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Ulmaxes's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 208 posts (221 including aliases). 3 reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 3 Pathfinder Society characters. 5 aliases.

Scarab Sages

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Also, Poison Lore is a GREAT addition to the class in all respects. I love it. (sorry, just trying to balance the negative constructive criticism with some praise. :P )

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

I am leaning toward these three options right now.

1) Make it a move action to start, and keep it so you can only use it on the same target once every 24 hours. Increase the duration to Int modifier.

2) Keep it a standard, and remove the 24 hour prohibition. Increase the duration to Int modifier.

3) Go back to sneak attack with a 1/3 level increase (to a maximum of 6d6 at 18th).

First off: WE LIKE THIS ABILITY! It is very cool! It just needs a little love. Going back to Sneak Attack would certainly be a step backwards in every aspect. Let's keep working on this!

#2 is my vote out of your listed choices. Having to buy-in to access the better attack/damage options is a fine way to keep the character second to other combat-classes but still relevant. But it NEEDS to be able to do this more than once or twice per enemy. This feels much closer to the 3.5 Paladin's "better hope you don't screw up a single roll!" balance mechanic for Smite Evil.

With almost all of his build points going into Intelligence, the current Investigator is going to be incapable of hitting anything relevant once he reaches mid-game. This and Inspiration are going to be his only hope to be able to make multiple effective attacks in combat and do a relevant amount of damage. Making him only able to do that once or twice per enemy is an incredibly brutal restriction, and I feel dooms it to being a by-stander in combat versus any sort of participant.

I appreciate that trying to balance damage is tricky, as finding a pace that contributes to combat but still doesn't overshadow the blatant DPS characters is difficult. Thus I'd echo others here and say focus more on Dirty Trick-like abilities. Sherlock Holmes wasn't a soldier or monk, he was a tactician first and foremost. Make his abilities about hampering, neutralizing, and out-maneuvering opponents, not tickling them then uppercutting them through a roof.
I'd completely dump the damage progression in favor of Dirty Trick-type abilities, or heck, even take a page from Brawler and give him bonuses to all sorts of Combat Maneuvers. Downgrade the Damage progression to a Talent as an alternate choice.

Thanks for all your work thus far; currently putting together a group that's going to rigorously test some of the new classes tonight. Investigator is DEFINITELY going to be in there to work some of this out.

Scarab Sages

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Excellent. I think this a great direction.

My main concern with Arcanist wasn't the Sor/Wiz/Arc Supremacy argument, but with how utterly...well, 3.5 it felt. Very basic, very bland.

THIS feels like something that will add /to/ the game thematically versus just copypasta.

PLEASE keep up the amazing work; if the final version lives up to the description, I see this becoming my first class I try out of the new set.

Scarab Sages

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My analysis after building up a few Arcanists:

Mixing Spells/Day and Spells Prepared is very nifty. I love this mechanic! I found myself loading up with one or two basic buff spells per level that I knew I'd only cast once (Extended Mage Armor) and know I'd be guaranteeing extra uses of the more in-demand stuff like Scorching Ray. I see Extended getting even more attention here, as it's great for making buffs last much longer, freeing up spells/day for more pressing spells. A lot has already been said on how balanced this mechanic is, so I will leave my opinions out for now.

Blood Focus:
I'm not very impressed with the options of this ability. You have very few Blood Focus uses per day, and I'm not too impressed with your options.

Chosen School: A +1 to caster level/DC is nice and never becomes useless or too OP, but feels very bland and out of place. None of the Wizard Schools are this generic. The ability can be useful, it just has no impact or real connection with the rest of the class; I found myself very scared to use it as well, considering the penalties of running out.

This is my greatest concern at the moment; aside from this option, there is very little unique to the Wizard left in the class aside from the spell list and Bonus Feats. Which, I know, is still a big deal, but nonetheless, it feels like a mix from the D&D 3.5 wizard instead of the Pathfinder Wizard. The School powers are what make one Wizard really stand out from the other; cutting these out cuts out a huge part of the Pathfinder Wizard's soul, in my analysis.

Bloodline: The idea of fusing a bloodline and school of magic is very cool in theory. The current options are very, very limited however; only being able to access a few of the sorcerer powers makes it feel mostly irrelevant to the character thematically or mechanically.
I'm reminded of the Crossblooded and Wildblooded archetypes for sorcerers, how they fuse the options and styles of multiple bloodlines very well.

