I have the opposite problem when GMing. Normally trivial encounters turn into desperate slogs when my monsters roll like gods and my players are constantly missing.
I once had a barbarian spend three rounds trying to take down three 4hp skeletons. His minimum damage would be able to kill all three in a single round if he hit, thanks to cleave and cleaving finish, but instead he ended up getting shredded by the combined 1d4+2 of their unerring +2 claw attacks. He just couldn't roll above a 3, and they never got below 15.
It just gets horrendously demoralizing for the players when the mooks become a big problem, not to mention slowing the combat down when they should be breezing through to more important objectives.
Same game, a level 3 cavalier was soloed into unconsciousness by a CR 2 draugr for the same reasons.
Huh, just realize Twigs left his account logged on at my house.
In that case...
Wizards rule, faeries drool.
"Some faerie-luck to take along, keep fortune fair and spirit strong..."
Hope it all goes well. I've been lucky enough to stay out of hospital since I was a young feller, but I wish you as much icecream and jelly and video games as they gave to me in the childrens ward. When you're hale and hearty again I want to hear about your GISHWHES experience.
No objections here to a slow day of posting. It's 12pm on a Sunday and so far I've done nothing but check into all of my games. Conceivably this is a sign I need to cut back, but bah! Bah, I say!
My advice is not to tie yourself down to one NPC. Mix it up a bit!
A few more points to make:
I don't know, I think I agree with Shifty here. And Bastagar's been carrying cold iron since the start of the game, as well. I'd rather explore the conflict of carrying around a cursed blade that terrifies him, if only because the winter fey terrify him more.
In my opinion theres an important divide between what a paladin DISAPPROVES of and what a paladin WILL NOT TOLERATE. They're supposed to be tireless opponents of evil, not tireless opponents of the party not doing things their way. Not trying to talk you out of the ritual here (I can roll with it), just the way that you're talking about your code in the discussion thread. But I tend to have a gut-reaction to alignment related bickering. I'll reiterate what I said upthread and say that we should do it in-character. I was considering coming upstairs after the basement incident covered in blood, and could totally envision the paladin spitting on a rag and rubbing his face clean before sending him to bed without supper. I decided I was probably pushing my luck though. :P
Really though, I dig the maternal/master-servant dynamic we seem to be edging towards. On my part I'm totally cool with sharing the tent, and with being a minion at that. It's a great way to play out Bastagar's twisted morality, and just how pathetic and cowardly he is at times. He can also play squire to Hilde when she gets her full-plate, strapping her into her armour and fawning over like the worlds creepiest miniature manservant.
Also pretty sure my trickster could eat a certain orc for breakfast. Provided the Halfhand lends me that crossbow of his that never rolls under 15... In fact I'll just let the Halfhand cast colour spray on my behalf and take all of the credit.
Annalísa Finnrsdóttir wrote:
@Twigs - he didn't literally mean crotch.
Nonetheless it made me feel a little less hesitant to coup de grace the bloke. If we're going to start back we may as well start swinging, eh? (I'm hoping this turns out more Benny Hill and not an elk incident of our very own. :P)
Unable to distract himself from the debauchery any longer, Lucon stares in transfixed horror. He pulls his fellow Torchbearers aside, his bright-red cheeks turning deathly pale and a grave, sober expression taking over his face... "My wife must never hear of this." he says with the utmost severity, closing the door behind him and crossing his arms.
He shifts uncomfortably on his feet.
"Come on. The sooner we're out of here the better. Let us try the attic first." Lucon says, making his way up the stairs and taking a conversational tone. "Though god only knows how many floors this place has. I used to be a joiner, back before the money left Westcrown. Worked on villas, manors and the like, but none of them half as big as this place. How many rooms do you expect this place has...?"
I don't want my players writing any backstory out. I'm a very picky critic--every background I've ever read has been awful. I want them, instead, to have a conversation with me--in person, e-mail, whatever--about their background, and then I can work it in, make sure it works, and I don't have to read stilted prose, just ideas that will enhance the game.
Ha! Yeah, I know what you mean. Personally a backstory that makes me cringe is far worse than none at all. (And I've been given ones so bad that I want to frame them).
Personally I go very bare bones on backstory, a I like to go in knowing what sort of archetype I want to play and how my character should turn out.
I want to play the story, not read a story.
