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Okay, fine, maybe you'd rather play Buzz Conroy the Summoner and his eidolon, Frankenstein Jr.?
Gotta correct you right back:
I said the horse threatens a wide area even without reach. I'm aware it only threatens adjacent enemies, but it is Large, and therefore its threat radius is 20 feet wide-- its own 10-ft body plus 5 feet on either side. That's only 5 feet shy of your own radius with a reach weapon.
Keeping high-level adventurers from escaping means shutting down any teleportation, flight, or other travel spells they have, and that means anti-magic fields and other ways to disrupt magic.
The Duke, then, should either be a Wizard who can cast such powerful anti-magic, or a pure martial type who can surround himself with these fields and never be bothered by them.
You could always just house rule your own effect, and incorporate it into the decor. Perhaps the Duke's arena grounds are caves full of bats and vermin, whose constant squeaking and foul odors create a distracting effect and force periodic saves vs. sickening, or perhaps there's a nasty storm constantly blowing and so the PCs have to make concentration checks, take Perception penalties, and need to make Survival checks just to know where they're going?
I'm so happy this thread didn't die after all.
S*K*Y*M* appears as a woman of indeterminate age, with a flowing lilac blood-stained dress and impossibly long, straight, black hair. She is commonly depicted with her hair covering her face completely, and her arms and fingers stretched to impossible lengths and segmented in odds ways, as though they had been stretched until the bones snapped and dislocated. She is most often seated, with her dress obscuring the lower half of her body.
In her mortal life, she was an innocent aristocrat's daughter who was kidnapped during a trip through rural lands. Nobody knows what her assailants did to her, but her suffering was so intense that she transcended her mortal body and became a spirit of vengeance. She cursed her assailants, transforming them into her first priests, erasing every thought they'd ever had and replacing it with Her gospel, and sent them to evangelize. Whoever those first priests preached to also found themselves slowly becoming brainwashed into worshiping Her.
Today, villages in the region have taken steps to stamp out the religion, and any record of the young noble girl, such that even her name has been distorted by time. But she still appears to those who have had their stations taken from them by malice, such as fallen paladins or nobles thrown in the dungeon, and it is said that She hears any hateful words spoken in anger as surely as prayers to Her. Some say that Her First Priests still wander the land in undeath, spreading Her Word like a disease across the land.
When I played a cavalier with a lance, I did a lot of damage on charges... but the rest of the time I was basically a mediocre reach build. The cav's challenge discourages you from hopping from one enemy to the another repeatedly, and you can't charge an enemy once you're already adjacent to it. Plus, sometimes you just can't bring your horse along.
A glaive cavalier would be a perfectly solid choice-- he wouldn't get super charges, but he'd be a bit better in all other circumstances, so it'd even out. Plus, this opens up a completely different strategy.
1. With a glaive and a spiked gauntlet, you threaten out to 10 feet.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
I'm pretty sure you can't deal sneak attack damage with Magic Missile, because there's no attack roll and therefore you aren't "aiming" it. Ray of Frost still works though.
Personally, I'd go Cavalier 20/Druid 20, and hope that the GM would let my mount also be my animal companion, so my horse would also make it to Level 40. Now I just need non-metal horse armor!
I don't worry about the genders of deities at all, because I honestly haven't read that much about their backstories or fluff. I prefer to focus on their portfolios and domains, and I let each of my characters determine for themselves what the deity means to them.
Abadar is my personal favorite. My favorite ever divine caster was a LE Inquisitor of Abadar who firmly believed that civilization, and particularly cities, were the key to uplifting mankind and would provide everything a citizen wanted out of life if only they worked real hard and played by the rules. He had vocal disdain for druids, and invited backwoods hermits to rejoin society the way a paladin offers a criminal terms of surrender.
My second favorite was a cleric of Nethys, who was the son of a sorcerer but didn't have the gift. He joined the clergy of Nethys partly out of the hope that he could "redeem" himself and be granted arcane talent, and partly because clerics are taught magic. His relations with his sorcerer father were tense, and everything he did was out of a need to prove his worth, either to his father or to his god, or both.
