Zotpox: how does this work?
Wow - that reminds em of another build I put together once - a halfling Master Summoner/Holy Tactician who would summon 'packs' of Lantern Archons to hunt evil with, relying on a bow himself and using the Target of Opportunity feat to maximize his summoned creatures effectiveness.
Lantern Archons fly fast (100') and agile (perfect maneuverability) and their damage bypasses all DR. They can also cast aid on one another and on him at will. A Hastened Lantern Archon benefitting from Target of Opportunity will make four separate 1d6 ray attacks per round. That may not sopund like much, but if you've got 10 or more of them out at once it starts to add up with a quickness. He would also summon Hound Archons from time to time as well.
It was a unique character concept, I was saddened that I never got to use it.
I would consider them both fairly optimized for the roles they play, but the story/personality is always the most important thing. I play Ashur as taciturn, quiet, withdrawn and incredibly, incredibly noble and heroic... while Barnabus (the dwarf) can be whatever you need him to be - brooding and mumbling, jeering and taunting, commanding and charismatic or flat-out comic relief, and most importantly he can be all those things in a single encounter.
I have two divine themed builds that I absolutely love.
This first is a Tiefling Paladin with a one level dip in Oracle first. His backstory is that he is the child of an Aasimar woman who was seduced by an Incubus in the hopes of producing a unique offspring. She learned of his true identity and fled, eventually finding sanctuary in in a remote Dwarven temple to Torag. There she hid until she gave birth though the ordeal was too much for her - before she died she begged the dwarves to raise him and protect him from the predations of his father who was no doubt even now searching for them both. Against their better judgement the dwarves did exactly that, raising him and educating him on matters of faith and good and evil outsiders though his true parentage was hidden from him. When he grew strong enough, they also put him to work at the forge that he might channel his destructive impulses into acts of creation instead. He thrived under their tutelage and learned to somewhat control the tempest within him.
One day the temple was discovered by agents of the Incubus and attacked while Ashur (the PC) and one of the dwarves were away. They returned to find the temple in ruins and several dretches still urking amongst the corpses - the two were able to drive the fiends out but not until his dwarven mentor recieved a fatal wound. As he lay dieing he told Ashur all that was known about his parentage and the circumstances of his birth. The youth buried him and those of his friends and teachers who remained in accordance with Torag's rites and then left the temple behind, devoting himself to the dwarven god and to vengeance on his sire and all fiends who infested this world.
Tiefling 1st level Oracle (Lore, Legalistic) / 19th level Paladin of Torag (Oath of Vengeance, Oath against Fiends)
Demon-blooded, Favored class option for Paladins, Fiendish Sprinter, Clawed, Prehensile Tail
Attributes: (20 point buy)
The character plays as a front-line fighter and penultimate tank, making good use of his Lay on Hands to fuel any number of abilities. All of the Eldritch Heritage feats have been re-flavored to reflect his split heritage as has Fey Foundling. Out of combat he has a surprising store of knowledge on a variety of subjects, gleaned from years of study under his dwarven tutors. His 1st level Oracle spells are Know the Enemy and Protection vs. Evil.
The other is a Dwarven Evangelist who is quite insane. He began as a miner who devled too deeply and was captured by agents of the abominations below, subected to terrible tortures before managing to escape... and escape he did, fleeing the deepest depths where he had been taken ever toward the surface, hoping for the sanity, the safety he might find there. When he emerged it was on a clear winter night and the first vision he had of the surface world was that of an infinite night sky... the very place his tormentors had come from all around him, everywhere, forever. It broke part of his mind and convinced him of the futility of life, of the certainty that the power and madness of the Old Ones beyond the tapestry would overcome all. He has devoted himself to stave off that inevitable destruction but deep down he knows we are all doomed.
Technically he is a Cleric of Azathoth, but in reality he is more of a resigned herald, preaching the inevitable end of all things to madness. His actions are that of defiance, his words of doom and his mind unbalanced enough that the two are not in conflict. He is a neutral character who believes all are doomed anyway, which makes it very easy for him to sacrifice one life or a thousand if it means (in his mind) staving off oblivion for one more day. He does not strive for a balance of chaos and law or good and evil but rather remains convinced of the futility of devotion to one extreme or another, convinced of a common enemy that threatens us all.
