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Weirdo's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 2,667 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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Shadow Lodge

The comic didn't make it's point well, but to be fair Buffy did have a few instances of vampires being staked with pencils. One of which was wielded by the decidedly not superpowered Dawn.

Personally, I think for staking a vampire in combat to be exciting, it has to be hard. If your average first level warrior can walk up to a vampire and stake it in the heart, vampires aren't going to be scary - and staking one like this won't be an achievement. This is from a storytelling POV separate from the question of whether a that warrior realistically would be able to drive a stake through a normal person's breastbone.

Now, PF actually has a called-shots mechanic that I just found, albeit as an optional variant. A shot to the heart takes a -10 penalty. A basic vampire has at least a +2 Dex bonus, +1 dodge bonus, and +6 natural armour, for a naked AC of 19. An attack roll of at least 29 is necessary to stake one in the heart (and potentially much higher if they're wearing protective items). So that's plain impossible without at least +9 to hit - unlikely unless you're a mid to high level martial.

Note also:

Called Shots wrote:
If the hit isn't either a critical hit or a debilitating blow, the attempt fails and is just a normal hit.

So you can't auto-succeed on your called shot on a Nat 20; if you don't confirm, there's no effect.


Called Shots wrote:

A critical hit to the heart against a vampire made with a piercing weapon composed entirely of wood leaves the vampire impaled through the heart by the weapon if it fails its Fortitude save.

(earlier: Saving Throws: If a saving throw is allowed on a called shot, the DC is equal to the Armor Class hit by the attack. In the case of an attack roll of a natural 20, the DC is the AC the attack would have hit if 20s did not automatically hit.)

So, to stake a vampire, you can either grapple like a boss, be a crit-fisher preferably with an ironwood rapier, or be a decent fighter and get lucky.

Shadow Lodge

Iterman wrote:
Would these two feats, used in conjunction, allow you to use both an unarmed strike and prehensile hair during spell combat? I want to use hex strike during spell combat.

You can normally use an UAS during spell combat. It works the same way as spell combat with any other one-handed weapon. If all you want is to hex strike during spell combat you can do that just by punching the target.

Zwordsman and Ascalaphus are correct that both Feral Combat Training and Natural Spell Combat (Prehensile Hair) are necessary if you want to Hex Strike with your hair during spell combat.

Shadow Lodge

Sunshine by Robin McKinley wrote:
Macho SOFs [vampire hunters] will go straight in through the breastbone, but the more sophisticated approach - as well as the more likely to be successful - is up underneath it. The notch at the bottom of the breastbone is a useful marker - so I'm told. It's still not at all easy to do. There are lots of dead people who have tried.

Shadow Lodge

Lack of halflings doesn't cut down the paladin build specifically, but it makes Bodyguard in general a little less fun without the cheap boost from the Helpful trait. There's a non-racial version but it only grants +3 instead of +4. That would probably make combat maneuvers comparatively more useful as damage prevention.

ShroudedInLight wrote:

Though,It seems absolutely absurd that Archon Jusice would not be a style feat since it is the third part of the Archon style tre and directly effects the functions of the style.

I think the feat lacking the proper title has to be some kind of mistake, honestly, it just doesn't make sense compared to the rest of the styles. It empowers the functions of a style directly, ergo it should be a style feat. Just my personal opinions on the matter.

Perhaps, but in that case the Unarmed Fighter should probably have a similar restriction to the MoMS - that is, that in order to pick a higher-tier style feat / feat in a style chain you need the base style feat.

Also notable is the language in the Sacred Fist archetype, which, like the MoMS, conspicuously avoids referring to the higher-tier feats as "style feats."

Sacred Fist wrote:
At 6th level, the sacred fist gains a style feat as a bonus feat. The sacred fist must meet the style feat's prerequisites. He uses his warpriest levels as monk levels for the purposes of meeting the feat's prerequisites. At 12th and 18th levels, a sacred fist gains either another style feat or a feat that requires a style feat as a prerequisite.

Shadow Lodge

Dr.FelixUrr wrote:
Can someone more experienced help me understand how the flow of roleplaying should interact with the logistics of the game? How do I express my wishes to the GM but roleplay accordingly in front of my fellow adventurers? Should the GM be asking more questions/giving more pauses for us to act/roleplay? Should I just trust that my fellow adventurers understand the difference between my intent with the GM and what they understand as a PC and just speak up?

I'm having a hard time understanding these questions. Roleplay is the game. Even when you are rolling in combat or skill checks, you are roleplaying ("I charge forwards and hit it with my sword" is a different action fitting a different role than "I ready my weapon and wait for it to advance"). I'm also not sure why you're communicating differently with the GM & players unless you're keeping important secrets from the rest of the group (which is fine but maybe a bit tricky for beginners).

If you feel like you are not getting a chance to react to events you are present for, let the GM know that you are new to this and need a moment to decide what your course of action will be.

However, in the scenario above it seems the problem was not that you didn't get a chance to roleplay, but that you decided the best role to play was one in which your character went off and did their own thing. This is known as "splitting the party" and it's generally considered a bad idea, especially for new characters. I would recommend coming up with reasons why your character would not want to do this. For example, if they're suspicious, they might be worried about walking into a trap alone - thus they'd be more likely to find a hidden vantage point within view of the festival where they could observe proceedings than to wander off to the other end of town. By finding a spot on a rooftop, for example, you would probably have been able to spot attacks coming but still been able to participate in the fight.

Shadow Lodge

I'm not sure that works. There's been some debate over whether a feat like Archon Justice is legal as a choice for the Unarmed Fighter's bonus style feat. While it is part of Archon Style, it doesn't actually have the (style) tag. The MoMS archetype refers to these as "a feat in that style’s feat path."

I wrote out the rest of this before seeing the above post, so I'll just leave it as-is for reference:

ShroudedInLight wrote:
Improved Shield Bash and Saving Shield actually fit perfectly, I wield one weapon in a Spiked Shield with one hand, no other weapon, keep my shield bonus, and can do some serious protection of my charge. I wonder how much exactly comparing to something like the Honor Guard.

Well, my Honour Guard granted +11 to AC 4 times a round at level 12 with an investment in +4 Benevolent armour. Plus Lucky Halfling which really is handy even if your bodyguard doesn't have fantastic saves because it can save your butt if you roll a 1. If you go the life oracle / paladin route and thus have sweet saves it's highly recommended.

I've played a character with Saving Shield and it's underwhelming. It's an immediate action so it only works once per round, and +2 AC to one attack isn't great. Maybe worth it if the bodyguard doesn't have any other swift actions.

ShroudedInLight wrote:
I do want my cohort to deal a little bit of damage, which is why I am not sure just how much I should go down the defending feats. I want him to be enough of a threat to pull people off me if he can, in addition to making use of some defensive actions if he can't pull them off.

I think your best bet for that is either the whip route, which won't actually deal damage but will prevent approach, or a two-handed weapon and Power Attack, which is the most feat-efficient damage build (leaving most of your feats for the actual bodyguard stuff). Note however the whip isn't as useful if you fight a lot of non-humanoid-shaped opponents (typically harder to trip).

The other thing to keep in mind is that if your bodyguard is doing a good enough job at making you untouchable - and isn't too tough to crack themselves - then opponents will realize they have to go through the bodyguard. Happened a few times with my inquisitor Bodyguard PC. He wasn't as good as the Honour Guard but the +5 AC he was handing out to the rest of the party still meant he was often the softest target.

