribe's destroyer in brilliant light. She was shaped like a human woman, but she was no human. She was fire given life. Skin as fair as ashen logs, eyes glowing like embers, a bonfire of hair. She was the fire's source and its soul. She held out a hand and a gout of fire surged forth and consumed one of Greex's tribemates. Greex was ashamed that the gobs he called kin would try to fight such a perfect creature. They ought to be falling to their knees worshiping it!

From behind the goddess, an elf appeared. Greex scowled. The elf fiddled with something in a large satchel, then threw a bottle at another goblin. The bottle exploded in fire, a different color of fire that looked ugly compared to Her Fire. A few humans also appeared. Greex understood now. They were pretenders, disciples of... Her. They were students of Fire, and She was the master. He knew now what he had to do.

There as just enough unburned ground between him and Her for Greex to cautiously approach. He was scared, and his mouth was dry. He expected Her to immolate him as soon as she lay eyes on him, and wasn't sure he didn't want Her to, but She didn't. She stopped, a quizzical look on Her face. Greex was the first goblin who hadn't charged the group, weapon in hand. Greex slowly approached, a look of awe on his face, and She watched him, wondering what he would do. He dropped to his knees in supplication. As a pup, the tribe's old shaman had taught him a few words of the Language of Fire, and now he struggled to recall the words.

"Your fire is beautiful." Greex said, in the clearest Ignan as he could over its roar.

"What?" She asked, half-laughing.

"It's beautiful. You bring so much fire. Thank you." Greex's eyes began to water, from emotion as much as smoke, but he could still see Her smile as he passed out, and he felt a smile of his own spread across his face.

Greex woke up tied to a tree. Her and her followers were standing over him, puzzling. Eventually the elf, in surprisingly fluent Goblin, started asking him questions about who he was, and what he wanted. He answered as best as he could, that he was the best mounted warrior of his tribe and that he loved Fire, like any gob should, and that he saw how much his captors liked it too. He was sad that She wasn't doing the talking, and directed most of his answers at Her. He even tried to answer in Ignan, when he could.

Eventually they let him go, and told him who they were: a band of mercenaries and treasure-hunters. She said her name was Kaedesha, called herself a sorcerer, and an "Ifrit". She spoke of the efreeti, a magical people from the Plane of Fire, to whom she traced her lineage. Greex now understood-- she was no goddess, but a princess of the land of Fire, banished from her homeland and searching for a new land to burn her birthright into. She laughed and asked Greex to join her band.

For years afterwards, Greex followed Kaedesha as faithfully as a knight follows a lord. When Kaedesha complained of the gobdogs' dander, Greex chose instead to break a boar to the saddle. When Kaedesha set her sights on a prize, Greex would ride down any who stood in her way and bask in Her warmth afterwards.

Greex didn't die in his saddle, or in a fire. He died in a temple healer's bed, Her hand in his, as She retold all their tales of bravery and heroics to the clergy, Greex's hand in Hers and a tear in Her eye.

I imagine Greex as an Order of the Lion Cavalier, if that matters. Probably Beast Rider archetype, unless you think goblin dogs and boars are standard choices for a goblin Cavalier.

Sczarni

471) The Holy Texts in Volumes

One shelf of the library is devoted to holy texts. Each book on the shelf is a compilation of the teachings, parables, and doctrine of a different deity in the pantheon, bound in simple leather and with the deity's holy symbol embossed on the cover. A few of the books are dedicated to obscure deities that the PCs may never have even heard of. All the books appear to be part of one work with multiple volumes, but no author or editor is named.

Spending 2d10 minutes consulting the volumes grants the reader a +4 circumstance bonus on any Knowledge: Religion check. This time is reduced to 1d4 minutes if the reader already knows which deity's volume contains the relevant information.

Sczarni

Bhijo was a glutton, even by goblin standards. He ate everything that wasn't nailed down, and he usually ate the nails too. His dream was to eat an entire farm's worth of food in one raid-- the whole crop harvest, every pig, every cow, everything. He knew he could never do it, but some nights he'd have wonderful dreams about it.

