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Trianii's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 25 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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It all boils down to simply knowing what your players are comfortable with, and what they're not comfortable with, and working with them. There really isn't anything more to it. Everyone is at the table to have fun; the players are volunteering their time and agreeing to play in the GM's campaign, and the GM should in turn ensure that the players have a rich, enjoyable experience.

If it's a matter of the players being uncomfortable portraying characters in a setting with a multitude of gods due to their real-world religious inclinations, I can tell you from personal experience that Pathfinder does NOT require a polytheistic setting; a monotheistic world with a singular, good deity can work just fine. As Javaed mentioned in his post, I home-brewed a campaign setting with a fantasy analog to Catholicism, where the opponents the PCs face are demons and undead. The player characters are true heroes who battle supernatural evil and protect people, so I conclude that portraying a "murderhobo" isn't required to have fun in a campaign, either.

Martial classes by and large I tend to avoid, as I find the "I run in and attack...the following round, I attack, attack, attack" play style very boring. As a result, I mostly stick to casters. But I try to be flexible, and if I have a good concept for a fighting character and the group could use one, I'll play one.

I prefer spontaneous casters over prepared ones, with the exception of the Oracle...I just don't like the curse mechanics. I really wish there was a spontaneous full divine caster that didn't have the curses.

I imagine a 20th level commoner as someone who is marked by destiny, chosen to do great things...but he just doesn't apply himself. Through seemingly miraculous luck, he survives incredibly dangerous situations, because fate has plans in store for him, but he just doesn't follow the path laid before him. He's an extraordinary person, who chooses to live an ordinary life.

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Looks like I could run a Phantasy Star campaign with this! Can't wait.

My group homebrewed a "White Mage" class for our campaigns, which is a divine caster with very little offensive ability, but lots of support/healing potential. We created it because, honestly, it doesn't seem that core Pathfinder has any classes that are ENTIRELY devoted to support; all the casting classes with good support spell options are expected to wade into combat and smash face in-between casting their healing and buffing spells. Thus, we created a class to fill that niche.

I'm playing one in our current campaign, and I'm never bored in combat; I agree that pure support isn't something that a lot of players will enjoy, but some of us do like it. And in personal experiences with combats in my group, healing mid-battle is usually essential. But to create a character who is solely devoted to enhancing and healing the group, I think homebrewing something is almost necessary.

As a GM, I stopped using XP in my campaigns years ago. I was once a player in a group where the GM would award lots of bonus XP to the characters he thought contributed the most in a session, and it quickly created a party of mixed-level PCs (and if a player had to miss a session because real life got in the way, which happens to all of us, his character would get NO XP and would fall WAY behind).

I tell my players to level their characters after every two adventures. It's fast, simple, and gives everyone an indication of when they're going to level up again. That said, my group cares more about advancing the story and seeing where the plot goes next than picking random fights for 'experience', so this method works best for them. For exceptionally heroic, creative, or altruistic actions on the parts of their characters, I reward them with 1 Hero Point instead of bonus XP.

The idea mostly arose from a conversation I had with some of my players, one of which thought a wise Oracle (WIS-based) would be interesting, and another who was kicking around the idea of playing a naïve, oblivious Cleric (which can be hard to justify when the character has a stratospheric Wisdom score). Its main function would be to allow for a few more character concepts.

I definitely agree about not adding unnecessary complexity to the game, though; a house rule should always be carefully considered and looked at from all angles before it's established. That said, my group uses quite a few house rules already as it is (Vitality and Wounds, Unarmored Defense rules, and others), so they're pretty flexible when it comes to different rules/options.

So I'm considering a house rule for future campaigns that could help differentiate spellcasters a little more, and allow for more diverse character concepts. The basic rule is that, upon taking his or her 1st level in an arcane or divine spellcasting class, a character has a choice to make: If the class is arcane, the character may choose whether Intelligence or Charisma governs all aspects of his or her spellcasting (bonus spells, save DCs, school/bloodline powers, etc.); if the class is divine, the character may choose between Wisdom and Charisma for the same purposes.

Would this idea cause any significant balance issues? Obviously, a Charisma-based Cleric would have more uses of channel energy, but would also likely have a lower Will save than a standard Wisdom-based one. And a Charisma-based Wizard would have better social skills, but not as many skill points as the standard version.