Shadow Lodge

Here's how my cohort bodyguard looked by the end of the campaign:

Sir Disymus:
Halfling Cavalier (Honour Guard) 12 Init +3 Senses Perception +15

AC 25 (Dex +3, Breastplate +10, Dodge +1, Size +1)
HP 155 Fort +15, Ref+12, Will +10 (+2 fear)
AC 28

Melee +1 Holy Bane (Evil Outsider) Lance +13/+8/+3 (d6+24, x3), OR +15/+8/+3 (5d6+26)
Longsword +11/+6/+1 (d6+8, 19-20/x2)
Ranged Longbow +15 (d6)

Str 14 Dex 16 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 8 Cha 14 Base Atk +12/+7/+2 CMB +13 CMD 27

Skills: Ride +20, Handle Animal +19, Perception +16, Stealth +19
Modifiers: +2 Perception, Outrider (+2 Ride, Handle Animal), +4 size stealth
SQ: Challenge 4/day (+11 damage, allies get +3 on melee attack rolls when threatening, ward gets +1 AC, cavalier gets -1 AC to challenge, -2AC others), Mount, Sworn Defense, Expert Trainer, Banner (+3 morale vs fear, +3 charge), Warding Charge, Defensive Challenge
Order of the Dragon: Aid Allies +2, Strategy
Feats: Dodge, Mounted Combat, Combat Reflexes (4 AoO), Bodyguard (+11), In Harm's Way, Power Attack, Lucky Halfling, Mobility, Spring Attack, Iron Will, Improved Iron Will, Improved Bull Rush, Weapon Focus (Lance)
Gear: +4 Benevolent Breastplate, +1 Holy Bane (Evil Outsider) Lance, Cloak of Resistance +4, Silver and Cold Iron Longswords, Longbow, Oil Magic Weapon

Animal Companion
HP 129 (HD 10) AC 28 (Dex +4, Nat +10, Dodge +1, Armor +4)
Fort +14 Ref +14 Will+9
Attack: Bite +11/+6 (d6+6) Speed 70ft
Str 21 Dex 19 Con 18 Int 3 Wis 12 Cha 6
Skills: Acrobatics +11, Perception +7, Swim +9, Survival +5 Combat Riding, Track, Seek, Recover+1
SQ: Link, Evasion, Devotion, Multiattack
Senses: Low-light vision, Scent
Feat: Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Iron Will, Toughness
Gear: MW Chain Shirt, Dogshoes of Speed, Cloak of Resist +3

Key Elements:
Honour Guard (Order of the Dragon) for sweet bodyguard bonuses
Halfling - take Helpful Trait for +2 to bodyguard (GM ruled it stacked with Order of the Dragon)
Benevolent armour
Lucky Halfling for non-AC defense.

I gave him the spring attack line because it allowed him to move forwards, attack, and then return to my bard's side. To be safe I put the feats on both cavalier & mount (the dog attacked as well), but I'm not sure whether there was a clarification on mounted combat that would make that unnecessary (or nonfunctional).

Alternatively, if you go for a fighter and thus have more feats, try Archon Style + Archon Diversion + Archon Justice (in addition to being a Helpful Halfling Bodyguard)

Shadow Lodge

Torger Miltenberger wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Grapple, pin, tie up. A bound character is considered helpless.

If you can show me a way to do all that before the vampire has the opportunity to mist I'd be interested.

- Torger

Two feats: Greater Grapple and Rapid Grappler.

Greater Grapple wrote:
Benefit: You receive a +2 bonus on checks made to grapple a foe. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by Improved Grapple. Once you have grappled a creature, maintaining the grapple is a move action. This feat allows you to make two grapple checks each round (to move, harm, or pin your opponent), but you are not required to make two checks. You only need to succeed at one of these checks to maintain the grapple.
Rapid Grappler wrote:
Benefit: Whenever you use Greater Grapple to successfully maintain a grapple as a move action, you can then spend a swift action to make a grapple combat maneuver check.

In one single turn:

Standard action: start grapple.
Move action: maintain grapple and pin (Greater Grapple)
Swift action: grapple check to tie up (Rapid Grappler)

Requires minimum a 9th level character and decent rolls but it works. My first PF campaign had a paladin grappler with these feats.

Even with just Greater Grapple a vampire might not opt to immediately mist after the grapple is started (after all, if they turn the grapple around they can blood drain), allowing you to pin & tie up in round 2. Also some GMs (myself & my SO included) would consider a pinned vampire helpless enough that a grappler's party member could stake it which would again make Greater Grapple and two checks in one turn sufficient - not RAW but a simpler house-rule than making up a called shots mechanic.

Note that you don't necessarily have to be a grappling-focused character for this. A 9th level Brawler can pick up Improved Grapple, Greater Grapple, and Rapid Grappler all at once using Martial Flexibility.

Shadow Lodge

Torger Miltenberger wrote:

My question has always been mechanically how do you get the stake through the heart?

Since pathfinder has no called shot or hit location system one assumes the vampire would have to be helpless to get staked.

But how does one make a vampire helpless? The standard method of beat the crap out of it till it goes down is no good because the vampire will just turn to mist. At this point you try and follow the mist back to the coffin sure but if the vampire is smart his coffin is somewhere that only mist can likely get to.

I'm genuinely curious if there's an existing mechanical system to either render a vampire helpless or to stake him through the heart without rendering him helpless.

- Torger

Grapple, pin, tie up. A bound character is considered helpless.

Shadow Lodge

Spook205 wrote:

Just, for the love of all that's holy, make the NPC's gear interesting.

I've been using the NPC codex for stuff from time to time and the party paladin has started literally handing out cloaks of resistance+1 to people in need because they have so many of them.

I wonder if part of this is due to humanoids' reliance on Big Six items? It's more efficient to equip NPCs with those items in terms of level of challenge they pose with a given amount of gear, and since the NPC Codex characters are made with NPC level wealth they've got less to work with from the start...

And of course many unique items that would be useful to an NPC won't be useful to PCs because they rely on specific tactics or class features (like a Furious Weapon or Gauntlets of the Skilled Maneuver).

Shadow Lodge

RAW, yes, Rallying Cry works on Haunts.

It's not uncommon for a situational PC ability to have a big effect on an encounter and even on campaigns that feature that situation heavily.

If your party runs into Haunts infrequently this is not a problem. Let the bard enjoy a situational ability in the situations in which it applies!

If your party runs into Haunts all the time, and you feel this is trivializing them, you can either reduce the number of Haunts, remove saving throws so Rallying Cry doesn't ALWAYS work (it should still work sometimes), or if it's an AP (Carrion Crown?) and you can't change it talk to the bard's player and ask if he/she is OK with granting a +4 bonus on saves vs Haunts with this ability instead of negating the entire encounter.

Shadow Lodge

Kerney wrote:

Another thing is, IMHO, the helm is more likely (but not exclusively) to be used by Lawful people of any stripe. Law is, after all, all about working within social contracts, customs, orthodoxy etc. Those who defy orthodoxy are bad/wrong. It's the kind of thing a law and order type might use on his rebellious child. A lawful good person might use on a chaotic evil serial killer.

Liberty and Freedom, personal choice are as much Chaotic concepts, and while they lean torwards Chaotic Good, I'm not sure they are good in and of themselves.

I would agree with this. That said, I don't think that Lawful characters are incapable of adopting chaotic concepts, especially if we are talking about a LG character who realizes that some measure of personal choice is necessary for happiness. A Lawful character may also object to the Helm without arguing for "freedom" if they believe that it allows a person to escape just punishment or if they believe that it constitutes an erasure of self (in a fantasy context, that it does not merely alter but destroys and replaces the soul).

