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If you're using the monsters as character rules, maybe, or playing a gestalt game it'd work.
Yes, Eldritch Scrapper would be very nice gestalted with Paladin or Bloodrager.
Also potentially a good choice for a Dragon Disciple in a non-gestalt game, depending on how trading away bloodline abilities would work when dealing with the prestige class's advancement. I think Dragon Disciple would give you back the breath weapon and wings powers, just without the usual increases a Sorc/DD would get.
You might be able to just drop the archetype at level 7 when the familiar becomes ineligible, but I'd avoid it.
Note that the Emissary, Sage, and School Familiar archetypes are valid with Improved Familiars since they do not replace Speak with Animals of its Kind. The Necromancy familiar looks pretty good and fits your concept - the abilities are actually anti-undead rather than pro-.
Okay, I see what you mean.
However, it's not a strong argument. You could just as easily say that the arcane bond indicates that when a class ability gives you an item, that item should not be made of any special material. It wouldn't be the first instance of reminder text.
Special materials are generally much too expensive to be balanced for a 1st level character, with Adamantine Full Plate at 16,500gp.
Also, as gisher pointed out, if you're assuming a permissive allowance on the item (if it doesn't say you can't have X, you can have X) you could add magical or other goodies to your bonded item, and that's clearly not intended.
If you are disappointed about not being able to eventually get special materials, I would talk to your GM and see if they would allow you to have it reforged or magically transformed for an appropriate cost.
It says you can't have a familiar. Unlike "gain a familiar," "have a familiar" is an ongoing requirement, which means you have to somehow give up any previous familiar.
Personally I would be fine houseruling the blade to act as a familiar in whatever ways make sense (including storing spells) but that's definitely a house rule.
Effective druid levels for purposes of animal companions generally stack, rather than granting multiple companions. So a Hunter 3 / Druid 1 would have one animal companion with level 4 abilities. A Hunter 3 / Ranger 4 would have one animal companion with level 4 abilities (3 from hunter + 1 from ranger) or a level 7 companion if they took Boon Companion.
There's plenty of stuff in Necromancy without creating undead - including Chill Touch, Ray of Enfeeblement, False Life, Vampiric Touch, Enervation, Boneshatter, Bestow Curse, and Finger of Death. And the arcane school gives you the option to Turn rather than Command Undead.
In fact my group had an undead bloodline sorcerer with a somewhat similar concept - the main difference being he was motivated by a desire to restore the reputation of Necromancy as a magical discipline rather than by religious devotion.
One of my two current characters is a bit of an ascetic and would probably become a wandering weaponsmith if adventuring became unnecessary. Craft (Weapons), Craft (Armour) and Craft Magic Arms & Armour. She's also got a rank in Profession (Sailor) due to the party obtaining a boat early in the campaign.
The other is a drunken monk who is only currently adventuring in order to finance/protect a tavern. Profession (Bartender) and Craft (Booze).
In the past I've had characters with Profession (clerk) and Profession (herbalist). I've also seen a friend's fighter/rogue get some good use out of Profession (drug dealer).
Usually these skills reflect background rather than retirement plans, though, and I only invest a rank or two.
Yeah, summoners get the best options for summoning psychopomps (including the eidolon) but don't get much necromancy.
Oh, also do the Alternate Skill Modifiers for Vetala-Born mean that they gain a plus 2 to Escape Artist and UMD or gives them the skills as class skills?
+2. It replaces the usual skill bonuses to Bluff and Perception.
Agreed, looks good.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Oh, it's not, it's actually a pretty lousy FCB. The point is that if it had something crazy like +1/4 DC of all hexes to compensate, then if I came along and wrote the alternate racial ability in ISG without knowing that, it would be bad news.
Oh, wow. I hadn't seen that trait yet, and so I thought that post was a hypothetical "Mark Seifter would like to give Changelings an Int bonus" instead of "Mark Seifter has given Changelings an Int bonus." Double happy!
Was Hag Magic also you, or is there another person at Paizo giving Changelings some witchy goodness?