I'd rather have somebody with an open ended, ambiguous backstory that I can pepper with old acquaintances and nuggets of wisdom as the game progresses. Given my current trend of playing the demihuman races, I just use this as a framework.
My bitter jaded elf is ashamed for deserting the Lantern Bearers. My grubby greedy dwarf wants to pay a lavish dowry to buy his bride. My mad, bleached gnome thinks he can buy back his youth with stolen trinkets. All of these characters have lived for a century, but I'm deliberately vague on their pasts, because it doesnt matter. They've lived a long time, travelled, have lots of old acquaintances and probably a fair bit of wisdom to share. But I'd rather leave it ambiguous and come up with that in-game, so I like to stick with what's important.
As for human PCs, you're not nearly a long lived. You've probably had time to learn the tools of your trade and depending on your level had some success at it. My human knight is on a quest to prove himself after a lesser noble is caught letting him win a tourney match and shatters his confidence.
There's a lot left unsaid in these back-stories, but they're filled with potential to expand apon. When I DO write a back-story around the two or three page mark, I tend to just fill it with stories my PC might share with the others rather than dead parents, prophesies and compelling revenge plots. Valeros, Alain, Merisiel... so many of the iconics have little in the way of backstory. Only enough to say "this is who I am". I think the "meet the iconics" post are as good an example as any for writing up a PC, and they're more or less the framework I use.
tl;dr Less is more
I blame Cosmo for the week I spent playing MOBAs, printing Runelords maps, fine tuning my notes and taking a boxing class instead of dealing with this weekends impending deadlines.
And also for the exorbitant amount I spent without a second thought on shipping for a set of the shiny new pawn sets.
And for soggy chicken caesar salads.
And perhaps the most unforgivable of all...
Brandon Verkennes wrote:
...the existence of Chihuahuas.
Lucon hands Caladius the rope, but sags under the tiefling's iron stare and lumbers up the rope first.
Will Save: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (7) + 0 = 7
Bastagar shields his eyes, waving his pan about menacingly. "Ha! Trick like that wouldn't fell a cat! To fell Bastagar will take more than-..." he begins, before lurching forward and collapsing in a heap in the snow.
These guys are TERRIFYING. They single handedly stopped me from getting any further than the cloakwood in Baldur's Gate.
Great topic, Mikaze!
My fighter PC for my current Council of Thieves game (run on these very boards by the fantastic GmMug) began the game with a light hammer, a pouch of nails (as caltrops), masterwork tools and a leather apron. I wanted to take him from a slow progression from simple craftsman to hero. At the moment he's donning a nice shiny breastplate and a plundered tower shield with the Cheliax coat of arms, so he's come a long way in two levels. In fact I don't know where to go with it next, appearance wise. Our own version of the Children of Westcrown are known as the "Torchbearers", so maybe some kind of continual flame for my armour or something equally showy.
My current longest running campaign, a homebrew one that's been running for the whole five years I've been playing, has been a sporadic one, and we've played numerous characters over numerous adventurers as we cut from place to place, from PC to PC. Our characters have gone through some serious arcs in this time, and given that myself and my GM are both avid artists with something of a competitive streak, we tend to develop a characters "look" between us.
One of my characters, actually another PCs graduated ghoul cohort, is currently accompanying another, this time ex-player's, retired PC as her bodyguard. The ghoul is a bitter honor bound samurai, but is currently deep in the desert on a hunt for the exiled emperor of the eastern kingdoms and the Imperial Seal. He's wrapped in thick shawls and wrappings that hide his features, has a camel as his cavalier mount and wields a dead man's falchion, but I plan on decking him out in full samurai armour, (my ultimate combat copy tells me it's called o-yoroi), a white stallion and a huge banner bearing his lady's sigil once he makes his triumphant homecoming and we try to quell civil war in the east.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Good scars can represent so much of a character's experiences.
Another of my characters, a bandit with an almost Rincewindian bad-luck streak, has a scar that can probably top anyone in this thread. His belly is split open and his guts spilling out. As you can guess, he died somewhat horrifically. We continued his story with several unforgiving sessions set in the Abyss, as he was hunted by Mephistopholes (he may have accidentally sold his soul at one point in his backstory.) The fate of the damned is to forever bear the wounds of their earthly life, and an unlucky encounter with a redcap ensured my bandit was now a gutless coward in more sense than one.