One day he discovered a wagonload of watermelons. The farmers driving it were dead-- they'd been pincushioned full of arrows by raiders. The raiders had taken all the stuff THEY thought was valuable, but left the melons and the dead farmers. Bhijo climbed up into the wagon and gorged himself for hours, until his eyes rolled back into his head and he collapsed from exhaustion.

In his food stupor, he had a vision. Urgathoa, the goddess of gluttony and undeath, came to him and blessed him. She called him her favored disciple, and told Bhijo that his devotion to her sphere had allowed her to send the world a miracle.

When Bhijo awoke, he noticed that the dead farmers were gone. There were tracks leading away from the wagon, and when he followed them he saw the miracle. The farmers, and several other dead humans, and gotten back up and were marching to the nearby human village! Bhijo was amazed at the sight-- dozens and dozens of humans, staggering down the road, their clothes and armor in tatters, showing their gray, bloated meat underneath. Bhijo imagined how tender they must be-- the meat was practically falling off the bone! His appetite came back with a vengeance, and he said a small prayer to Urgathoa, thanking her for this bounty.

By the time the zombies had reached the main gate into the village, Bhijo had eaten nearly all of them. Some humans in heavy armor came out with maces and bashed the remaining zombies into the ground, which Bhijo was thankful for, since he'd been getting too full to chase them down himself. As he gnawed the meat off of the last one, he began to pass out again, but not before he saw the humans with maces look down at him, awestruck. Soon, their faces were replaced by that of Urgathoa appearing to him again.

That was over a century ago, and that village still tells the story of that brave goblin, who sacrificed his life to save them from a horde of zombies only to die of dysentery a few hours later.

Sczarni

How about a feat that grants you an additional 5-ft step during a full attack? Maybe with every iterative attack you get, you also get another extra 5-ft step? Then suddenly "fighting while mobile" starts to look a little more doable, and the mental image of a guy ducking and weaving around enemies and slashing away as he goes can actually be done.

I already mentioned Flying Kick earlier in the thread, but a few other feats that reward monks for charging when they can't flurry would be nice. It'd make their extra speed matter more, and help their to-hit problems when they aren't flurrying.

Sczarni

There's also the fact that Alchemists can get the Bottled Ooze discovery.

They can't control their oozes either, but at least they have the security in knowing that their ooze only last 1 round/caster level. Just throw the vial off of a catwalk or through a window, and the ooze will go after the closer targets before it finds its way to you.

Sczarni

Here's a thought: can you go Druid, wild shape into a venomous animal, and poison people by biting them?

If so, can you take Ability Focus or something to increase your save DCs?

Sczarni

How about a feat chain that makes poisons viable? Maybe Poison Use as a feat, or something that codifies the process of "milking the venom" out of an animal?

Actually, instead of a chain, how about two feats: one for ninjas and alchemists that involves acquiring poison on the cheap and administering it more effectively, and a second one for druids and rangers that involves milking venomous animals and applying it to weapons with a Handle Animal check?

Sczarni

Why a longsword? Are you going to use a shield?

Sword-and-shield fighting is a good basis for TWF if you've got a spiked shield. Fighters make decent TWFers thanks to all the extra feats, Weapon Training, and Weapon Specialization.

If you're not going for a shield, just two-hand the longsword, get Power Attack, and you're pretty much all set. Spend the rest of your feats on whatever looks like fun. Though you should pick up Iron Will as well, and probably Steel Soul since you're a dwarf.

Sczarni

If he's interested in a debuff/SoS caster, a sorcerer would be a good shot. He'd have fewer spells to learn, but the most of them to cast per day.

Color Spray is awesome at low levels, and at 4th level you can trade it out. Grease is useful too. Just about anything in the Illusion, Enchantment, or Necromancy trees would be decent.

Sczarni

If we're talking about the typical "zombie master", then my favorite would probably be an evil cleric or a Bones oracle.

