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You can cast a one round spell, which is a full round action, by using the Standard Action Option of (Start/Complete a full round action).
So, in that one specific case, you can start casting a full round action and also more a double move over the course of 2 rounds, instead of one round.
It is a rare corner case, and typically most people don't do it since it allows a 1 round spell to be interrupted before it completes, which is not normally possible without a readied action on the enemies part.
Usually I only see it done when there is an environmental effect in place that makes standing still for a whole round not viable.
So far as removing Dirty Tricks, each condition is separate, so you would take a different action to remove each.
For reference, I have a Skulking Slayer 7/Lore Warden 5 in PFS play.
Lore Warden 5 give +2 static CMB/CMD, and Weapon Training to use Gloves of Dueling for a total +3 (Use Flails, Heavy Flail is d10 19-20x2 weapon, close to greatsword damage, and whip/scorpion whip is in the same group for later).
Dusty Rose Ioun Stone in a wayfinder gives another +2.
PFSFG Dueling enchantment (+1, grants a Luck Bonus on all CMB with the chosen weapon equal to double the enhancement bonus) so a +1 weapon give +3 total to CMB with the weapon, +2 gives +6 total, etc.
He has full capabilities for Dirty Trick, Trip, and decent Steal, Reposition, Drag (Drag and Reposition can be done using a weapon with the trip property, and Steal can be done with Whip at -4, notably his +3 Dueling Scorpion Whip to do them at range so they don't provoke)( +9).
Skulking Slayer adds +1 to Dirty trick for each sneak die(+4), and +1 1/2 for Steal(+6). Stacks with Scout, so when you charge, you get to sneak attack.
There is a Feat that adds sneak dice to CMB if you are flanking or denied dex. (+4)
UnRogue Debilitating Strike lowers AC, so also lowers CMD. (-4)
Surprise Follow Thru and Imp Surprise Follow thru are wonderful. Since they are denied dex, their CMD is lowered.(-Dex Mod)
Power attack the first guy, then cleave into his friends and blind them.
Also, Cleave doesn't require you doing damage, just a melee attack on each target. So, you can technically trip them all, and proc a free attack from GR Trip, to make the secondary targets both prone and blind on a cleave since surprise follow thru denies them dex. Requires Combat reflexes and a decent dex. (-4 CMD from prone)
Power Attack is your damage dealing win button for plain old hitting things, with a 2 handed weapon. And being Str Based, x1.5.
Give him a Slayer.
Rogue Talents, Sneak Attack, decent skills, with Fighter HD, BAB, and Medium Armor.
Alternately, give him a Melee Hunter with a Flanking Companion.
Or, a Dervish Dancing Archaeologist Bard.
Skills, Dex, Minor Spellcasting, with a scaling bonus that he can use to actually do damage.
Make a Magus, get the Cure/Inflict spells on list. (Samsaran, etc.)
Wear 2 Gauntlets, one with a cure one with an inflict wand inside from Weaponwand spell.
Each round you can spell combat, with whatever spell you had charged at start and whatever spell you cast at end.
Not the best, but can be done.
Only way I know to cast and full attack in a round is magus, or quickened spells (which are not worth it by that point).
A witch with the Quicken SLA Feat for Healing Hex could also handle the heal part, but only 1/day for each person.
Also works on undead enemies 1/day though, so can still be pretty fun, and in a campaign healing every NPC you ever meet 1/day can be amazing for after battle/plague/siege purposes.
Actually, with the Hex Strike Feat and the Healing Hex from witch you could 1/round heal on an attack, which does what you want, but you would actually have to hit an ally's AC first. Look to your GM for how hard that would be
Ok... how about the Wild Child Brawler Archetype? It uses some feats, but having the pet that also gets to help with grappling/pinning would be pretty awesome.
Take the Tandem trip/maneuver feats and roll up on something that way.
Or even a pure hunter, who focuses on fighting alongside the companion.