As far as roleplaying goes, it would open the door to some interesting concepts; imagine the wizard whose spellbook is more akin to a sketchbook or painting portfolio, as he studies magic more as an art than a science (Charisma-based). Or the vivacious, passionate cleric whose faith comes from the heart rather than deep insight (Also Cha-based). Or even a sorcerer whose spells are powered by force of mind instead of force or personality (Int-based).

Any thoughts on this idea?

Good call. I've used Aqueous Orb with a Magus character before, but completely missed the fact that it's on the Druid spell list as well. That's a very fun spell, and will fit his character thematically.

Thanks for the suggestions, those are both really good. I was actually looking at the Shark Shaman myself. I believe he wants to build his character with more of a spellcasting focus anyway, and the Druid list has plenty of useful options. I like the idea of him being able to interfere with the enemies and move them about the battlefield.

Also, thanks for the advice on the steamcaster ability, Helikon. I will definitely have to take a look at that.

Hello everyone!

I have a new player who will be joining my campaign shortly, and he will be playing a Druid. The campaign is a Legend of Zelda setting, and his race will be a Zora (aquatic, fish-like humanoids). For roleplaying purposes, he only wants his character to wildshape into animal forms associated with oceans, like sharks and such.

Now, most of my dungeons in this campaign do incorporate swimming/underwater areas, so his character will thrive in such situations. My question is, how do I help him build a character that will be effective when the party is not dealing with an aquatic area? I just want to make sure his character doesn't become a "fish-out-of-water" who can't contribute effectively in land-based combat.

I'm not looking for over-optimization, just some basic advice for when I sit down and help him create his character soon. Thanks a lot!

I tend to play Lawful Good, but my characters are usually more concerned with honesty and kindness than they are with legal justice.

This is why I pretty much always build magic-tech/steampunk-style settings when I run Pathfinder. Magic doesn't exist in a vacuum; it's a pretty huge stretch of logic to think that a world with such possibilities would resemble medieval Europe, complete with filth, poverty and disease. Instead, I see magic being incorporated into everyday life, and helping civilizations advance.

My friend, another GM, home-brewed a "Healer" class with me, which I'm now playing in his campaign. It's a spontaneous, Charisma-based divine caster with very few offensive options, but a wide range of support abilities. They must be Lawful Good in alignment, but serve as the other side of the coin to the Paladin; while the Paladin vanquishes evil, the Healer nurtures good.

We thought it filled a much-needed niche in the game, as it allows a player to create a dedicated defensive specialist/healer without all the "warrior-priest" trappings of the Cleric or Oracle classes.

One that I use in my campaigns...

Favored Skills: At character creation, you may select any two skills; if a chosen skill is not normally a class skill for your character, it becomes one. If a chosen skill is already a class skill for your character, he or she gains a +1 bonus to that skill.

I've found it works really well to create diverse characters.

Thanks for the input. I'm trying to figure out a better way to scale Healing Song as well, as the way the archetype is set up now, a mid-to-high-level Sacred Performer would gain a LOT of additional healing (though she does have to balance this with her other bardic performances, so it still is a trade-off).

So I'm trying to design a bard archetype that uses bardic performance to call on the power of good deities, healing those in need through song, dance, etc. They're meant to be an additional option for divine support, able to serve as a party's primary healer if needed. This is my idea for the archetype so far, though I would like some feedback on balance or other concerns:

Sacred Performer (Bard Archetype)

Alignment: Any good.

Focused: A sacred performer does not gain the bardic knowledge, lore master, or jack-of-all-trades abilities.

Spells: A sacred performer's spells are drawn from the bard spell list, but her spells are divine, not arcane. Likewise, her cantrips are replaced by orisons, but still use the 0-level spells from the bard spell list. In addition, each sacred performer also adds all of the cure spells to her list of spells known (cure spells include all spells with “cure” in the name). These spells are added as soon as the sacred performer is capable of casting them.

