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Aqueous Orb (APG) is my very favorite spell in the world.
Level 3, deals 2d6 nonlethal damage and rolls your enemies up in a giant ball of water. Excellent control with a little damage, although enemies can drown inside.
Most importantly, it's hilarious. I've now got a Lesser Persistent Metamagic Rod for it on my wizard. Persistent Aqueous Orb requires 4 Reflex saves a round per creature I can roll it over.
Stinking Cloud (3) and Confusion (4) can both win a battle without dealing any damage at all.
Question is pretty vague. Miracle is the correct answer. Allfood is a close second, but that's on the ranger list and you apparently want cleric/oracle spells.
Blessing of Fervor is divine haste at level 4.
Personally I hate the cleric/oracle list though, so that's all from me.
Two damage rolls is a disadvantage in the case that your target has energy resistance (quite common) but that's really missing the point.
Snowball deals the same or more damage than the Scorching Ray at level 4-6 AND has an excellent bonus effect on a failed save AND no SR AND it's a level lower AND it's a less resisted element.
If you have Intensified Spell it's strictly better for a few more levels on top of that.
Synthesist doesn't make you a front line fighter so much as it takes away a your front line fighter's spellcasting pet.
Master Summoner turns frontliner + support caster into swarm of frontliners + support caster + skillmonkey, which is a bit more of a change I think.
Spellslinger, Seige Mage and Arcane bomber all give up a significant amount of the Wizard's versatility by forbidding so many schools and giving up cantrips/arcane bond, and I think versatility is really what makes a Wizard what he is.
Feral Child (human druid archetype) completely gives up Wild Shape and with it a druid's melee ability. You can make a druid without melee of course, but they're still Wild Shaping into birds for protection.
Maneuver Master, Sensei, Sohei and Tetori all fundamentally change Monks from the normal stand-there-and-punch-him plan.
Seems to apply to all characters, not just divine ones. So instead of worshiping Lissala, you're going to have to merely revere her and just say you're worshiping her.
Clerics have very little in the way of battlefield control. Plenty of target control and debuffs, but most of the things cnetarian listed don't count. BFC spells need to stick around and a one-shot "will negates" doesn't cut it.
Obscuring Mist is really the only first level example. Silence and Darkness are all I see at level 2, maybe Consecrate/Desecrate. There are a few more at higher levels, Blade Barrier and Wall of Stone stand out. Summon Monster spells are also a kind of battlefield control and you get one at each level.
Domains offer a bunch more, especially elementalish domains that give you wiz/sorc and druid spells like Entangle and Create Pit.
One might argue the Dispel Magic functions at the caster level of the Spell Storing weapon (usually 12), I mean it says "the weapon can immediately cast the spell." This interpretation seems to me to be RAW, although it leads quickly to shennanegins, mostly involving intensified shocking grasp and mid-level parties.
I wouldn't worry about it too much. Taking the trait should be plenty.
Traps are somewhat rare in PFS and many of the ones that do exist can't practically be disabled. Most of the rest can be triggered by a long pole or an unseen servant or just healed through with wands.
As for locked doors, knock and silence are both on your spell list. They don't always work, though. Knock can fail and silence requires a BSF who doesn't mind getting his axe blade nicked.
Edit: The problem with Mount as a trap detector is that fact that if you're not riding it or telling it to come, heel, or stay it's a DC 25 Handle Animal check to push it to kick in a door or go walk over where you're pointing. (That's assuming they're trained for riding, as the spell does not mentioned combat. Combat training still probably doesn't cover triggering traps.)
Rapid Shot gives a -2 penalty to all shots you make that round and lets you make an extra attack if you're taking a full-round action.
Pulling both triggers lets you take two shots in one attack (two rolls though) by taking a -4 to both rolls. You can do this as a standard action in case you have to move.
You can combine those to take four shots all at a -6 as a full-round action.
You could even split it, making one double-barrel attack for two shots at -6 and reload for another single attack at a -2.
If you can reload as a free action, have two guns with weapon cords, and have Rapid Shot and Two-Weapon Fighting feats you can shoot six bullets, (two normal, two for Rapid Shot, two for the offhand) all at -10.