Although, I have to warn you, in Carrion Crown you will have a lot of enemies that you don't want to grapple at all, since undead have notoriously bad touch attacks in many cases.
Maybe make a Sacred Fist Warpriest... get some good mileage out of minor spells and go that route.
Also, Snapping Turtle Clutch (BAB+3 or Monk 3) lets you grapple as an immediate action when you are missed, so that would let you run up, hit, if they miss you, grapple, then start the round grappled to pin.
In addition, if you grapple on your turn, and they chose to attack instead of breaking the grapple and fail, you can immediately attempt to pin them as your check. That is funny as hell
Actually, any weapon that has the trip property can be used to make a drag or reposition, so those get the full benefits of weapon based bonuses. Just for reference.
In addition, the blogpost on dirty tricks acknowledges that some weapons are appropriate for making a dirty trick with, subject to GM call. Example used was using a sap to make a groin shot to sicken the target.
I have had no issue even in PFS to use a scorpion whip to entangle, sicken, deafen, even blind given the proper description. Of course, you have to get the GM to describe the enemy including clothing/equipment.
Snap to the groin to sicken, crack a whip near the head to deafen, wrap around the legs to entangle, drag the cloak over the head to blind, etc.
For a Drunken Monk type, there is a magic tankard item in one of the new books I saw in another thread that counts as a weapon and lets you store extra drinks in the same glass.
There is the Nimble Guardian Monk archetype, which actually lets you use Beast Shape 2 at level 7 and Beast Shape 3 at level 9. You can be an actual Lion for 1 hour for 2 ki points.
That lets you pounce, full attack(claw/claw/bite/rake), and get a free grapple if you hit with your bite.
Then take Imp Grapple, Gr Grapple(BAB 6+, soretrain an earlier feat at level 8), and Rapid Grappler(monk 9).
Now, you get to pounce, full attack, and start a grapple. Then, you get to make 3 grapple checks a round (which can be used to pin and/or do damage).
Depends on the set-up. You can literally do whatever you want, you could let them sell for 100% if you want, since you control how much treasure they find.
If you let them sell for more than 50%, just decrease the total loot they find by half of that bonus.
For example, if they are supposed to have 3000g/character at level, but you let them sell for 60%, then you only need to drop 5000g/level in treasure instead of 6000g/level to match standard wealth.
Now, if you are looking to actually give a bonus to the players for building a good negotiator, then you can include the the normal total treasure, and let them have some extra money to work with as a reward.
We finished RotRL recently, and since we had a max diplomacy Paladin in the group, we got a flat 60% once we got to our first major city and our first real reputation boost.
Before that, we rolled each time we went to sell, (which was under level 6). Base DC was 20, for every 5 we beat it by we got another 5%.
Special/campaign specific items were negotiated with the bargaining rules to make them special, a Thassilonian +1 dagger was worth the same amount to a normal weapon shop, but a collector of Thassilonian history would pay up to 75% instead because of the specific item.
Actually, if you have a +19 or higher, you can use a wand or a staff without fail.
CRB UMD Skill wrote:
Try Again: Yes, but if you ever roll a natural 1 while attempting to activate an item and you fail, then you can't try to activate that item again for 24 hours.
You only get the 24hour lockdown on wand/rod/staff if you roll a 1 and also fail, but a natural 1 doesn't automatically fail on skill checks.
And the UMD is what is needed for not having it on your spell list, if it was on your spell list you wouldn't need to UMD at all.
Delirium's Tangle, minotaur is a friendly you have to find (Level 1-5)
The Confirmation, Minotaur is the bossfight (Level 1-2).
There's another one where there is a fight with a ghost minotaur in a maze, which is downright mean, but I don't remember what level it is, either 1-5 or 3-7.
You can be a Half-Orc skulking slayer, and then add your sneak attack dice to the Dirty-Trick maneuver. Also gets you the ability to Dirty Trick anytime you could make a sneak attack.
