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Cannon Golem

The Shaman's page

996 posts. Alias of Boyan Penev.


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This is a bit of a threadomancy, but I have recently started the game and did the initial reading. I would like you to tell me if you think it is too strong a hint or good enough.

Here is how the reading went.

Good future: The idiot (misaligned) - The fool is normally a bad card, but it shows in a good place. Once, you were in danger, but by appearing foolish or insignificant, the darkness passed. There is wisdom in appearing foolish and not baring your fangs needlessly. Storms that break ancient trees do not uproot the grass, and tall grass hides many things...

Good present: The bear (partial match) - the bear means raw strength without concerns for morality, and here it is in a strong place in your favor. Pure might may carry the day where intrigue or deliberation have failed. Trust your thews in the coming fight, and you can triumph. The greatest schemers may spend all their effort shielding themselves from the schemes of their peers, only to be undone by what they thought base and artless.

Good future: The courtesan (partial match) - the courtesan schemes and plots, hiding behind her mask. This is a fickle card, but in this place it shows that you can profit from your cunning or that of another, and profit much! Be aware though, since the courtesan is fickle in her affections - you must trust your instinct and will when dealing with her charms.

Uncertain future: The sickness - this is a sign of disease and malaise, but they need not be physical. Under this sign, the natural and strong weaken, and the unwholesome and corrupt take seed. Some, sometimes the diseased skin hides under a wholesome mask. It is a poor portent, as old and good things weaken - but what will supplant them, none can say.

Uncertain Present: The marriage (partial match) - there is power in unity of different people or ideas. This card is strong, but hard to define. You yourselves can benefit greatly from unity of your diverse talents, but so can your foes. Open yourself to strange ideas and comrades, and in them, you may find strength.

Uncertain future: The juggler (partial match) - fate is on your side, and the card is in a strong place, but its position is precarious. Much is at stake, and you can achieve great success, but it will not come without great challenges and maybe losses.

Bad past: The owl - there is wisdom and strength in the natural order, but it is not always a force for good. Buried evil is sometimes like a tree with strong woods - even if the tree is cut down, a new offshoot will grow, if the soil is fruitful. And for evil, the soil is ever fruitful (sighs).

Bad present: The trumpet (inversed) - tsk, a bad omen. Power and influence, but gathered for their own sake instead of for the good of all. Be wary of those who aspire to power, for their motives may not be pure.

Bad future: The winged serpent (inverse full match) - ay, ay, ay, now this is troubling. The feathered serpent strikes at the right hour and it is normally a force for good - but here appears in full reverse. Be careful - should you fail to seize your time and dawdle the consequences for you and yours will be poor indeed. Bad things are poised to make their move, and you will not get many chances or time to prepare. Do not wait for others to act or for the storms to pass - your salvation is in your own hands.

Here is an alternative overall reading:

Past: In the past, you have been underestimated and considered weak and foolish. This is a wise strategy where stronger forces are afoot, so sheathe your knives and do not bear your fangs to everyone. Remains of hidden evil - no demons or devils, but things of this world - have strong roots, and they will arise anew. What was good and strong has grown weak and sickly, and both strength and discretion are needed in the confrontations ahead.

Present: Trust in your strength - it may prove to be your best asset. Brute force can get you through where wit or cunning fail. Even better, however, is an alliance where different strengths can be united to a common purpose. However, your enemies may strive to do the same, and strive for power and glory for their own dark designs. Not everyone who claims to strive for the good of all is as innocent as they proclaim.

Future: There is a great fate before you - the way will not be easy, but great rewards await you if you succeed. Schemes and intrigues play out in the background, and if you are smart and quick, you can benefit from them. Be wary, though, for their masters and mistresses are fickle, and you should not overstay your welcome. There is a strong sign that should you fail to act when you should, you and yours will suffer greatly. An evil power is rising, and poised to strike. You will not get many chances, and should you miss them, bad things will come to you - but should you navigate the dangers well, great rewards await you.

So - would you say both readings are okay, or should I stick to the second one, and should I try to make it less, well, obvious?

I would have her distracted by finding a ransacked farm (or even thorp), which was completely devastated by an orge attack. Since the farm was on the road to Sandpoint, she would want to check how long ago it happened, where the ogres were coming from and where they were heading to, in order to ensure they are not planning anything near Sandpoint and they didn´t have anything to do with the goblin attack.

She either had to retreat due to being spotted or she was able to determine they were not going to Sandpoint and had to report the attack to whatever settlement or garrison was close to the farm, so she was delayed.

Make it enough that it is believable, but not enough that the party starts chasing ogres... just yet.

Would Vital Strike be worthwhile in such a situation?