The surviving PCs from the start of the campaign have been through much the same treatment. One, Nikola Tesla (a lightning mage, who'd've thunk it?) is gradually becoming more and more an elemental as he becomes the conduit for the storm that will bring on the apocalypse. He's gone from a beleaguered student and storm chaser to an elemental force of destruction (with an unfortunate tendancy for destructing the party's front line).
It makes me realise how much we have unresolved. I need to start bugging my GM twofold to keep the game rolling! Get on it, Lex.
Aeric Blackberry wrote:
Is a Strenght-based meizard crazy? It probably does not fit in your petition (functional for 1-10 levels). But I think that a shapechanger strenght based wizard can be useful in mid-levels, when the shapechange spells are available.
I like this. I tried to build Morrigan from Dragon Age 6 months back,and given that sorc/wizards were the only one to get vermin (read: spider) shape at the time (as well as the bulk of her spell list) I ran with a build like this. Long since lost the statblock, but I might revivify it.
You would think that elf would be a good race to start with because of their racial weapons.
Running with this idea, however, it's surprising how effective such a build can be early in the game, before the BAB gap begins to widen. I'd opt for a strength build (it's the go to stat for 95% of good melee builds) and tiptoe toward power attack (though it's pretty much a pipe dream, most of the wizard's focus should be on landing his hits.)
That said, at level 1, a 16 str wizard and the 16 str fighter (assuming neither are sporting weapon focus), have the same hit chance. The wizard can begin the game with a mwk. weapon FOR FREE, and by level 5 can add enhancements to it as if he had the feat. That's... pretty big. Not huge, but at 5th level our wizard can cast haste, bulls strength and rock some elven chain (I mean it's half his WBL, but it fits the concept, I'm sure most GMs would allow it)
Say he spends his feats on Light Armour Proficiency, Arcane Strike and Arcane Armor training. He's not quite a wizard, and he's not quite a fighter, but with time to prepare (let's say with a shield, bull's strength and haste spell...) he has a minimum of 20 AC (+ or minus dex), 10% arcane spell failure (which I've always been able to deal with at the table) and passable chance to hit.
+2 BAB, +5 str bonus, +1 from haste and a +1 from a mwk. (or magic) weapon is +9 to hit. Our 18 str fighter at this level is probably looking at this, with weapon training and weapon focus canceled out by power attack. His buffed statblock would look something like this:
Melee - longsword +9/+9 (1d8+9/19-20)
It's far from as powerful as some of the builds posted, but I've always preferred something like this to the Magus and all of it's accompanying fiddly bits. It's really not BAD. Just suboptimal. I wouldnt try to run with weapon finesse, though. You just NEED a source of damage.
Hell, do the same with a quarterstaff and you're only losing two points of damage off of your attacks. He can even two-weapon fight if you can get enough to-hit bonus together (and enhance both ends of his staff with spell storing at the later levels). At the high levels it'll be all shapechange, baby.
Flextime Lucon at the Torchbearer hideout:
"A hero?" he says, having the decency to blush. "I... I do not think it so. I fight for my sons, for me and mine. Not for great lords or lofty ideals..." he says, rubbing the back of his thick-corded neck and smiling bashfully.
"But I did not let a single goblin pass, if I could help it. A heavy shield seems enough for the beasts to throw themselves off balance, if you put your shoulder into it." he says, authoritatively. "But... I had never thought to know of such things." Lucon chuckles. "It is tiring work. But in times as hard as these... well, I think we all know what it is to work hard."
Lucon hovers around the ruined cathedral for some time, smiling and making small-talk where he must. He seems to be eyeing the crumbling construction above, staying quiet for some time. He accepts his cut of Whitechin's treasure from Yakopulio with eyes wide. "This... this is enough to feed my family for a month." he says, eyes filled with disbelief. "I can replace that wretched wagon of mine. Pay the back-taxes on my workshop. Jewels for the wife!" he exclaims, scooping the gnome up in his arms and skipping about the room before dropping her back on the ground and hurrying to the door. "I need to tell Rebecca the news!" he says, as the sound of him singing up the empty streets echoes into the distance. "Yubby-dibby-dibby-dibby-dibby-dibby-dibby-dum~!"
"Calm yourself, creature." Lucon says, in the manner of a parent to a stubborn child. He grabs the Goblin firmly by the wrist. "You need only point us to your leader."
