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For a barbarian, you can probably try to start at 16 or at least 15 strength (+1 at level 4). It will make a bit of a difference. You can probably make the difference elsewhere, i.e. charisma (you don´t seem to be going for an intimidation build) or intelligence. Raging Vitality is imo quite nice, but more important at higher levels where losing the extra HP from rage when you are unconscious practically guarantees death. It is not vital to take it very early, but I would definitely consider it for lvl 5+
I am less than sold on rushing witch hunter or spell sunder at those levels, imo they are more useful later on when more opponents come with spell-likes etc. One more thing - furious focus can be handier than reckless abandon since it negates the penalty on the first attack with no downside, and the second isn´t that likely to hit. Matter of choice though.
UMD shouldn´t be that high on your list unless you are the most skillful/charismatic character of the bunch. KNature or the like could be handier, and I´d probably split some points among various less used skills such as climb.
I think the pressure points trick is sometimes better than crippling strike but as some internet guy or girl said - if you hit with enough sneak attacks to make it count, shouldn´t the darn bugger be DEAD by then? BTW, speaking of debuffs and rogue tricks, I think bleeding strike can be quite overrated. If they run, they don´t run far... and any caster has to cope with the concentration checks due to the ongoing bleed damage.
Weapon focus seems nice earlier on to help you hit more, especially if you use TWF for more sneak attacks. This can significantly increase your damage, but you have to hit - and if you plan on using only 1 weapon, WF may be worth it.
When there´s a will, there´s a way - just glue the darn things on and you´re good.
I think it´s matter of style. If you want to go a la Ryo Hayabusa or Joe Musashi and chop people with a katana, you can make it work. Vanishing trick does seem better for a single heavy attack at first, though eventually greater invisibility offers you good support for full attacks.
TWF inches it for me due to the flexibility - you can use it with shuriken for a round of ranged SA attacks if you get the drop on someone. At level 10 or so, 4 poisoned shuriken can make for a good opening volley.
Eh, for ninja I prefer good dexterity. You have ways to all but guarantee a sneak attack, and later on you can have agile weapons for the extra dex to damage. IMO both dex and strength builds are viable on ninja, but unless there is no tank to flank with I think a dex-heavy build will serve you well. TWF and weapon finesse can set you up for the starting offensive build.
I am not that keen on getting an intelligence penalty. Skills are nice to have, though that will depend on the team comp - i.e. if there is a bard around you don´t need to. Still, it might be worth it starting with a 15 in charisma for 2 points you can put there. 16 is still ok though.
What is the rest of the team? This can be quite important.
Less cure spells can help, but I think it might be worth it taking a look at the massive damage rule and tweaking it a bit, for example making the threshold something like 10+Con+HD (or even simply your con score +HD, if you are evil) with bonuses for larger-sized creatures like titans or adult dragons. Any single attack that does as much or more damage incurs a hefty save, if you fail you are at -1 and dying. It might be useful to stagger the healing effects, i.e. replacing immediate heals with over-time healing effects.
The whole "even after me telling him he will always be lackluster in combat" makes me wonder if the player himself feels he has a problem. IMO the idea about swashbuckling is to look good and be awesome, actual efficiency need not be the highest priority :P . I think the player won't necessarily mind if he gets some decent diplomancing on or gets other great check results. Ultimately, though, the player needs to think of cool things to do, and that depends on him (although it doesn't hurt to give him a bit of a hint by mentioning convenient chandeliers, stairways and the like).
BTW, I think feinting is not very good for a rogue due to being very feat-intensive. If there was a feat that lets you do sneak attack damage (or at least part of it) on a critical, this would be great here. The 3.5 rogue/swashbuckler combo lived off that. Right now, rogues really don't benefit much from critical hits, which you'd expect to be a big thing for swashbucklers of any class. For example, what if you made a spinoff of the sap adept feat, giving a rogue extra damage equal to twice the SA die on a critical hit made as part of a sneak attack, with a follow up feat letting them do SA damage on every crit?
Charlie Bell wrote:
The Warrior Ethos sums up the essence of the military ethic: I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. We are deadly serious about that fallen comrade bit, too.
It was interesting, though a bit too focused on military matters for a paladin. The wiki article had the old pre-2003 code, though, and it sounded like a good start for a paladin order code. I am curious, why was it changed?
1-handed is quite hard and I'd suggest a move to the duelist PrC as soon as he can. If you want to, I'd tweak the rogue swashbuckler PrC so it gets weapon training for something - it should fit the bill of what your player is looking for, but right now it strikes me as quite bad. This concept is better done by fighters, monks (who effectively use their off hand to attack or bind) and their ilk. A rogue/fighter may make a decent duelist, but even then I'd keep a dagger in the off hand (unless I am going for a crane style build, but the rogue doesn't have the feats to pull it off so well).