The fertility/mutation aspects of her deity ties in quite well with her story, tbh, so I would not bring her back from the dead if the party managed to do her in. If not, well, she might become something truly monstrous in time.

master_marshmallow wrote:
Most DMs I play with (and players I DM for) simply house rule out the Lawful part of the alignment code, so you can play a paladin who is "any good" which opens up more character options.

This sounds like a good idea, particularly as there are books giving you the codes for all faiths, so you have a place to start.

I know, the problem is a lot of people do and this causes a lot of people to dislike the system altogether. I guess I did not express myself clearly, my bad.

"The physicality of the race makes their minds to warp and become chaotic and unable to follow leadership."

As far as I am aware, unless your DM is playing with some very weird custom rules, only outsiders are bound to their alignment, and even that can change in extreme cases (i.e. fallen angels). Pulling that on a paladin who is being reincarnated sounds like major BS. Did your character at least get a save to avoid this?

Normally, the atonement spell can be used to regain paladin mojo, but I think in many cases a mini-quest or another show of repentence is much more appropriate. However, what the heck does your character have to atone for?

If you are okay with this, either go for a short quest or ask if there are any paladin variants your DM - since s/he is already quite deeply into houseruling - can think of. If neither, play a new character or a different campaign.

"My GM/DM conciters any kind of race change (recantation or not) to be a serious chaotic action"

I am pretty sure something you neither play an active part into nor have control over cannot be considered an action you have taken. Seriously, stuff like this is why a lot of players hate the entire alignment system with a passion.

Ehhmm, there is a barbarian archetype that works pretty well conceptually for slayers (Savage Barbarian - gets bonuses while unarmored, but can use shield) but I find it somewhat weak mechanically. You could I guess be an ex-monk (or a martial artist) for a wisdom bonus to your AC, as I have a hard time seeing Slayers as lawful types :) . I would not bother with fighter levels.

For a weapon combo, I am partial to the good old greataxe, although both two weapons or even a weapon and a shield are doable, if maybe a bit inferioer.

As a fan of the old 3.5 Binder, I was quite interested in the Medium class from Occult Adventures, and I am thinking of either running or playing this path. I am a bit worried that it might be a bit of a spotlight hog, especially in the first adventure. Has anyone either played as a medium, or had one in their games?

BlingerBunny wrote:

What, in Pathfinder, would be equivalent to a quincy bow?

I'm getting the idea from Bleach

EDIT: Better idea, what would you guys assume is a good price for a wondrous item that allows the wearer to conjure a weapon with it, at will? Item Creation would involve using Spiritual Weapon.

That sounds a lot like the soulknife/soulbolt and the soul archer PrC imo. The soulknife was a 3.5 psionic class, which Dreamscarred Press updated for Pathfinder. Many DMs approve of Dreamscarred material, and the soulknife doesn´t actually use psionic powers apart from the whole "summoning a weapon" schtick.

I stopped following Bleach a long time ago, but I think the guy with the bow did not show any other powers, so I can definitely see him as a soulbolt.

Hmm, as long as you cover the bases I think you are quite okay. My choice would be something like:

- Cleric (or oracle or warpriest), preferably of Pharasma: there will be plenty of work for them, and Ustalav is Pharasma country
- Bard (or inquisitor or evangelist cleric, maybe even rogue): there are times a bit of flair and taste work well, and they can support the group
- Barbarian (or ranger, paladin or inquisitor): there will also be times when you need to bring the smackdown. Knowing your way around the place doesn't hurt either.
- Wizard (pref. necromancer, diviner or transmuter, alternatively sorcerer or witch): Knowledge and arcane power will both come in very handy now and then.
- Most any fifth character works well when there is some synergy in the group. I would go for an alchemist for the versatility and some mad scientist vibe (why let the NPCs have all the fun) or warpriest for the crusading against the darkness theme, but really, knock yourself out here.

As for races, go with whatever works with your concept, but keep in mind Ustalav is fairly xenophobic and non-human races are not typical (and often disliked). A possible party would be:

- Alchemist (elf or tiefling, possibly vivisectionist)
- Warpriest of Pharasma (human)
- Barbarian (human, HElf, HOrc, or dwarf)
- Wizard (gnome or human)
- Bard (I'd go aasimar or human dirgesinger bard for style, but the base is pretty good too).

Hey, I wanted to do a dwarf with some Caribbean accent too. Preach it, brother (or sister)!

Anyway, I would not make a big personal issue out of it - no need to cause more dissent and frustration than necessary - but I would have a word or three with the warpriest player. Hopefully he can get the point that he shouldn't be a jackass. I would also check again if the paladin player is really okay with it - if she is, and he dials it down a bit, perfect. PCs don't necessarily have to be best friends or never criticize each other, especially if the players don't mind this interaction.