Stephen Ede wrote:

Alignment is some isolated part of your personality. It's an overarcing feature that impacts every part of your personality. It's why you act in the ways you do, why you make the choices you do. Your tastes and Asthetics both help form your alignment and are formed by your alignment. It affects how you reason, how you process facts. To radically chaneg your alignment (and by definition a Helm of Opposite Alignment is the most radical change that is possible) is to affect every part of your personality to a greater or lesser degree.

Frankly anyone who wants to portray their alignment as a tack on that can be reversed with little change to the person is kidding themselves (although it is true that some people choose the alignment they want for their PC and then proceed to ignore it and play the PC the way they want and define the alignment by "I said I was that alignment therefore how I act is that alignment" so I can see why some people might come to see it as a minor modification).

Let me use my current character as an example of how little difference in personality there can be between opposite alignments. I am playing a LG martial artist. She believes that life is precious and that adherence to rules and duty make us stronger individually and collectively. She has recently been involved in a struggle with a corrupt government. Given this, it would be possible to convince her that all government is inherently bad because it can't actually safeguard the people as it claims and in fact serves primarily to weaken its people (who are potential threats to those in power). This would swing her over rather abruptly into CG territory. However, since she doesn't have the faith in the inherent goodness of humanoids that would enable her to feel comfortable about being CG, from there it would be a quick slide to CN with "why do I bother protecting these selfish weaklings anyway, I might as well use my strength to get what I want" and the fact that she's an ascetic whose main source of physical pleasure is in athleticism could really easily be corrupted into sado-masochism for a full CE.

She'd stop being the one arguing for mercy and become extremely cruel, but she'd still have the same pride in what she does, forsake luxuries as "weak," and train obsessively because if you're not strong you're a victim. She'd still value self-control, but it would be because "I need to make sure that everything I do is an extension of my true will rather than a momentary whim" not "I need to make sure I behave properly." Her personal attachments wouldn't change much aside from swapping which teammates she considered "misguided" - though they might deteriorate when her former friends object to her new conduct.

A Helm (or mundane corrupter) wouldn't need to change much, they'd just need to poke the right two buttons - getting her to enjoy killing and getting her to decide that her recent experiences with government reveal a flaw in the concept. The rest of her personality is built around a value for strength - all that would change is what she did with it.

Stephen Ede wrote:

Now you might say that people can change alignment over time so would that be the same as claiming that they are destroyed. And it's true that you are the same person you were 10 years ago in the case of most people, and you won't be the same in 10 years. But the cruicial part there is time.

Much like over 6 years or so every molecule in your body will get changed out, but that is still quite different from getting hit by a Disintergrate spell and having your body reduced to a very small pile of dust. The 1st is part of living, the 2nd is death.
Changing alignment/personality over 5 years is living, over 6 secs is destruction.

I don't think that's a fair analogy. Aging involves replacing molecules with new molecules of more or less the same type, with more or less similar connections between them. If Disintegrate did that, you'd at minimum still get something resembling a body. The fact that you get dust indicates that it either changes the types of atoms in the body or more likely totally demolishes any connections between them - it's more like a sped-up version of cremation than aging. I can see why you would think that immediate shifting would cause more damage than a slow change. However, the spell Sands of Time, which actually does immediately (and temporarily) advance someone an age category, effects the physical deterioration that occurs due to natural aging, no more no less.

Given that there are examples where speeding up a natural process is no more destructive than the slow process, many people feel that the Helm has exactly the psychological effect of natural redemption/corruption, which involves shifting parts of worldview in a way that they are most consistent with and stable within the rest of the personality.

If it doesn't, that's interesting too, but I don't think the Helm gives any justification for exactly how the item reworks the personality around the new alignment. There's certainly room for table variation there, and that would affect whether the use of the Helm is seen as inherently evil.

Shadow Lodge

Doomed Hero wrote:
I'm getting the feeling a lot of people in this thread didn't bother to read the last one despite the fact that it has now been linked by three different people...

I'm on post 99. The issue of what constitutes identity hasn't come up yet and because I'm interested in that question I don't feel like sitting out of this discussion while I catch up on all 400+ posts of the last one.

Shadow Lodge

Stephen Ede wrote:

You didn't like my exposing the truth of your claim regarding valuing the life of someone, when you are advocating the destruction of the person themself, and pretending you are mere talking of "free will".

Domination removes free will, but you are still inside screaming to get out. The Helm rewrites the old person and creates a new one. Which is why it takes a Wish or Miracle to recreate the original person. Co,ong back from the dead is simple in comparison.

Is it really accurate to say that changing alignment destroys the person, though? It doesn't change a person's memories or ability to reason, it doesn't erase their relationships, it leaves most of their aesthetic tastes intact. Many personality traits (extroversion, optimism, confidence, perfectionism, abstract vs practical bent) are independent of alignment.

Would you consider magically changing any component of the mind to be destruction of the person?

If no, how do you decide what part or parts of the mind are essential to the "person"?

If so, would you consider non-magically changing any component of the mind to be destruction of the person? If I sabotage a marriage, have I destroyed two persons? What if I give someone a drug to make them more optimistic and extroverted?

Stephen Ede wrote:
They are unlikely to even feel the emotional attachments because if they did they would still retain the alignment.

How do you justify that? I can certainly have an emotional attachment to someone I disagree with on issues of ethics or morality, or someone with whom I did things I now regret.

Stephen Ede wrote:
You are fine with rewriting the personality of a person so long as the physical shell is kept alive. Because you consider the physical shell the important part.

Alignment is a significant personality descriptor but not the only one. Jumping from "alignment is not essential to the person" to "you only care about the physical shell" is premature and that mis-representation of the opposite opinion is why others are finding you hard to discuss with.

Selgard wrote:
Weirdo wrote:

A violent criminal facing life in prison is discovered to have a brain tumour in the right supramarginal gyrus, the part of the brain responsible for empathy. It is believed that if the tumour is surgically removed, the criminal may be freed without fear that they would re-offend.

Would you say it is moral or immoral to remove the tumour?

If so, have you removed a part of the criminal's identity?

Does it matter how long the tumour has been there?

Does it matter whether the criminal wants surgery? Whether the desire for surgery is primarily a result of wanting to avoid prison?

1) Ask them. If they want it removed, no issue. If they don't want it removed- you don't remove it.

2) As above.

3) as above

4) It definately matters. If they say no then the answer is no. If they say yes the answer is yes.
Of course, they serve out the sentence of whatever it is they did. they did it regardless of any tumor and a surgery shouldn't alleviate that. But if said surgery could keep them from repeating the offense or committing other offenses and the patient is willing to undergo the treatment then go for it- even if their only wish is to keep from doing the crime again.

Ok, so the sole determinant of someone's inviolable identity is the ego, not their drives or unconscious preferences. The fact that the person doesn't feel empathy is irrelevant next to the fact that they want to feel empathy.

So how do you feel about people changing their mind, and how that relates to identity? If I wake up one morning and realize I have an addiction I want to get rid of, am I an entirely different person? After all, the "me" last night was perfectly happy to want a particular substance and the "me" this morning does not want to want it. Does it matter whether I can consciously point to what changed my mind?

Shadow Lodge

Selgard wrote:
You are forcing them to think how you want. That is what the helmet does. You take someone who is evil and BAM they are good- just like you (the hypothetical paladin) are. You are forcing them to see the world and react to the world as you would. Its absolutely force and Its not technically Domination it is far, far worse. It is worse because they never wake up. They never have that moment of "Thank Goodness, I'm Me again!". Nope. They are never, ever themselves again without finding another item like it- or going through other magical hoops- to fix the problem.