TWF is okayish imo, but it definitely depends on how optimized and teamwork-oriented the other PCs are. The knife master gets 1d8 sneak attack dice with various knives and related light blades (1d4 with everything else), which could give him a bit more damage. I've heard of people TWF-ing with a two-hander and blade boots or armor spikes, but I'm not sure the player will like that. Multiclassing could also do him good, if he doesn't want to stick to rogue full-time.
Conceptually, for a swashbuckler-ish full rogue I am tempted to go for a knife master with twf, perhaps with a few ranged feats for versatility. If I were to optimise, though, I might mix the build with either fighter or vivisectionist alchemist levels, though.
P.S.: I like the idea of taking eldritch heritage on rogues or ninjas with decent charisma, and the serpentine bloodline can be amazing even if only for the extra attack that you can add SA dice to. Oh, and it comes with poison. There are a few more hidden gems there if you can spare the feats.
It is not a code as much as a meta-level , how about a slightly reworked 3 laws of robotics?
1. A paladin must not do evil or, through inaction, allow evil to be done.
This is only partly in jest - to me it actually works on a "meta level" for paladins regardless of code.
I like the idea of a staff fighter (the concept, not the class) and the monk would look like a good class to pull it off, but really, it is quite hard. The staff is mechanically not a great weapon unless you plan to use TWF with a double weapon and don't care about crits or the mediocre base damage... which ironically is more the province of rogues and ninjas (staff ninjas can be surprisingly decent). Overall, magi, fighters, psychic warrors, weapon bond paladins and rangers are better at the job...
If you want to push the player a bit towards a more mechanically optimized solution, I would recommend the mendicant - a monk-themed archetype for psychic warriors. I actually think the psy-war can work great as a monk, using the psionic system to represent the mystical powers. I find the system to be no less viable than regular casting and a fair bit more intuitive to new players who have some experience with games where magic is quantified as "mana". BTW, there is a monk PrC in
Now, should the player insist on monk and the staff, I would probably suggest a weapon adept/qinggong monk, possibly adding shillelagh and gmw as qinggong effects. There isn't really much support for staff monks, so I think it would be nice to do a few minor tweaks and a bit of homebrew conent. Allowing him to treat the staff as a two-handed weapon for power attack purposes when he flurries will go some way to let him lay down the smackdown (this is somewhat debatable, but the flurry text says the monk has no off hand and does not get the extra strength bonus to damage for a two-handed weapon, which does not preclude him from getting the better PA ratio). Something - either a freebie or a feat - that lets him overcome DR with his staff as he does with his feat might also be handy at higher levels. I would still suggest the Psychic Fist (it is on the d20pfsrd site) as a possible PrC.
A sohei also works for a more militant option. A pity it cannot be combined with the weapon adept because both trade timeless body... not like many monk characters ever get that far :) .
the pally is usually the king of social encounters (also, being the most outspoken and social person there helps with this)
Probably the latter. Mechanically, the paladin has a nice skill list, but way too few skill points. The rogue should be able to do a decent job as a people person here, but that is partly due to the player. Also, what skills does he have?It would be good to have encounters where he can show them off. Mind you, being able to infiltrate the enemy HQ only works if the Paladin doesn't get the entire group to charge it blindly...
In combat, with 6 people (and possibly an animal companion, which could take the feat where it counds as occupying adjacent squares for flanking) he should not have big problems getting his sneak attacks off. If he has free feats (especially if combat expertise gets a bit of a buff, it isn't exactly great now), the gang up feat can also help - he counts as flanking every time he attacks a foe threatened from 2+ allies. With such a large party, it should not be a problem. Weapon finesse and agile weapons are also very nice in such cases, but I imagine he has that already.
Also, personally I am a fan of a rogue with daggers or kukri and butterfly's sting (another feat), but this is more of a support build. Every time you crit, you can forgo it to essentially "donate" the crit to the ally that strikes him in melee next... such as that barbarian with the *3 greataxe.
Lina Inverse from Slayers seems to fit the bill. She doesn't care all that much for mores and morality, quite self-centered but not to the point that she completely disregards the well-being of others (ok, mostly except bandits, who seem to be an acceptable target to her).
The TvTropes article mentions Dionis from Greek myth, and this seems to be a good fit imo. He is about enjoying life and yourself with no care about mores and expectations, and has no particular care about the well-being of anyone else. The guy must be the ultimate frat party dude :) .