From a social perspective, followers of different gods - even of similar alignments - can find each other quite grating. However, I'd expect a bit of - at times grudging - respect for the chosen of an allied faith. All but the most sour Toragites can recognize that whatever - and whoever - a Sarenite Paladin in good standing is doing, s/he is a skillful warrior for a good cause and his/her heart is in the right place... mostly.

Ughbash wrote:
Duskbreaker wrote:
Has anyone checked who actually did more unarmed strike dpr as they leveled, the unchained monk or the brawler?
Neither, the base fighter with no archetype does most damage in hth at level 20. (Ignoring corner cases such as huge monk using strong jaw and just doing it with base damage (2d10) vs (1d3)).

Wouldn´t the brawler (fighter archetype) work even better?

Ranger multiclassing sounds okay, although I think oath of vengeance itself should work reasonably well on its own.

Jade Regent has the option to attach balistas to caravan wagons, but nothing more (and the caravan rules aren't all that popular).

Hm, this sounds like the events in Hell´s Rebels almost strike a civil war, and Hell´s Vengeance is about damage control and ensuring the empire doesn´t fall.

Although, damn it, I haven´t brought down any evil empires as a player or a DM.

Solo Cola wrote:

So i wanted to design a campaign were the player believe they working for a good kingdom but later find out the have caused horrible acts against innocent people.

Only Problem im not smart enough to work out to suck them into it.

Im just looking for help on some good hooks

The hooks to start them on the road do not need to be anything special. It might even be completely unrelated to the country being evil. Hunting bandits or busting a local crime guild, for example, are the sort of things most PCs wouldn´t mind doing anyway, and evil kingdoms don´t like it when someone ELSE robs their population.

After this, make the PCs feel appreciated. A drink or two with some officer in the tavern, a dinner with the mayor of the city they made secure, rewards from the provincial governor, and all that. Have the NPCs make the PCs feel like heroes (the NPCs are firm believers in their country). In that environment, have the NPC mention the country is looking for such men, women and kobolds of character, and they can go far indeed. After all, they are obviously skilled warriors, would they not want something to fight for apart from the next bag of gold? Make their missions appear innocuous at first - the guarding of a caravan or diplomat mentioned above sound great. Have someone attack them or even better, try to hold them off (i.e. a long, boring security procedure). Who has time for that? Chances are, the PCs will want to do something to get the plot moving. Let them.

From then on, make it seem like the other side is hostile to the PCs, and do not make it obvious it was because of their actions. For example, a massive explosion rocks the governor´s villa, and the guards blame the diplomatic delegation for smuggling explosives for an assassination. That is actually the truth, but the PCs don´t know it - and their mission is to get the diplomat out. Well, after they help him or her escape, no doubt killing no few guards in the process, they will be considered murderers and terrorists by the other state. The PCs will likely see it is as defending themselves, and there will be a war going on where neither side is 100% blameless... so at some point, just let them start finding out out that the delegation HAD smuggled explosives, that it was not just propaganda, and that the mission they were on was a part of a plan to weaken a peaceful state and provoke it to a war, so it can be conquered.

Bonus points if they find this information either at the same time or after they have alreadyeen rewarded with titles and land in in the now occupied country. Make it so that by then they have profited by their association.

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It is core enough that there is content in the PHB that augments it. Look at the rogue advanced talent skill mastery.

You do not have to have it in your game if you do not want it, but that is your house rule, not the Pathfinder rules. IMO it serves to help things run smoother when there is no big fight or distraction by ensuring characters can actually perform skills they are trained in and handle everyday tasks. This saves them a fair bit of frustration.

True, and there are archetypes to get rid of those. For countersong, you do need some sort of verbal or vocal performance, though.

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Azure Falcon wrote:
So one of my players wants to cast Wish, but you need a 25,000 Gold diamond. How big is this thing?

I agree with Jeraa, it depends on the gem. I would say that it depends on how well the gem is cut. You can consider it a ceremonial offering for the spell. The size of the gem itself isn't as important as it being properly prepared. A smaller stone that is flawlessly cut and worked on is actually better than a raw gem of ten times the size, exactly because it was prepared just right.

In the game, this means your character have several options - either look up a master jeweller, or make a visit to a huge trading metropolis (i.e. the City of Brass) or even to the sort of place where huge uncut diamonds can be found (i.e. the elemental plane of Earth). Basically, you can make a whole sidequest out of it. If it is done right, it would be the kind of detail players will remember fondly (hey, remember that time you won a heart-sized diamond for armwrestling an efreet?).