A violent criminal facing life in prison is discovered to have a brain tumour in the right supramarginal gyrus, the part of the brain responsible for empathy. It is believed that if the tumour is surgically removed, the criminal may be freed without fear that they would re-offend.

Would you say it is moral or immoral to remove the tumour?

If so, have you removed a part of the criminal's identity?

Does it matter how long the tumour has been there?

Does it matter whether the criminal wants surgery? Whether the desire for surgery is primarily a result of wanting to avoid prison?

Shadow Lodge

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Dagdag always knew he was a knight. All he had to do was let the rest of the world know. After much adventure and fighting against a diabolic cult, Dagdag finally got a chance to prove himself in a mounted tournament. And he won! Dagdag was finally knighted by the great city. But then a terrible dragon attacked the city. Everyone else was frightened of the dragon and attacked it with arrows and spells, but Dagdag was the bravest knight, and he charged right up the dragon's arm and stabbed it in the face! Everyone was very impressed by Dagdag's bravery, and a neat old man gave him a fancy hat. Later Dagdag's friends told him that the old man was the god Bahamut in disguise. Gods are funny sometimes.

Shadow Lodge

Too good.

Bardic Knowledge is not as good as panache and three deeds. Remember a bard is likely to have a higher charisma (more panache) than the swashbuckler because more of their class features use it.

Countersong and Distraction (both circumstantial) are not as good as Kip Up and Precise Strike, the latter of which is possibly the swashbuckler's best deed (remember, it doesn't require you to spend panache, just have it!).

Inspire Competence is probably worth either Targeted Strike or Subtle Blade but not both.

Frightening Tune is about an equal trade for Perfect Thrust.

To be an even trade, I'd suggest one or more of:

  • Fewer deeds. If you're having a hard time choosing, you can let the bard have a choice of deeds every so many levels, adding available deeds at higher levels. Remember Precise Strike is probably worth any two deeds combined, except maybe Perfect Thrust.
  • Give up more bard features. Lore Master is a good place to start since you're already giving up Bardic Knowledge.
  • Diminished Spellcasting: drop one spell per day per spell level.

Shadow Lodge

AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:

Natural armor is not a sense.

Natural armor is not a natural attack.

So, sorry but saying "You lose senses and natural attacks" in no way says to me "oh and Natural armor too..." It may be RAI, but it's not RAW. And if it is RAI, then it's purely speculation on our part until a developer clarification is made.

The polymorph description intentionally does not give an exclusive list of things that are lost: as blahpers pointed out the exact list is explicitly up to GM discretion. However each GM makes that decision based on certain arguments and comparison with what is explicit about the polymorph rules ("speculation").

For example, it doesn't say that you lose the ability to manipulate manufactured weapons if the new form lacks hands, but I think few would argue that a character polymorphed into a horse can pick up and wield a sword with their mouth without penalty. This decision may be supported by the fact that fact that weapons merge into an animal form, and that a caster in animal form cannot use spells with somatic components.

Natural armour is not as clear-cut, but we can support the decision to drop it based on the fact that tough skin is at least as physical and form-dependent as darkvision and scent, which are explicitly lost. Arguing that it's not explicitly lost and thus is kept is not a strong argument when the list is, RAW, not exclusive.

If your table continues to keep natural armour, that's fine, but I hope you at least understand why so many people would make a different call from you and your GM.

Shadow Lodge

Have they considered making a character that would do something more effective?

Have they considered coming up with reasons why their existing characters might want to do something more effective?

Even the most selfish and independent characters I've played still see the value in teamwork. My CN bard didn't give a fig for the ranger until we hit mid-levels but the first thing she did with her Craft Wondrous Item feat was make him a Belt of Dexterity at cost because he was the guy keeping her alive. Even at higher levels their relationship was pretty self-interested on both sides.

If they're really determined to forsake self-preservation then I think all you can do is find another group or accept it, and maybe scale down challenges more or give them better gear or stats so that their raw power overcomes their lack of tactics. But seriously, APL-2? That's hardly worth rolling for initiative for at my table.

Shadow Lodge

I agree that teamwork feats can be excellent. However they are more likely to be useful for pairs of characters - like flank buddies - or parties where someone has the tactician ability or solo tactics. For example, I played a trip monk with vicious stomp and ki throw together with an Inquisitor with paired opportunist. I'd trip something, triggering mad AoO, and drop them into a prone flanked position. It was glorious. But it wouldn't have worked as well if I'd had to take Paired Opportunist, since tripping took a lot of feats and the inquisitor rarely if ever created AoO for me. And it's easier to synergize a pair of characters to do something like this than to get the entire party on the same page.

There are also pro-teamwork feats and builds that don't actually involve teamwork feats. Aside from obvious group buffs, I've played both an inquisitor and a cavalier with Bodyguard builds, and one of my current players has got a fighter who makes good use of Stand Still to protect the party caster.

ElterAgo wrote:

I think Lookout would be great for a group. There is almost always at least 1 character that makes the perception roll so can act in the surprise round. It is vey common for many characters to take Improved Initiative. So once it is past the surprise round they have a bit better chance of acting soon.

But they are giving up a full set of actions to the enemy first. And since they are a very non-sneaky, clanks loudly, predictably stomping around kind of group; they get ambushed all the time.

The problem with Lookout is you can only use an adjacent ally as a lookout. So for optimal effect, you need to march in a tight cube. This is not always possible (many dungeons have 5ft-wide corridors) and when it is possible it's more likely that your squishies will be vulnerable to attack, or your entire formation will get caught in an area effect. It might still be useful if you're constantly getting ambushed, but my group is only occasionally ambushed (maybe once every 3 to 5 sessions).

ElterAgo wrote:

If he had stayed guarding the squshies and they had swap places, he might have been able to mitigate most of the threat from the latest Mantis Assassin attack. Would certainly have been much more useful than the toughness feat that 2 of them have and the 3rd is considering. Those sneak attacks were doing a heck of a lot more than 10 points of damage.

But he doesn't have the feat and doesn't stay in place to protect the squishies. He immediately charged off toward the first threat observed, leaving the squishies unguarded. So the squishies had to spend the first few actions casting defensive spells, getting grappled, and suffering sneak attacks.

It sounds like the fact that he's leaving squishes alone is a much bigger problem than the fact that he doesn't have a situationally useful feat. Have you talked to them about how they are having trouble solely due to a lack of basic tactics? Maybe summarize this post for them? Alternatively, build an NPC party with good tactical synergy (with or without teamwork feats) and demonstrate how effective they are. If your party is struggling as much as you say, it shouldn't be hard to give them a really rough time with a lower-levelled group, which might make them rethink their tactics.

Shadow Lodge

The Genie wrote:
Where did you get that? It says it prevents you from dieing not that you regrow after death. So like if someone stabs me while I am down at below 0 HP I don't die because regeneration keeps healing me unless they use Acid or Fire damage in that blow.

Regenerating creatures can regrow lost portions of their bodies and can reattach severed limbs or body parts if they are brought together within 1 hour of severing.

The Genie wrote:
As far as not stacking I don't know if they do or not. They are different abilities and different names, just similar effects.

Different abilities with different names do stack unless they grant the same "type" of bonus (eg enhancement) or specifically say they don't stack. Neither of these is the case with regeneration or fast healing, so they do stack.