Might want a clearer, more FAQ-friendly question. Suggestion:
What happens when a grappling creature is forced to move by an effect such as Bull Rush or a pit being created underneath them? Do the creatures move together, does moving the grapplers apart break the grapple, or does something else happen? Does it matter how the movement occurs (for example, a teleported creature breaks the grapple but Bull Rush moves both grapplers)?
Mark Seifter wrote:
Take changelings. With a Con penalty and irrelevant bonuses, the base changeling race is arguably the worst race in Pathfinder that doesn't have an Intelligence penalty at being a witch (I suppose a +2 Str +2 Cha -2 Con or +2 Str +2 Cha -2 Dex race might be out there that's worse, but I'm not aware of such a race off the top of my head). If it had a ridiculously powerful witch FCB, that would help, but then if some bozo such as me comes along and puts out an option to get Intelligence on changelings, suddenly now it's overpowered (in this case, I wouldn't have inserted that changeling ability if I knew that it had a stellar FCB, but sometimes it's hard to keep track of the compensatory rules elements in other sources).
It makes me happy that you used this as an example because I also noticed and was frustrated by the distance between the changeling's flavour suitability as witches and their mechanical aptitude - and I did houserule them an alternate trait giving them an Int bonus.
Regardless of which site you use, the online rules sources can make it a lot easier and quicker to look up rules during play compared to pdfs or especially print sources. I personally do like to have the books/pdfs but after reading the books once prefer to use the SRD as a reference. (In case and Paizo employees are reading I'd like to note that I have purchased several pdfs I was not originally intending to buy after noticing content I liked on the SRD - and not for PFS reasons.)
On the OP, I agree with what I think is the consensus: a GM isn't expected to know all rules, but they should review the rules likely to come up in a session before that session. It's not necessary to check the rules any time you're uncertain, but you should do so if it's likely to be a life and death situation for a PC. In this case the OP/GM goofed, but since the players also checked the rules and agreed on how it worked they share partial responsibility - if there were still concerns it would be appropriate to double-check the rules after that session, not three levels later (a forum post would have sorted you). At this point it is appropriate for you to apologize and for the players to accept your apology and move on. No one is perfect.
There are fighter archetypes that don't get armour training or bravery. Lots, in fact, including the Archer and Lore Warden.
So even if Sash of the War Champion did treat a 7th level Brawler as an 11th level fighter for purposes of those features, being an 11th level fighter doesn't actually grant those features.
I don't see how you're drawing that conclusion. Could you explain?
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
Chill touch doesn't require you to hold a charge in the general sense. Touch get a finite number of attacks based on level.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
I misread the OP and thought it was their city that was being occupied, in which case it would be plenty safe to identify yourself as the home team privately to your citizens (not openly in the streets).
Given that this is apparently an away game, it should work just fine with a slight revision: "There's about to be a really big fight between that army and those robots occupying your city."
Heck, it could even be "our city" if anyone in the party has a half-decent Bluff score and a few ranks in Knowledge (local).
Re-read the quoted section. It is only disabling traps that is restricted to retry only if you fail by 4 or less, and Mathmuse is talking about locks.
Since the phantom cannot hold charges, I think it would be limited to delivering one touch with the spell.
The phantom cannot choose to deliver a touch with a slam at all, since that normally requires that you be holding a charge.
Touch Spells in Combat wrote:
Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren't considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.
In theory I'm a real fan of intelligent items, but in practice they tend to be fairly subdued in our games.
The most memorable was possibly an adamantine fullblade (imported from 3.5, a slightly larger greatsword that was an exotic weapon) named "The Father of All Swords," which had the power to unmake its descendants by sundering them and could only be claimed by slaying its wielder. It only spoke directly to its wielder and so the player mostly just roleplayed as its translator with little GM direction - except for the one time that it succeeded at an ego check to make him stand up to a dragon in single combat. We had a super-optimized merciful healer cleric for that session so he survived, but I think he ate something like three times his HP in total damage.
