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Pathfinder Society Member. 3,733 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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Shadow Lodge

Crane Style/Wing/Riposte might work, if it was a human Master of Many Styles who had used their 1st level feats to take Dodge and Crane Style normally, the bonus feat on Crane Wing, and their 2nd level feat on Riposte (otherwise you wouldn't get Riposte until level 6 at least). However you can only deflect one attack per round and make one AoO.

For reference, Flowing Monk's redirection - though I'm not sure where attack negation would be coming from. Misunderstanding how trip works?

Redirection wrote:
At 1st level, as an immediate action, a flowing monk can attempt a reposition or trip combat maneuver against a creature that the flowing monk threatens and that attacks him. If the combat maneuver is successful, the attacker is sickened for 1 round (Reflex DC = 10 + 1/2 the monk’s level + monk’s Wisdom modifier to halve the duration), plus 1 additional round at 4th level and for every four levels afterward (to a maximum of 6 rounds at 20th level). The monk gains a +2 bonus on the reposition or trip combat maneuver check and the save DC for redirection increases by 2 if the attacker is using Power Attack or is charging when attacking him. The benefit increases to a +4 bonus and an increase of the saving throw by 4 if both apply.

Shadow Lodge

Multiple AoO is easy - Combat Reflexes and a good Dex.

Tripping shouldn't negate an attack attempt. You can complete an attack while prone.

Was the AoO on being attacked possibly the Kata Master's parry and riposte?

Opportune Parry and Riposte wrote:
At 1st level, when an opponent makes a melee attack against the swashbuckler (kata master), she can spend 1 panache point and expend a use of an attack of opportunity to attempt to parry that attack. The swashbuckler makes an attack roll as if she were making an attack of opportunity; for each size category the attacking creature is larger than the swashbuckler, the swashbuckler takes a –2 penalty on this roll. If her result is greater than the attacking creature's result, the creature's attack automatically misses. The swashbuckler must declare the use of this ability after the creature's attack is announced, but before its attack roll is made. Upon performing a successful parry and if she has at least 1 panache point, the swashbuckler can as an immediate action make an attack against the creature whose attack she parried, provided that creature is within her reach.

That's not exactly what you described but it would allow the monk to trip someone and also negate an attack - though each action would take a separate roll.

Shadow Lodge

What do you mean by modify? Add them to a spell list? Allow spontaneous casting? Or make the spells themselves act differently?

The Preservationist doesn't change how the spells work, but it does change the way they are flavoured and adds them to a spell list that normally have them.

Shadow Lodge

Joesi wrote:
In my opinion just because something follows the rules doesn't make it okay. It's why there are GMs (I guess you already essentially said that).

Agreed, just trying to draw attention to the lack of clarity in the actual rule.

Cavall wrote:
As it stands now (as is my understanding ) because they aren't casters you can't have the feat. So clearly if you bend the rules there it's now entirely up to GM approval anyways for what is and isn't allowed.

If "arcane spellcasting level" is taken to refer to actual spellcasting rather than effective wizard level, it also causes problems for divine casters with familiars gained from Familiar Bond, Eldritch Heritage (Arcane), wizard variant multiclass (from Unchained) or other sources. The shaman is another issue, though its specific restriction on changing the type of your familiar complicates things (it rules out Improved Familiar by RAW though possibly not RAI).

Shadow Lodge

Calth wrote:
I have to ask, is there a reason you traded out Fated Bloodrager? It's probably the single best bloodrage power there is (no question that its the best if you took Fate's Favored as a trait).

Retrained from barbarian 4 when the ACG came out so I'd already taken 2 rage powers and I wanted to make as few changes as possible.

If I had planned on this ahead of time I probably would have kept Fated Bloodrager and taken the first two Beast Totem powers at 8. Then again, I am happy to have Quick Reflexes because it means I can delay Combat Reflexes. My first 5 levels of feats were pretty full.

Also I didn't take Fate's Favoured - Unscathed to increase energy resistance (this makes me basically immune to mundane heat and cold) and a second to get Diplomacy as a class skill (RP reasons).

Shadow Lodge

Familiars have to be extraordinary because otherwise an antimagic field would suppress the ability and that would cause problems.

Eidolons are basically craftable outsiders. Unchained changed the flavour a bit but originally they were treated very much as the summoner shaping some sort of primal extraplanar stuff into a creature.

Alchemists aren't great at extraplanar stuff like summoners are, but the planar preservationist indicates that with extra effort (eg a feat) they should be able to manipulate outsiders in some way.

And what if the alchemist is a native outsider themselves? I think it would make all kinds of sense for a tiefling to be able to grow an imp out of their own body - or an oread to sprout a bunch of crystals that split off into an earth elemental.

Regardless, the rules question is whether they can meet the level requirement, and there's an FAQ request this thread trying to settle whether Improved Familiar is actually limited to characters with an arcane spellcasting level (excluding alchemists, eldritch guardian fighters, carnivalist rogues, etc) or whether they mean "effective wizard level" for which the alchemist qualifies. A GM can always disallow things for thematic reasons, and while I personally don't believe an improved tumor familiar stretches credibility I can see why some GMs might have a problem with it.