Necromancy in PF, however, has lots of nasty spells that don't involve raising the dead. A sorcerer focused on necromancy Save or Die spells would probably be even more awesome.

The wizard would be more powerful, most likely, but I just don't like prepared spellcasting. Clerics are fun and flavorful enough that I can make an exception.

Sczarni

Skiritz was one of the Swampchaw tribe's "special" ones. For any other gob, it took dry wood scraps and lots of time to start fire. But Skiritz could make fire any time he wanted! He didn't even need dry wood or anything! He got real good at it to. He could snap his fingers and light a torch or a bonfire, or if he really put his back into it he could make a big explosion of fire and burn everything in front of him! One time he saved his whole tribe from a wagonload of books that way. All the Swampchaw's loved having Skiritz along on raids or revels.

One night he got separated from his friends in a heavy thunderstorm. The rain put out the torches faster than even he could light them, so he took shelter in a cave to wait it out. Inside the cave, he heard some voices. They were talking in Humantalk, but Skiritz knew a little of that. He knew they were complaining because they had no fire. Well! Skiritz knew he was about to make some new friends then! Everybody loved Skiritz once he gave them some fire.

He walked right up to his new friends and said "You want fire? Skiritz give you fire!" He snapped his fingers and the pathetic pile of wood scraps his new friends had gathered became a hearty bonfire! It lit up the entire cave, and now Skiritz saw that his new friends were (gasp!) GNOMES?!

But it didn't matter. Skiritz knew everybody loved him when he gave them fire. And he was right! His new gnome friends weren't nearly as bad as the ones that had tried to drive the Swampchaws out of the marsh. They shared their rum with him, and he showed them his "fire-breathing dragon" trick. They told him they were Pathfinders. Skiritz had found all the paths in the marsh, and he knew the other Swampchaws wouldn't like his new friends, so he offered to help them. It turns out that the path they found lead a lot further than just out of the swamp. It led to old ruins, and through human cities, and across an ocean! And always his new friends found plenty of things for Skiritz to set on fire. He got real good at it too! And he met other people-- humans and gnomes and elves-- who could make fire as good as he could. One of them taught him how to conjure a fire with a mind of its own! They called it an "elemental". Skiritz called it Crackly.

Sczarni

Here's a feat I wish existed: either "reverse Power Attack" or "reverse Vital Strike". We've got a feat that trades to-hit for damage and a feat that trades it for AC. Then we've got a feat that trades the rest of your attacks this round for more damage dice, on the assumption that your iteratives probably aren't going to hit. But how about a feat that lets you trade something for an attack bonus?

Maybe it's like Vital Strike: you forfeit the rest of your attacks to line up one good shot and make sure it hits. Or it could be like PA/CE: you take a scaling penalty to something else that round in exchange for a scaling bonus. I don't know how the numbers would shake out, but it would be nice to have something for when you're up against a high AC monster and you just need to land an attack.

Sczarni

Dwarf Wizard Lich

Spoiler:

In the dwarven hold of Granite Peak Keep, deep beneath the mountain, there lies the Granite Peak Library. The dwarves there have amassed one of the largest collections of books in the world, with some volumes going all the way back to the Second Era, and Kharazh Lore-Hoard has been the keeper of the library for as long as anyone can remember. Some joke that he's as old as some of his books. They don't know that they're right.

Kharazh had spent nearly all of his original lifespan hoarding books and learning from them, and couldn't bear the thought that his collection had long since surpassed the point where he'd live to read them all. When an adventurer brought in a tome describing the profane rituals of lichdom, Kharazh never had a second thought. His devotion to his library had paid off, and now he would have centuries and centuries to curate it.

Kharazh uses a daily disguise self, coupled with a strong incense and a false beard made from his original beard, to maintain his appearance as it was when he was alive. No longer requiring sleep, he spends all night reading and re-scribing copies of more popular works. He also sells spellcasting services, and uses the money to commission the Pathfinder Society to bring back any old tomes they discover during their travels. Occasionally a Pathfinder notices that Kharazh has an aura of evil, but since he rarely leaves his library, he never commits any evil acts, and most travelers have come to expect dwarves to be surly to outsiders anyway. Kharazh values books more than people and would gladly kill to obtain new books, but has never needed to.