The second place goes to a joke - a sword named "Purity" that has the special purpose of exterminating human half-breeds. The party consisted of a half-elf, an aasimar, a tiefling, and a gnome with a bit of dwarf in her. The sword didn't have the ego to actually inconvenience anyone but kept telepathically asking if we didn't just want to fall upon its blade and make things easier for everyone.
The rest are either fairly innocuous by design (eg a magical lighter that can cast spark at will, has the mind of a tobacconist, and makes cigar recommendations for its owner) or ended up being overlooked because the person responsible for roleplaying them (IIRC generally the GM) forgot to do so.
Hard to say. They both meet your requirements, and which one is better depends a bit more on your more specific style and campaign.
The Feral Hunter's Animal Aspect will at most levels at least make up for the Ranger/Druid's higher BAB and HD. The teamwork feats and ability to share them with summoned creatures and access to significant buff spells like Barkskin can also make the Feral Hunter stronger in combat than a Ranger/Druid - except when the latter is facing a Favoured Enemy. (The combat style will probably just make up for the 2 feats you spent on multiclassing.)
So if you're fighting mostly the same type of enemy and don't expect to have time to pre-buff or call up summons before battle, you'll want Ranger/Druid. If you'll be fighting a variety of foes but will have the opportunity to prepare for most fights, the Feral Hunter will be stronger.
I'd also note that I expect the Feral Hunter's best levels to be in the 1-4 and 8-12 ranges. Animal Focus is a big bonus early on, especially for pre-wildshape scouting and tracking, and gets a huge jump in power at level 8. It looks to me like the Ranger/Druid will be a bit ahead around 5-7 thanks to Wild Shape coming online and being ahead by an extra point of BAB, and I suspect that Animal Focus will be a little less useful at very high levels when the stat belt isn't as big a chunk of wealth.
And I agree with London Duke that a simpler progression can be more enjoyable.
Crimlock NL wrote:
What do you mean by "combat utility"? Pounce? Grab? Flight? It is generally expensive in magic items and feats to prepare for fighting both with manufactured and natural weapons. It would be useful to know exactly what you want to get out of it.
johnnythexxxiv has the gist of it. The mechanic of spell preparation indicates that there is a mental/energetic component to spellcasting in addition to the simple words/gestures/materials. The mental component explains limits on spells per day as well as how metamagic can remove physical components (you're compensating by adjusting your mental component).
For a real-world example of mental states influencing physical results, see the placebo effect. For an example of deteriorating mental state over time (as might happen when expending spells), see decision fatigue.
As much fun as it is to joke about characters moving in discrete 5ft increments or patiently waiting their turn in combat, I don't think many people believe that's actually how the characters experience it. So why get hung up about similar oddities in how magic is represented like spell levels existing in discrete intervals?
Human Fighter wrote:
It writes as if trip weapons are the only weapons that you can apply your bonuses on while making a CMB with a weapon,
How so? I'm not getting that at all.
Human Fighter wrote:
Anyways, it goes on to say that the trip special feature on the weapon lets you use your weapons bonuses on reposition and drag maneuvers, but how are you applying these bonuses if you're not even using the weapon to preform the maneuver in the first place? Is this just assuming you have a feat or some class feature to do it? Am I missing something that allows these maneuvers to normally be performed with a melee weapon?
If you have a trip weapon, you can use that weapon and its specific bonuses to perform reposition and drag maneuvers. If you have a class feature that specifically says you can use a weapon to perform a particular maneuver, you can use that weapon and its bonuses on the check. Otherwise, you cannot use your weapon for maneuvers other than disarm, sunder, and trip, and thus cannot gain weapon-specific bonuses.
Are you talking about mundane or magical crafting? They work very differently. If a house rule is involved, it's probably referring to magical crafting, because alchemists can craft nonmagical items without any house rules.
Normally, crafting magic items costs 1/2 the market value of the item (plus the value of expensive material components for a spell effect) and takes 1 day per 1000gp of its market value. You can double the speed at which you craft by adding +5 to the Craft DC. Potions and Elixirs are created using Craft (Alchemy). For other magic items, you'll want to use Spellcraft.
