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The weakness of a samurai is that they must try to restore their honor if they become dishonored, which usually involves seppuku (ritual suicide). If he challenges you to a duel when you are not carrying weapons, that is a dishonorable act. Point it out.
Until he challenges you, let him bear the brunt of any melee combats your party is in. He cannot refuse this if he is samurai.
I played a blaster wizard in a Rise of the Runelords AP. I took one level of cross-blooded sorcerer (Orc/Draconic) and specialized in fire, but that isn't necessary.
For any higher level spellcaster, spell penetration feats are crtical for getting past SR. At lower levels you will want Improved Initiative, so you can swing battles using AoE blasts before the enemy closes.
Historically, guns had a revolutionary effect on our world. They were an equalizer - you didn't require extensive training to be effective en masse with muskets. The large investment in time and money to construct and be proficient in wearing plate armor became redundant.
Of course something outside of our historical perspective is how magic would effect society - even given that magic is rare.
One way to avoid getting overly attached to a character is to switch characters. Once you play different characters with different motivations and personalities, you can get into the role of your character without going overboard.
If you do this, you will find some of your characters to be more memorable than others. However, its likely that you will find you enjoy more than one of the characters you roleplay.
I played a Halfling dex-based fighter in a Legacy of Fire campaign. He eventually dual-wielded kukris with the agile property to give Dex to damage.
The build started off very low in DPR but eventually (level 8+) it increased substatially. It ended up being similar to what a Strength based 2H fighter could do for damage.
There are 2 drawbacks to a Dex based fighter: 1) low damage at early levels. 2) who is going to carry the treasure? There needs to be someone in an adventuring party with the capacity to carry significant weight without getting heavily encumbered. If it isn't the fighter, who is it?
Fighter class skills don't align well with high dexterity, low strength.
I've noticed a general lack of skill points for a lot of character classes. In my opinion this limits role playing participation, as well as not making sense when you think of your character's lifetime before they became an adventurer.
My proposal: Each new character starts with 10 skill points, to be spent however they desire. Maximum 5 ranks in any skill, and class skills cost 1/2.
This will give skill-capable characters without being overpowering in any one skill.
Spellcasters need to have a strategy to deal with high SR opponents. Summon Monster plus a few other spells that don't allow SR can help. Another option they have is to buff the melee in their party with something like Haste.
Well-played rogues that I've seen can regularly get one Sneak Attack in a round, but not several.
Vanish is one way they can get into position for a stealthed full attack, I'm not sure what other options there are.
Full attack from a flanking position means either the opponent didn't move out of its flanked position, or the rogue had some well-timed help from someone else in their party.
Without sneak attack on a full attack, rogue damage is not that impressive compared to other martial classes.
Call it the Rocky Balboa feat.
Having played a blaster wizard in an adventure path, I found that for some encounters I did very little beyond the first round of combat. I was there to tilt things in favour of my party, then can stand back and let the martials clean up.
Wizards have a lot of utility to contribute to the party. I love Phantom Chariot.
The LG guy will hire the beggar to perform some trivial task, giving food as payment. The NG guy will just give the beggar some food.
Close the door and hold it closed until the BBEG's buffs/summons wear off? Plenty of BBEGs are just sitting in a room in a basement with no other exit, waiting for the PCs to come for them like they got nothing better to do.
Close the door, layer on some walls of stone, then come back a few months later.
I played a Witch character with the Sleep hex plus having a high initiative. When several encounters became walk-overs, I stopped using the hex. Strangely enough I was the first person to complain about it, not the GM or other players.
The problem with using dice fudging to rein in the power of dazing metamagic is that the fudging would have to be systematic.
I see dice fudging as more intended for one time situations where changing the result would enhance the fun of the encounter. Even then, purists would disagree and let the dice fall as they may.
Sage Sorcerer. She can get help with spell selection, and you can give her some leeway to change spells if she isn't satisfied with them.
At level 1 an Elf sorcerer could use a longbow if they want something with more potential damage than a cantrip. If she tries both she may find cantrips hit more often since they are ranged touch attacks.
It seems this would open up some good role-playing possibilities. I would allow it, but have some short term repercussions (the god who lost a cleric to another god wouldn't be happy about it).
One possibility is that the new faith cleric has 30 percent spell failure, which decreases by 10 percent per some pre defined time interval.