Dwarven 20th level Evangelist (Madness Domain)
Dwarven favored class option, Craftsman, Deep Warrior, Minesight
Attributes:(20 point build)
He plays as a non-combatant but a very potent buffer, de-buffer and face. Visions of Madness is one of the best buffs and de-buffs in the game and his dwarven heritage allows him to use the ability almost at will.
I've been toying with some armor as DR ideas myself for a while now... for me the ideal way to do it is to go back to the slashing/piercing/bludgeoning gamage types and have DR apply to each separately depending on what kind of armor is worn or the nature of the creature (skeleton vs. zombie) but that is just so much work.
Another aspect I've been toying with is, rather than 1/2 damage bonus per level, a damage bonus equal to the character's BAB - as well as an AC bonus equal to the character's BAB - but then, we run a fairly low-magic campaign.
I am thinking of recommending my crew watch as much Firefly as they can prior to playing.
To be fair, there's rarely a time when Firefly shouldn't be watched as often as possible. ;)
The particular mindset here though is to make sure they view Cheliax, not the Hurricane King as the 'evil empire'...
Its without a doubt the best AP I/we've ever played, and one of the best campaigns we've ever played period, regardless of game system.
Its kind of sandboxy in parts and kind of railroady in parts but never so much so to either extreme that it detracts from the fun.
I can make a few suggestions that might enhance your play a bit, and if you decide to run the AP, feel free to drop me a line to discuss more.
In the opening book on Bonewrack Isle or whatever it was called, I highly reccomend you consider making Aron Ivey a survivor from the Infernus rather than a ghast-ly threat. His presence allowed me to more fully tell the story of the Infernus, allowed him to direct the PC's to its wreck to recover some potions of water-breathing which made the boss fight survivable for such low-level characters and I decided to make him a ship's carpenter who had been pressed into service - he joined the PC's as an NPC aboard their ship, helped make repairs and served as a valuable mouthpiece for the GM. Eventually he lost his leg in shipboard combat and 'retired' to work on what would eventually become his masterpiece, the PC's flagship in the final two books.
Make full use of your NPC's. Sandara was a constant companion to the PC's, romantically involved with one of them. Rosie Cuswell stayed aboard ship as a member of the crew and 'watched the boat' when PC's went ashore. Also rememeber that they will have an entire crew at their disposal most times, and if the crew is treated/paid well, there's no reason they wouldn't have the resources of an armed force at their fingertips.
Keep in mind that throughout the AP the characters will want/need to engage in piracy - two things about that: The first is that it usually works out to a single encounter day, allowing the PC's to use all their resources at once, greatly amplifying their effectiveness. Second, try to keep these encounters from becoming hum-drum affairs. We had some instances where we just assumed success over a few weeks time and the loot to go with it (usually between sessions) for expendiency's sake, but try to have some memorable battles, some surprises and some potentially interesting NPC's for them to encounter as they capture ships on the high seas.
Finally, if you're interested in pursuing the campaign as an option for good aligned characters, I've done some work on a fairly simple re-write to make that possible, previewed here.
Would there be any alterations needed to make Rise of the Runelords function well as a 5 character AP? I have 1 friend who may want to play, but may need to drop out. If it works with 5 or 4, great, she can leave (read as be killed or possibly replaced) whenever. If I need to make any alterations, what might they be?
I'd reccomend throwing in a few extra mooks per encounter - its relatively easy to do on the fly and if it seems you went a little heavy in one battle, go a little lighter in the next. Do that and max out boss hit points and you can still follow the level progression reccommended in the books with no other alterations needed.
If you decide to run Skull & Shackles, drop me a line - I'd love to discuss some of the things we did differently, and some of the things we wish we'd done.