This fall, I'm going to be running RotR for a new group, and I'm pulling out all the stops. I'm getting the Deluxe Anniversary adventure, all the related campaign books, and all the Game Mastery material for this that I can afford.
That's one lucky group!
I've actually given the whole pregen thing a lot of thought, but unfortunately I've never had a group that wants to roll with it. I honestly dont know why more games don't do it. Just how inexperienced are this group? Given the very "classic" feel of this adventure path it'd be hard to go wrong with a fighter/rogue/cleric/wizard setup, and I'd propose a ranger as the fifth man. There were a lot of great posts in this thread on the topic (I agree with Greycloak. And myself, naturally.) In short: a high AC fighter (quite possibly a dwarf, for that awesomely powerful +4 to AC that will come up a lot), somebody who can deal with giants (again, maybe a dwarf), a spellbook/scroll using wizard (not sure if Sorcerers can learn from scrolls)... and a cleric and rogue to round it all out (because traps and debuffs are scary)
So that's what to build, but what about what to write? This is the part I'd like to pitch my two cents on, because frankly it's more exciting for the GM who just got his shiny new hardcover. DISCLAIMER: Your mileage may vary. This is pure opinion, but I hope you can take something from it and come back and tell me how it goes. I can see two ways you can go: one, you run with the Pathfinder iconics. They have the added perk of being in a whole lot of the art for the AP, and some great, simple, flexible backgrounds that tie in surprisingly well with the path.
Here are my thoughts on that. Spoilered for length and... well... spoilers:
I'll look at six of them, and how they interact with different parts of the AP:
The iconics have awesome art, great personalities and backgrounds and a whole lot of potential for the path. This would, with a group of willing players, be the way I'd want to go, so see how your group feel about it.
Alternatively, if you want something a bit tighter, there are a few key things you can touch on, thematically, when you're writing up your pregens. Here are my ideas, I'm sure other posters will have better ones or maybe even disagree with me:
Whew... Is that what you were looking for?
Ugh, that Kili/Tauriel reveal doesn't impress me at all, and I always felt that two films would rob it of some of it's "There and Back Again" storybookish charm.
But man oh man, I am excited nonetheless. Dwarves, dragons and hopefully a lot more singing. If there's but one chorus of "Down Down to Goblin Town" I will be happy with these movies. The rest is just gravy. :P
James essentially said that he'd made the prestige class with her in mind, and then made a mess of the prerequisites and didn't want to give her a falchion when the art depicts her with a bastard sword and he couldn't bend the rules in an official paizo product. Most definately give her the prestige class, but I'd be wary of making her too strong for the first encounter. Perhaps if she escapes you can level her up.
Is it just me, or is it every time certain posters got to sleep, work or w/e, we stop discussing rules and start discussing fun things? But the second they come back, it's right back to arguing over rules and interpretations.
...yuuuuuup. Though the rules debates have been interesting enough too, I'll concede. At least it's something new! (That said, having just read 80 new posts, either I'm clearly a masochist or some people just really need to let it drop.) The assertion that Ashiel is bending the rules to make her point is really getting tiresome. Ashiel works with the RAW beautifully. I'd go so far to say better than nearly everyone in this thread. Ashiel's made the RAW his/her b+%~*.
And I hadn't forgotten! I'm here for the promise of story time! :P
Most favorable way possible for the NPC, not for wizards. This has absolutely no bearing on the class balance at Ashiel's table or the game in general, and there's a thread a week if you want to argue the topic.
Also I hate to be argumentative, but I'd like to ask you to stick to voicing your own opinion, and stop speaking for mine and everybody elses. I don't know what liberal rules readings you're touting are, but they have little bearing on why I appreciate Ashiel's contributions. The things I generally agree with her on are ENTIRELY stylistic. GMing advice, her adventurer's guide on using mundane gear, encounter building, party composition and general tactics, not spells and item use. Want to know one of my favourite bits of advice in her adventuring guide?
That's Good Food, I Guarantee: This isn't quite hardcore
adventuring gear, but I'm kind of a sucker for a bit of role-
play. I generally like my characters to cook, and trail
rations suck (sure they're filling but nuts, dried breads,
and jerky would get very old after a while). I always liked
the idea of having a nice stewing fire, cooking the days
catch and enjoying the quiet peaceful aspect of the great
journey that is adventuring; so let's talk about food.