Bardic Performance: A sacred performer gains the following type of bardic performance:

Healing Song (Su): A sacred performer can spend 1 round of bardic performance to create an effect equivalent to a cure light wounds spell on any creature within 90 ft., using her bard level as her effective caster level. For every three levels she attains beyond 1st, the sacred performer can target one additional creature with this ability. At 6th level, she may use 2 consecutive rounds of bardic performance to instead grant any one creature within range the benefit of cure moderate wounds, using her bard level as her caster level. At 18th level, she can spend 2 consecutive rounds of bardic performance to grant the effect of cure moderate wounds to as many creatures within range as her level will permit. If this ability is used on creatures to which positive energy is harmful (such as undead), the affected creatures receive Will saving throws (DC = 10 + 1/2 the sacred performer’s level + the sacred performer’s Cha modifier); if successful, the affected creatures take only half damage. This ability replaces the fascinate, suggestion, and mass suggestion bardic performances.

Sacred Magic (Ex): At 2nd level and every four levels thereafter, a sacred performer can add one spell to her spells known from the cleric spell list. The spell must be of a level she can cast. This ability replaces versatile performance.

Any thoughts on this? Any helpful advice would be most appreciated. Thanks!

Cool, I appreciate the help! My thoughts were that it would work that way, too.

The title of this thread says it all. I'm considering playing a rogue in an upcoming campaign who would fight with a gladius...since rogues are proficient with short swords, and the rules for the gladius in Ultimate Combat state that feats and abilities that apply to short swords apply to the gladius, does that mean the character would be proficient with it? The rules just seem a tad unclear to me, since the gladius is listed as an entirely separate martial weapon.

It can work. You just have to use Pathfinder as the core, and take elements from 3.5 on a case-by-case basis. I've allowed a few feats from 3.5, such as Graceful Edge for a bard/paladin in my current campaign (it lets the character finesse a one-handed slashing weapon, so long as she doesn't wield or carry anything in her other hand). You just have to consider how each feat, spell, or PrC from 3.5 will interact with feats, spells, and PrCs in Pathfinder and make sure everything seems balanced.

Although I DID get to play this character, it was for a very brief period of time...

I created a Fighter/Rogue named Merrick Marrington, a delusional, swashbuckling nobleman adventurer. With an incredibly low Wisdom score, he had been conned out of his family fortune by a thieving enchantress, who convinced him (with her mind-affecting magic), that he was destined to become a great hero who would unite the entire world as a single kingdom that he would rule.

So the character became and adventurer, charging into battle with reckless abandon, having no fear of death (he was the legendary hero, after could he possibly die?). He took to calling the other party members his "loyal subjects", and one of them, a naive cleric, even BELIEVED he was destined to rule and became his 'squire'!

The two characters behaved much like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, with my character introducing himself to NPCs as 'the future king'...and then the campaign ended at 3rd level because the DM had a lot of big stuff come up in his life and didn't have time to run it anymore. I've never had so much pure fun running a character, and really wished I could've seen Merrick played to even mid-levels.

20 Point Purchase all the way. Can't tell you how many times I've seen a player come up with a fun concept for a character, who after rolling ability scores, was unable to create that concept due to undesired scores.

The purchase method is equal and fair for everyone, and lets players build the characters they WANT to play, not what the dice force them to play.

I tend to use a whole lot of undead and evil outsiders, and I avoid using humanoid opponents because my campaigns are usually light-hearted in tone.

I'm currently running a Legend of Zelda campaign, and Stalfos (skeletal knights from the Zelda games that I've created using the Skeletal Champion template) are the main adversaries of the party.

Thanks for the advice, everyone! I think I can come up with something well-balanced based on all of your suggestions. I really like the "soul-stealing cursed camera" idea as well, and considering the PCs are currently traveling through Ikana, a cursed kingdom where undead roam, there may be some opportunities to use such an item.

So I run a bi-weekly Legend of Zelda campaign for my friends, using the Pathfinder system (with quite a few variant rules to better fit the setting). In an upcoming session, I plan on the heroes meeting an NPC who has a Picto Box (essentially a magic photograph camera).

My question is, what could you folks suggest as far as rules go to build such a magic item? Obviously, it would be a wondrous item, but what sort of spell (or spells) would serve as a creation requirement? How could a PC go about building such a device? Any help would be most appreciated.

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