So no, I don't gravitate to female deities. I don't avoid them, but I usually choose one based on what the character would want.
I would argue for Counterfeit Mage. The Chemist ability gives you a little to enhance splash weapons, but no class ability to create them like the alchemist has, so you're burning through your WBL pretty fast. None of the discoveries it gives access too look worthwhile either.
The Mage meanwhile is a beast at UMD, something rogues already get good mileage out of. Sure, they cost WBL too, but they're a LOT more versatile than "1d6 fire damage".
My old GM used it for a while, but misremembered how it worked from 3.5-- for some reason, he thought it was just "half your total HP".
The result? At level 1, just about EVERY attack that hits becomes "Fort save or die." And at level 2, your odds don't improve all that much.
I know the rule exists to acknowledge that at higher levels, PCs are able to survive things they logically shouldn't, but I'll add my voice to the choir of "don't use this rule".
I definitely like that this is sort of a whole class built around what the Monk of the Empty Hand is trying to do. Although I would hope that at some point, he also gets the ability to straight up pick up his enemies and hurl them at each other. I would treat it as the Enemy Hammer spell, except it's not a spell. Maybe add a CMB roll in there, to acknowledge the existence of creatures too big and tough to just toss around.
Thrill of the Fight is still a little awkward, though. I appreciate that you want to try something new and not base it on fixed rounds, but tying the duration to TempHP is just asking for horribly unpredictable durations. Either the monsters focus on the Brute and burn through his TempHP every round, making it impossible for him to maintain it, or they focus on someone else and the Brute has his bonuses the entire combat, but it doesn't matter because the bonuses are all defensive in nature and nobody's attacking him.
Do temporary hit points from multiple sources stack? If so, how does the Brute know when he loses his bonuses if, say, he drinks a potion of False Life?
The TempHP mechanic is cool, but I'm a little worried at how swingy it is. One good crit and suddenly he's not only at half health, he's just lost a good deal of other bonuses.
I would also give him a few less-wordy options for spending thrill points. Maybe 1 point to gain a bonus on sunder checks/Strength checks to break stuff, like the monk's ability to boost his Acrobatics score?
I'm also pro-spell list, but I sympathize with the OP in that sometimes it seems a tad arbitrary who gets which spells. With Gravity Bow, my biggest gripe isn't that bards don't get it, it's that Sorcerers and Wizards do. A sorcerer or wizard shouldn't be pulling out their crossbow except as a last resort, much less spending spell slots to buff their crossbow damage.
I would be in favor of a general mechanic for learning spells of other classes, so that this theoretical archer bard COULD learn Gravity Bow, if he were to devote additional resources to it and perhaps get it as a higher-level spell. This way, you can indeed go "off the table" if you really want to, but there's still the idea of "this is the kind of things you're good at".
I love Mark Hoover's take on my suggestion, but if that seems deeper than your group is willing to go, it can be much simpler. Let's say your group picks Zon-Kuthon.
The Cleric worships him, sure.
And so on.
I picked five domains at random and this is what I came up with.
15)Iphilihisch, Warden of the Pattern
Bored with the pantheon in the CRB? Homebrewing a whole new setting? Love clerics so much you played one for every deity in the splatbooks? This is the thread for you!
Try to include everything a player would need to know to roll a cleric of that deity, but if you don't have the idea fleshed out yet, that's cool too. Somebody else will be along to fill in the gaps, I'm sure. I'll start.
1.Zhraatha, the Vandal King (CE)
2.Count Hemoseptimus (LE)
3.The Keeper (LN)
Have everyone in the group agree on a deity, and they all worship it. They don't have to be divine casters, but they do have to be the kind of person who would choose THAT deity to pray to over all the others.
It might not create any major storytelling hooks, but it does pretty much guarantee right out of the gate that there won't be any clashing roleplaying moments, as everyone will be playing characters that have a fairly good basis for getting along. They won't agree on everything, but they'll at least be able to form a coherent group decision on most things.
It's big enough that Paizo decided that it's worth "solving" by just making spellstrike only deal x2 on a crit, but it's not so big that they weren't willing to give scythes and picks a x4 crit multiplier in the first place.