Shadow Lodge

Amanuensis wrote:

In my experience, charge is a very attractive option at the first levels, but once you get iterative attacks, you try to avoid it (since you only get a single attack, while your opponent, unless you took him down with one hit, gets a full attack against you (with a reduced AC, nonetheless)). If you have a chance to take your opponent down with a single strike, acting first is more attractive than delaying.

Also, the big advantage of spirited charge is that it can be used in connection with ride-by-attack, which allows you to charge again and again. Furious charge is more situational.
That being said, furious charge should probably have a higher level requirement (around BAB +6, when you get your first iterative attack).

That makes sense, though then you'd need a new base and Fearsome Smash seems a bit specialized for that since it relies on specific maneuvers.

Amanuensis wrote:
Yeah, I'm not satisfied with that one either. Since the kerambit isn't exactly a very powerful weapon, I needed a damage option. I usually do some research on actual/historical fighting techniques when designing these feats, and a wanted to implement the double-cut feature of the kerambit. Would a flurry option (additional attack, -2 penalty on all attack rolls) be a better solution?

Extra attack with the same weapon, you mean? Yep, sounds good.

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Bob Bob Bob wrote:
And all of this is worthless for the OP, who is already not human and therefore doesn't have that option.

Oops, I was remembering a human unarmed fighter build and completely forgot it wasn't applicable to the OP.

graystone wrote:
Without that, racial heritage + Catfolk Exemplar gets you claws and is doable at 1st.

But then you don't have enough feats to take Weapon Focus and FCT at 1st also.

fretgod99 wrote:
Where are you getting WF in bite? Orcs and Half-Orcs have weapon familiarity. Or are you suggesting being adopted by two different humanoid subtypes? If so, as was mentioned above, this is definitely in the "talk to your GM first" area.

My current campaign contains orcish cultures that don't use greataxes or falchions and thus wouldn't gain the usual weapon familiarity. A human adopted by one of those groups could very reasonably take both types of "adopted" traits to gain tusks through use of orcish alchemy and Weapon Focus in that bite. Alternatively, if you meet the BAB +1 requirement (like the human unarmed fighter I mentioned above, or a brawler) you can just take Adopted(Tusked) and use your normal bonus feat for Weapon Focus. Members of other races with natural attacks may also be able to gain a bonus feat at first level if for example the GM is using hero points and you take the "antihero" option for an extra feat. All in all I'd file FCT at first level under "possible, but only for a very limited set of builds and not for the OP."

OP: you'll have to work with your GM to see how they treat the doubled-up Weapon Focus issue since that might be a deal-breaker. By strict RAW having to take Weapon Focus twice for the same weapon is impossible, so even with your claw considered a monk weapon you can't take it as your Weapon Adept weapon. If your GM is willing to fudge this or allow retraining, but you do need FCT by your second monk level, you'll need a dip. Good choices for qualifying for Weapon Focus at level 1 are fighter (bonus feat), brawler (brawler's cunning and martial flexibility or mutagen orsneak attack with archetypes), ranger (skills and favoured enemy), or swashbuckler (finessing with claws). Alternatively, you can dip Warpriest since they gain Weapon Focus as a 1st level bonus feat - plus blessings and 1st level Wis-based spells. You can then take FCT at level 3 (monk 2).

Shadow Lodge

While my group usually builds mechanically compatible characters and fills necessary roles, from a character-story POV they usually look more like a rag-tag band of misfits, at least at the beginning.

Take Guardians of the Galaxy as a pop-culture example. They have a fairly diverse skill set with decent tactical synergy that I'd describe in PF terms as a bard (Quill/Starlord), ninja (Gamora), druid (Groot), alchemist (Rocket), and fighter or barbarian (Drax). But it takes them almost an entire movie to get over various personality conflicts.

In-combat tactical synergy varies from game to game and exact set of players involved (some of whom are more tactically inclined than others).

Teamwork feats are more likely to be useful for a pair of PCs than an entire party. Precise Strike and Outflank for example are great for melee characters, but ranged characters and casters will find them useless most of the time. The feats that everyone will find useful (like Lookout or Swap Spaces) aren't useful enough to justify spending the feat.

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AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:

Okay, so in a side note on the natural armor thing...

Why give a doppelganger natural armor if they just lose it? Seriously, why would a doppelganger ever be like "oh dear, I need my +4 natural armor, I shall let everyone know I'm a doppelganger!" Sure, they have claws too, but if you are to the point that you've decided to let everyone know you're a doppelganger, then you can use your 2 claws rather than full iterative attacks with weapons only because you have no weapons and are to the point of desperation.

In fact, I am playing a doppelganger in a 3.5 game on Sundays, and when I told my GM my armor was 24, she didn't bat an eye. +4 Dex, +4 Natural, +6 (from +3 Studded Leather) armor. Didn't even occur to me that I would lose my natural armor, as others have said, natural armor is not typed as extraordinary... I am still a doppelganger, I just LOOK like a human. I think it would be the same for the dragon. The skin might not LOOK like scales, but it's still going to have the toughness of scales.

EDIT: Okay, if you give the dragon "Change Shape" like a Doppelganger has, rather than just the spell, then 100% yes they would keep their natural armor...

Change Shape at d20pfsrd wrote:
A creature with this special quality has the ability to assume the appearance of a specific creature or type of creature (usually a humanoid), but retains most of its own physical qualities. A creature cannot change shape to a form more than one size category smaller or larger than its original form. This ability functions as a polymorph spell, the type of which is listed in the creature’s description, but the creature does not adjust its ability scores (although it gains any other abilities of the creature it mimics). Unless otherwise stated, it can remain in an alternate form indefinitely. Some creatures, such as lycanthropes, can transform into unique forms with special modifiers and abilities. These creatures do adjust their ability scores, as noted in their descriptions.

Emphasis mine. Polymorph spells cause the subject to gain/lose/change certain physical traits, including senses, natural attacks, and ability scores. Change Shape does not adjust the last, but it should function normally with respect to other qualities. While natural armour is not explicitly listed as something lost, it seems to me quite clearly in the same category as senses and natural attacks - if you lose your ability to see in the dark, you will certainly lose your tough skin.

Dopplegangers get natural armour in their natural form for the same reason they get claws - because if you've let everyone know you're a doppleganger you're probably at a point of desperation and need any advantage you can get.

Shadow Lodge

First, this is confusing:

Precision damage and extra damage from weapon special abilities (such as flaming) or feats (such as Vital Strike) is not added.

Do you mean extra damage dice in this case, or is this also meant to exclude damage added by feats like Power Attack and Weapon Specialization, or weapon abilities like Agile (that allow you to add dex to damage)? The former is standard policy. The latter is less powerful but may be needlessly complex and arbitrary (since bonus damage from class features is included).

Furious Charge is too powerful. Spirited Charge has the same effect (assuming it's damage dice that aren't multiplied) but is a capstone that requires two pre-requisite feats and is generally considered a very good or even must-have feat for mounted combat. I would recommend doubling weapon damage dice on a charge instead of doubling str bonus, enhancement bonus, weapon training, smite bonus, etc.

The rest of the Axe Technique feats look good and I especially like Hooking Axe.

Tiger Claw is a bit weird - is that just the weapon die, or are you intending to double damage from strength, enhancement, etc? If the former it's fine but a bit confusing compared to just adding +1 damage (roughly the effect). If the latter it would probably be too good compared to weapon specialization since many characters will have a +4 static bonus to damage by level 4 (when weapon specialization becomes available) through a combination of strength, weapon enhancement, or class features, and Tiger Claw will only get more powerful as the character increases in level.