We're getting our duxks in a row to run this AP when it finally comes out... and while we're open to the new Epic rules we're also very open to preferring not to use them. We have been assured that the campaign could be run without using those rules even if the challenges may be greater because of it and - for the moment at least - this looks like the party we will run:
Demon-blooded Tiefling 1st level Oracle (Lore) / 19th level Paladin of Torag (Oath of Vengeance, Oath Against Fiends)
Azata-blooded Aasimar 16th level Dawn Dervish & Sound Striker / 4th level Paladin of Sarenrae (Oath of Vengeance)
Half-Elven 9th level Master Summoner / 11th level Holy Tactician
Dwarven 20th level Evangelist (Madness)
We figure with the representatives of three of the biggest Good-aligned Gods being brought together to face the threat of the Worldwound and a wild card in place, there's a lot of potential for great role-play, and the combination of classes and abilities should mesh very well together.
I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts on the party and especially interested to hear of any other characters or groups that are getting geared up to play, even if it is so far in advance of its release.
Okay, after a cursory look through the Inquisitor class, two things jump out at me:
1) It looks like an incredibly potent class and one I can make some real game-breaking (in a good way) characters with.
2) Its not quite right for this particular concept.
i'm not ruling it out and I'm already getting ideas for what I could do with the Inquisitor class, but for now I think I'm going to focus on navigating the Evangelist or Theologian options right now. Its a shame that you can't quite take them both as dual archetypes. The overlap is tiny, but its there.
I'm leaning towards Theologian because of the increased potency of its Madness effects which was the entire original inspiration for the character, but Evangelist is begging for strong consideration due to its Inspire Courage ability. In game play I don't see it as actually inspiring courage as much as acting like an extention of his Vision of Madness ability, where a few harsh and revelatory words spoken provoke a maddening insight, hastening destruction (particularly once I include Discordant Voice).
I don't know what to say - I'm really torn.
I think that you're right - I may be trying to do too much with Evangelist. Going with two levels of Wild Rager and then Theologian might be the best way to do what it is I'm trying to do. I looked at the Channelling variant because it seemed infinitely more suitable than healing, but unfortunately the DC is Charisma-dependent rather than Wisdom and I'm planning on this character having a deliberately low Charisma - yet another argument for dumping Evangelist I suppose.
Two levels of Wild Rager should give him a nice punch in combat when needed (still like the Dorn-Dergar for him) and between his Domain powers and spells he should be plenty effective as a caster despite the dip. I'm going to have to look at my Chennelling options but right now it looks like focusing on healing is the practical way to go if not RP-optimal...
I didn't want him to be the follower of an evil deity - just unhinged... so I figured I'd make him a 'follower' of the Old Ones, probably Azathoth. I didn't envision him as an adherent to any particular belief system but rather simply make him (directly or indirectly) responsible for the PC's madness and therefor the source of his powers. Choosing an archetype that limits him only to the Madness Domain rather than more expansive abilities seemed appropriate for this.
I think that's an unnecessary bit of rules-based legwork. PC's can research their own spells. GM's can create their own spells. The idea that you can alter a ball of exploding flame to crackling electricity via feat but that there isn't or can't be a spell that does the same thing seems ridiculous to me. Even elemental sorcerers get to cast variants of established energy spells as spells themselves.
Any spell that deals energy damage should exist in all energy versions, with things like admixture or Elemental Spell only being useful when you want to change a prepared spell on the fly (which in and of itself is very useful).
It would help to know a little more about your Summoner and Eidolon - but having said that, for Aspect, my default for both combat-oriented Summoner and completely non-combatant Master Summoner has been 2 iterations of Improved Natural Armor. +4 AC is nothing to turn your nose up at no matter who you are. When Greater Aspect comes along, its usually 2 shots of Improved Natural Armor and then Spell Resistance.
I did something similar once for a character I really enjoyed playing - hopefully you can glean some stuff from him that might improve your build further:
Human 4th level Two-Handed Fighter / 16th level Thug & Scout
Attributes: (20 point buy)
Feats & Rogue Talents*: (Fighter levels 1st, 2nd, 18th & 19th)
He focuses on dealing Non-lethal damage in huge amounts with single hits from his earthbreaker and then coups de gracing at his leisure. As a nice bonus he gets a lot of useful skills and served as a passable party face along the way.
At 20th level (for instance), a hit by him while Enlarged from Power of Giants would deal 3d6[Large Earthbreaker] +9d6 [Greater Vital Strike]+ 20[Strength] + 15[Power Attack] + 8d6[Sneak Attack] + 16[Sap Adept] + 8d6[Sap Master] +2 [Weapon Specialization] for a total of 28d6+53 non-lethal damage. Lethal damage was still impressive at 20d6+37.