Suggestions For Improvement: I suggest having Blood Focus retooled to instead be a tree of options between the School and Bloodline. Upon reaching X level and ever Y levels afterwards, I suggest have the arcanist get to choose between a sorcerer bloodline power or wizard school power and actually get those powers.
Along similar lines, I suggest having the Bloodline Arcana be given freely or be acquirable as part of the aforementioned options.
The Blood Focus pool can step in and take over for abilities that are not permanent, or dropped completely.
I suggest having the Bloodline feats mixed into the options for Arcanist Bonus Feats.
I would also like to see the bloodline's spells come into play somehow; perhaps the arcanist adds these to his spellbook for free, or can prepare them without the book entirely. That would show a very practical result of having innate arcane power and arcane training. That one's fairly minor though.

Overall: Arcanist has amazing potential, and some great spell options (both lists and otherwise). I would just like to see the School and Bloodlines have a greater impact upon the nature and character of the class. As of now, this feels like a gestalt sorcerer/wizard versus a new identity, ala Magus.

I know we're early in the playtest and that you guys have more in store. Keep up the good work and don't let the unsupported hate get you down.

Scarab Sages

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Wait, stop, there are MULTIPLE COLOSSI IN THIS BOOK?

Cthullu be damned, this is going to be my favorite book ever.

Scarab Sages

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NobodysHome wrote:

The statue of Karzzoug in the Runeforge has far too few HP to be a serious threat. 209 HP against 15th-level adventurers, at least one of whom has a weapon that bypasses DR? He *would* have been a serious threat to the players, if he'd lasted more than two rounds.

Even without buffs, the barbarian had an adamantine earthbreaker (doesn't every fighting class have an adamantine weapon at this level?) and the paladin had her runeforged weapon, so he was rubble after he got in a grand total of three swings. Did massive damage to the paladin, but not too scary when you're rubble that fast.

I'd boost him to 400 HP, or at least max if you want to actually play by the rules (but who does that?). The four-round limit keeps it from being a TPK, and he should be much scarier than he was.

If my party's Archer is around when they fight this, this is definitely happening. She has Clustered Shots and will be able to crank out somewhere around 200 points of damage per round while Hasted. Assuming good Initiative rolls, she can kill it before it acts.
Now if she doesn't show, 205 will be sufficient.

Another thought I had was giving it hardness instead of DR. Most of my melee PCs have weapons (or access to weapons) with a high enough enhancement bonus to overcome DR/Adam, but not Adamantine weapons themselves. That'd be cruel.

Side tangent, I really hate that feat {Clustered Shots}. I feel it utterly breaks most of the DR mechanics when dealing with full BAB characters.

Scarab Sages

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Yeah. Points for fast-talking, though.

Scarab Sages

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Hi! I can weigh in here.
I had 6 20pt buy character run through Rannick; they had all 3 Black Arrows and Shale as well.
Almost all of the players were either extremely skilled or had very solid character builds.
With just a little smart thinking and party coordination, they utterly massacred the Ogres. It was /bad/. I don't think they took more than 40 damage collectively before the final boss(es).
It will just depend on your characters; my group had an extremely potent archer (she's the DPS of doom of the group), a high-AC Magus, and a Barbarian; combined with the Black Arrows and Shale, they were always able to funnel their enemies so that the ranged characters could shoot and fireball at their whim.

I'll break it down:


They sent out an illusion to lure some of the Ogres out of the Fort and sent them running into the hills.
They then swept in, and lit the barracks on fire, burning those ogres to death. They then easily cleaned up the few ogres remaining in the courtyard.
They then managed to close the battered gates, so that when the ogres came back, they were able to gleefully slaughter them from the walls with minimal threat.
They then moved into the cramped fort, and again managed to sneak up and coordiante attacks on the ogres in the tiny hallways. Tanks in front, everyone else in back pelting them with pain.
Boss fights actually went as planned and were actually fights.

All of that to say: take a moment to decide what kind of feel you want this chapter to have. It can be "Heroes carefully and strategically sneak their way through complex, take out leadership, and scatter the main force", it can be "PCs take Ogre compelx head-on in one massive open battle, slaguthering them all but taking heavy losses in the process" or it can be "Heroes and vengeful Black Arrows unleash their targeted wrath upon stupid ogres, systematically slaughtering them like the Big Damn Heroes they are".

Think carefully about what your group would respond best to, and what they may be expecting. Ran exactly-as-written, my group annihilated the fort. And if a stomp-fest is exactly what your group needs, then go for it; however, if you want it to be a challenge, don't let them easily corner and massacre large numbers of them, and always manage to give the Ogres a heads-up on any remotely heads-on assaults. As-written many won't be encountered til the PCs stumble into the room, but if you feel they're stomping too much and need/want a challenge, feel free to have one get an alarm off and send a LOT of them pouring into the open areas to do battle. Or even give them a few intelligent commanders who keep them from bottlenecking, and instead retreat/regroup/surround the PCs.

Hope that helps!

Scarab Sages

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The simple answer is, no.

Paizo has repeatedly stated that they will not stat the deities themselves, ala the age-old saying: if it has stats, we can kill it.