If you don't have a problem with x4 crits, then by all means, keep using them. But some people do. Particularly PFS GMs who are STRONGLY ADVISED NOT to kill a player's character, but also don't have the option of fudging rolls or invoking DM fiat.
It's been said that the Bestiary entry for Orcs use falchions instead of greataxes because even x3 crits were letting low-CR fights kill PCs far above their weight class. But Paizo left scythes and picks in the CRB because some people like their natural 20's to feel like gifts from the gods.
If 3.5 had channeling, it was in an expansion book. I just cracked open my old 3.5 PHB and there's no channeling in it. There is "turn or rebuke undead" though.
And as a matter of fact, the only 3.5 cleric I ever played was in a very roleplay-heavy campaign with barely any combat at all, and likely never even would have used channeling if he'd had it.
3.5 made no distinction between channeling to harm and channeling to heal. The only distinction was positive or negative energy.
3.5 didn't even have Channel Energy. You chose cure or inflict spells, and whether they harmed or healed depended on whether or not your target was living or undead.
Bones Oracle looks like a pretty solid choice. As early as level one, you can have a skeleton cohort for 3+Cha rounds per day, then you can get Animate Dead as a bonus spell and Command Undead as a bonus feat. You also get a revelation that lets you inflict negative levels as a ranged touch attack. And that's before you even pick and feats, spells known, or even your starting race.
Shamelessly stolen from Borderlands 2: how about a gun where the last bullet in the gun deals additional damage? How much extra damage depends on how many bullets the gun holds-- the higher the capacity, the more extra damage you get for using them all.
Additionally, a gun where you have a % chance per shot to ADD an additional bullet to the gun instead of using one up. How this would be accomplished is beyond me, but it would be awesome.
Silent Saturn wrote:
I feel like I should explain my choices a little more.
For full BAB, I kept Barbarians and Cavaliers because they represent the opposite ends of the spectrum: the "man-at-arms" who's gone through formal military training, and the "natural born brute" who lets sheer strength and determination see him through. A Fighter can easily be either one, and because of that it was hard to cut him.
It amazes me just how versatile Clerics really are. With the right deity and domains, is there ANY character idea or play style that doesn't work as a cleric? This is half the reason I cut druids-- clerics of Gozreh can do all of that, including an animal companion with the right domain.
Speaking of animal companions, how important is it to everybody to include a class that gets them in your Elite Eight? The biggest reason I chose Cavalier over Fighter is that I had already cut every other class that gets an animal companion by default. If nobody in my group had any interest in having animal companions, I'd replace Cav with Fighter, but on some level I thought it was important to leave at least one "pet class" in.
I like that my Elite Eight includes prepared and spontaneous casters in both arcane and divine-- I didn't do it on purpose. I also didn't look at primary casting stats, but I ended up including a pretty good mix: two Wisdom casters, two Cha-casters, and one Int-caster, none of whom share a spell list. How much "caster diversity" is everybody else aiming for?
Once my list was done, I went through each class I cut and asked myself "Which of my final eight best covers what this class is good at?" Witches and sorcerers cover the oracle's "magic through mysterious means", barbarians and ninjas can both be built to fight unarmed, either cavalier or cleric can do what we expect of a paladin, etc. Nothing comes close to a summoner's eidolon, but all three of the full-casters I kept get Summon Monster spells. Even firearms aren't off the table-- the cavalier gets a Musketeer archetype, there's the Black Powder inquisition, and if ninjas can still take rogue talents, they can get firearm proficiency and grit feats with them. If you think there's a class I dropped that can't be replaced by one I kept, you're welcome to challenge me on it.
I'd drop half-elves and half-orcs, and probably also halflings, since they're just too obvious an ersatz hobbit (and it's weird that the name they identify with implies that they're "half" of something else. Wouldn't humans be "doublings" to them?)
In their place? I always felt like Paizo missed an opportunity not bringing tieflings into the game from Day One. They also pick up the slack that the half-orcs' absence leaves behind. Grippli are a good choice for a second Small race. Not sure who I'd pick for the seventh. Warforged are a bit "out there" for a core race. I want to say Sylph, but Gnomes already cover the "fey/natural world" angle. Fetchlings would be a good choice, since they're associated with shadow magic without being drawn to evil.