Hope this helps.
I've never built a Cleric before (just never been a fan), but recently I was browsing through Domains nonetheless and came across the Madness Domain and its respective power Vision of Madness which I think has tremendous potential, so I decided to create a build using it as the inspiration (if not necessarily the focus). My concept is going to be a slightly insane dwarf who was exposed to the Aberrations of the darkest depths and fled to the underground lands only to escape to the surface and behold for the first time the infinite night sky. Ever since he's been a little bit of a nihilist and a little bit unhinged - but he's an absolute riot at parties.
Right now I'm leaning two different ways but I'm open to other ideas. One is to take two levels of Wild Rager Barbarian to give him some real potency in combat but mostly in spurts and then go the rest of the way with Evangelist. He can open combat with Inspire Courage and then either fill a melee gap with Rage or pile on the buffs through spells. The biggest problem I have going this route is the 'jack-of-all-trades' syndrome and the diminishing effectiveness of the key ability that inspired the build. I really like the Dorn-Dergar for this concept and I feel like the 'built-in crazy' of Wild Rager suits it well..
The other option I think would be to go pure buffer/debuffer and take Theologian straight through. In this vein I would focus a little more on my channelling ability and make the character relatively non-combatant. Vision of Madness would be very potent (both as a buff and a debuff) and I should have plenty to do in combat even without drawing a weapon.
I'd really like some thoughts and/or advice as I'm very experienced when it comes to character building, but this is my first toe in the water as far as clerics go.
I am always looking for an extra leg up whether it be Spell List revisions and what not, because yeah the Spell list is horrible IMO. Elf was going to be my choice as a Race as well and of course Spellbinder, though I didnt know what spells should be binded or what the preference was. I have played Rangers and whatnot but this is my first time playing a full caster and while I have read all the guides, there are just TOO many blue options to choose from.
This is his build, more or less:
Elven 20th level Void Mage & Spellbinder
Attributes: (20 point buy)
Toppling Magic Missile was a staple in the low to middling levels and proved very useful. There's a lot of room for movement in the feat selection but what is shown worked pretty well for the player in question. Craft Wand was used for those spells he'd want to use every day but not waste a prepared slot (like Falso Life) whereas Spell Bond was used for spells he might need any day but didn't want to waste a spell slot preparing them.
This is the new Void Element spell list we houeruled in to better reflect the Void elements of time and space and vacuum, base creation and destruction, foretelling and magical awareness:
Wild Fighting (Ex)
Does the penalty take effect after the full-attack action has been resolved or before?
I think that Su abilities are standard actions by default, unless they say differently. But it's always seemed odd when applied to auras. And monster auras tend to be cheaper to turn on and off again.
I assumed it was a standard action to turn on, but does it eat a standard action every round you choose to leave it active? Ordinarily I'd say no, but the fact that you seem to actually use them round-by-round makes me wonder.
I'm asking specifically as it pertains to the Aura of Madness 8th level power granted by the Madnesss Domain, but it seems to me that many similar powers are worded in the same fashion:
Aura of Madness (Su): At 8th level, you can emit a 30-foot aura of madness for a number of rounds per day equal to your cleric level. Enemies within this aura are affected by confusion unless they make a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + ½ your Cleric level + your Wisdom modifier. The confusion effect ends immediately when the creature leaves the area or the aura expires. Creatures that succeed on their saving throw are immune to this aura for 24 hours. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Does the Aura require a standard action to activate and then a standard action to maintain each round? I can't find any information or FAQ that indicates exactly how this works one way or another.
So does anybody have any sample Void Mage builds posted on here?? I've ran a search and haven't come up with much unfortunately. Wanting to build one and play my first caster and well Void Mage's school ability is just amazing but idk what kind of feat lines I should be following, and what kind of role he plays such as "GOD" wizard with Void ability or what other roles are recommended.
I don't have it with me but I'll try to revisit this thread later with the build the player in our party uses.