OK, now you're making s@$@ up. The Additional Resources say what material applies to PFS and the Fiendish Codex aint on it. By your logic we could be playing Abjurant Champions with Anklets of Translocation.
It's fluff from another setting in another game. You might was well argue that dwarves can't use magic because they can't dream and access The Fade in Dragon Age.
I'd also like to point out your misunderstanding of Invisibility rules that imply you've been abusing them. Not all attacks must deal damage. Anything that includes an enemy in its area of effect breaks it, so you're mostly limited to buffs, summons and barriers.
You could Rapid Shot with double-barreled pistols, but only if you get your reloads down to a single action and use weapon cords. Rapid Shot means making two attacks with one of the pistols, not attacking with each once. You can attack with each once using Two-Weapon Fighting, but there are hefty penalites. Assuming you take the feat you'll be shooting at -10 on both hands. Without TWF it's -12/-16. Make sure you read the double-barreled pistol description, there is a penalty for using both barrels. You also end up with a significant misfire chance.
Sword and Pistol is probably not worth it since reloading still provokes.
Ragathiel is legal in PFS.
I don't have the module to reference, but as I recall this guy has high AC, high touch AC, high CMD, a pretty good Ref save, a high Fort save and a very high Will save. Also undead immunities. Not a lot of weak points.
When I played it we only survived due to a combination of GM mercy and frank cheating by another player that I didn't immediately recognize as such. 3/5 PCs were poorly built and one of the others was ruined by the haunt, though. (Although they shouldn't have been. Haunt stat blocks should make clear they are a fear effect since bonuses against fear are so common.)
The witch spell list is pretty narrow, even if it does include some strong ones you just don't have the versatility if you're talking purely about spells. The spellcasting is just plain weaker than a Wizard or Cleric's. Weaker because less flexible.
But that doesn't matter because they have hexes. Hexes. HEXES.
(They have Hexes.)
The problem with relying on one BSF to carry the slack is that at higher tiers bad buys have more abilities that can disable the BSF.
In Wrath's Shadow:
For In Wrath's Shadow my two-hander Paladin chopped everything up in short order. During the last fight I smote the BBEG for like half his total health but then got ghoul-paralyzed. The rest of the party wasn't really able to accomplish much and we probably should of died.
The big bads of Golemworks and Storval Stairs also have abilities that can take people out for multiple rounds on a failed save i.e.
Black Tentacles and Stinking Cloud
Granted, those particular attacks are less likely to work on strong melee types, but they still work sometimes and they can shut down high-powered casters easily. At this level it might well be one of them the party is leaning on. Plenty of bads have Will save-or-stop abilities, too.
If you can't seat a table for people who show up every week, you could encourage them to start another character so you can avoid gaps like that, although this isn't particularly bad. I did a 3-3-3-4-7 a few weeks ago.
If they decide to play up the Gunslinger shouldn't be that scary and you might even have to pull some punches. If you expect them to play down you might read over the module and think of tactics that hose the gunslinger (getting her in a flank ought to shut her down for a bit).
Scribing scrolls is cheaper than buying scrolls, which is something you're going to want to do anyway.
Starting around level 5, most adventuring days it's pretty easy to have enough relevant spells on hand. As long as all your spells are good ones you'll usually find a use for them. Sorcerers are the same way, really. You have to figure out how to solve problems with your less-than-perfect available tools. Wizards have more tools at the start of the day and fewer at the end while sorcerers just have the few but always have those.
You still get to add two spells per level to your book, so you're not totally boned if you're never anywhere you can buy scrolls/spells and you never find them. That should probably be an unusual case, though.
In that situation you're still probably better off than martial classes that end up relying on having the right magic items for a lot of their power.
I think the difficulty is about right for a full party of decently-built but not necessarily optimized characters. There's usually at least one player who can't pull their weight, though.
I agree 5-player tables are really tough. Maybe the scaling sidebars have space enough to fit in some guidelines for those? Especially in the harder fights.
Remember that in Pathfinder, schools are not actually banned, you just need to use two slots to prepare the spell.