There we go: Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Tieflings, Grippli, and Fetchlings
I'm gonna do this backwards, and go through which classes I could do with eliminating until I'm down to eight. I'm not counting ACG yet.
-Monks have always felt kind of out of place, and mechanically they're hard to build well.
-Druids are way too complicated, and you can get the same flavor with a Cleric of the god of nature.
-Paladins are strong, but their alignment issues and narrow niche makes them easy to cut. Their weird 4/9 spellcasting barely has a place in the game either.
-Same goes for antipaladins.
-Speaking of 4/9 spellcasting, the Ranger is out too. We'll fill the "wilderness survivalist" niche with somebody else, thanks.
-Rogues, like monks, are just too hard to build right, and have no niche you can't do with a bard, inquisitor, alchemist, or ninja.
-Speaking of, alchemists play like schizophrenic bards, so they can go too.
-Oracles are a spont-cast class using a spell list that was obviously built for a prep-cast class, and clerics are more versatile anyway, so they can go.
-I cut the spont-caster out of the cleric/oracle pair, so I'll cut the prep-caster out of the sorcerer/wizard pair. Sorry, wizards.
-Magi can go, since you can basically do that with multiclassing.
-Gunslingers can go, and the firearms rules can go with them.
-Samurai are an alternate class, and therefore redundant.
-Same goes for antipaladins. Again.
-The summoner is a whole mess of rules text that doesn't need to exist.
-And finally, the fighter, because his two main roles in the game are covered by classes that made the cut.
And that leaves us with...
Barbarians, the raw muscle/savvy mountain man
I'd say this collection leaves us with all the roles covered. Two full-BAB classes with plenty of difference between them, three 9th-level spellcasters with three different spell lists, and three medium-BAB characters: one with arcane magic, one with divine, and one with neither. Just about every fantasy trope I can think of is covered here somewhere (although I find it a bit odd that the "animal companion" class is the cavalier) or can be with a little squinting.
Why is the assumption that you're hitting the same enemy with all your attacks? I've never seen that argument before.
Well, you don't have to, of course, but I would think you'd want to be able to at least, right? Focusing fire on one enemy means he goes down sooner, and then there's fewer enemies wailing on you, right?
Plus, what if there's only one enemy in the fight? Then you're attacking it or nobody.
If the two ends of the kusarigama don't threaten at the same range, you can't use them both on the same enemy, and that's just horribly counter-intuitive to me at least.
The Six-Summoner. A pepperbox with six barrels, but each barrel is keyed to a different summoning spell and summons the appropriate monster. Your attack roll isn't aiming the shot, it's commanding the summon to attack the target you aim at, and if you "miss" the monster chooses its own target. You also can't choose which one to summon; you either fire and the next monster in the rotation appears, or you can spin the barrel as a swift action and roll 1d6 to determine what you've summoned. ;)
The Rock-It Launcher. A hopper in the back can be loaded with any item size Tiny or smaller. Bags of caltrops or marbles, rocks, fistfuls of nails, chalk, candles, empty bottles, you name it. For an added bonus, any item under the effect of a Shrink Item spell is automatically re-enlarged after firing.
The Ballistazooka. Somewhere between firearm, crossbow, and siege weapon, this massive gun is supported on the weilder's shoulder as well as several self-contained Floating Disk spells, and fires steel harpoons with enough force to punch through a redwood and take down a moose behind it. Made impractical by long reload times and the weight of the ammo (one "bolt" weighs at least thirty pounds) but useful for sundering obstacles and hitting the creatures using them for cover.
The real problem here is the way the double, reach, and monk properties interact. If you flurry with a double weapon, the assumption is that you're hitting the same enemy with all your attacks, yes? If one end of the weapon has reach and the other doesn't, that means you have to be adjacent to one enemy and 10 feet away from a second enemy and divide your attacks between them.