He chose Elf and went very heavy into Intelligence for obvious reasons. He also took the Spell Focus: Necromancy feats to be able to use void themed spells like Blindness/Deafness and the Suffocation Spells. He's not a Necromancer nor does he play like one, but certain spells like False Life and Vampiric Touch are too useful to ignore. At later levels he took Metamagic Feats and eventually Spell Perfection: Suffocation - a Quickened Perfected Suffocate or Quickened Blindness spells are pretty nice combos with the Reveal Weakness class ability.
A couple of other things: he chose to go Spellbinder as an Elf so that he would always have access to those really useful spells you never know when you're going to need. Also, while Reveal Weakness is great, don't overlook Aura of Prescience as an excellent buff.
I've re-worked the Void Mage spell list as it is in desperate need of it - I can post that as well for you if you think you or your GM might be interested.
I would like to reiterate what Damocles Guile said. A Void Mage has the following class ability:
Reveal Weakness (Su)
Elves can use their favored class bonus to gain additional uses of this ability each day which is awesome - we had a party go through Second Darkness made up of an Elven Void Mage and three partial casters (a Summoner, a Master Summoner and an Arcane Duelist) and the combination was incredibly potent. Aura of Prescience and Void Awareness are pretty strong too.
Hay im looking for a gish build that focuses on blasting monster's with magic then can buff and wade into melee. I thought about maybe a Warlock/Fighter but dont now how viable that would be. Would a fighter/sorcerer be better?
Got a couple of players about to play twin Dragon Disciple builds - going straight Draconic Sorcerer / Dragon Disciple and it looks pretty promising... I can tell you Form of the Dragon + Transformation will make for a pretty potent melee fighter all on their own.
Aldiran Teldessar wrote:
Consider a Master Summoner with an eidolon built as a skill monkey/scout. Your summoned creatures will prevent more damage than healing could ever recover, you'll have a lot of useful skills at your disposal and plenty of buff/battlefield shaping spells like Haste and the Pit line plus Teleport, True Seeing, Planeshift, Dominate Monster, etc.
Dathus Tomar wrote:
As a writer I think this is a great idea, and I would love to bring the NPCs out of retirement. However, as a player, you having a scenario you are FORCED to lose to make the NPCs shine, I think you're playing with fire, and need to tread lightly.
My players aren't so immature that they can't handle losing sometimes - its happened often enough and almost always led to greater triumphs. We don't have the TPK's that so many others do and that's the trade-off sometimes.
Think about it - Indiana Jones didn't fold his arms and pout when Short Round came to his rescue in Temple or Sallah and the children in Raiders, it was a great moment where an ally that he had had the foresight and wisdom to cultivate proves their worth. Making friends and allies should pay off in the story imo and not just through getting a generic 15% off gear at the local adventuring store.
I'm still playing around with the idea. It might end up being a situation where its a 'we're coming with you' kind of thing, perhaps to rescue fellow townspeople. When we were running Skulls n Shackles, the major NPC's (like Rosie and Sandara), minor NPC's (like Aron Ivey) and even the crew all had a role to play in the character's success... it gave the gamemuch greater verisimilitude than everyone standing back to watch whenever the PC's stepped onto the stage...
I'm not talking about the goblins. Or the giant ticks of Tickwood or the giant spiders of Egan's Wood, or the Reefclaws of Sog's bay, all of which I imagine are fairly mindless and tend to only bother those who bother them.
I'm talking about the wyverns at the Devil's Punchbowl less than two miles away.
I'm talking about the harpies of the Cormorants.
I'm talking about the bugbears of Whisperwood and the devil-worshipping bugbears of Devil's Platter.
I'm talking about the ghouls of Bleaklow Moor and those of the Pauper's Graves.
I'm talking about all the monsters that dwell within and around Wisher's Well.
Most importantly though, I'm talking about the entire army of denizens who dwell in 'The Pit' which forms a nexus of the darklands and is infested with tribes goblins, gremlins, derros and troglodytes not to mention an ancient temple devoted to Kabriri (demonlord of ghouls) and the actual Sandpoint Devil.
That's an awful lot of threats to all be within 2-3 miles of Sandpoint, most of them literally within sight of the town from its highest points - it seems like them all 'avoiding' Sandpoint would be quite unlikely...