Divination's actually a pretty good choice. You're down to 3 cantrips since you'll still want to prepare Detect Magic every day, but most of the other spells aren't common preparations. Most of the time you'll be casting them off scrolls or during downtime/travel when you can spare the extra slot.
You could throw it, but you'd just be treating it as an object rather than the weapon it is. You don't take a non-proficiency penalty but you're not proficient with the weapon either.
The crit would drop to 20/x2, the special weapon qualities wouldn't work. I'd probably call magical bonuses on a case by case basis. +1 enhancement probably doesn't apply, but flaming does.
You can chuck Shoanti bolas at some dude's head, but you can't trip him because you don't know how to use it properly. You're just good at chucking.
I'd allow it. People should never be punished for rolling well.
They're running Carrion Crown and one module includes a roll the players want to fail.
In the Lovecraftian 4th module "Wake of the Watcher" players who succeed at a DC 15 Perception check after defeating the last encounter catch a glimpse of Shub-Niggurath. If they then fail a DC 15 Will save, they take 6d6 Sanity damage, which is on average enough to drive any character insane. It's a great nod to CoC.
He's still dead for two reasons.
Breath of Life wrote:
If the healed creature's hit point total is at a negative amount less than its Constitution score, it comes back to life and stabilizes at its new hit point total. If the creature's hit point total is at a negative amount equal to or greater than its Constitution score, the creature remains dead.
This describes your situation.
Breath of Life wrote:
Creatures slain by death effects cannot be saved by breath of life.
A banshee's wail is a death effect.
Mistmail is 1/day, but it lasts something disperses the mist. It's also cheap enough to buy one or more backups if that happens. I think it's a really solid choice for the build.
Eversmoking Bottle lets you create a fog effect, although it hinders your side as well.
Tiefling lets you cast Darkness as an SLA, but that depends on you being in normal light.
I just ran this one, and the players had some real trouble with Trapmaster Tok.
His description notes that his Stink Bomb and Smoke Bomb deal no damage, but this is incorrect. Source. The combination of nauseate and that much damage is pretty devastating for a low level party.
Assuming the PCs dick around with the torch for a few rounds he also ends up with an AC of 27 at tier 3-4, which means most players miss on an 18. Grapple eventually took him out.
He's also capable of some nasty hit and run tactics since he is small, in a cluttered room, has spider climb, expeditious retreat and a +18 Stealth.
AbSpal: Your guide is missing the Sword of Valor paladin. They can channel to provide temporary hit points that last 1 hour instead of 1 rd/level like the Life Oracle. It solves the problem of healing action economy and can provides protection against damage bursts, but you have to give up Divine Grace.
I disagree, I think it's up for interpretation. In any case it's not explicitly stated so saying "RAW SAYS X!" is wrong. You might think it's implicitly stated, but you're going to have to persuade me, just like you might have to persuade a GM. (Please don't actually try to persuade me.)
On the other hand, let's consider the Lesser Toppling Metamagic Rod.
Costs 3000gp, works 3 times a day. I think it's definitely worthwhile for most any wiz/sorc in PFS, but the worth outside of it depends on abundance of humanoids if the GM says multiple missiles mean multiple trip attempts (which I think could go either way.)
Other things to consider: TMM is subject to SR while Grease is not. I think TMM will generally prevent more attacks because it can has a greater spread.
Anything you use to identify a monster is a good choice.
Geography and History come up now and again to give you background info, especially at the start of scenarios. They're OK.
Engineering comes up once in a while, generally in relation to things collapsing on top of you, which is something I'd like to know about before it happens.
Nobility is something you might plausibly not roll even once.
AD, I think Specialist wizard should be the baseline assumption. Universalists are weird. Level 12 abilities like Improved Spell Recall are also almost-irrelevant for PFS.
The fact that Wizards have access to higher-level spells from a much better list is the important thing, though.
As for bonded items, you do pretty much get to craft them, although I don't think a Craft roll is required (easy anyway). Once you meet the level req. for the relevant feat you can buy it for the Cost value (i.e. half price) rather than the Price value.