Hmm, I will bite.
1) I´d go with shirking his responsibility to protect the innocent. Sometimes, the Paladin can´t do it for whatever reasons (i.e. a 2nd level paladin faced who learns of a rampaging dragon is perfectly in the right to call for help rather than try to challenge the monster.
2) Works. I´d actually state that adhering to the faith of his or her divine patron is more important than adhering to the letter of the code of the organization.
3) A paladin shall not steal. The player should be penalized for his or her own sins, though, i.e. by having to buy more nachos.
I´d probably have a talk with the player (which might lead to the paladin falling) in case of a paladin having blatant disregard for his codes or morality. Torture and rape are a fine example, but unnecessary stealing, killing etc definitely merits a good look.
Sorcerer with the False Priest archetype is an option if you want to masquerade as a cleric. Oracles and bards are also a possibility.
If your DM allows it, there is also psionics. Psions and wilders can have a bit of healing, and even the regular tieflings (if your DM is prissy about variants) make pretty decent psions.
"As an adventure your day isn't complete until you've put X sentient creatures to the sword."
Actually, you are not supposed to do it for the money alone (there is usually at least some pretense that they are a threat) and most often there is no requirement to kill all of them - i.e. in case you can and want to persuade them to move, imprison or exile the former leader, etc.
If we are going to have alignments in their current form at all, something that explicitly requires you to kill someone for no other reason than membership certainly merits an evil tag.
If he axes lingering performance like that, well, that is a pain. It was designed to extend bardic performance and your DM probably noticed the AL rounds are, to put it very mildly, not that many. In that case, anything that gives you more becomes much more useful (i.e. the extra performance feat and half-elf or equivalent racial abilities).
If you are looking for a combat option that will not require too many feats, I think power attack w. a two-hander might be the best option. Considering the bardic hit die, I would actually give reach weapons (even the simple longspear that bards are automatically proficient with) a look, since it will allow you to attack someone from further away.
Half elf is pretty great imo, for a melee bard both the ancestral arms and the skill focus (probably going into perception or whatever you want for eldritch heritage) work very well. Eldritch heritage has some nice gems for bards btw - I am partial to the draconic or serpentine bloodlines, but feel free to check them all out. I can't deny aasimar + scion of humanity is also quite great, though. Fate's favored already provides a boost to your AL, but, well, the more the better. Ultimately I think both are fine, so you can take your pick.
For melee, my default choice would be to go for a two-hander and power attack, possibly getting some extra goodies i.e. Cornugon smash. This will mean you need to get a good intimidate score, i.e. by taking a trait making it a class skill or multiclassing. You can put a feat or take a level in a martial class for more proficiencies if you are not using the ancestral arms, but if push comes to shove, a longsword or a spear can also give you some decent damage numbers. Longsword and a small, e.g. mithral shield can also work as a more defensive option (and I'd still recommend getting PA).
BTW, if you are going to be in melee do devote some resources to staying alive. With the bard HD and saves toughness and great fortitude are both useful.
I would actually suggest the Holy Vindicator. Yes, I know, a PrC in a Pathfinder build, what heresy! Now, I think most PF PrCs are flavor at best and a complete waste of space most of the time, but this one might be an exception: it does offer clerics (who do have a bit of the holy warrior vibe) a full BAB option with 7/10 casting. You don't need a special code because, as a cleric, you already have one: your church's dogma.
Technically, your class doesn't lose the casting, so it also has a link to the divine - and animal companions can be explained as pet or mount, just as a cavalier and a few others get. A bloodhound or another trained pet can definitely seem in character here. It is the spells that make a bit less sense - I'd take a look at the trapper here, especially as traps make some sense for what you are making. A trapper/urban ranger combo (afaik you can take multiple archetypes as long as they trade different things) can serve you reasonably well.
Anyway, a hunter's bond to the party does not mention having any per-day limit, and so it does not. It is still imo a lot worse than having a pet.
As for this one, I am more than a bit wary of giving locate creature, a lvl 3-4 spell as a spell-like at level 3. He has bonuses to survival to deal with tracking. I mean, if you are THAT good a tracker at level 3, there's not much more to improve. A personal FE (that he would get all the FE bonuses to) makes more sense.
Basically alignment change was facilitated not by any kind of training (which would probably be insulting to an intelligent Winter Wolf), but by treating her well and building a sense of belonging between her and the non-evil party such that she would, over time, come to sympathize and agree with the party's general morals.
This sounds about right - the winter wolf is an intelligent character and alignment change should be no more different than for any other NPC like an ork, centaur, or a harpy. Typical winter wolves are evil, but nothing requires them to be or even states they need anyone's help to change.