There is a Feat that adds your sneak attack dice to your CMB for a maneuver in the Advanced class guide. I see nothing that says that class feature and the feat wouldn't stack, so that would get you double your sneak attack dice to the maneuver.
Consider Frigid Touch instead of Vampiric Touch for your spell storing armor.
Vamp Touch gets you temp hitpoints, but Frigid Touch stops a full attack (they become staggered after the first hit, and having already taken an attack they end their turn).
The original word from SKR when he was still in charge of direct rules explanations, was that a Barbarian with a 12 Str could take the Power Attack feat, but only use it while raging.
It was used for a long time as the basis for temp scores counting in full for bonuses/penalties.
Most brutal hunter build I ever came up with was a Halfling hunter, built to be mounted. Wild Child Brawler Dip so you don't have to waste points in Int, unless you roll stats and can afford it.
Take a wolf for the first 3 levels, as it has a free trip on the bite, and starts medium to ride.
After level 4, you change to a small cat advanced to medium size, so still riding.
Mount gets Bodyguard archetype, so he gets those feats without the Int problem.
Have Combat Reflexes, Weapon Finesse on pet to start, Bodyguard later.
Expertise and Pack Flanking, OutFlank, Lookout, and Escape Route by level 5.
AC has 5+ AoOs/round. You get +4 AC if they swing at you. You can move anywhere while mounted, with no AoO's for you and mount because of Escape Route. You count as flanking while mounted, with Pack Flanking, which bumps all attacks for you and mount by +4 while you are mounted.
This combined with a good Acrobatics makes Expertise to bump AC viable, as the bonuses you have from the teamwork make it all worthwhile.
Bodyguard gets to always act in surprise round, so you both always act regardless of perception, and most of the time (wis based caster with perception bonuses) you should get a full round in surprise rounds from Lookout.
Later, take Tandem Trip so that AC gets to roll twice and take better for the free trip on a bite, with all the teamwork stacks you should have a decent shot for as long as grounded opponents matter.
You can switch to a Roc later when flying becomes necessary, and everything still works.
You will want Imp Share Spells teamwork feat later since Bodyguard gives that up, and then buffing takes less time since you share the duration to both of you with a single casting.
Pet stays medium for land based, so never have the problems with squeezing mounts are notorious for.
What in the world is the argument about whether or not you can negate someone's action with this?
It clearly says they continue their action if able. Which means, by definition, that there will be times when they are UNABLE to continue because of a readied interruption.
You give up your standard, to negate someone else's action (provided it falls within a narrow window that you know beforehand).
In order to do this "Dancing Kobold" interpretation that is being blown all out of proportion btw, (since it has been shown that it works for a single round at most), you also are locked into staying in place. There are places that make this workable (but honestly, choke points are always in the defenders favor so whatever) but not nearly as broken as is argued.
First round: Kobold goes first, readies to attack/step if attacked.
As well, single attack enemies are stupid choices in any situation, commonly shown to be a broken model in this system (as in pointless challenges- unless the goal is to one shot the first target), negating them is no big deal as it works for a single round at most.
I think most people are upset that common battle tactics can negate their brain-dead RAWRSMASH charge builds. And are using the Kobold angle disingenuously to try and get it changed backdoor style.
If you are not an inquisitor, you can't use the bane baldric to augment your natural attacks. Because you can't attune a claw by hanging from the Baldric for 24 hours.
If you are an Inquisitor, you can do it however you like with the extra 5 rounds/day, since you can use natural weapons with bane just fine.
Well... we just are a game from finishing RotRL, and from what I can tell, unless your GM is going to give you more time in game, you won't have time to really craft a lot at all.
We were having a hard enough time just crafting things and upgrading the gear we found in the time allotted.
Jaunt Boots are a trap, if you go pure RAW.
They take a standard to activate, so you get to burn a standard to move 15 ft without provoking.