There's another thread around here about the "scariest monster" in Pathfinder. (I voted for derro, and just added another reply, so it should be easy to find) Take a look at that thread, pick what you think is super creepy, and then make a character that "admires" that monster. It could be as simple as thinking they're cool, maybe just having a picture of one on your shield and occasionally mentioning their "noble" qualities. Then you start comparing people to this monster when you want to compliment them. You find a way to mention this thing whenever you need to talk to an NPC. You start buying potions of Monstrous Physique/Beast SHape/Undead Anatomy/whatever (or learn the spell, if you're a caster) just so you can be more like this creature. Let it grow into an obsession.
Eventually the GM is going to succumb to the temptation to pit you against one. What you do then is up to you.
NO, I've never even heard of it. Something I should look into?
I do think that on some level, derro are scary because they're a threat to you when you're in the city. Cities are supposed to be safe. In cities, the natural world and all its threats have been conquered, beaten back. Cities aren't perfect, of course, but while you're in one, you have a whole infrastructure set up to keep you safe. Even muggers are more interested in your money than in causing you harm, and you can report them to the police.
The thought of an entire species of humanoid that lives undetected in the shadow of a city and makes prey of its citizens without the authorities even noticing is pretty terrifying.
How about a rogue archetype that trades away its rogue talents for a cavalier order? All the orders grant additional class skills and skill bonuses, so they'd be a good fit for the skill class. Maybe we could also give the rogue a limited form of Challenge, so they can benefit from their order's Challenge ability?
I want to say that the rogue should then get to sneak attack the target of her challenge at will, but that may be pushing it.
A cleric of Zon-Kuthon. Lost his parents tragically, and couldn't cope with the pain of loss, so he turned to the god of pain and loss. Believes that there's some sort of honor in suffering, or has simply forgotten what it feels like to be happy. Attends the funerals of strangers whenever he gets the opportunity so as to "congratulate" the bereaved. Prepares his spells in the evening, and his prayer takes the form of crying himself to sleep at night.
A gnome summoner. He himself is a perfectly pleasant fellow, but his eidolon appears to be a horrible undead monstrosity of peeled-back skin and stitched-together viscera. It can also talk, and will randomly start describing horrible things at odd intervals. If anyone asks why this ordinary gnome has such a ghoulish eidolon, the gnome can only shrug, but the eidolon insists his form on this plane is an expression of its master's true soul.
Have a nobleman hire the party to be his daughter's bodyguard during a perilous journey. The daughter is your typical spoiled princess and treats the whole thing like a big sleep-over, except not when the fighter is around. She's constantly finding whatever reason she can to send him out of earshot, so she can "gab" with the ladies.
Also, when the party goes to buy new armor, have the blacksmith be very embarrassed about having to take a woman's measurements for armor, and call in his wife to do it. He makes awkward, "macho" small talk with the fighter while this is going on.
Maybe instead of spont-casting Cure or Inflict, they can spont-cast domain spells? I think there's a Druid archetype that already allows for that.
Which reminds me, I'd also like to see a Druid archetype that's more focused on being a spellcaster. Must choose a domain for her nature bond, and trades away Wild Shape for an additional domain every four levels. She should probably get some extra domains to choose from if that's the case. How about Darkness, Sun, Strength, and the domain of her non-neutral alignment?
I'd also like to see a Cleric that gets three, four, or even all five of her deity's domains, by trading out the entire rest of her spell list. Yes, that even includes the cure and inflict spells. Can't even activate wands of them. She can trade away Channel Energy too, if that's necessary to make it balanced.
An alchemist archetype based on the image of the Old West "snake oil salesman". Uses CHA instead of INT, and trades away mutagens and bombs for a few bardic performance abilities where he draws in a crowd and influences them. At high level, he's such a convincing salesman that he can actually improve his tonics by talking them up (a placebo effect?)
A character that focuses on poison would be nice, but the real obstacle to poison isn't the risk of poisoning yourself, it's the prohibitive cost of poison. The solution? A druid archetype that focuses on venomous animals and eventually gains the ability to produce any kind of poison on command.