Combat expertise had somewhat of a bad rep due to how you can improve on fighting defensively with archetypes, feats etc. Generally, unless you are going for maneuvers or there are some houserules involved, it doesn't strike me as all that good. Furious focus should serve you better at this point. The rest might depend on party composition and how you see your role in it - for example, a more protection-oriented paladin might make use of feats to let him make it harder to get past him, or you could go full damage and lay on the smackdown.
BTW, I've always had this thing about using the half-elf skill focus with a class with high charisma to go for eldritch heritage and get some cool sorcerer powers that way. Not sure how good some of these are for a paladin, but stat buffs and utility always help.
Speaking of Pratchett, imo Carrot can make a great (if slightly nontraditional) paladin. This guy has the goods (and the lawfuls).
I'm not sure dungeon crawls are that great for a start, a friend of mine often DMs for new people and he avoids dungeons like the plague. You cna run Crypt of the Everflame for a warmup, but actually I think Rise of the Runelords starts in a pretty newbie-friendly manner. Do mind some of the latter encounters, though.
That is not necessarily something that would impact alignments, though. Someone not trained in the proper use of arms can injure himself or his allies when trying to wield a complex weapon, too :) .
I think in the case of paladins, poison tends to conflict with their status as exemplars and champions of goodness and virtue. Plus, it is usually against the laws (which paladins generally uphold) and the code of the military elite (which they often belong to). In general, most societies will consider poison as immoral and dishonorable, as well as illegal, and most LG warriors (by the pathfinder interpretation of lawful good) will shun it, even if they are rangers or fighters by class.
Well, there's the staff, it is two-handed and monks are automatically proficient /runs away .
Ahem. Pity the iconic humble stick tends not to be too effective when it comes to raw numbers. Half-elf monks can get some proficiencies with nice stuff via their alternative racial trait though, and the sohei tends to be proficient with all martial weapons - so supposedly the eastern martial weapons as well.
Hmm, I was about to remind people that rogues and ninjas can be very decent at assassination (anyone sleeping or helpless is Coup de grace material), but it seems the slayer will do a better job of it. For a more supernatural version, do check out the vivisectionist alchemist - some of the class abilities are off and more fitting for a mad scientist, but the combination of dirty fighting, poisoncrafting and alchemical elixirs to strengthen the mind or body might work quite well for you.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
It is a cultural thing, certainly. Today, in most cases it is not typical to introduce yourself by your job title except - in some cases - if you are there in an official capacity. For example, if I met a guy who happens to be a policeman at a party he would probably introduce himself as Peter, while if he were giving me a ticket he might introduce himself as Sergeant so-and-so. In some societies in Golarion, where hierarchy and breeding are more important, it would probably be different ,and you could say a paladin is essentially "on duty" while adventuring :P .
If a man kills several innocent people, should mercy be shown? He has broken the laws, and committed an act of evil. Should he not be killed?
What do the laws and social traditions say? Is there any justification or attenuating circumstances? Has he shown remorse and tried to redress the consequences of his crime? Perhaps imprisonment or exile would also be a fitting punishment.
Justice should be done, but justice may leave some freedom to accomodate mercy. In the case of smaller crimes in particular, a paladin can be quite lenient.
Well, it depends on the mores of the society and the status of the paladin on it. If it is customary for titles to be announced and the paladin has earned one, there is no problem to use it - it is even expected and could be considered good manners. Arrogance goes a lot deeper than the 5 seconds of introduction. If a character is a knight, sworn by the king, announcing himself Sir such and such when appropriate is only proper.
I think poison is more likely to be considered dishonorable, which would make its use a possible chaotic act, depending on the character's own morals and code. For example, a LN knight (or paladin) whose code stresses personal honor etc and uses poison is committing a chaotic act, but a LG spy whose loyalty is to her king and people is not actually breaking her principles by, say, spiking the food supply of a cult to allow for their easier capture.
In the case of paladins and possibly cavaiers, I think it is a chaotic act as their code urges them to act honorably. Even then it need not be evil, unless the poison in question is particularly torturous or is inherently antithetical to good, i.e. an infernal extract that attacks the soul of the victim (I am not aware of any such, but it is a possibility in a fantasy setting).
reach paladins are less than lack luster due to making the class a MAD class. normaly you really only need Str and Cha mostly, but if you add dex...
Still doable if you get a decent point-buy, i.e. 15 or higher. Do note that having a reach weapon may decrease the amount of hits you get and thus make constitution less of a priority. With 20 points you can get something like 18 in strength, 12/13 in constitution/dexterity and 14 in charisma.