Mundane items can take a long time to make, as described under the Craft skill. Swift Alchemy, plus your bonus on Craft checks equal to your alchemist level, will help a great deal with this. If you are willing to spend a feat, Master Alchemist increases your speed at making alchemical items by 10x and stacks with the doubled speed from Swift Alchemy.
Getting a tumour familiar (or taking the homunculist archetype) and selecting a Valet familiar is a great idea since its Cooperative Crafting ability doubles your speed in crafting both mundane and magical items.
Hedge Magician gives you a 5% discount when crafting magic items.
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
Some medical diagnostic tests cannot currently be done by rote-trained persons with no analytical ability; there are specific degree programs to train people to do these tests.
So because the game rules aren't a great simulation of actual physics, it is pointless for PF characters to even attempt scientific analysis of their world?
Apologies for simplifying. Most people I have seen arguing from a Deontological point of view (especially on these forums) have "don't kill innocents" as a rule, but you are correct that not all Deontological systems would agree. Utilitarianism is also the type of teleological system I am most familiar with so I preferentially refer to it over eg hedonism.
In game, I don't worry too much about the type of ethical reasoning the players/characters are using as long as it is roleplayed consistently. I see moral quandaries like this one as an opportunity for the players to explore ethical questions rather than an opportunity to enforce my ethical ideals.
You are also correct that some players will enjoy having serious consequences and won't appreciate the GM stepping in to make sure that they will get the best result if they just hero hard enough. And some players will have different expectations for different campaigns.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Telling people how to get away accomplishes nothing. They need a reason to leave. Without a persuasive case for evacuating, most folks would just assume you're trying to con them into leaving so you can rob their house and/or shop once they're gone.
"There's about to be a really big fight here between our army and those robots occupying your city. You sure you want to be in the middle of it?"
Sure, there will be people who will be stubborn and not evacuate, the same way there will be people who refuse to evacuate in the face of massive storms. But given that there is currently a 40,000 strong army of robots in their city, and another army massing outside the gates - there is already a reason to evacuate. This should not be a particularly difficult Diplomacy check.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
The false dilemma is people saying, "Kill 100k to save a world", which somewhat implies that by not killing 100k, the world cannot be saved. As long as everyone saying "nuke 'em" understands that they are taking the safest option and not necessarily the best option, there's no false dilemma here.
Well, the “best” choice really comes down to the ethical system you're using. Deontologically, it's never OK to nuke a city even if you are 100% certain that if you don't, the world cannot be saved. Utilitarianism says that you have to project the expected suffering & loss of life from nuking the city vs holding out for a Plan C and choose the lesser (whether it involves the certain death of a few or a small risk of a very high number of deaths).
Even if there is a clear best result, it's not necessarily the best choice to try for that result depending on the risk of failure. I personally would not risk 1000 lives on a plan that had a very small chance of saving 5.
Of course, that's assuming that the risky option actually is risky. If we're playing the kind of game in which taking a heroic gamble pays off 'cus we're the heroes, great! Many people prefer that kind of game because it feels really good to swoop in and win big against daunting odds. If this contributed to the OP's players' decision (hopefully he can tell from the OOC part of the debate) then I hope he provides a feasible Plan C so that his players will enjoy the game.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Depends on how exactly the invaders are securing the area, but it would basically come down to (1) making sure there is a relatively safe route out and (2) telling as many of the citizens about it as you can.
The question is, what is that something else? And if you don't already know what "something else" is, how likely is it that it will end up to be "nothing," or otherwise worse than bombing the city?
If the party has some time and resources to look for a Plan C, great. If they can prepare the nuke but hold off on actually activating it until the last possible minute while looking for an alternative, fine.
If the rest of the invading army is coming through at any moment and once they arrive their first action will be to demolish the defending army of 150K and most of the city before moving on to terrorize the surrounding countryside, it's better to destroy the city now because you're probably not going to come up with a better plan. Even if you stop them eventually it'll still be at a greater cost.