Of course, if one of the players just happens to have a fair few ranks in craft (gemcutting) or the like, well, time to give them something for it. In that case, your work essentially goes to improving the gem and making it more suitable for the spell. It isn't just the cut, it could be fancy stuff like inscribing runes on the gemstone, putting it in a mithral frame, and all that.

Oriental music works quite well for oracles imo, especially the more chillout-oriented tracks. Wizards are quite hard to pin down as the different schools have different themes, but I tend to see them as somewhat... jazzy.

I would go with traditional heavy metal for fighters and some of their subtypes. I am tempted to go with blues for rogues and investigators, especially the urban ones.

SAMAS wrote:
Cap is Lawful Good(bordering on NG at times), but is by no means a Paladin. Closer to an unmounted Cavalier.

Hmm, I am not aware of him having spells, but the rest seems to fit decently enough, doesn´t it?

A follower of Zon-Kuthon can definitely be an interesting pick here. After all, ZK´s dogma can be read as growth and strength through suffering, and how better to improve the soul of a fallen nation and its decadent people than through the crucible of a vicious civil war? After all, what does not kill you, makes you stronger. And really, the Chelish and their Asmodean elite have long had it coming, all the more so as they have, in their arrogance, claimed they knew all about strength, pain, or devotion. They will have to learn what those words really mean - and perhaps Cheliax will become great again.

Though to be quite honest I´m most tempted to play a Calistrian follower in this path. So much mischief to be done, so many wrongs to avenge... and really, where but in Cheliax can you find such delicious decadence as a backdrop of your work?

I would actually put stealing from the party as chaotic, alignment-wise, but it is a really, really unpleasant move to the rest of the players and may well ruin the party and the game for you as players. Pocketing a trinket or two may be ok if the DM and the other players are okay, but actually making a significant difference in what each player earns is a dick move, whatever the alignment of the character.

Damon Griffin wrote:
I don't think you can add the [Good] descriptor to porn. (You can have good porn, but not Good porn, if you see what I mean.)

Eh, I disagree. Sexual intimacy as a catalyst to love, redemption etc or even as a therapeutic measure is not that strange a concept.

Joynt Jezebel wrote:

This subject came up on another thread, and i thought it should be posted here as it should make its way into future versions of the rules. What alignment is porn?

I´d treat it as a specific subset of art - sculpture, painting, etc. It may occasionally be an indicator of the alignment of the artist, especially due to its function (as it tends to glorify or espouce values or situations, rather than warn against them).

Now, if you want to check what skills bards can emulate with perform (sexual), then I´d really discuss that with the DM first :) .

Yeah, disable device does not sound like a big issue there. Actually, I'd say the urban ranger is a pretty good trapsmith, even though favored community is not quite a good as the usual favored terrain imo.

Also, I can't help but be a little picky with some of the arguments the OP was giving. "Someone who can deal with locks, mundane traps, and such would probably be a good idea...Having someone, at some point, able to deal with magical traps might be a good idea." Ehm, the party has that, it's the urban ranger, unless s/he decides to NOT boost perception and disable device on a ranger archetype with trapfinding (or tends to be missing most sessions and they need a fallback option). There would be quite a few toes being stepped on in this party. As for locked chests and explosive runes, the sorcerer is in fact quite capable of handling these - there are spells like knock and dispel magic, for starters.

Overall, I'd say be willing to play ball if the group sounds fun, but don't play pure rogue unless you want to. Personally, I think they should be quite able to handle trapfinding with their current crew (although I'd trade a line or two with the ranger player since that's the character that should be the trap expert imo), and it is the face department where they need more help. My first pick would be a bard with ranks in stealth, DD and perception, even though inspiring competence in the ranger may be the more optimal way to do it. You can back up the primary trapsmith and scout, and you are a natural face, especially as the additional versatile performances start coming online.

Do males automatically even take precedence in Tian inheritance? I think Ameiko is also older than Amaya, so she has an edge here as well.

Was there an FAQ on that somewhere? I am specifically curious about unarmed strikes, because the feat spefically applies to two-handed weapons, and unarmed strikes are not.

I was checking through some feats mentioned on the forums and I came across "Horn of the Cryosphinx". Now, being able to add twice rather than 1.5 times the strength bonus to damage on a two-handed weapon sounds nice in certain cases, but then I saw this:

"A monk can use this feat as long as he is wielding a two-handed weapon or both his hands are empty."

So, two questions. First, if a monk has both hands empty, s/he is probably fighting unarmed, and the fists are counted as light weapons iirc. So what does HotC do in that case?