Trail rations are expensive. 5 silver pieces per day for 1
So my characters typically pack their own meals. A whole
In your classic 4-person adventuring party that includes 1
I realize my micromanagement as a player might be a bit
It was this. My GM was appalled. "You've found a way to min-max food!", as he put it. But I'm glad to know SOMEONE out there that isn't me fussing over what his PC is going to eat.
And I wasn't aware we were being tiered here. Might I ask what class abilities I can expect when I reach mid-level poster status, ciretose? And how many more guides, articles and posts will Ashiel have to contribute before getting her capstone? If you really want to account for her popularity, I'd put it down to constantly showering us with goodies over the past several months.
Welp, what books would people like to see? Is this supposed to be a single product?
I'd like a strong core game without too many of the clases that make Fighters and Bards and suchlike irrelevent. (Chances, however, seem slim.)
I'd like to see some of the skill tricks (a true diamond in the rough), Alternate Class Features (especially the racial ones and PHBII stuff, and maaaaybe dungeoncrasher) and other such fun options that don't add to the feat bloat.
I'd like to see some of the changes pathfinder made to the feat and wealth progression, but this seems pretty unlikely. I'd also like to see a reprint of Red Hand of Doom, but again... I'll probably do little more than scrounging up a pdf copy out of curiosity, so I dont know how much this customer's opinion is worth. :P
I'm curious what all the 3.5 gamers (past and present) listed as their favourite books, though. If it's not too off topic, what are your favourite bits of 3.5?
I'd be interested. How does PBEM work? I imagine it'd be a similar pace to Play by Post?
You look to be short a strong frontliner, so if you're still recruiting I'd love to throw my hat in. Given that we already have a few Varisians I might play a Dwarf from Janderhoff or from The Lands of the Linnorm Kings (or perhaps he's lived in both). Preferably a fighter, if that'd fit.
He'd be loud, close-minded, thoroughly greedy and overly proud of all things Dwarvish. A stodgy traditionalist to the end. He'd have only been living among humans for a short time and have not entirely settled in. Hopefully this should open up a lot of roleplay opportunities with the rest of the group. :)
As for the hook, let's say I've been travelling south from Kalsgard in the Land of the Linnorm Kings, en route to Magnimar. After felling a Goblin of his own in the attack on the town (a fact he's inordinately proud of) he's been poking around town and asking questions, hoping to take the fight to his racial enemies and rout them out of their nests.
I'm an Australian, but as a student (and on my summer break, no less) I've plenty of time to post. I've played plenty of PbPs here on the boards (I'm currently in two) and have no trouble keeping pace.
If you need to contact me:
Oh wow. I just looked that up. It always slips my mind that Desna is a total badass.
First off, I'd like to say that I've never liked the whole "dog rider" thing and your player is awesome for wanting to stick to the calavier flavour. I take it you've spoken the concerns in your post to him, so that's the first and most important step.
Make sure he understands he won't be using his mount much, and push him towards not focusing too much on the "mounted combat" line. Make sure he takes power attack. People SEVERELY underestimate the calavier on foot. Challenge is practically as good as the paladin's smite evil, and they get free teamwork feats to boot. I'd say they're one of the most powerful melee classes in the game. I don't think he'll have too much of a problem pulling his weight on foot. It's okay if the calavier has to leave his mount at the cave mouth. Really. You could even give him a hireling squire to mind the horses and carry his myriad of weapons. I can't imagine lugging a lance and a heavy shield around is a whole lot of fun.
However, it's important that your player gets to use his mount SOMETIMES, so think of a few encounters where it's possible. Perhaps they're attacked by mounted bandits or some other incredibly fast creature overland, and he's the only one in the party that can keep up. Perhaps he manages to lead his mount deep underground (have him roll the handle animal checks. Rememebr he gets a bouns!) and your party are storming an abandoned dwarven fortress (complete with a narrow helms deep style bridge that he can overrun through waves of orcs). Add a chase scene. Hell, add an enemy knight for him to joust with, or a princess in this crypt to rescue.
With my mounted characters I'm pleased if I get to mount up once a session. I think people are too concerned with trying to keep their calaviers mounted all the time, it's really not necessary.
I thought I'd come to this thread with something to give back. I have some quick and dirty maps for the first few encounters with notes written all over them. I found them a LOT easier to reference than the maps in the books. The Thistletop and the Glassworks were the most useful, but the lot of them were a handy edition to my notes.