Shadow Lodge

Second Suggestion: Slayer//Alchemist(Grenadier).

Control: Smoke bombs, stink bombs, sticky bombs, blinding bombs, curse bombs, dispelling bombs, yay! Grenadier gives you more control over your bombs and adds a stagger debuff at level 10. You can also take talents to add debuffs to your sneak attack. Your Int determines the DCs so make it your best or second-best stat.

Support: Infusions cover the bases.

Basic combat: Studied Target (which also works with bombs) and Sneak Attack. Slayer Talents give access to combat styles (archery for bomb throwing, or two-handed for power attack), weapon focus, and any one other combat feat of choice. You probably will want to grab Weapon Finesse at 1st level instead of as a talent so you can concentrate on Dex as your main physical stat. You're proficient in medium armour and shields, neither of which interfere with alchemy - though if you don't want to use them consider Stygian Slayer for some sneaky spell access.

Noncombat: Tons of skill points, skill talents, skill bonuses through studied target and certain extracts. You have a lot of options for stealth and subterfuge, a good selection of knowledge skills, and survival/tracking.

Elf is a top race choice thanks to racial stat bonuses. Elven immunities help fortify your low will save (the combo's biggest disadvantage), and you get proficiency in the curve blade and branched spear. Consider trading the Elven Magic trait for Envoy, which gives you SLAs.

You can get a familiar as a discovery.

Third Suggestion: Swashbuckler (Inspired Blade) 1 Slayer X//Arcanist (Blade Adept)

Control/Support: 9 level casting using Sorc/Wiz spell list. You can also take the sneak attack debuffs.

Basic combat: Swashbuckler gives you free finesse and weapon focus(rapier), setting you up for fencing grace. Easy dex build. Opportune parry and riposte is a good defensive ability that gives you AoO (again, attacking while casting) and runs off a panache pool that uses your two Arcanist stats (Int and Cha). Since Swashbuckler gives diminishing returns you then transition to Slayer for studied target, sneak attack, and skills. Blade Adept doesn't have great combat benefits but the sword and spellstrike are nice. Other archetype exploits may not be worth it compared to the basic list.

Noncombat: Similar to the Slayer//Alchemist, you have tons of skill points and extra bonuses through talents, studied target and certain spells. You have a lot of options for stealth and subterfuge, a good selection of knowledge skills, and survival/tracking.

Pretty much all good saves, though the swashbuckler dip gets a bit odd.

Again, elf is a really strong race choice. I'd trade away weapon familiarity (which you won't use) for arcane focus (+2 casting defensively), fleet footed (+2 initiative), or maybe fey thoughts (+2 class skills from a list).

Normally I'd recommend Magus for these types of characters for Spell Combat but since damage isn't a priority for you I expect you'll get more use out of the variety of the Arcanist spell list.

Shadow Lodge

The oracle does get some very good revelations, but I don't think that they are that much better as a whole than hexes. Consider also that the shaman gets 8 hexes compared to 6 revelations, and more stuff that's not hexes: two set spirit abilities (the Battle Shaman gets Bane!) plus a wandering spirit and wandering hexes which improve the class's flexibility. Your familiar can take its own actions and assist in combat by delivering touch effects at range, attacking directly, or improving the master's AC by 2 increasing effective HP by 50%.

The shaman also has stronger spellcasting for a support/control character. Shamans get the same key support spells as the oracle, but also get a wider variety of control spells, including entangle, frostbite, the fog line, and sleep/deep slumber. As a prepared spellcaster they also have an easier time providing circumstantial healing spells like Remove Curse.

Note that the dual-cursed archetype that provides the immediate action rerolls also replaces some of your bonus spells, which makes it incompatible with the Ancient Lorekeeper archetype OP is interested in (and which provides the best way to diversify the oracle's spells).

Renegadeshepherd wrote:
However if im in a group small enough that gestalt 25 pt buy character is being used then a standard action hex is plain weak.

Why are you assuming a small group? I'm playing a gestalt campaign right now with rolled stats equivalent to over 30pt buy. We have 5 players.

Renegadeshepherd wrote:
In fact im advocating only a single level for of oracle but I didn't want to post the build unless it was something the OP wanted as he expressed some interest in the ranger/oracle possibility.

What's the other class involved? And how were you planning on getting all three feats from the Weapon Mastery revelation with only one level in oracle? The answers to this question might make the build significantly better overall.

Shadow Lodge

I can't retrain Snake Fang, it's a bonus feat from the MoMS dip. I could possibly retrain to Dragon Ferocity.

Either way Combat Reflexes fits in as my level 11 feat. Dex is 14 right now and with the Quick Reflexes power I'd get 4 AoO.

It's worth noting that I'm a bloodrager, not an Invulnerable Barbarian, so my DR is not very high, though I'm hoping that the miss chance from Blur will compensate for that in terms of avoiding hits.

Superstition is not on the table.

Shadow Lodge

Joesi wrote:
Also why in the world would that stuff be addictive if it's effects are probably undesireable, taste seems to be bad, and it isn't magical?