Second, if a monk is using a two-handed monk weapon (i.e. seven-brached sword or even a staff), does s/he get any benefit from the feat if s/he flurries with it? I think in a flurry the monk only gets the standard one-time bonus from high strength despite effectively using the two-weapon fighting rules. Or am I wrong here and a monk flurrying with, say, a seven-branched sword makes all flurry attacks with 1.5x the strength bonus to damage, 2x with this feat?

Don´t magical traps show up with a detect magic search, though? I do think it is a good idea to have a good trapsmith for this module, but still.

Ah, I thought they were taking the fighter dervish archetype. 2 Bards can definitely help in the skills department. Yes, a dedicated range character can do more when it comes to ranged combat, but it should be possible to get a smattering of spells to either fight from a range or be able to negate a ranged advantage (i.e. invisibility sphere, fickle winds, etc). In that case, my main advice would be for someone to get the trapfinding trait and to put some ranks in old languages and a few atypical knowledges like history. It may come in handy with how many ruins you can expect to delve in.

I would agree with Ithnaar, it would really be helpful to have some rogue-ish skills. It might be an interesting twist to have one of the twins be more of the "light" one, and the other more of a "shadow" one in their abilities - one brash and direct, the other subtle and careful. How about making the second a bard, for example with the dawnflower dervish archetype if you want to keep the theme? Bards have plenty of skill points, and with versatile performance (which this archetype, unlike the other dervish bard, keeps) are some of the best skill characters in the setting. Vanilla bards and other archetypes also work - you don't have to have a similarly named archetype to take the dervish dance feat, after all! This rounds up the party, and a natural lore master as the bard helps you gather all matters of clues and investigations. Aasimars work pretty well with bards, and their special favourite class bonus is awesome - +1/4 to the bonuses of one bardic performance per level. If you go with the regular bard, the group will love you. If you go with a dervish bard (performances are self-only but twice as powerful), well, your fighter may struggle to keep up with you in a fight.

The concept works very well with some other classes, too - investigators, alchemists, inquisitors, rogues or ninjas (reflavor as a more magical rogue archetype) are also great. They can all fight okayish, and help fill a useful niche in such a campaign.

Okay, back to bards - as you may guess I really like the idea of a bard in this party and role - here are some suggestions about bards and handy archetypes. Overall, consider the vanilla bard first. You keep the awesome versatile performance, which mean several of your perform skills can "double" as two other skills each (which is why bards are likely the best skill characters in the game, maybe except for investigators) and bardic knowledge and its related tricks are handy when you are in the archeology business. The spells are good, the overall class is damn handy (and the bits you don't like can be traded away through an archetype). Just mind the fortitude save, and be sure to pick a well-scaling performance for the aasimar favored class bonus. As for the rest:

- Archeologist: perform becomes self-only (though the party has plenty of buff spells), but you pick up a lot of rogue tricks. When it comes to excavating ruins in Osirion, almost no one does it better.

- Archivist: you lose inspire courage, but get a defensive buff "performance" against creatures you identify and their abilities. I don't want to spoil things but seriously, what are the odds of you NOT coming across tons of undead/outsiders/other monsters with nasty abilities in a path like this? You also lose versatile performance with its social buffs and some of the other "party tricks", but your lore mastery and knowledge are buffed and you can confuse people with your edumication verbousnessitude.

- Daredevil: I am normally not a fan due to losing inspire courage, but when it comes to exploration, traps or the like this is actually solid. The other features are also good for that kind of campaign.

- Dervish Dancer / Dervish of Dawn - I mentioned them already. Both lose lore master/bardic knowledge and one essentially loses versatile performance, but when it comes to cutting things in tiny pieces with style, they are golden. Praise the sun and pass the tulwar!

- Detective: another tomb explorer ace. Instead of inspire courage, you get an hour-long party exploration buff for 3 rounds of performance and some Poirot tricks later on. While you lose some of the more obscure bardic knowledge buffs or some of the social tricks, you get access to more divinations, trapfinding and further bonuses to perception. Possibly the best trapsmith of all bards.

- Dirge bard: considering the importance of death in pseudo-egyptian societies and how much time you can expect to spend in tombs, dirge bards can be surprisingly effective. They are experts on things ancient and dead, and don't scare easily. The loss of versatile performance hurts, but some free necromancy spells and more ways to identify/affect undead are an okay trade in such a campaign. You lose loremaster to be even better at scaring things, but keep the base bardic knowledge.

- Duettist: the loss of bardic knowledge hurts, but you are a skill monkey with a familiar - has access to all your skill ranks, who uses your versatile performance, can perform instead of you or boost your performance (and eventually you can have 2 active performances at once). It may not be related to this path like some of the others, but for a skill monkey character you are still very, very good.

- Flame Dancer - not a huge change mechanically, but thematically appropriate - you lose some minor abilities and become better in dealing with fire and heat. It's not like you are somewhere hot, right?