Tiger Hug should specify that attack rolls are still required for all attacks after the first. Normally when grappling for damage the grapple roll replaces the attack roll, but it would be OP for a single successful grapple to result in all attacks in a full attack automatically hitting.

Tiger Leap & Tiger Strike look good.

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GM Dien wrote:
Does anything change regarding the green dragon's abilities to cast spells, given that it is no longer a dragon at the moment? What about spell resistance-- also something innate to being a dragon?

Polymorph spells don't change a creature's type and the creature only loses abilities that depend upon its shape or physical form. It's still a dragon and retains the spells and SR appropriate for a dragon. However, natural armour, which represents tough skin or scales is something gained from being shaped like a dragon so the dragon loses it while polymorphed into a humanoid (and a humanoid using Form of the Dragon conversely gains natural armour).

dien wrote:
Anyone have thoughts on immunities and DR? My gut says those would stay.

I'm not sure about those. I feel like they're as tied to the dragon's dragon-ness as spells and SR, but on the other hand you can gain both from polymorph spells so there is at least some "form" component. When uncertain I tend to default to not losing the ability but you'll probably see variation ("While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed.")

boring7 wrote:
RAW, Alter self just turns you into a dude. Not "subtly changes you from a dragon into a dragon shaped like a dude." So most interpretations say you end up with the stats of a dude. I.e. no natural armor bonus. This doesn't make a difference from Change Shape, which "works like polymorph" just like polymorph works like alter self.

"Polymorph: a polymorph spell transforms your physical body to take on the shape of another creature. While these spells make you appear to be the creature, granting you a +10 bonus on Disguise skill checks, they do not grant you all of the abilities and powers of the creature. Each polymorph spell allows you to assume the form of a creature of a specific type, granting you a number of bonuses to your ability scores and a bonus to your natural armor."

boring7 wrote:
Spell Resistance is an (ex) ability, so they lose it. Probably shouldn't, since I've known plenty of dragons who did the darmatic villain reveal AFTER laughing off a spell that bounced off their SR.

Creatures only lose extraordinary abilities that depend on their original form - things like Web, which requires spinnerettes.

"While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form."

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fretgod99 wrote:
You'd either have to be a late entry into that class or retrain that ability later (if possible) to make it work via FCT (which has prereq's thatbmake it unavailable at level 2), but yes FCT would let you do this.

You can qualify for FCT at level 1. Weapon adept doesn't give up IUAS, and a human monk can take Weapon Focus and FCT both at level 1 thanks to their racial bonus feat.

The problem is that if you take Weapon Focus (claw) at level 1, you can't re-take it at level 2 when the archetype grants you a free Weapon Focus in a monk weapon, which means you also miss out on Weapon Specialization.

Normally the Ultimate Campaign retraining rules would allow you to re-train a class bonus feat you took early for pretty cheap. Unfortunately I don't think that works in this case because you're using something to qualify for itself (you can't select claw for your bonus weapon focus without FCT, but you can't use FCT without weapon focus (claw)).

If you're playing a home game your GM might allow it anyway, or at least allow you to not take your second-level weapon focus and still gain weapon specialization (claw).

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I wasn't commenting on whether JJ thought you could be a paladin of Abadar and a cleric of Iomedae at the same time, just on whether he thought paladins needed a deity.

It's interesting (and consistent) that he thinks the only class that can't be polytheistic is the only one that needs a deity - the cleric.

That said, he also does agree that it depends on the GM. I personally like a bit of polytheism, but usually in established polytheistic churches (like the dwarven pantheon) rather than a priest worshipping two normally independent deities.

daimaru wrote:
People keep trying to claim that polytheism allows people to worship multiple gods so this is allowed. Well, yes and no. I never heard of anyone being a priest or priestess of more than one god no matter how many they may have sacrificed to. A cleric is -exactly- this sort of thing.

I'm pretty sure this is common among modern pagan priest-equivalents.

Like this ordained druid:
A polytheistic priest wrote:

First and foremost, a priest (or a priestess – I’ll use the masculine because I’m primarily talking about myself) is a servant of the gods. And if you’re going to serve them, you have to know them. So the first duty of a priest is to spend time in communion with your patron deities.

In our rituals we speak of the gods as our most honored guests, and we invoke them in accordance with the ancient laws of hospitality. Another duty of a priest is to make the gods feel welcome and honored with offerings and praise.


More stuff from the same priest on what being a pagan priest means to him and his relationship with the gods, plural.

Same author wrote:
As a polytheist I recognize all gods, I honor many, and I work with and for a few. But I have a very close relationship with two: Cernunnos and Danu. They claimed me as theirs and I serve them as priest.

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Eltacolibre wrote:

As someone mentioned before Paladin don't need to worship a deity to gain their powers...but well because it doesn't sit well with most people, they do.

There is nothing against it in the mechanics, but you will probably need to argue with your DM about it on the fluff side, which might not be worth the effort.

I'd agree that many GMs will not allow a paladin without a patron deity, but I don't think I'd say that "most" GMs don't like it or that a player would "probably need to argue." It's not just that the mechanics don't forbid it - James Jacobs has stated at least twice that the paladin usually but not always has a deity, and he's usually pretty conservative about paladins so it can't be that radical of an idea.

James Jacobs wrote:

Of all the classes in Golarion... only clerics MUST have a patron deity, since only clerics get their spells from a patron deity.

Other divine spellcasters CAN have patron deities, and in some cases (inquisitors and paladins) they USUALLY have patron deities, but that's not always the case.

James Jacobs wrote:
In Golarion, most paladins worship a deity but they don't have to. Their powers are "fueled" by their faith, and that doesn't have to be faith in a deity. It could be faith in an idea, a philosophy, a cause, or whatever. They need something to believe in. And if that belief isn't lawful good, it'd better be lawful neutral for the paladin to focus harder on the law than the good, or neutral good for the paladin to focus harder on the good instead of the law. The paladin herself remains lawful good, so in a way, its her ALIGNMENT that is the source of her power.

The OP's situation is a little weirder and honestly what would break believability in my game is the idea that Abadar could call someone as a paladin without their consent on some level (even subconscious). But if we allow that, the character turning to another deity makes plenty of sense. Even if you do see deities as inherently competitive entities who don't like to share, why not have them compete for the worship of a particularly valued mortal?

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Arctic Sphinx wrote:
I'm a bit surprised you don't gain proficiency with the Dread Burden, though I suppose that kind of balances things out. A feat for proficiency is a small price to pay for a weapon that grows with you.

You only have to pay a feat if you want the Burden to be an exotic weapon - the archetype is still proficient with all simple and martial weapons.

Shadow Lodge

Then this should probably be in General Discussion to make it clear that you're not actually looking for the RAW answer or for advice.

Personally I use a "due diligence" standard when dealing with paladins or other classes with conduct requirements. You don't fall for unknowingly breaking your code of conduct as long as you make a reasonable effort to ensure that you are not breaking your code of conduct. So no conveniently leaving the room whenever the party interrogates a prisoner and claiming you didn't know about the torture, but if someone doesn't detect as evil and doesn't do anything evil (or is very sneaky about it) you are fine.

Shadow Lodge

You're also using a homebrew archetype designed around a paladin who associates closely with evil (an artifact) and should logically have a looser associations clause, like that of the Redeemer archetype:

Redeemer wrote:
Associates: A redeemer may ally with an evil creature as long as she feels the creature is capable of redemption. A redeemer may accept henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are not lawful good provided they demonstrate they are willing to follow her and seek betterment under her tutelage.

