With 2 wizards and a sorcerer in your group, coordinated blasting becomes powerful. 2 or 3 fireballs in the first round of combat can drop more foes than having 2 hasted martials.
Lesser selective metamagic rods are cheap, for when you need to blast with your allies in the area.
If there were more martials and fewer spellcasters in your group, Haste would be ideal. But that isn't the case.
My view of playing a paladin: Detect Evil is not something I would use willy-nilly on anyone I met. There would have to be a reason. I would use it on my companions when first joining, since as a paladin I wouldn't want to associate with evil. I would use it on any employer, since as a paladin I wouldn't want to work for evil people.
If while clearing out a fortress of an evil person and I encountered prisoners, I would assume they are unlawfully imprisoned and want to free them. If I used Detect Evil, it would determine which prisoners I could trust if they wanted to arm themselves once freed.
Detecting as evil is not evidence of a crime, so as a paladin I would not use that as a basis for rendering judgement. However, if there is evidence of evil acts my paladin would not hesitate to render justice at the end of a sword. I see a paladin as having the authority to administer justice (including execution) if there is clear evidence of a crime.
A longsword crits on a 19 or 20 for x2 damage, so 10 percent of the time you get 1xdamage extra. A battleaxe crits on a 20 for x3 damage, so 5 percent of the time you get 2xdamage extra.
Theoretically these are the same, but scoring crits more often is better for a couple reasons - crit effects, and less wasted damage on low HP targets.
Though it requires exotic weapon proficiency, a falcata (crit 19-20,x3) is strictly better than a longsword.
Anyone basing their chracter progression on critical feats will want a weapon that crits on 18-20, then take Improved Critical or use a keen weapon.
When paired with someone with Butterfly's Sting, you may look for a weapon with a high crit multiplier rather than large crit range.
Titan Mauler / Knife Master. "Now THATS a knife".
What domains or subdomains are considered powerful will vary based on personal perception and the specifics of the campaign setting.
The one cleric I've played went with Travel and Luck domains. I consider those domains powerful for the options they give. However, the campaign I played in didn't have frequent player character deaths.
I understand your frustration at incrementally finding out the rules. Though I don't agree with the tone of ciretose's posts, the message of talking with your GM on your character concept before the game is a good one.
If you have the healer role but are starting at 8th level, have you considered the option of playing a paladin with the hospitaler archetype? If this interests you, run it by the GM and come to agreement on the specifics of following the paladin's code of conduct. Paladins have good survival value. Hospitaler paladins with some feats (Extra Lay on Hands, Extra Channeling) have a lot of healing power while remaining effective in combat.
Stefan Hill wrote:
Reliable remark to make a soldier angry: "Did your MOMMY make that armor for you?"
Weapon Focus and Power Attack. Weapon Focus because level 1 characters have trouble hitting, even with 18 Str. Power Attack for fighting anything that you can't one shot without Power Attack. Though there are other good options, you won't regret having these 2 feats as you level up.
"An incorporeal creature can enter or pass through solid objects, but must remain adjacent to the object’s exterior, and so cannot pass entirely through an object whose space is larger than its own."
It seems to me that spectres hiding in walls beyond detect range is not legal, as they must remain adjacent to the object (wall) exterior. It also seems they could not pass through a wall if the wall is too thick.
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
One possible build:Str 16+2
Traits Indomitable Faith (Will+1)
Thats called Futurama, with Zap Branigan et al.
For example, say a peasant is poaching deer from a noble's land to feed his family during a famine. The penalty for poaching is severe, but the noble is an important ally to the paladin's order. If the paladin looks the other way while the peasant poaches and the noble finds out, the paladin's order may not get support from the noble the next time orcs/hobgoblins/etc invade (for this example let's say the paladin order is in a neighboring barony and the noble could look the other way when the paladins need soldiers from the noble).
For this example the paladin could turn the poacher over for punishment, but ask for a large fine as an alternative over the usual hanging. The peasant wouldn't be able to afford paying the fine. But the paladin's order could pay the fine as an act of mercy.
Counterpoint: it may be more common to encounter fliers than to encounter enemies that maintain spacing. Though your point is taken.
As an alternative to Vital Strike, here is a possible feat progression for a fighter using a Greatsword and a Longbow. The idea is that the fighter would use his bow unless an enemy moves adjacent.
1 Power Attack
Initial weapons are Greatsword and Short Bow. Upgrade to Composite Longbow when you can afford it.
2 Weapon Focus Greatsword
At the point where you gain an additional attack, Quick Draw allows you to drop your bow as a free action, draw your sword as a free action, then full attack.
7 Deadly Aim
Priorities for point buy: 1) Strength 2) Dexterity 3) Constitution
Though I haven't played this build, I think it would be effective in most combat situations. Possibly some of the Greater feats could be replaced with Iron Will / Improved Iron Will or whatever else is needed over strict damage-dealing.
Can't you recover and reuse Adamantine arrows, bullets and bolts? Whereas weapon blanch is one shot.
I think that the form of attack from the target of Antagonize would depend on the situation. If used during combat, I would expect the target to use some effective form of attack.
If used in social situations, a ranged attack of spitting might be appropriate. Or a glove slap to the face accompanied with a challenge to a duel.
I'm currently playing a Halfling Fighter (no archetype) dual wielding agile kukri. At level 8 he is already a monster for DPR with 4 attacks at +19 for damage (+25 versus large) that crit on 15-20.
A couple disadvantages: starts out very low on damage and doesn't use the Fighter class skills. The Cad archetype would have the proper class skills, but I didn't want to give up Armor Training for it.
Armor Training and Mithral increase the max Dex bonus, which is a limiting factor on AC for high Dex fighters. Eventually Celestial Chainmail becomes affordable.
If going with Agile weapons, you could use either Elven Curve Blade or a pair of Kukri to get a 18-20 crit range, which can be expanded to 15-20. Use Piranha Attack instead of Power Attack. Two Weapon Fighting is very feat-intensive, so the 2H weapon might be the better option.
Celestial Chainmail would be good armor when you can afford it. Not being a Fighter with armor training, you will quickly bump into the max dex limit for armor.
Traits - you could have a standard skill trait, +1 on the skill and it becomes a class skill - just add flavor. No other skill-related trait should be strictly better than this.
WBL - In lower magic campaigns, you could have: 1) Magic is rare - magic items cost double and characters can take one magic item creation feat maximum. 2) Magic is very rare - magic items cost 4 times as much, no magic item creation feats may be taken.
How about playing a gnome named One Trick, riding a war pony.
Heavens Oracle 2 / Sorcerer 2 (Arcana bloodline)
Start with 18 charisma pre-racial.
Take Heighten Spell as your next feat when you level.