- Sandman - a more discrete bard/rogue that can steal spells, open locks and remove traps. Not quite as knowledgeable or social, but quite "shadowy" if you want to try the duality siblings as I suggested.

One more thing, regarding the group lacking a ranged threat. Dawnflower dervishes lose none of the base fighter's ranged potential, and if anything they tend to have high dexterity. Just because you are not a specialist does not mean you cannot - and should not - pick a composite bow, put your second weapon training there and perhaps add a few feats. Almost all the archetype's abilities are also good for archers, and this character can essentially be a switch hitter, except with scimitar (or falchion) as a melee weapon.

Ishpumalibu wrote:
I'm much more focused on defense than offense. I knew about the swashbuckler, I just hadn't played one. Is there any feats to really ramp up combat expertise or something?

Some, but it is actually easier to boost fighting defensively. The Crane Style feat can be pretty good for defensive warrior fighting with a free hand, even after Crane Wing got nerfed. Duelists eventually get a big further AC bonus when fighting defensively, but their damage output is somewhat low. The PrC is not so much low but it comes online later than, say, a core duelist.

Daring champion is a pretty good duelist base if you do not want spells. You can definitely do it with other classes, including fighter, but the DC has several good abilities that are thematic and work well with one another. I agree with Petty Alchemy on the order too - in general, several orders work for a daring champion, but the Cockatrice is best at being a dominant duelist and belittling your foes.

Other honorable mentions:

Arcane duelist bard
Magus (black blade or kensai)
Fighter (Lore Warden, Mobile, Swordlord, etc)
Inquisitor (judgement, bane and spells are a potent mix, and inquisitors are hard to beat when it comes trashtalking fools)

Bards and the like are nice and a bard may actually be my top choice for the position, but I think a paladin can also fit the trope very well, especially if s/he's from one of the more pacifistic orders. They are very charismatic, tend to at least have the option to be cultured and diplomatic, and via smite and possibly weapon bond can go to town with anything on hand. Plus, when it comes to loyalty, honor and service to a good cause, it's pretty hard to top a paladin.

The main problem is the low number of skill points per level, which do not work very well if you want to make a character that is hypercompetent at everything. This is where multiclassing can work, I guess, or it could be that the character is still learning the ropes when it comes to butlering :) .

Other options:

- Ninja: while not quite as good in the ass-kicking department as, say, a cavalier or paladin, such a character is incredibly good at everything requiring some finesse.

- Swashbuckler: got style, will kick ass. Perfectly capable of handling armored louts one minute, then leading a cultured discussion the next - all the time, armed with nothing more than a tuxedo, a (sword) cane and an unmatched wit. The flying blade is also worth considering for a character who looks even more discrete and uses daggers rather than larger weapons.

- Investigator: A good butler knows where everything and everyone is and how everything works, and the investigator is hard to beat at that. With the expanded inspiration and underground inspiration, you add free dice to most non-combat rolls you care to make, and with studied combat and combat inspiration, you are far from a slouch in a fight either. Then, there's the alchemy, which makes you better at all those things. No one - barring alchemists and witches, but they are frankly no good for cultured occasions - makes as good a tea as an investigator. Both the empiricist and the mastermind are good archetypes for the role.

Bloodragers can be good, some also have environmental resistances. Aelryinth's suggestions are both quite valid as well.

"He REALLY sold it......smashing the bad guy's skull on the ground until it was ground hamburger, smearing his blood all over himself, beheading what was left of his melon and swinging it wildly at us telling us to back away"

I'd call this a loss of control more than anything else. Presuming the bad guy had not surrendered, it was a fight to the death, and these can get pretty brutal. The beheading and the rest was a loss of control and possibly a chaotic act, but barring a history of previous offenses I am not sure this merits an immediate fall. It could also be a roleplay of a momentary loss of control to darker powers, with the "telling us to back away" being an attempt by the paladin self to protect his/her associates . I imagine the patron deity has the right of choice in this moment. Given the circumstances, an option to retrain the character is in order (I would actually consider pushing for a warpriest or an inquisitor as well).

The racial change thing, though... unless it was previously discussed or at least mentioned to the player, this can be a bit too intrusive.

I imagine most dwarves actually leave close to the surface and have farming outposts around. Underground, they get by on mushrooms, specialized flora/fauna (both domesticated and caught) and trade. Divine casters can provide food and water, druids and rangers take care of lifestock or their by-products... Few humanoids are as capable at tending to, say, beehives - especially of the underground variety - as dwarven druids and experts. That resistance to poison comes in handy at times :) .