If your GM is reasonable, then they are use activated instead of command word, so you can just do it as part of a 5ft step.
You only get one AoO for a single creatures entire move through your threatened aread.
You do NOT get one for the 15ft-10ft, then for the 10ft-5ft.
Each movement provokes only once regardless of how many squares they move through.
So unless you stopped them at 10 ft and they had to move again next round to 5ft, they would only have one AoO.
When you said that I actually took a second to go back and read Sohei again to make sure it didn't require a "monk" quality weapon just in case I was wrong, lol.
How can you not flurry with the Urumi? It's in the Monk Weapon Group.
At 6th level (which is the only time Sohei opens up any new weapons)+, you can take the Monk weapon group for weapon training.
Urumi is not a "monk" special quality weapon, but Sohei just takes the monk weapon group not "monk" weapons.
If you go with Sohei, you can use the Urumi. It is a blade that is so thin and flexible it can be worn as a belt.
Or, for 2000g, you can get the Bladed Belt, and make it whatever you like.
For reference... I didn't read the whole thread. But in the first 5 entries...
You can't take an AoO with a reach weapon from behind an ally.
You can't take an AoO on someone with cover, and reach weapons use the ranged rules for cover.
So, if they come straight at you and your friend keeping the ally between you the whole time, you get nothing.
If you are planning a wisdom based grappling build, then Rapid Grappler in the future is a must.
For a non-violent angle, you can always choose to do non-lethal with your unarmed damages.
A grappler is actually very good at non-violence, with monk of the lotus included.
There are a few feats that slow, and some that do other conditions (notably jawbreaker/neckbreaker) on grapple checks, they don't specify the damage must be lethal so far as I remember.
It could be done.
Dazzling Display build. Because Chainsaw.
Order of the Cockatrice Gnome Cavalier. Because tinker-gnomes are a thing that should be played often.
Possibly adding bard and going Battle herald, because melee love teamwork feats for free and buff/debuff support.
It would be EPIC.
Take a skald if you want the more fighty type... Cavalier or Swashbuckler could be more synergy than fighter for stats. Mysterious Stranger Gunslinger is also fun times, only need 1 level really, and take the Jury Rig spell to make up for losing quick-clear.
Or take 2-3 levels in Lore Warden Fighter/Archivist Bard X for a Chronicler type concept that can use weapons ok but masters none. Especially good if you focus on Dirty Trick instead of a lot of the other maneuvers that don't scale to multi-leg/flying creatures. Not a lot of creatures immune to blinding...
I have wanted to make one for a while now. All Int Skills as class skills, 3 bonus feats, if 3 level LW +2 CMB, bardic Knowledge, bonuses to AC/Saves instead of attack/damage (damage scales fine normally, but higher level save or suck/die are more likely in my experience than just damage).
Stats aren't good for Str build, and not really great for dex build... but will be fine for a non-optimized fun character.
Don't let anyone say the casting delay is "killing your spellcasting". You just don't make casting your focus, more of another pouch on your bag of tricks than your main schtick.
I went Fighter first for PFS, for the extra 2 HP. Then alternated Rogue/Fighter until level 9. After getting Wpn training and gloves of dueling, rest were rogue.
I took City Raised for whips, scavenger and bestial for alt racials.
1F1: PA, Furious Focus (to retrain later)
It's online as 2H damage from level 1. Online for some Control by 3, and Online for major control by 7-9.
Pick up a Wayfinder with a Dusty Rose Ioun Stone slotted in for 5250g, and another +2 to CMB.