They don't /want/ to deal with that scenario. I wouldn't.

You're putting words in the mouth of the text that are not there. It talks about heroes becoming mightier than any other beings on the planet, but that means utterly nothing compared to the power of the gods.

From the intro:

Even with such great power, mythic characters are not invulnerable, just more able to deal with the dangers of the world around them. If a mythic character dies, her loss is a great tragedy to the world, as the light of one of its true champions has been extinguished. This is what makes a mythic story exciting: these heroes might fall, just as nonmythic heroes might succumb to lesser threats. And when they do succeed, their victory often comes at a high cost, and usually leaves them scarred.

At the end of the day, you can run whatever fight you want to run. No one will stop you. However, if you want to build a god whose stats are legitimate and scale appropriately to the options presented in the core Paizo material, your adventures will effectively never be high enough level to deal with them.

Now if you want to de-power them and make them something killable by lesser beings, sure, go for it; just be aware that it's NOT the intent of Mythic Adventures to do so.

MA gives you the tools and flavor necessary to create the stories of the people who will define the history and destiny of a planet ala the Whispering Tyrant and Iomadae (pre-ascension); not how to create murder-hobos powerful enough to kill the gods. You're thinking too small.

Scarab Sages

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NobodysHome wrote:

I put them on the roof of the church, along with Mayor Shreed. Solved all of my location problems in one fell swoop.

So, have the "save the kids" encounter at the church, then when that wraps up, Maga appears? I like.

Scarab Sages

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Congrats, Jeff! Keep up the good work.

You guys seem like you really do love your jobs. I can only hope I get to work in an environment like that when I graduate.
Heck, may even have to make a quick trip to Washington...I hear the weather's a lot more pleasant than here. :P

Scarab Sages

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So here's the set up.
Wake of the Watcher, Undiomede House.

Large Block of Text:

Party just took down the marsh giant, and the Oracle has his summoned Earth Elemental use tremorsense and locate any other moving beings in the house. It senses the Vicar and cultist in the next room, so the party rushes (still in initiative, at their request) around and through the outside door of the Cultist's room.
They have the baby inside, note.

Barbarian rushes through the door, Vicar has a readied Greater Command that she fails against, and gets ready to run.
Wizard, who can only see slightly into the room (he's by the kitchen, so he can only see a few squares in), declares he's about to throw a fireball in there.
A feeling of dread immediately fills me, because I know that there's more than cultists in the room.

Now, here's where I need to explain the out-of-game context; we (I) were rushed to get done and leave. I had promised my wife I'd be done and home half an hour ago, and one of the players was practically falling out of his chair with another clearly zoning in and out.
I would have ended sooner, but the action kept flowing so quickly we all got caught up in the moment.

I asked the Wizard more than once whether he wants to throw a fireball into a room that he hasn't even looked at, that he has no idea who or what is in there, and he declares yes.
I let him do it.

Fast-forward, they defeat the Cultists with general ease. Before they leave to rush into the next room (looking for more baddies while their buffs lasted), I let their characters notice something in the corner.
Here's where I really messed up- I put the baby in the top-right corner of the room, right where Wizard had dropped the Fireball, a place directly in his line of sight. Now, IRL, one probably wouldn't notice a small wrapped up baby on a bench from 50 feet awhile while aiming around a frightened barbarian in combat.
It would have been in the bottom-right corner where the cultists had grouped. So I retconned that.
Not the big point of all this, but it did help make things worse.

One of our players in particular did NOT take the situation well, to say the least. I held my ground and made the case that this is how it would have logically played out without direct DM or divine intervention, but the player was not exactly happy with my answers.
We had to call it quit after that, as half the group needed to sleep asap and I was overdue to get home.

I feel like I gave justice to basic reason (as well as the overarching theme which is HORROR), but most of the players (and myself) agree that I could have handled the narrative better.
I was honestly thrown off by the Wizard's tactic, and letting myself get caught up in the rush of the evening (both figuratively and literally), didn't take time to think about how I should approach this. Had I known that they'd react so drastically, I would have worked in multiple fail-safes to keep this situation from occurring.

So with that said, I would love the input from experienced players/devs. Did I make the wrong call letting this happen at all?
Should I ret-con it? I'm concerned that this is something that will be a permanent mark on our gaming group for the worse.

Basically I'm torn between whether I should stand by my decision and let the players deal with it, or whether my decisions and actions were bad enough to warrant a ret-con.

Any advice would be great, thanks.

Scarab Sages

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If you are very interested in spells and melee combat at once, check out Magus.
Otherwise, it's a no-go. As Eric Clingenpeel said, two spells a round is EXTREMELY POWERFUL. Even at low/mid levels that would lead to some devastating results, which is why Quicken boosts it by 4 (so no class could do that to even a 0 lvl spell until 7th.)