Kharazh's phylactery is a book he keeps in a display case in the back of the library. If asked, he will say the pages are fragile and it can no longer be handled. He will offer the curious a "second edition copy", and then give them a random book. Kharazh is equally protective of every other book in the library, and nobody even suspects he HAS a phylactery, so no further security has been needed.

Sczarni

Here's an idea for a fighter lich-- and how a fighter would come to be a lich.

Human Fighter Lich:

Marskym was a warrior without peer-- a fiend with a blade, and also a fiend. Iiasha was a sorceress as powerful as she was beautiful, and almost as beautiful as she was wicked. Together, the two found kinship in their disdain for petty morality, and each lusted after the other's power and virility. They were a force to be feared, but they'd be even more feared if they had ambition beyond the bedroom.

When age began to creep into Marskym's bones while Iiasha's elven form remained as nubile as ever, the two of them finally realized that their whirlwind romance couldn't last forever. Iiasha couldn't stand to have her favorite succumb to something as banal as time, and Marskym wasn't about to accept his fate, so when Iiasha suggested lichdom as an alternative, Marskym took it.

That was a century ago, and the two of them are still a blight on the landscape. Marskym's love of violence has only been magnified by spite: as an undead creature, Iiasha's carnal delights are forever denied him. Iiasha has since found religion: the temple of Calistria has fueled her spitefulness and malice, and temple prostitutes now fulfill the needs that Marskym's rotted form no longer can.

Marskym's phylactery is a ring that never leaves Iiasha's finger, guarded by a permanent nondetection and all of Iiasha's own various magical defenses. Iiasha playfully calls it her "wedding ring", and to her Marskym is still her favorite, but Marskym himself has come to see it as a symbol of his shackles to a woman he is bound to forever in ways he didn't expect.

As for builds? I'd say Marskym should have a few grapple feats to exploit the lich's paralyzing touch, even if it isn't his Plan A. Plan A is probably a greatsword or falchion, Power Attack, and whatever feats tickle your fancy.

Iiasha, meanwhile, is an elf sorcerer built for necromancy with a little evocation sprinkled in, plus whatever defensive spells she needs to protect herself and Marskym's phylactery from the legions of enemies they've no doubt made. Perhaps also Brew Potion so she can load him up with potions of this and that and let him off the leash for an afternoon.

Sczarni

Is it this Shadow Assassin? I don't know much about this book, but I'll do my best.

Unarmed Strikes count as light weapons, so get Piranha Strike for some extra damage that way. You should also technically qualify for the Daggermaster and Swarm of Blades talents, since you have two fists, even though your GM may not see it that way. (Remember, you have two fists and are therefore "wielding" two light weapons, even if you aren't TWFing. You only take TWF penalties if you try and attack with both fists and get extra off-hand attacks; if you only attack as many times as your BAB allows, you don't take penalties.)

Speaking of TWF, I recommend avoiding that route-- it only pays off if you've got some hefty static bonuses to damage on all attack rolls. Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike) will help more of your punches connect, which means more damage. You'll also want an AoMF at some point of course, unless you're willing to wear a spiked gauntlet or cestus and call that an unarmed strike. (Though I'm guessing the idea is that you kill secretly, and thus don't want to have anything on your person that can be identified as a weapon.)

I would also suggest you get the Accelerated Drinker trait, and carry a few potions of a suitable buff spell. Magic Fang will boost U.S. damage, Enlarge Person gives bigger damage dice and a STR bonus, Bull's Strength is just straight up more strength. If you have enough skill points to keep UMD maxed out, wands are cheaper per charge, so you could instead get a trait that makes UMD a class skill.

Sczarni

I don't know how many, but if you actually had that many, there'd be no way you'd see through them all. Or interact with other things in any way, since you've have a cloud of floating pebbles to reach through every time you wanted to pick something up or touch something.