+6 CMB at 3, +10 at 5, +14 at 7, +17 at 9. +2 for whatever level you get the stone, +2 for whatever level you get Gloves of Dueling for weapon based ones(I bought mine at level 9). +sneak attack dice to dirty trick maneuvers. +1 1/2 sneak attack dice to steals, use a whip for that at range so no AoO, or do it after you blind. +2 charging, +2 flanking. Extra bonuses with the Dueling Whip. (at level 11 I have mid 30s on trip, dirty trick, and steal)
You need teammates who understand flanking setups... at that point you can charge into a flank, PA for damage, trip as a swift, and then blind them while they are on the ground (and your teammate gets AoO too). Remember prone AC penalty applies to CMD, as does rogue debilitating strike penalty.
I actually have a Skulking Slayer/Scout 7 rogue in play, mixed with 5 levels of Lore Warden Fighter for the feats, weapon spec, and bonus CMB. Remember the Human FCB to get 1/6 of a talent.
At low levels, he charges for d8 sneak dice with a Heavy Flail. (reason is d10 damage, and in the same weapon group as the Whip, used later). Higher levels, I took power attack and Felling Smash.
Now, when you charge, you get to hit for PA+Sneak, then free trip. After Greater Trip, you get another hit on the downed foe.
Skulking Slayer can Dirty Trick or Steal anytime they can sneak. So, you can charge, and blind. Or charge and steal the holy symbol/casting component pouch/wand/potion/scroll you are worried about.
I bought a (PFSFG version) Dueling whip, for a luck bonus to CMB equal to double the enhancement bonus of the weapon. Whip can specifically be used to steal, and dirty trick depending on your GM for what is entailed.
Surprise Follow through and the Cleave line let you move in, PA and Trip one target, then Blind his friend (thanks to him being denied dex you can sub the dirty trick).
It's a really fun build, using a 2handed Str d10 weapon with the d8 sneak dice and Gloves of Dueling, you get some pretty good bonuses and damage.
I didn't go the Bludgeoner route, but you could. I got to Dirty Trick and blinding give -4 AC, no AoO's, and free sneak... when you get Gr Dirty Trick they lose their attacks to remove it too.
Yeah... as has been stated. The "Within One Step" clause only applies to clerics.
LG paladin of CG deity is legal.
Without 3.5 conversion, CG paladin is not.
PFS is the place that extended the "One Step" rule to all divine casters... it's not core.
There is the Quick Steal feat, takes BAB +6 and Imp Steal. You can make a steal maneuver using you highest attack bonus in a full attack. So, steal his whatever, then proceed to hit him too. Bonus points for monks in a flurry so you still get another attack at highest.
Several Rogue archetypes allow steal or dirty trick in place of a sneak attack.
So if you were flanking, you could do it.
Or if they were flat-footed for some reason, such as sneaking up and grabbing wands/potions/scrolls off the enemy the surprise round. (Note, you can make a steal maneuver with a whip at reach, with a -4, but that makes it use the weapon so weapon bonuses would apply. Ergo, if you are good enough a wizards cmd will probably be something you can beat at reach, since mage armor, shield and most mage AC buffs wouldn't apply, and they are not known normally for being strong or dexterous.)
That's just it... with Ascetic Style, you don't need Feral Combat Training at all.
You can just use a weapon with all the unarmed abilities... So Ascetic Style, Hamatulatsu, and Impaling Crit are all you need.
Now you have a 17-20/x2 piercing attack that uses unarmed strike scaling damage and if they pull off or you pull off you get to do damage again.
It really works best with a Brawler, since they count as fighters for feat pre-reqs, and you need weapon Spec to take Impaling Crit.
You need IUS, Wpn Focus (unarmed), Wpn Focus(cestus), for Ascetic Style and Hamatulatsu. Then you need Weapon Spec(Cestus), and Critical Focus for Impaling Crit, which means Weapon Adept Monk 3, Unarmed Fighter (free style feat)4, or Brawler 4.
So... 8 feats and BAB of +11 to have a 17-20x2 crit, full unarmed strike damage, impaling fist attack, that sickens (or staggers) the target, and takes a move action on their part to pull your hand out of their chest for extra damage. At BAB 13 it ups to a grapple check to pull it out, and it deals damage, or bleed damage when it does.