There are times when darker deeds are necessary, such as banditry and raiding. There may even be times when... other meat is eaten. However, this happens much more often among the races further down below - deep gnomes, drow, and worse.

The idea of a paladin and the Shelynite dogma and, well, mechanical benefits would make me want to try a zone control tank, using the glaive to prevent people from reaching you or your allies, probably with combat reflexes and feats that prevent a target from moving on a successful AoO. Half-elf paladins can also consider multiclassing into bards - no, I'm not quite kidding. No one goes ham quite like a bardadin, and being able to sway the hearts and minds of everyone fits the archetype of a Shelynite paladin to a T. From a mechanical perspective, a dip in bard gets you several useful abilities and a great way to expand on your skill selection through versatile performance, while a dip in paladin in an overall bard build gives a bit more toughness, smite and divine grace to a combat-oriented bard such as an arcane duelist.

By the way, my first idea of a Shelynite inquisitor is a sanctified James/Jane Bond. Some inquisitor archetypes and inquisitions help with that, such as the infiltrator (though losing stern gaze hurts, you become great at undercover work) or the conversion, reformation or redemption inquisition. All your peers can make people quiver with a look, but you are one of Shelyn's own smooth operators - sometimes it is fitting to show some taste and grace.

Overall, when it comes to roleplaying I'd say think out of the box and keep an eye on diplomancing the pants of everything that you should not 100% kill. Many games have a whole lot of encounters that can be resolved peacefully - with a kind word or a hard glare, especially if the kind word is accompanied by just a bit of guile (or a whole lot if you are an inquisitor). That may require some cooperation with the DM, btw - the concept really depends on how gritty the DM wants the game to get, i.e. if villains or at least their minions can be converted or if they will just ignore your diplomacy check result of 40 because they are evil and will try to screw you over, or if you get docked XP because of NOT killing the minions or, for that matter, the boss herself. It is good if the DM keeps in mind that a mid-to high level social character can be persuasive to the degree only legendary and mythical figures can be. There will be times when you need to destroy your enemy in order to achieve peace, but you believe these times are indeed quite rare - and strive to ensure just that.

It would fit with a strength-heavy build, as you can use power attack and precise strike, while retaining a good critical threat range.

Well, I think there wasn't really a point to the will save change, tbh. It was an unnecessary quite unnecessary, especially now the brawler already exists to supplement the archetype.

Aha, right - so the restriction is only for weapons that are allowed due to the slashing grace feat. This rules it out for most weapons, true - though it makes swashbucklers/daring champs with proficiency in the estoc completely beastly :).

Terminalmancer wrote:
Swashbucklers lose a bunch of bonuses if they start wielding a one-handed weapon in two hands--for example, Precise Strike goes away.

I don't think it does, actually. Here is what I am going by:

"At 3rd level, while she has at least 1 panache point, a swashbuckler gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon (though not natural weapon attacks), adding her swashbuckler level to the damage dealt. To use this deed, a swashbuckler cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield other than a buckler"

So, what are the requirements for precise strike:

- use a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon
- do not attack with a weapon in the other hand or use a shield other than a buckler.

This would imply that attacking a one-handed piercing melee weapon such as a trident (or another one-handed weapon allowed by slashing grace etc) held in both hands is okay, as it is the size class and type of the weapon that is important. Incidentally, the rules would allow using the off hand for unarmed attacks as well, and I was hoping to try out a crane style monk/swashbuckler or monk/fighter before Crane Wing was nerfed :) .

Let me know if I am missing a FAQ ruling on that, but to the best of my knowledge the above is a fully legitimate interpretation.

@Loneknave: my bad for not seeing the Daring champion gets to keep precise strike, that makes it a lot better than I originally thought.

I'd probably consider getting power attack and maybe some way to boost the weak saves, either by feats or traits. Sure, you have charmed life, but I'm not sure that will be enough all the time. IIRC there is no problem for a swashbuckler to use a one-handed weapon with both hands, right?

Strange, though, when I was reading the daring champion I was fairly underwhelmed. Having to rely on challenges for the extra damage and losing weapon training (and its respective boosts from gloves of dueling) seemed quite tricky to me. Apart from having a different strong save, they seemed more different in whether you want a bit more personal power vs a bit more teamwork-related abilities.

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I have only played a flame oracle for a while, so I would not claim to have some great wisdom :) . As I see it, unless you are aiming for something incredibly optimized, you can try pretty much any mystery and curse that fits your concept, and in particular the kind of fiendish blood your character has. Pretty much any mystery has enough good choices to last you through the adventure.