@ Ezrider - a decent start, though I'd go with Stand still instead of extra LoH. Preventing an enemy from getting to you - or anyone else behind you - can be pretty handy. Preventing them from getting away, even more so.
The paladin code is in essence a warrior's reading of the LG alignment, and lying is in general against either. Typically, a lawful person keeps her word and tells the truth, and speaking plainly is iirc one of the virtues Erastil is quite keen on. Generally speaking, if your behavior falls under the LG category, you do not like lying and you don't lie unless it is essentially necessary (in the OP's case, if your party members would never, ever let you keep an eye on them otherwise). Unless the party members would be extremely hurt by the character's telling them, they should be told.
PF made a slight tweak to paladins in that before, they had to make a gross violation of the code to fall, which implied that minor lies or those done for a higher purpose (i.e. shelter victims under a repressive regime) were excusable. One of my less than favourite developments in PFRPG is that the "gross" part was removed and technically paladins can fall even for minor violations of the code. To me, this is inappropriate, especially as the restrictions are eased elsewhere. Paladins can now pal around with evil types if it is necessary, but cannot tell the agents of the evil king "I have not seen any Sarenraens" :/
Anyway, yes, strictly by the book the paladin should not lie, so the character will either have to tell his mates he wants to keep an eye out on them in case they need backup or somesuch, or just not tell them and do it regardless.
Nathanael Love wrote:
This is only the case if you are not put into situations where those different level spells are a good choice - and not forced to use spells enough times to make it worthwhile.
Granted, 9th level spells are great, but I would argue it is part of the DM job to ensure that when you are out having a challenge, by the time the day is done you don't have much left in the tank. If those lvl 6,7 or 8 spells aren't being used optimally, there is a problem and it lies either in the player or the DM.
"I checked it out and found your work flawed. You are relying on low level obsolete spells to "even" the playing field with psionics improved access to higher level effects. Because lets face it if a 20th level character gets into a fight those low level spells are useless. Why? Because any static bonus like mage armor or protection spells have long since been superseded by magic items and they no longer have the power to even hurt the level of foe they are likely fighting. Tossing a 3rd level fireball at that greater demon is likely going to get laughed at due to the weaker save a 3rd level spell has and the expected level of spell and energy resistance the monsters will have.
You really should delete all the obsolete slots converted points and powers known from your lists to see the real picture."
I have to disagree with you Aranna, especially on the last part.
First, the idea of "obsolete spells" doesn't really gel with me too much. First of all, which spell levels are "obsolete" exactly, for a, say, lvl 15 wizard - level 1 only, 1 to 3, 1 to 5? There are a lot of useful effects found in the low levels, imo. Yes, a high level character could do those things better if s/he dedicates valuable resources (higher level spells), but that means they won't have those resources elsewhere. Enlarge person, alignment protections and minor effects (unseen servants, minor images) can come in handy later on, especially if the PC wants to cover off situations or conserve their abilities. That all spell levels are not created equal does not mean some are of no use at all. Sure, they will be niche, but this is only proper when you have 5-6 tiers of higher spells.
I have yet to have seen a game where any spell tier was useless. Overshadowed, yes. Useless, no. Sure, that fireball won't help much with the greater daemon. The circle of summoners in the previous room might feel it, though (I am more partial to effects like sleet storm or wind wall, but let's say you play an evoker with no other tricks up his sleeve). Oh, and they may very well feel the dispel messing up their protections or key spell casting - r what happens when your hasted barbarian, the inquisitor and the animal companion get to them. As for the daemon, well, it probably won't enjoy the fact that a 1st level spell can foil its possession/charm abilities - or if it is summoned, that it might not be able to touch you at all - or that a communal resist energy all but negates its fire aura for the entire party. Some creatures at higher levels can ignore the effects of a certain spells. Sure, but chances are there will be more than one encounter per day, and the party will probably have an idea what it is facing. One of the biggest usefulness of low-level slots for a high-level wizard is that they can allow you to cover gaps at low cost so you can focus on what you do best. Sure, enlarge person is far from the best buff out there, but there are very few times it won't help at all.
Also, level 20 is a poor point of comparison because it is almost never played. Heck, I have heard of very few games of level 15 and above. As far as my personal experience with PF goes, Level 20 is one of 20 possible power tiers, and affects probably 0.1% of the games. I do not find it a good point of comparison for judging the system overall, and low-level spell slots are probably not going to be in the top 10 concerns of even the wizard player.
One last thing - even if for some reason level 1 and 2 are rendered completely useless in your campaign, a specialist wizard will still have comparable number of point equivalents to a psion, without counting the scaling issues.