*** Emei Piercer would get you to 17-20/x2 ... which is the pretty damn good for "Unarmed" looking strikes.
Cestus is also 19-20/x2 B or P... 1d4 instead of 1d3 (not that that matters with Ascetic Style) simple weapon nothing exotic that needs special training. And is in the monk weapon group.
Exotic Weapon Proficiency Feat.
There are some ways to reduce non-prof with favored class bonuses, but I don't think for paladin.
Some archetypes give you domains, I think one of the domains grants prof with weapon, not good on cleric stuff.
Make it a Hobgoblin blight druid, follower of Lamashtu and you can make it the lead in for book 3.
possible book 2/3 spoilers for RotRL:
They are trying to weaken the city by causing sickness and disease, and using the rats to spread it through the food supply so that they can make the attacks to the north with no reinforcements.
If you run the druid fight before the tower fight at end of book 2, let them find a note on him telling him to go southwest and "meet my sister in Magnimmar" who will find a use for him in weakening the defenses of the largest city threat.
If you run the druid after the tower have them find a note of introduction in the tower treasure/papers addressed to "my dear little sister" and mentioning that the bearer will be invaluable in weakening the defenders of the city so that they can not interfere with our plans to the northeast.
Then, you can use all kinds of nasty critters in the sewers without incorporating yet another guild in a city where they are cleaning out a murder cult.
This lets you use rats, plagues, were-rats, and even opens up the fungal queen option if you want to take it that far.
I didn't include Weapon Focus in my numbers because a tiefling magus at level 2 only has one feat, and he has weapon finesse to use dex per the OP.
I had originally included it, but counted it out based on the class and level we were working with.
A magus using spellstrike doesn't make a separate touch attack unless they want to. They can deliver the spell as a rider on a normal sword attack, using whatever bonuses to sword and spell they would have.
So: Yes, a Magus who uses Spellstrike (not spell combat, they are different things) to make a sword attack while charged with a Shocking Grasp would get +3 on the attack vs normal AC with the sword. If it hits, it does both the weapon attack damage and the spell damage, you do not roll another to hit for the spell.
If you have a multi-touch spell like Chill Touch or Frostbite, you may add the spell damage to each sword attack that hits until you have used up all the charges of the spell.
Commonly mixed up abilities of the MAGUS:
Touch spells: On the same round you cast a touch spell, you can make a free touch attack with it against an enemy. You may cast, then move, before making the touch attack.
Spellstrike: Allows a magus to substitute a weapon attack for the free attack granted the round you cast a touch spell. Also allows a magus to make a weapon attack on future rounds after casting a touch spell (while holding the charge) and have the touch spell effect the target on a successful hit, no extra roll needed, and if the weapon attack is a crit, the spell crits (x2, even if the weapon multiplier is higher).
Spell Combat: Allows the Magus to make his normal number of attacks, and also cast a spell in the same round as a full round action, all attacks made that round are at -2. If the spell is a touch spell, this grants an additional attack at his highest attack bonus (-2 for spell combat) which can be against touch ac without a weapon, or with the weapon using spellstrike.
Usually the reason to use Spell Combat is to immediately use Spellstrike with the spell you just cast, although at higher levels it is used for things like shield, mirror image, etc so that you can buff without wasting rounds without hitting.
Now, one of the things most people forget on a Magus (or try to because it can be detrimental) is that when casting while threatened, you have to make a defensive casting check (DC=15+ 2x spell level), or take an AoO. If you don't make the check, you lose the spell slot and casting is disrupted. If you don't try the check, and get hit, you have to make a concentration check (DC= 10+Spell Level+Damage dealt) or lose the spell.
At level 2, assuming Int is his 2nd highest stat (14-20), and since he is finessing a weapon he doesn't have a feat to take Combat Casting, His concentration bonus is Caster level (2), plus Int bonus(2-5), vs DC 17 for 1st level spells. With a 20 Int, that's a 50% chance to lose the spell.