You know... that's a great way to make the party feel unnecessary. They're heroes. Who wants to be bailed out just on the whim of the GM? And what's more... what if they don't run? You could end up with a TPK and a demoralized group, just because you wanted to have some "fun."
Yeah, I think you kinda missed the point of this.
I've spent some prep time fleshing out some of the backgrounds and personalities of the NPC's around town (really great resource there) and working tie-ins and hooks I can use to engage my players with. Each will have a couple of folks in town who are 'their' friends, giving them an additional resource of sorts to draw on for the group as well as a bit of potential for trouble.
Anyway, it occurred to me that it would be fun to turn the tables on my players a bit and get them in a situation where some of the townsfolk brave the wilds to come rescue them. It would have to be something fairly low level in order to be believable, but I like the idea of twnsfolk coming out of retirment, squeezing into armor that's a little too tight now or memorizing a combat spell for the first time ever and setting off to rescue the good folk who've done so much for their town now that they've found themselves in a spot of trouble.
But I have no idea when or where to do it. Total blank. I'm hoping someone on the boards here might give me an idea or two... I've found sometimes all it takes is that spark caused by a fresh perspective.
Icaste Fyrbawl wrote:
I am planning a short campaign to explore previous historical events for my players. They include meeting Professor Petros Lorrimor on one of his expeditions (the catalyst to Carrion Crown), exploring Thassalonion ruins so they are familiar with the theme, and taking part in the Chopper Murder investigations. With that in mind, I've been drawing heavily on stuff from Rise of the Runelords (hence why I'm posting here). My intention is to run that campaign after this one. However, I ran into an issue with the Sandpoint Hinterlands map. It just doesn't match up with the map of Varisia in any angle. I come close, but the lack of detail on the Varisia map hinders my progress. Does anyone have any advice as to how to better relate areas to my players with both the Hinterlands map and the larger map of Varisia (both of which I have due to owning the Map Folio).
I'm game-planning some side treks myself and I'm having a similar problem - the way things are laid out, there are a lot of things awfully close together and there's no realistic way so many threats could all be within a couple hours walk from as populated a place as Sandpoint.
brent norton wrote:
Ok I have been playing for awhile. I have ran a few Ap and played in AP's and PFS. I love the game but I am running into a bad case of the blahs for the game I like. I am have a hard time coming up with something I haven't seen played or watching other min-max charcters. I can't seem to get excited aboutthe new AP's. Right now, I started the reign of winter and My book has either sprouted wings or was five fingered discounted, which has me put off about the whole thing. Anyway, anyone got some suggestions to get me out of the funk I'm in.
I've always thought it was good to have a second game, something completely different from what you normally do just to keep you from falling into a rut, to exercise your mind in different ways and eventually to give you a fresh perspective. CCG's have always been great for me for that purpose since, while they're not mindless, they are very different in what they stimulate in you than RPG's. We also used to have this table top gladatorial game that involved play-doh...
9. Master Summoner, with a small eidolon tricked out as a scout and a pocket rogue.
Summoned monsters and/or animal companions are key at this level. They are the only practical way to gain action advantage and they absorb damage that might otherwise kill a PC - a 2nd level Master Summoner who summons 10 augmented Celestial Eagles or Vipers over the course of an adventuring day will do far, far more for you than a Cleric, Oracle or Fighter of the same level.
What makes a level 2 bard so good in a 5 man party? I've never played one. How do would I use him to best benefit the party at such a low level?
Its all the roles she can fill - face, skills, knowledges, etc. Plus and most importantly a variety of buffs that are no where near as limited as what you would normally get out of a 2nd level caster. Inspire Courage + Lingering Performance alone is uber at 2nd level and if you add things like summoned monsters, animal companions, etc. the benefits only increase.
Played the following 4-man party through Second Darkness (levels included for ultimate progression):
Human 20th level Arcane Duelist
The group worked so incredibly well that we are considering using it to run a reboot of Rise of the Runelords, except that we've added the following character:
Human 2nd level Urban Barbarian / 11th level Weaponmaster (Bow) / 1st level Transmuter / 6th level Arcane Archer
We expect to do very well.