Here's hoping they can help someone.
My advice? This adventure comes with four great NPCs already. USE THEM. Make this dwarf a part of the party (and if you're not too set on this oracle, drop him.) Lower their level a little and have them accompany the PC every step of the way. It'll take some rewriting, but if you can give each a unique and vibrant personality you'll have a great campaign.
Bandavaar the Brave wrote:
Hey, welcome to the Runelords forum! My first piece of advice would be to scour this thread for all the advice, campaign journals, community created content and questions you can find. A thriving forum of likeminded GMs is quite possibly the best resource you'll ever have to work with. I know I thought so. I think a lot of what makes Runelords so popular is the five years or so of awesome threads in this forum. Be sure to use em.
I've got a few pieces of advice for you... First, and this might be a bit presumptuous, but it's the first thing that jumped out at me... That character looks way too complex for a new player, and doesn't strike me as a particularly strong multiclass to begin with. Given that it's a low level game, the build isn't so important, and I think not having something so rigid to follow will really help your girlfriend take control of her character. I'd suggest she stick with a single class, and make her own choices (with a bit of help) as the adventure progresses.
Second, I don't think the lack of healing is a HUGE problem in the early adventures. For the most of Burnt Offerings the PCs won't be far from sandpoint (where they should be able to get one or two healing spells for free.) The first time the players stray far from help is in the Catacombs, and I personally think that the catacombs encounters are a little on the easy side (assuming you have Erylium flee rather than pointlessly flit about taking pot shots at the PCs...) and once the PCs head to Thistletop they'll probably be accompanied by Shalelu (who has a wand of cure light wounds and can do the bulk of the partys healing). Furthermore, Sandpoint has its own Potion shop, so make sure your PCs know it's there, and make a point of giving them enough gold to stock up on healing potions.
As for using the Sandpoint writeup, know this: Your PCs are never going to see most of those locations. What's more, they'll probably just frequent a few places that they visit as part of the AP (such as the rusty dragon and the vinder general store). The first thing you want to do as the GM is to GIVE YOUR PLAYERS THE SANDPOINT WRITEUP. Or at the very least, give them a list of the various businesses in town. There's a great labeled map on the community created content sticky that should make figuring out the town a bit less of a headache. I'd dig it up, if I were you.
Now for one more bit of advice that helped me immensely. Draw up or print out your own copy of each area map (the glassworks, thistletop, etc) and make a few notes of your own. Check the perception DCs for your monsters to hear the sounds of battle in other areas (noting the penalties for distance and hearing through walls). Scribble down the monster's morale and tactics. Note any relevent conditions or rules such as the squeezing rules, acrobatics and climb DCs and darkness, and label where the treasure and enemies are found. It'll be a LOT easier than flipping through the PDF and let's you make the encounters a lot more dynamic, and the moment you write "Round #1, Hide pickles, Round#2, Throw Javelins" you will feel warm and fuzzy inside. Or at least I did.
Good luck with your game!
Iscarel will stiffen like a startled cat as Tippy begins speaking, he spares Ascaria and Marcus a hesitant glance and grits his teeth. He opens his mouth to object, then shakes his head slightly. He gazes at the halfling with a look of surprise and admiration on his face as the halfling details his plan. "Lle wethrine amin... My my, while I sat on my hands you... You truly are a marvel, Tippy."
You fooled me.
As Ascaria speaks, Iscarel raises his hands to calm her and stands up in his seat. "Ascaria..." he says, tensely. "Ascaria, please, talunka'lle, I..." Iscarel begins, a soothing tone to his voice, but as she threatens to tell Saul, his expression becomes almost predatory. He closes his eyes, surprised to find his dagger in his hand, nervously picking at the table. He raises his hands nonchalantly, dagger still in plain view. The elf lopes slowly over to the halflings side, each step slow, and measured, giving Marcus a wide berth. The tension in the air is palatable. "A family affair." he says, smiling. "Yes, mellonamin, I would be proud to call you brother."
He turns to face the others, arms folded and eyes raised in challenge. "If you want to know who brokered this deal... It was me."|
Wanted to pop back in and tell you that I absolutely love this guide, and the direction you took with it, staying true to what the class is instead of reccomending something totally unrecognisable. I've statted up a trickster of my own (which I was masochistic enough to attempt from level 1) and really re-evaluated the class.