That is one of the most glossed over parts of a magus at low levels. At higher levels, you should make it even on a 1 since they don't auto fail for this(by about level... 10 you should be fine on anything other than a 1 with proper stats/gear).
For the record, I'm not saying that the examples listed by the OP would allow ranged flanking benefits.
I am only arguing that the rules as written do not disallow ranged flanking in theory, otherwise the Gang-Up FAQ would not have had to be made.
Originally, you could only threaten with melee, so there was never a question. Now that you can threaten with ranged weapons, you have to see exactly what each feat does or doesn't include to see if the door is open.
Gang-Up opened the door, the dev says it wasn't intended and promptly closed it.
Snap Shot opens the door to provide bonuses, just not to receive them.
If another feat also changes the qualifiers for flanking, and doesn't call out melee only, then it will open the door again.
And all of this because they are terrified of what 5th Ed rogues can do just fine right now, and hasn't broken a single game yet.
Magus can give +1 to a weapon for 1 minute X times per day using Arcane pool and a swift action, starting at level 1.
And yes, when using Spellstrike to deliver Shocking Grasp you get to add the +3 against normal AC.
So, with a proper weapon and weapon finesse, as a Tiefling, he should be 18-20 Dex, (+4-5), +1 Weapon, Spell Combat -2, +3 using Shocking Grasp.
So Highest possible should be, with 20 Dex, swift action +1 Weapon using Arcane pool (make sure he's not adding that to a masterwork +1 to hit) giving totals of:
All of those with a 2nd attack during rounds he uses Spell Combat, at +4 to hit.
Once he hits level 3 and gets an arcana, and level 4 getting the spell bladed dash, he starts getting to add Int to hit possibly too, so that will be even more tracking.
Technically I think most people will say they wouldn't stack. But I think of it more like the Quingong Monk, which says you can take things that give up monk abilities at the same time as something which switches some of those, so long as you don't try to get them back somewhere else.
Per the FAQ and statements, it would be a Hero Lab error. But not overpowered to allow.
@ James... Actually, neither of the 2 places mentioning threatening require melee. The first sentence says that you -get- a bonus when making a melee attack if you have a threatening ally on the other side of the enemy. It has no instructions on if the ally has to be in melee, only that he threaten. The 2nd line after the Exception bullet once again only mentions giving a bonus by threatening, and no mention of melee limit at all.
Threatening is require by one half of the flanking pair, a melee attack is required by the other. USUALLY that means that you will both be in melee, and both have both reqs met. But there are corner cases where this is not the case. Gang Up was one. Snap Shot was another.
I quoted the entire flanking entry. The only place Melee is mentioned is the part about qualifying for a flanking bonus. Ergo, if a feat (such as Gang Up pre-FAQ) gives you an alternative qualifier for how to achieve a flank, then it only has a melee restriction if it says so.
In no other place does it mention melee. And it only mentions threatening in terms of granting the bonus throughout the entire flanking section, not for receiving it.
So, if I have no other weapons out and make an unarmed strike against an enemy without possessing the IUS feat, and I have an active ally on the opposite side of the same enemy with a weapon out, do I get the flanking bonus? Yes. I do. If I have a whip and am standing 10 feet away on the opposite side of an enemy from an active ally, do I get a flanking bonus with the whip? Yes I do.
Does the ally get a flanking bonus? No. Not unless someone besides me is providing it. Unless I happen to have the Whip mastery feats for the 2nd scenario.
Gang Up doesn't give ranged flanking bonuses because they added that limitation in the FAQ. Snap Shot doesn't give ranged flanking bonuses because it doesn't change the flanking reqs, only the threatening option.
CRB PRD FLANKING IN TOTAL*:
When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.
When in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent in the middle, trace an imaginary line between the two attackers' centers. If the line passes through opposite borders of the opponent's space (including corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked.