Scarab Sages

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Why do you always need all the options?
For new players, you don't need to (and IMO, shouldn't) throw them at every book in the catalog looking for that last feat or spell.
Start with just Core, and when they're ready, they'll naturally start exploring other books and options. Point them towards d20pfsrd or similar sites along the way, and let them peruse in their spare time.

Having All Possible Options =/= Being Ready To Play.

The mindset of "all my options have to be visible or I'm missing out" is a very dangerous one that most interactive media has shoved down our throats for a while now. What's wrong with not seeing every feat? I'll happily build a Core-only Monk any day!
Think of the other books like Tomes- you dig through them along the way (your adventure!), finding little awesome bits here and there, and going back to some of them the next time you build something that could use it.

It's an experience, not just a character-gen screen before the "real" game starts.

EDIT: I don't mean for this to come off as condescending or finger-wagging, it's just my take on it.
If you would like something that effectively pools all your options, I'd suggest looking at Hero Lab. Yes, it costs money, but it's amazing.

Scarab Sages

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You've pretty much hit on the beauty that is the Magus. He's everything that Blaster Wizards are supposed to be- terrifying machines of arcane destruction, wrapped up in a slightly tougher skin and clanking around in beafy armor.

Magus are meant to be the fusion and rebirth of the mage/fighter, not just a fighter who can sometimes shoot off a magic missile or two instead of attacking.

Scarab Sages

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Name: Hawkeye
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Ranger 8
Adventure: Broken Moon
Location: Feldgrau
Catalyst: Auren Vrood

Gory Details:

The PCs had already cleared out most of the town, so only the mastermind cultist was left. Finally, the man repsonisble for everything would pay.
The ensuing fight with Vrood was brutal.
About halfway through the fight, Vrood drops his dreaded Circle right on top of the party Wizard, Tim; the aasimar Cleric, Otheos, was also close enough to be hit.
Tim rolls terribly on his Will save, so we know he's dead, and has no Hero Points. Otheos attempts to counterspell with blinding speed (Hero Point to counterspell out of turn), but fails. Just as Tim's fate seems sealed, Hawkeye suddenly burns his last Hero Point to leap across the room and take the blast for Tim...

...and promptly Nat 1's his Will save.

Tim sees yet another friend fall for him. If you look back in my posts, you'll see where he watched three of his friends get slaughtered by the Promethean desperately trying to keep it away from the top of the tower and the useless mages.
Vrood was not done though. He whispers into his homoculus, which flies over and lands on Hawkeye...who promptly rises as a Zombie and begins attacking his (former) animal companion and Tim.
Eventually, the cultist falls. Then Otheos, with a tear in his eye, softly places his hand on Hawkeye's shoulder, pouring positive energy into him and whispering, "Be at peace, brother."

Scarab Sages

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Not exactly sure where this fits, but if it needs to be moved that's fine.

I was curious if anyone had any good ideas for what an Iomedae cleric's prayer would look like. I've always enjoyed things of the sort (Mass Effect 2/ Mass Effect 3's Thane was my favorite character, partially for how they handled his religious side.)

In our campaign, my cleric's brother (the party ranger) just died valiantly fighting a Whispering Way cultist (Auron Vrood to be specific), so I'm looking for something particularly cool to have Otheos (me) say over his fallen brother.

Bonus points if it works in something about the fight not being over, as he plans to travel to the capital city and try to find a means of resurrection for him. He'd rather leave his brother's spirit in peace, but he also knows they will desperately need him in the fights to come (He's a Ranger who was specifically trained to hunt cultists.)

In the meantime he'll still want to say some sort of prayer over him.

Any ideas for what that would sound like?

Scarab Sages

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Str- 10~14. She's not weak, but most of her combat prowess relies on agility and technique.

Dex- 16~20. She's extremely agile and capable of highly difficulty maneuvers with ease.

Con- 10~14. She's tough as nails, but not impossible to drop; you just have to actually HIT her. Good luck with that.

Int- 20+. Simon's speech about her smarts (and the childhood flashback) alone make this credible. She easily rolled 18 and put her Human bonus in this. I suspect she'd drop the Level boosts in Dex, though.

Wis- 4~8. I believe THIS is what was damaged so badly by the invasive brain conditioning and surgery. She may have extraordinary mental capacity, but has issue determining what is the right/wrong or "appropriate" thing to do. Her amazing tactical skills seem to come from her advanced understanding of the world through the sciences more than anything else. "It's like she just took a glance, did the math in her head, and shot..." (paraphrased.)

Cha- 10~14. She's pretty and capable of holding a conversation when her mental damage isn't messing with it (which is something that I think should be a conditional/temporary penalty she takes)

Two words: Dervish Dancer. :)

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