If multi-classing is a no-no, then going straight Summoner and straight Weaponmaster (Bow) would be fine.
Barbarian or Ranger w/animal companion
I'm posting this both as a mini-guide for Master Summoners who might eb unsure how to advance their eidolons as well as in the interest of garnering thoughts from experienced players regarding how its been set up.
The character concept is a pair of twins, one a Half-Elven Summoner who intends to use his eidolon as a combat mount and the other a Master Summoner, his sister, who's eidolon is more of a non-combatant scout type. Visually they'll manifest as sleek quadrupeds looking like something between a wolf and a wingless dragon with smooth skin that is either slate grey or blue black. The mount will be medium and eventually large but the scout will be small sized. I'm trying to walk the line between getting really good utility out of the eidolon and keeping to a theme appropriate for role-play (the powers of the two Summoners being a sort of ancestral magic that manifests a bit differently in the two twins, the eidolons having served their forefathers and growing in strength as the twins are able to draw them more and more into our world).
These are the evolutions I'm planning by level for the Master Summoner's scout eidolon, presuming the favored class option for half-elves which grant +1/4 evolution points per level. All evolutions are cumulative.
1st - 4th: Skilled - Stealth (1), Skilled - Perception (1), Scent (1)
I'm undecided as to whether to take Fast Healing or Spell Resistance for the character via Greater Aspect at 18th level. I'm sure I could make more optimized choices over Wingless Flight and greater flight speed, but having a fly speed of 100' with perfect maneuverability suits the concept and anything else that was needed could theoretically be granted through Evolution Surge. Even though the eidolon is going to have decent combat utility later on through UMD/wands, the majority of the time it'll be dismissed as combat begins in favor of more expendable and more versatile summoned creatures.
I like the occasional enounter that characters should have to consider running away from. And I like the occasional encounter where the characters have to do a little research and preparation before returning to in order to defeat it. But TPK's are fun for absolutely no one, and casual non-heroic deaths for characters my players work so hard for just doesn't happen in my campaigns. I'll mess with a character, give him a scar or a permanent penalty/deformity/curse/negative level(s) or have a favored item destroyed or stolen, but characters aren't going to die in my campaign unless they are very stupid or utterly heroic.
This can be more of a challenge than it appears considering we generally run a fairly low-magic campaign, but more often than not it merely requires an understanding of the party's capabilities and an occasional encounter tweak beforehand. I'm also not shy about upping difficulties when called for.
Examples from the first chapter of RotRL:
During part one, Festival and Fire, my party of 5 dealt with twice as many goblins and two more goblin encounters. In part two there were also twice as many skeletons hiding in the burial vault. In part three there were more goblins in the glassworks as well.
In the Catacombs of Wrath, the characters faced more than the usual number of sinspawn and the fight aginst the Erylium the quasit was difficult for them lacking the necessary magic or DR bypass, so they withdrew, researched and gameplanned before returning and taking her down.
In Thistletop, one of many changes I made were to do away with the Shadows entirely as being level inappropriate.
OP, from what you describe I honestly feel like these tend to be the worst kinds of groups, the kinds who are competitive with one another and often in turn competitive with the GM. The game, at its core, is cooperational story-telling, and that just can't happen if its every man for himself. Circumstances where one player resents another for being successful can only lead to the worst kind of one-upsmanship.
Now I don't know your group obviously and I'm speaking in general terms only, but I feel blessed to have a group who feels accomplishments and losses as a group. No one gets angry when the Summoner shines in a castle seige by summoning a horde of earth-gliding elementals or when the rogue blows through a skills challenge to thunderous applause... they trust the GM (usually me) to give everyone a chance in the spotlight and they don't begrudge those moments for one another. In combat they work on combos that allow each of them to maximize their strengths while protecting their weaknesses and in role-play the more combat oriented characters are fine stepping back and letting those they often protect take the lead. Its really a joy to be a part of.
Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
Best two-weapon fighter I've ever seen is a Human 1st level Master of Many Styles / 19th level Brawler one of our players built. He's a flat-out damage machine and has some very nice tricks up his sleeve as well.