If you've already home-brewed the paladin enough that the official or consensus paladin (if there is such a thing) doesn't apply, and everyone's having fun at-table, why take this to the forums?

Shadow Lodge

Check with your GM about fiddling with paladins. Some will let you just play a normal paladin with a different alignment (and possibly different code), some will want you to use a homebrew or 3rd party archetype (example 1, example 2) and some will just plain not let you do it.

Ughbash wrote:

It is strong but probably not the best for a Gestalt campaign.

Often in gestalt you want to pick up things that the other class is lacking.

All good saves + charisma is good, full bab is good, level 4 spell casting is bad.

Genrally I would not use 2 full bab classes. You might be better served and keep the same or better flavor with a Swashbuckler/War Priest.

Full Bab, all good saves, + charisma to saves (for the cost of one feat) rapier base damage scales with level.

Usually I like to get level 9 casting in the mix... So another option would be Swashbuckler/Cleric. Stronger casting but perhaps a little less what you were looking for.

Swashbuckler and either Cleric or War Priest are going to be very MAD since swashbuckler uses Cha and the latter two use Wis. If more spellcasting is important I would recommend Paladin of Freedom / Bard. Despite being an arcane caster the bard is a good thematic fit - they are inspirational, mobile, and social. You'll expand your buff/support options with Inspire Courage and spells like Gallant Inspiration, Heroism, Good Hope, and Haste. Other useful spells include Comprehend Languages, Tongues, Identify, Detect Thoughts, Glitterdust, and Freedom of Movement if your paladin archetype doesn't already give you that. You keep all good saves, get 6 skill points/level, and can still use light armour and shields. The arcane duelist, buccaneer, and songhealer archetypes are worth looking into.

That said, while I would prefer Paladin/bard to Paladin/swashbuckler, I don't think the latter is a bad option. You do gain mobility and extra offense, and the bonus feats will be handy if you plan on doing anything fancy like TWF. You just don't have as many out-of-combat options.

If your GM doesn't permit a paladin of freedom, Swashbuckler / Oracle might be a decent choice. They don't get a good Fort save, but you can make up for that with Divine Protection which replicates Divine Grace - if you don't find that too cheesy.

Shadow Lodge

Depending on the wizard and situation, "Detective" or "Private Investigator" might be appropriate. Like the auditor, it gives you an excuse to do a lot of poking around and like the lawyer or translator there's an expectation of confidentiality so you don't need to give too many details about your exact activities - like what exactly you're detecting or investigating.

LazarX wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Agreed. Though a wizard who expects to be running cons could have a decent Bluff modifier on his own.
In most cases, you wouldn't have a wizard running a con. He's your Fitz Simmons, the brainy nerd. The front man running a con may be smart, but the ONE most important quality is that he has to be SOCIAL.

Have you never met a social nerd?

Half-elf, 15 Point buy, 16+2 Int, 14 Cha. Designate Bluff with your racial skill focus feat and take the Fast talker social trait to make Bluff a class skill and get an extra +1. Bluff is at +10 at first level and you're still a solid wizard. Alternatively, go Tiefling and take the Beguiling Liar trait for a +4 racial bonus on bluff to lie (which makes up for the -2 cha). Halflings, gnomes, dhampir, and peri-blooded aasimar can also make solid wizard grifters. And don't forget that Enchanters get a bonus on bluff checks!

"Social" is not the wizard's niche (aside from the enchanter) and if you've got an appropriately built bard, rogue, sorc, etc in the group then great, they're probably the front man. But if, say, the party's face is a classic paladin, or if this is an NPC wizard flying solo, there's no reason the wizard can't step outside their class niche.

Shadow Lodge

Amanuensis wrote:
Concerning the saber style, I am not really satisfied with the basic sabre feat either - it is indeed not that iconic. I will probably remove it and instead introduce a riposte option that builds on the parry feat (successfully parrying allows you to make an attack of opportunity against your opponent). Redirecting an attack, as rainzax suggested, might work as well (though I'd feel bad for stealing from an advanced rogue talent). However, that would be a more advanced feat, so a new basic feat will be required. Lunging charge would fit (it would also give rogues a nice offensive option at the first few levels).

Yeah, I'd make Lunging Charge the base, have Parry take an immediate action but not an AoO, and then add a Riposte feat that allows you to make an AoO against someone who misses you in melee (see also Snake Fang).

Shadow Lodge

I like Lunging Charge and Scoundrel's Flourish.

I think Saber Parry should use either an immediate action or an AoO, not both.

I'm not sure about the base Sabre Style feat. Firstly, it doesn't seem as iconic to me as the other three - bashing your opponent with your hilt is something swashbuckling sorts sometimes do, but it doesn't seem like a core part of the technique. Balance-wise, the crit should probably allow a fort save to reduce stunned to staggered.

Amanuensis wrote:
Concerning prerequisites, I should have mentioned that I houserule Combat Expertise and Weapon Finesse to be standard combat options open to everyone, not feats.

That does make it easier.

Amanuensis wrote:

I plan to stick to the following format:

- a combat style consists of four feats: an offensive one, a defensive one, one focusing on movement, and one focusing on combat maneuvers.
- one basic style feat serves as a prerequisite for the whole feat line. The rest of the feats are primarily tied to BAB. It should be possible to gain the whole line of feats during the first 10 levels, but you shouldn't be forced to take every feat to benefit from the more powerful ones (no 'feat taxes', no 'capstone abilities').
- every feat gives a stacking bonus on a skill or combat maneuver related to the feat line.

Sounds good. Are you going to revise Whirling Style to have a base? Shield of Silk and Steel would work well for that.

rainzax wrote:
i agree that you should call these 'techniques' and not 'style' - monks already have 'style' as Seranov said.

Alternatively, why not make these work like style feats? The latter have a different three-step format, but otherwise I see no reason not to expand Style Feats to include these kinds of styles - in fact I could see an interesting Master of Many Styles build with Whirling Style and Panther Style, or even Sabre Style and Janni Style.

Shadow Lodge

LazarX wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Even with a cover job, if you're going up against someone who's trained in Sense Motive who has a reason to be suspicious, it's still going to be an opposed Bluff vs. Sense Motive check to not reveal that you've got a hidden agenda.
The cover is to reduce the odds someone will get suspicious. Also, having "convincing proof" - a well-supported cover - could grant up to a +10 bonus on your Bluff check.
Never meant to imply that a cover job is a useless tactic, just not one that eliminates risk. For a con, you need someone at the helm with the good social skills and the talent of thinking of one's feet, which includes misdirecting prying eyes and ears from the one guy you need, but is still the weak link in blowing your cover. Anyone thinking of running a con should watch The Sting as instructional material.

Agreed. Though a wizard who expects to be running cons could have a decent Bluff modifier on his own.

Shadow Lodge

I don't think so by strict RAW but I think it works by RAI.

ACG wrote:
Grit, luck, and panache represent three different means by which heroes can gain access to the same heroic pool, using it to accomplish fantastic feats. For characters with a mix of grit, luck, and panache, they pool the resources together into a combined pool. (Those who use panache and luck gain twice their Charisma bonus in their pool.) For feats, magic items, and other effects, a panache user can spend and gain luck points in place of grit or panache points, and vice versa.

I don't see why a character who has panache and luck would get twice Cha to their pool while a character who has panache from two different classes wouldn't.

Shadow Lodge

The brawler, like the monk, cannot take Improved Natural Attack with UAS.

Hybrid Classes wrote:
Parent Classes: Each one of the following classes lists two classes that it draws upon to form the basis of its theme. While a character can multiclass with these parent classes, this usually results in redundant abilities. Such abilities don't stack unless specified.