Media has trained us to expect that the hero can find a third option in situations like this, but it's not reasonable to expect this will be the case when facing an imminent crisis. If you want to play to that narrative in your game, that's fine, but I wouldn't judge the players or the characters for not having that expectation.
I'm not so sure that a partial evacuation would be unfeasible, though. If the city is openly occupied and about to turn into a battleground, it makes sense that the civilian populace would want to leave, and that their defending army would want to get them out of the way - it doesn't tip your hand about the nuke.
Well, Politician is a Charisma-based class.
There's also a bit of a distinction between intelligence and wisdom, and between theoretical and practical knowledge. This leads to a lot of "dumb" behavior even among people who are actually intelligent. For example, many Principal Investigators have a great big-picture view of their field but have lost the skills to solve specific practical problems with students' experiments.
If you've seen deeper stupidity than that, I'll take your word for it. Maybe I've been luckier in my associates than you, maybe I'm more oblivious, maybe I just haven't been at this long enough, but...
Even if you do get academic "Post Turtles" that get a PhD they haven't actually earned, by definition that person is someone who lacks the skills expected of their position. So they don't disprove the general statement that you need some minimum level of intelligence to actually learn the skills involved in contributing to science. And, by extension, it's not unreasonable to expect that only the top 65% of the population would be capable of learning the basic skills of wizardry, even if wizardry is essentially scientific.
I absolutely do not believe that Education = Intelligence. (In fact I've made the distinction in previous posts on these forums.) I know some very intelligent people who are not particularly well educated, including my maternal grandmother. And certainly not everyone with an advanced degree is particularly bright.
But I have never seen someone of actually below-average intelligence in a PhD program, as opposed to merely below-average relative to most academics. While I won't say it can't happen I have a hard time picturing such a person actually completing degree requirements. It's also not a good financial investment compared to other advanced degree programs (eg Law, Medicine). I'm honestly not sure why you'd want a PhD unless you were really intellectually engaged with your subject. Heck, most of the grad students I know who are both intelligent and enthusiastic still have doubts at some point, myself included.
Though I am absolutely on board with the idea of a person of average or only slightly above average intelligence being supported through expensive wizard training by wealthy family members, due to the prestige that such training would offer. I expect I will use it for an NPC at some point.
I'd also like to, as a science grad student, reinforce the fact that scientific experiments are not as neat and tidy as you see in pop culture. And I'm not talking about the complexity of designing a course of experimentation to answer meaningful scientific questions, I'm talking about simply performing the steps of a physical experiment.
A colleague of mine could never, for some bizarre reason, get a simple test for a particular protein to work properly - even though doing the exact same thing testing for a different protein was fine, and another grad student was able to properly test her samples. I personally have spent months of my project trying to duplicate a procedure that someone in another lab has published. Sometimes problems can be caused by a difference between two batches of a commercial reagent. Sometimes the gender of the researcher stresses out your lab mice, causing differences in the result. People in undergraduate labs get weird results all the time due to mishandling something or other.
So yeah, not a nice simple brownie recipe. And you know what? I still know people who can mess up brownies.
I would say that the figment was produced due to the consumption of large quantities of psychedelic compounds, Cognatogen optional. The alchemist may or may not realize that the figment is actually a product of his/her mind, and may or may not still consume the substances that caused the figment to manifest in the first place.
For a figment, you don't really need to justify the evolutions granted by the homunculist as being the result of experimentations - the familiar is imaginary anyway, so why not be a little odd?
I think there are three factors that explain why wizards can treat magic as a science without magic being as easily reproduced as a recipe in a cookbook.
1) Trade secrets, like xobmaps mentioned. Arcane magic is very powerful, and wizards may be motivated to obscure their magcial knowledge in order to profit from being one of the few people who have that knowledge. This hoarding of knowledge isn't even dependent on wizards actually losing spell theory to incomplete documentation – think of modern countries trying to keep the knowledge to build an atom bomb secret.