Exception: If a flanker takes up more than 1 square, it gets the flanking bonus if any square it occupies counts for flanking.
Only a creature or character that threatens the defender can help an attacker get a flanking bonus.
Creatures with a reach of 0 feet can't flank an opponent.
*Minus the diagram, text copied in full, bolding mine.
Note, the only place it specifies melee is on RECEIVING the bonus. In other places, it only requires threatening. PER THE CRB, you had no option to threaten with anything other than melee. The Whip Mastery feats were needed because a whip doesn't threaten normally. The Snap Shot line added flanking threats from ranged weapons.
To grant Flanking has two requirements. A line through opposite sides of the enemy from both attackers. You must threaten the enemy (via threatened squares).
To Receive Flanking benefits has three requirements. A line through opposite sides of the enemy from both attackers. The enemy must be threatened by the ally on the opposite side. You must be making a melee attack.
To say that flanking is only allowed to be melee as a blanket statement of the rules text is just wrong. That may have been the design intent, it may have been the design understanding, but it was not what was written in print.
The need for the FAQ on Gang-Up, was because it changed the requirements for RECEIVING the benefits to only need two people threatening in any position. It didn't have the melee only line like the actual flanking rules attached. In the absence of that line, getting flanking benefits from range was possible.
Snap shot doesn't change any requirements for receiving flanking benefits. It allows you to grant benefits with a ranged weapon, since ranged weapons do not normally threaten.
It depends on how bad you want to make "Dying" on them.
To make it matter so that "Death" is more than an oops moment, I would make it 10 minutes, minus 1 minute for each HD they have, but never faster than a Full Round. They could attempt a DC 20 WILL save, not intelligence check, in order to do it in half/quarter/whatever, but still never faster than a full round, and that speed would impose a -2 penalty on all die rolls until they have the time to adjust to the form properly.
I would personally go so far as to make changing bodies from one to another require 10 minutes out of body as well, so that players don't just think of it as easy to do in a dungeon situation. Although comfortably at home, you might have several bodies for different functions available.
These guys are described as NEEDING these forms in order to interact with the material plane, they should be as paranoid as is possible to achieve about losing access to one as other races are about their own bodies.
Everyone is pointing to that FAQ as the reason why ranged flanking is not allowed at all ever... when in reality the FAQ had to be given because if it was not then ranged flanking would have been possible using Gang Up.
Gang Up, as written, removes the normal flanking rules and says that so long as 2 allies are threatening, you get to count as flanking. As written, there were no other restrictions on position, melee only, or ranged attacks being excluded.
The fact that they had to re-insert the restriction to be melee-only, actually changed how the feat worked.
Snap Shot lets you threaten with a bow out to 5 ft. Now you provide flanking to allies in melee, but gain none yourself, because it doesn't change any other requirements for flanking like Gang Up did.
They are not equal feats, at all.
As well, a whip is a melee weapon, with a 15 ft range.
Per the Rules, with the Whip Mastery Feats, I fully expect to provide and receive flanking benefits when I use it from opposite sides of an enemy, 10ft away.
Per the rules, even without the Whip mastery feats, I fully expect to receive (but not provide) flanking benefits when attacking from 10-15ft away while an ally is opposite the enemy from me.
It is a melee attack, and I draw a line from me to the ally and it passes through opposite sides of an enemy's square. But it is made at range.
Sneak Attacking whip wielding rogue FTW.
With those stats... anything.
However, to take advantage of the dex and Cha focus of the ninja for later when you look at items to boost stats...
Any type of Swashbuckler, but notably Picaroon or Musket Master. Great Charismatic Captain type character, sword and pistol style.
Cavalier Spellscar Drifter/Musket Master (they stack), and use grit based on Cha.
Mysterious Stranger Gunslinger works too (Grit based on Cha).
With the pirate style Spelljammer setting, I immediately went to firearms.