Also, an ioun stone is about the size of a pebble. At the numbers we're talking about, the cost of that many magic items would be prohibitively expensive. You'd be better off just crafting yourself a custom magic item with a permanent Blur effect.

Sczarni

There was one 3.5 feat I was sorry didn't make it into PF: Flying Kick.

Flying Kick (Combat)
Prereq: Improved Unarmed Strike
Benefit: Whenever you charge and end in an unarmed strike, you deal an additional 1d12 damage.

It's a fairly simple feat, but it does a god job of answering the age-old monk question "what do you do when the enemy is too far away to flurry?"

A monk's flurry BAB is is level -2, because it includes TWF penalties. If a monk charges, his BAB is 3/4 his level, AND he gets +2 for charging. Any other bonuses (STR, AoMF, etc.) will apply either way. Thus, the first attack in a flurry doesn't actually become more likely to hit than a charge until level 13. Ergo, monks who are willing to charge what they can't flurry (and you can charge something as close as 10 feet away, which is the minimum distance away an enemy can be and still be out of flurry range) should do pretty good.

I'd even be fine with "ki pool class feature" as an additional prereq, and making them burn a ki point to use it. As cool as it would be to see cavaliers use this to punch people from horseback.

Sczarni

I'm gonna go off the table and say Summoner. Two different spell lists, and a whole second body on the battlefield! Use your eidolon as a flank buddy, or even pull the Butterfly's Sting trick without needing an ally to build around it too!

Sczarni

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I just finished reading a book called NOS4A2 (I recommend it highly) that makes me think it would be quite interesting to have a 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith as your eidolon. You'd need the mount evolution to actually ride in it, and it'd probably only have a single slam attack, but it'd be pretty cool.

Now I sort of wish there was a Summoner archetype where your eidolon is a vehicle...

Sczarni

With that much melee in your group (at least I'm pretty sure at least half of them are melee) you could make a lot of friends by taking Enlarge Person. The guy you target will feel like a badass, and that natural reach and the AoO's it generates are a kind of "battlefield control".

Out of the list you gave though, Silent Image is the one I'd pick. Remember, nobody gets a WIll save UNTIL they "interact" with it. Just make sure you talk that one out with your GM, as has been mentioned.

Sczarni

My biggest problems with the small folk are that they just aren't differentiated enough. Gnomes and Halflings both bet a STR penalty and a CHA bonus. Nothing else about them really suggests that one is better for a certain class than another.

I would've given Halflings a WIS bonus instead of a CHA bonus. Then they'd be the sensible, comtemplative, salt-of-the-earth types who make good clerics, druids, and monks, while gnomes would be the bombastic bards and sorcerers and occasionally the oddly impressionable barbarian.

Sczarni

That's quite odd, since the PRD (and the Core Rulebook I believe) says specifically that "Animal companions with an Intelligence of 3 or higher can select any feat they are physically capable of using. GMs might expand this list to include feats from other sources."

This certainly seems to indicate that animal companions CAN have 3 Int.

Sczarni

Even without an archetype, a Horse makes a solid flanking buddy and you can grant it teamwork feats. If you bump the horse's Int as the first stat you level up, it can then take feats normally and you can give it Butterfly's Sting. Not as effective as dual-wielding kukris, but it gets three natural attacks per round and you're proficient with scythes.

Sczarni

It sounds like you've already got the backstory-- they were created by a mad wizard. Unless you want the creation myth that they think up for themselves?

Sczarni

I'm a little nostalgic for the Hexblade from 3.5, warts and all. What would make a PF class feel like a Hexblade for me?

-full BAB, martial proficiency
-a debuffing or otherwise offensive class ability, as a sort of mirror to the Paladin's Lay on Hands
-4 levels of arcane spellcasting, or at least some other arcane class abilities, with a focus on non-undead-raising necromancy, enchantment, or other "save or suck" effects

Of course, the Hexblade had its own issues, but they didn't really bother me that much.

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