I'd take a look at the non-blasting bloodlines for tricksters as well. If the trickster can afford a decent casting stat, I find the bloodline arcana for the fey bloodline gives her a great repitoire of disabling spells. Daze, Confusion, Hold Person, Sleep, Suggestion... More or less every enchantment spell that doesn't begin with "charm" has a +2 to DC. Even if you can't find room for spell focus it gives the trickster a great boost to his effectiveness in the early levels.
Great work, thanks a lot and hoping to see more from you!
Huh. For some reason I always had you penned as a cleric or fighter girl. Though you do know how to lay down some MEAN spell combos.
The wealth for NPCs is typically MUCH, MUCH lower than a PC of that level. For an 11th level PC that's 16,350 gp, compared to that of an 11th level PC (found here) of 82,000 gp.
Often, even in Paizo modules, the wealth for an NPC is doubled, or even brought up to PC level wealth for the world-shaking boss NPCs. However, that's not something you want to do willy nilly, and it might ruffle your players feathers to have so clearly more powerful than them vying for the spotlight. I'd really reccomend you go with the lower value, given his high level.
As for the build, duelists are a bit short on damage. Seeing he's alone he probably won't get many sneak attacks, so I'd reccomend a straight fighter. You want: Decent/High Str, Decent Dex and Decent Int. For feats, you want weapon specialisation and power attack (or its counterpart pirahna strike), as well as whirlwind attack if he has enough. For magic items, you want a +2 weapon (8,000 gp) or higher, as well as gloves of dueling (15,000 gp) if he's wealthy enough. These flat damage bonuses will combine with his precise strike class feature to make him a solid threat.
Give some thought for how you want to use him and let us know. If he's an antagonist you might want to give his power a boost, and as an ally you might need to lower it a little.
Good luck with the game!
When you go two handed not only are you killing your enemies faster so they will effectively do less damage, you're aggroing them so they're less likely to target the squishies. So the person that goes two handed is actually better at defending than the person with the shield.
That logic is... Incredibly flawed. How exactly have they been "aggroed"? Or at least any more than a shield fighter would? How do they know who's dealing the most damage, and why does it make them likely to ignore the guy waving a sword in their face?
Alright, I'm going to roll up my sleeves and lay down the law.
Let's start with the assumption that shield-users are somehow incapable of dealing damage in comparison to a two-handed fighter, which is blatantly wrong.
I think this fallacy stems from the assumption that one-handed fighters can't use power attack well, and that anybody toting a shield is also hiding behind combat expertise and another stack of wasted feats.
Let's compare the two:
A 2H fighter get's to apply his str bonus 1.5x to his damage. At MOST levels (unless your're a barbarian) you probably won't be seeing 24str. This bonus damage, then, probably won't exceed one or two points.
A one-handed powerattacker is dealing one less damage per 4 points of BAB. However, he starts with a +2 bonus to AC. RUBBISH! You say. THAT WON'T SCALE AT ALL INTO THE HIGH LEVELS! BAD PAST LEVEL ONE-ISH! Patience, gentle reader. I beseech you! Let us consider that every four levels he's likely to have, or at least have the gold to, add an additional +1 bonus to his shield, that the 2H fighter can never take advantage of.
All up, I'd say it's a pretty even trade, and if you like staying alive at high levels, its one you want to consider making.
As for aggro, these kinds of threads have the danger of looking at the fight in a vacuum. If the fight is in a dungeon, monsters are going to have a much harder time getting past the fighter's frontline. If it is indeed a wide open space, enlarge and a readied move action to intercept them should more than suffice against a single opponent. Against multiple opponents a fighter should consider readying an attack and standing in front of the wizard instead of charging off blindly. It can make all the difference. Ideally, the shield user wants to be directly between the enemies and the back line, forcing them to provoke if they try to move around him. Combat Reflexes and/or stand still are a great boon in this, as is bullrushing (which thanks to the shield fighter's higher AC he can afford to soak up the attack of opportunity for).
Of course, all of this falls apart against flying foes, but if your wizard is out in the open instead of cover or otherwise only packed a fly spell for himself, he probably deserves his fate.
What I think you or the fighter player are missing, OP, is that the fighter needs to PRESENT himself as a target. If he lets the enemies walk by and eat the wizard he's probably not doing all he could in this combat.