If she wants to be a melee type and mix it up, I'd reccomend an Arcane Duelist... if she would prefer a strictly support character, then Lotus Geisha comes to mind. I have solid builds for both if interested. You're lacking a Rogue type and Archeologist would be superb in that role, but you'd lose out on her ability to buff the party through Inspire Courage and that's a pretty big deal.
Turin the Mad wrote:
It actually hasn't come up, but I think it would be a good idea to include in the SR houserule that not only do creatures with SR gain a +4 bonus to saves vs. spells but they are allowed a save even against spells that normally do not allow one.
Creatures that are already immune to magic or to specific spells or types of spells retain that immunity of course.
Putting aside the fact that I can't think of ANY standard creatures out there who have DR 20/-, 'somehow' is an awful lot easier than you think. Let's assume for the sake of argument that the martial characters we're discusssing don't have any class abilities that let them ignore DR (like the Paladin's Smite), don't have any magical weapons that allow them to ignore DR (not very hard to find) and don't have any feats that let them overcome DR (like Penetrating and Greater Penetrating Strike)... it would be a pretty powerful creature strutting around wiith DR 20/- I'd imagine, perhaps somethign suitable for 17th level characters to face?
My party has used the following characters in the past:
A properly equipped 17th level Bardiche-weilding Weaponmaster who dealt 1d10+42 points of damage per attack before criticals. A full attack included 4 attacks per round unless buffed by Haste.
A properly equipped Bow-weilding 2nd level Urban Barbarian / 15th level Weaponmaster who dealt 1d8+32 points of damage per attack at range - and she had Clustered Shots. A full attack included 6 attacks per round unless buffed by Haste.
A properly equipped 1st level Monk of Many Styles / 16th level Brawler who dealt 1d6+25 damage per attack, and made 7 attacks/round unless buffed by Haste.
None of them felt that the casters were improperly out-damaging them and none of them felt as if they were somehow able to enjoy the game less because their fellow casters didn't struggle as much as they could have.
As far as spells like Fireball, how much does your typical Firball-casting wizard do? Well, let's say that he's an Evoker and gets +1 point of damage/two levels and let's say he's a 10th level caster, meaning he deals 10d6+5 points of damage to everyone his fireball affects. Well, if the foe fails his save, that's an average of 40 points of damage, and they make make thier save, that's an average of 20. Do you know how many hit points most credible threats faced by 10th level casters have? 20 points of damage would be a joke to them, and that's assuming that they didn't have Fire Resistance to reduce it even further. So to answer your question, yes, I'm fine with a 10th level caster hurling an exploding ball of fire into his enemies dealing anywhere from 10 to 50 points of damage to each of them, especially when he only has a few of those in his arsenal and the Fighter - who deals more damage per round anyway - can swing as many times as he likes without concern.
You really keep bouncing around with your arguments.
Saving Throws for casters are analagous to Armor Class for martials. Energy Resistance for casters is analagous to Damage Ressitance for martials... what is Spell Resistance analagous to?
An argument can be made that immunity to criticals hits and precision damage could be analagous to immunity to mind-affecting spells (for example), but what about immunity to magic entirely? There's nothing martials have to deal with that approaches 'immune to anything you can do'.
You say that all wizards have to do is select the right spell for any given situation - well that's all well and good if they have that spell in their spellbooks AND had the foresight to memorize it ahead of time, but memorizing a spell for every possible situation ahead of time is an utter impossibility. And you're leaning heavily on wizards in your argument, particularly high-level wizards, but you aren't taking into accout casters as a whole - partial casters or lower level casters who have incredibly finite resources. Martial attacks never 'run out', but spells do and do so rather quickly. I'm not going to give one character much more limited resources than another and THEN tack on an increased chance of failure to boot.
As for your 'full attack then move' argument, that's just silly. Plenty of spells require a full round action to cast, and I've never seen a wizard approach the kind of single-target damage a well-built martial can do with a full attack action. Not to mention that Fighters get significantly more feats to overcome their issues than Wizards do.
If you think the houserule is intended to favor Wizards then you're entitled to your opinion - as the person who actually put the rule in place I can tell you that's wrong. Its designed to help ALL casters by disregarding a redundant and ultimately unfair rule and designed to help ALL players by speedin gup combat. And its worked pretty darned well so far.