Improved UAS damage does not say it stacks, so it does not stack.

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You will still have the damage dice of a 1st level warpriest.

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LazarX wrote:
Even with a cover job, if you're going up against someone who's trained in Sense Motive who has a reason to be suspicious, it's still going to be an opposed Bluff vs. Sense Motive check to not reveal that you've got a hidden agenda.

The cover is to reduce the odds someone will get suspicious. Also, having "convincing proof" - a well-supported cover - could grant up to a +10 bonus on your Bluff check.

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Spell Combat wrote:
To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand.
FAQ wrote:

When using spell combat, can the weapon in my other hand be an unarmed strike or a natural weapon?

Yes, so long as the weapon is a light or one-handed melee weapon and is associated with that hand. For example, unarmed strikes, claws, and slams are light melee weapons associated with a hand, and therefore are valid for use with spell combat. A tail slap is not associated with a hand, and therefore is not valid for use with spell combat.

A hand-associated natural weapon is considered "wielded in the hand."

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Talismanic Components

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Overall, I like them. Balance-wise I think you can afford to make the feats a bit stronger than usual since they require a weak weapon. Since many of these are similar to existing two-weapon feats I think we can make some comparisons.

Shield of Silk and Steel seems weak compared to Two-Weapon Defense - the shield bonus is higher and scales, but you have to give up a full BAB attack to get it, which essentially turns your TWF character into a sword-and-board character with fewer feats. I would drop the requirement to give up an attack, and maybe give up on the reduction of attack penalties and/or drop the starting shield bonus to +1 to compensate (I like the scaling). Dropping the off-hand attack requirement also allows this feat to work with Deflecting Flip.

Deflecting Flip is too weak given that Deflect Arrows and Missile Shield work automatically and don't require you to give up attacks. I like the ability to deflect multiple arrows in exchange for sacrificing offense, but I'd drop the bluff check.

Confounding Twist and Dance of Silk and Steel are both very good - Two-Weapon Feint with a miss chance, plus a more flexible version of Pounce (fantastic for a full-attack dependent TWF build). The fighting fan limitation and the load of prerequisites might balance that out, BUT:

I feel like the biggest issue with this style is the number of feats involved. Even assuming that EWP is free, Confounding Twist and Dance of Silk and Steel have 3 and 4 prerequisites each (or 6 for both). Without bonus feats, it will be level 15 before a character can take both. A character would have to invest every non-bonus feat in getting Dance of Silk and Steel in order to get it at level 9 - and even with the Bluff benefit a rogue needs to wait until level 11 because they don't qualify for the prerequisite ITWF until level 9. It is impossible for a character without bonus feats (like a non-human bard) to complete the combat style since that requires at minimum 11 feats and basic advancement grants 10. Consider also that Weapon Finesse would be appropriate for characters with this style, and that's another feat. I expect that this style would only be done well by fighters and maybe human rogues and swashbucklers.

I really like the idea, though, so I might try a few builds this weekend if I have time.

Shadow Lodge

Gwen Smith wrote:
Weirdo wrote:

Nimble Shot is indeed a +4 bonus

Point Blank Master will also do this, but it requires Weapon Specialization or the ranger archery combat style, so your player might not be able to qualify.

Point Blank Master is specific to a weapon, so the version from the Ranger archery combat master won't work on a gun without special dispensation from the GM. (The Monk Zen Archer version is specific to longbow or shortbow only.)

The archery combat style is not just for bows - it includes Crossbow Mastery. I don't see anything in RAW that prevents a ranger from taking Weapon Focus (some firearm) and PBM (that same firearm).

Shadow Lodge

I wouldn't price the material component by the month. If you want it more expensive, just increase it to 100-200 gp per year.

If you don't want to make it too much like alchemy I'd also cut some ingredients from the elixir, or at least drop quantities. The most complicated material components I can think of are things like "wine stirred with an owl's feather" (Identify), and spells like Reincarnate or True Seeing specify simply requiring expensive oils and ointment rather than listing the ingredients thereof.

EDIT: In addition to the Immortality discovery, alchemists should be able to access this spell via extracts at an appropriate level, like wizards.

Also note that if the phoenix feather has to be freely given it will be more difficult for evil characters to use this spell.

PF seems to hold a mind/body separation in that for example reincarnation affects physical but not mental traits. If swapping from an orc's brain to an elf's brain or vice-versa doesn't affect your mental stats, then changing to an older or younger body shouldn't. It would be interesting for a caster to have to deal with some mental changes from the spell but I would recommend instead stating that "while the spell does not affect mental ability scores, targets find that youthful bodies are accompanied by youthful impulsiveness and high passions."

Goth Guru wrote:
The idea that loss of memories causes a loss of levels is the first idea I want to throw out the window. It stops you from the hangover adventure where the characters wake up with skills, levels, and animal companions they don't remember gaining. XPs and levels are about energy. The mental inventory with incantations, rituals, and places studied closely can be lost with memories. You could have an NPC who is very old and wise but can't remember anyone's right name.

There are many different kinds of memory and they're not all stored or accessed in the same way. Most people think of memory as episodic (events) or semantic (facts), but procedural memory (skills) is hugely important and covers most parts of levelling. BAB, most skills, and many feats and class features from weapon focus to bardic music would rely primarily on procedural memory - and many that don't would use semantic memory, like knowledge skills or spellbook-based casting.

Some parts of leveling probably do represent a gain in energy, like sorcerous or oracular abilities or "pools" (ki, arcane, or grit). You can certainly lose memories without losing levels, especially if the lost memories are episodic; the amnesiac fighter doesn't remember where he learned to fight or past fights he's been in, but he remembers how to fight. And some characters might retain a keen memory for their profession while age erodes other forms of memory.

Shadow Lodge

Cyrad wrote:
I still believe the spell needs a rewrite and should have a higher level, at least 7th level (the spell level where magic can regrow limbs). At the very least, the spell should have expensive material components and its diminishing returns should be more simple and clear.

You can bring back the dead with a 5th level spell so I don't think 7th level is necessary (and in fact think it's really weird that Regenerate is 7th level). Agreed on the latter two points. Maybe the pure spring water must be mixed with powdered emerald (associated with youth and rebirth) and a pinch of ash from a phoenix, total cost 2500gp. Failure chance could be a simple cumulative rate of 20-40% per casting.

Cyrad wrote:
I do like the earlier suggestion of a spell that gives you temporary immunity to the retroactive nature of the timeless planar trait. It conjures the image of elder wizards creating a pocket dimension in the Astral Plane, becoming more and more reclusive and possibly going mad from it.

The original suggestion was to mimic the timeless trait without extradimensional travel. Both are good idea, but you'd have to decide how dispellable it should be. Making it possible to dispel the wizard's unnatural youth is interesting, and it encourages paranoia in the wizard which is also interesting, but a single Dispel Magic aging the wizard into death is probably a bit much. If you wanted an ongoing effect, you'd probably want to specify either that it can't be dispelled unless the dispelling caster is of higher level than the affected caster and/or have Dispel Magic temporarily revert the caster to their natural age rather than totally end the effect (with a caster who should be dead rendered instead both staggered and exhausted).

Shadow Lodge

Nimble Shot is indeed a +4 bonus

Point Blank Master will also do this, but it requires Weapon Specialization or the ranger archery combat style, so your player might not be able to qualify.

Shadow Lodge

I do what Zigniber describes - and include it as part of the encounter's treasure budget.

The permanent speak with animals sounds fun and not OP, though.

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