Similarly, an antipaladin archetype that revolves around the Plague Beacon ability to make the antipally a walking Patient Zero. Anyone he hits with his evil LoH has to save vs. his diseases, he can summon diseases via his Profane Bond, etc.
An Inquisitor archetype that plays up the angle of uncovering secrets and tracking down the truth. Trades away Bane and the teamwork feats for some divination abilities.
Summary: "Room of Portcullis Cage Traps"
Encounter CR: variable, no higher than 7-8.
Type of Encounter: skill challenge/mini-game, with optional combat
Encounter: The PCs discover a room, 100 feet by 120 feet. There is one exit on the far side of the room, and six or seven 5' cages throughout the room. Each cage contains a Medium humanoid of the GM's choice-- ideally, the PC's won't share a language with any of them. Mindless undead would also be a good choice. At least one cage should contain a corpse, preferably with a nice bit of treasure visible in its possession.
A fairly easy Perception check reveals that every 5' square in the room is a pressure plate. Each plate resets as soon as you step off of it, and there is no way to stand in the room without triggering at least one plate. For every plate that is triggered, the GM picks a random 5' square in the room (by rolling a d10 and a d12). If that square has no cage, iron bars drop down from the ceiling and surround that square in a cage, trapping anything in that square. If that square already had a cage, the bars are raised, releasing anything that was trapped. The cage bars provide partial cover for any attack made into or out of them, and the monsters already in the cages will be hostile. At the GM's discretion, one of them may have a ranged weapon, or a polearm. They are on the verge of starvation, and will attempt to steal the PC's supplies in the hopes of finding food, or even try to kill and eat the PCs. If a PC becomes trapped, they can escape with a moderate Escape Artist check as a full-round action, but doing so puts them in an adjacent square and triggers another plate.
Once the PCs make it through the room, they will find a staircase not far away that leads to a "control room" with a mirrored spyglass to view the room from above, a board of buttons to activate specific squares on command, and a lever to release/disable all the cages.
You said he likes "continuous damage spells" and "fear spells". Pathfinder doesn't really have any damage-over time effects besides bleed, but fear spells are very doable. A Cleric would be a good choice. Command and Cause Fear are both available to them at Level 1, and they both capture the feel of a Warlock sending his enemies fleeing. Clerics can also summon creatures, which will fit in just fine with a WoW Warlock.
Have him be a neutral cleric of an evil deity, so he can throw around negative energy and call it Shadowbolt. Asmodeus would be a good fit, as he's the one most likely to form contracts and grant fire spells (two things WoW Warlocks are sort of about as well).
This also has the advantage of introducing him to the alignment system, the concept of "preparing spells" and the nuances of roleplaying a character. (Clerics have their alignment and an overview of their beliefs built into the crunch, so building a personality for them is a little easier than just "Bob the Fighter swings a sword. What's his motivation?")
I don't know if we've got any Magic: the Gathering players in the thread, but the demonic cult you're describing is pretty similar to their Cult of Rakdos. A cult of personality built up around the demon Rakdos the Defiler, its members are almost entirely assassins, butchers, wetworkers, and psycopaths when they're not putting on incredibly hedonistic and dangerous revels or gory performance art. There's plenty of inspiration to draw from here-- from the monstrous to the all-too-human. For starters...
An act with some audience participation whether they like it or not.
And if they don't like it, we call in the bouncers.
If you want something a little less extreme, how about a human fighter with Exotic Prof: Battle Poi and Dazzling Display?
Where there's danger for fun's sake, there must be a little gambling right?
Just make sure the act ends on a strong finale and you're all set!
My vote for scariest goes to Derro. They have "shadow communities" underneath just about every major city, they sneak into your house and steal you out of your bed at night when there's nothing you can do about it, and they "experiment" on you for unknown reasons. Usually these experiments erase your memory of the abduction and then they bring you back, but on some level the mental scars are still there, along with the results of the "experiment". And then sometimes they DON'T erase your memory. And sometimes you DON'T make it back.
Mechanically, they're everything that's frightening about gnome or halfling sorcerers, plus they use their Charisma for Will saves instead of their Wisdom. Also any group of them is bound to have a guy whose weapon can trip you from 20 feet away.