If you want to get a mystery that will fit the "dark and evil" stereotype easily (so you can deconstruct it with roleplaying) bones, flame, outer rifts, dark tapestry, juju or occult are the easy choices. Really, though, it's all about flavor and how you describe it. Think woods and life are cutesy and friendly? Shub-Niggurath from the Cthulhu mythos is all about darkened woods, dark, twisted fecundity and the birthing of things any sane soul would flee away from in horror. Maybe your mystery fits your infernal parent, making you sort of a sorcerer in that regard - i.e. the spawn of a demon prince from the Black Ice Peak might be a natural candidate for a somewhat "reskinned" version of the water mystery. Or perhaps your character was somehow touched by something divine (as in, a deity, not necessarily a good one - but who's going to tell Sarenrae she can't for some odd reason give a spark of power to the child of a daemon?), and the Mystery matches it, whether your character like it or not.

For a curse, tongues would imo be the most fitting - i.e. your character may be speaking in abyssal when pushed. Others can also work. It really is all about reflavoring. Lame? You have one goat leg and one normal one, good luck running on that. Deaf? Oh, you wish you were deaf - it's just that you hear things from someplace else. Or maybe you did, before maiming yourself so you don't have to endure it anymore. Haunted? Anything from almost-immaterial imps growing stronger near you and tormenting you from a curse carried through the bloodline to bind those who would not serve your parent's dark master - thankfully weakened somewhat from your diluted blood.

In terms of build, just focus on a role and aim to be good in it. Decide if you want to be a warrior or a caster first, and plan accordingly. Half-fiends get a lot of stat boosts - just be careful in case your DM adjusts your level down, which to be honest might not be undeserved with all the bonuses you get (another reason to consider tiefling first), as that hurts, especially for casters. There are some good guides out there, and check some of the newer discussions - that's how I found out about gems such as the divine protection feat (divine grace for oracles, warpriests etc).

I think it depends on just how the DM flavors it. If it is something you animate from your shadow, that happens to have the stats of a certain undead (but is actually not one), it could fly - if it is essentially an undead being you command, it could be an issue.In that case, consider talking with your gm about trading it for another feature, perhaps sneak attack dice?

I'm generally not too sold on fireballs on clerics. It sort of helps with the idea of punishment from above, but you already have some stuff for that. If you want to, eh, okay...

I would probably go for a Roaming Exorcist - the archetype looks quite cool if you don't mind being in light armor, and exorcism and travel seems a good fit for a cleric of a (near-dead) sun god, with nobility and sun as my domains of choice. Fire is certainly an option, but I think Sun is closer to the theme, and having both together somewhat ignores all other aspects of Ra. The evangelist also works well thematically, the rest are imo a bit too specialized for the state of the cult. You can do it, but imo it feels a bit more forced.

I don't really see it as a bang for the bug issue, all of them deliver a good bang, it's what sort you want to get. For me, the evangelist is probably one of the more solid picks since it gets the pretty versatile bardic performance. Mind you, comparing heroism to scaling inspire courage is pretty one-sided in favor of the inspire courage. The Evangelist gets a mass version heroism beyond the normal slots, and shortly after other clerics canget it via glory domain, s/he gets to "cast" it as a move action, then move or cast something else in the same turn - a huge bonus. There are also a lot of other useful bardic abilities. The price is not very high - the channel ability gets somewhat reduced, but that is still way better than the ecclesitheurge, who flat out loses it. If you do go for the ecclesitheurge, mind you, your AC and proficiencies will suffer pretty badly, so unless you have a conceptual reason or want to play a pseudo-wizard rather than a "warrior priest", I'd probably not bother. Basically, I see it this way - if you do not want to give up the cleric's traditional niche and are really fond of a certain domain and signature domain spells, go theologian, if you want to be a capable social character and buffer - go evangelist.

Hm, I was just about to offer the oracle as an interesting alternative class, and I see at the end you already made a character :) The idea about a half-fiend touched by the divine, unholy, or just supernatural has merit imo. Some of the curses and mysteries can fit quite well - for example, the tongues curse can be a great thematic fit for a half-outsider oracle, and many outsiders have a theme that can be represented as a mystery. The planar tie also explains being able to use "divine" magic without a direct link to a deity.

Well, if you are in Golarion you must be aware of just how legendary drow are (and that their appearance puts most of the elven secret forces on "OH S**T" level of alert). Any adventure that is far enough from Kyonin could work. Actually, the weirder the place or adventure, the better - I think an unusual AP like Iron Gods or the Baba Yaga one could gel pretty well with a band of new to the surface drow, perhaps with minor adaptations of the plot hooks :) .

I agree, the special martial maneuvers of the monk are best represented by some supernatural abilities imo, and a point-based casting system makes more sense as the typical D&D magic "slot based" one. I'd say psionics (as "ki magic") works well flavorwise too.

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