2) Casting spells is a lot more complicated than your average recipe, and in fact high-level spells are about as difficult a mental problem as building a nuclear bomb. The average person can't just pick up a book and duplicate the procedure – especially since thanks to (1) the recipe is likely to be somehow muddled or incomplete. As a scientist, I see this even in some experimental protocols/”recipies.”
3) Magic depends on the state of mind of the caster to function, with wizardly spell preparation linking it in particular to your ability to hold a spell in a slightly longer-term version of working memory. Basic intelligence and probably some specific mental training would be required to manage that task even if they did have the process of spellcasting demonstrated to them in detail.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
You only need a 10 Int for cantrips. That's 65.5% of the human population, assuming an even chance of the racial +2 ending up in intelligence. Of course, it's unlikely that someone only capable of learning cantrips will have the inclination to learn wizardry in the same way you don't get people of below-average intelligence in PhD programs.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
I think the mechanics are relevant from a world-building perspective, because magic that is less random is not just more predictable and reproducible for the players but for the characters, meaning it is easier to study in a scientific manner.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
My general rule for fantasy - if something doesn't follow Einstein's rule for how energy cannot be created or destroyed - then it's not science. (yes - I'm aware that quantum physics might not [though it might] - but we know so little about it that it's a pretty moot point)
The scientific process, interestingly enough, is not dependent on specific scientific rules or theories being true. It is only dependent on your ability to test the rules that are being followed. This is why science as a whole can survive specific models – such as the heliocentric model of the solar system – being disproved. Or if, as you indicated, it turns out that something in our world doesn't follow Conservation of Energy.
This drifted off topic, we can continue this on another thread.
A link would have been nice, so your opposition can find the debate. ;)
Actually, for a more on-topic contribution, my group does have a fairly unconventional "magic as science" character - not a wizard, but a summoner. He treats his eidolon like an engineering project (specifically a graduate thesis), and believes the power of its form is directly related to his ability to comprehend the metaphysical stuff from which it is made.
Reach Spell is very useful if you have a lot of touch spells, and occasionally useful for close-range spells (though I wouldn't prepare them). Medium range is almost always sufficient as-is.
Angry Wizard wrote:
I'm assuming/hoping this doesn't include the crafting feats themselves, otherwise why would anybody take crafting feats?
Correct, you can't skip the casting feat requirement.
It is odd, but the key point is that it's intended to be an illusion that can't be disbelieved.
The importance of the clothes not actually changing is that you can't use the sleeves to duplicate stuff like a cold weather outfit to gain the bonus on saves vs environmental effects.
They are however the best item if you want to be able to rapidly switch between a variety of apparent clothes for social purposes.
The Greater Hat of Disguise does work as alter self, despite the aura of illusion, though since alter self doesn't change your clothes it would not help that situation.
There was an FAQ on the sleeves. While they don't actually change, they are your best bet for preventing someone from seeing through your new suit.
Wizards in PF aren't innately special, though. They are simply people of at least average intelligence (Int 10+) who have studied arcane magic. This is in contrast to worlds like Harry Potter or the Dresden Files, where wizards have innate talent often linked to a bloodline - or Lord of the Rings, where wizards are actual demigods.
Why should it take some level of intelligence to cast spells? Because the processes involved in manipulating magic directly are somewhat more complicated than pouring one chemical into another. The spell memorization mechanic, in which a wizard prepares magic at the beginning of the day for later triggering, supports the complexity explanation.
Now, magic items can generally be used by anyone, just like technology, and their presentation in PF does suggest that like technology they are available to those who can afford them. Consider the noble's vigilant pillbox or the philanderous compact, or the fact that the diplomat in the NPC Codex is equipped with a Silver Raven Wondrous Figurine, and even the commoners and experts have a few potions.
And it's not surprising that magic would be primarily in the hands of the wealthy. Technology also takes a while to develop, and longer to trickle down to the masses. It took 1600 years from the first steam engine to the first commercial steam engine, and about 150 years from the invention of the automobile to it becoming affordable to the middle class. The typical PF setting is roughly medieval, technologically - if they don't have electric radios, why should they have magical ones?