Are you familiar with cigarettes?

Shadow Lodge

Renegadesheperd wrote:

What I mean is a character based on making friends and foes reroll their dice at least once and probably more per battle. At the same time the character buffs all rolls with a bonus.

One such example I could bring to the table is vanilla cleric of Chaldira who channels luck portfolio to add a bonus to ALL rolls or to undead give them a minus to all rolls. On top of that you can use tactics domain to hand out 2 dice to initiative roll and luck domain 1st power for a similar 2 dice roll for one person to everything. Heck even the fate domain 8th level power forces rerolls. Another way to go about this idea is a dual cursed oracle for its simplicity of misfortune revelation.

So why are you recommending oracle for this? Shaman gets Fortune and Misfortune as hexes, and also has access to Divine Interference.

You have slightly fewer combat feats but the Battle Shaman can still get Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Focus, and the human can take Weapon Focus instead of Skill Focus as their ancestral arms benefit.

Renegadesheperd wrote:
As for ranger oracle being MAD, its not as bad as you think. 10,16,14,12,13,14 with race bonus going where u want to.

Shaman//Ranger could use 13,16,14,12,14,10 or 10,16,14,10,16,10 (since you don't really need 12 Int when you have 6 skill points from your class and 1 from skilled). And the headband for your primary casting stat also improves your secondary casting/DCs rather than having to split further improvements between Cha and Wis or else neglect your Ranger casting.

I would also strongly consider using the Elven Branched Spear instead of the Curve Blade. Reach is really useful if your primary concern is control and support. Attacking approaching enemies improves your control of the battlefield, and you can get more attacks (of opportunity) in rounds that you cast. Battle Master hex gives you an extra AoO along with the feats, so you don't even really need Combat Reflexes to take advantage of this.

Shadow Lodge

I didn't see much about shields in the class description, just steel defense. Is it the stances or maneuvers?

If damage is tertiary then you probably want a heavier casting focus, since that will give you more support and control options. That means arcanist, oracle, or shaman - or alchemist, which can achieve effective control with bomb-altering discoveries while providing support through infusions.

Unchained Monk//Shaman is a pretty good combo for support and control. You get hexes and spells of both types (misfortune, entangle, bless, cures, restoration) even before selecting your spirit. The Unchained Monk is pretty durable and can lay down a little extra control with stunning fist, maneuvers, or some style strikes, or provide support with the Insightful Wisdom ki power. You'll have to pass on armour but Wis to AC should compensate for that, especially if you can get Mage Armour. If you feel like being fancy you can try a kusarigama which is a reach monk weapon with the grapple and trip properties, which gives you some options for playing with those maneuvers (and drag and reposition).

Renegadesheperd wrote:
My first proposed build is a half elven ancient lorekeeper battle oracle with a TWF ranger. Grab a wakizashi prof from skill at arms and cruise on the fact that you will get TWF, improved TWF, weapon focus, greater weapon focus, improved critical, and more for free across the levels and fairly fast with full BAB. Because your melee abilities are covered this will free you up to be a great caster using metamagic or other great feats to full effect.

TWF is a bad style for characters that expect to cast in combat because it occupies the free hand you need for somatic components. Also I'd avoid a gestalt that MAD - even if you have a good point buy, why not take something with a bit more stat synergy, like Shaman//Ranger? The witchguard is a flavourful archetype for you that also adds more support. Archery is a good style either to focus in or to make a switch hitter (one or two melee feats plus the style and you're good).

Shadow Lodge

lemeres wrote:

With risky striker, halflings are actually rather high tier melee characters. It is a second power attack (non of the 2hand/offhand stuff, but still), and it stacks with power attack. And the penalty? 1 AC- not noted as scaling.

As a strength build, you make up for your strength penalty just by taking the feat (size helps the attack bonus)- every 4 BAB after that, you are just going golden.

I'm absolutely on board with melee halflings, hence objecting to calling a halfling cavalier "inefficient." But a halfling barbarian is probably the least popular melee halfling I've run across on the boards, because the barbarian is particularly invested in max strength and particularly uninterested in the racial charisma bonus. (Also, I'm pretty sure ours didn't have Risky Striker.)

Shadow Lodge

The Skirnir magus can use a shield, though the archetype's costs are a little steep. Keep in mind you'll need a hand to provide somatic components so a light shield is preferable. Is a shield important to you?

In general, what do you see yourself doing in and out of combat? Do you want to spend a lot of time casting spells or do you see the magic as secondary, something slapped on to support martial training? Do you want to do a lot of direct damage, control your enemies, or support your allies? Are any kind of skills you want (such as Knowledge or Use Magic Device)?

Do you know what the rest of the party looks like?

Shadow Lodge

Seelenbarde wrote:
So if i got you right Claxon a sneaky charakter has to make an hide roll every round, while all the PCs do a perception role. And if i get the text right the sneaky char has also to end his turn in a cover or concealment because otherwise he unhides. (if he doesn't have also invisibility)

That's correct.

Being sneaky requires either skill & planning or else invisibility.

Shadow Lodge

Usererror41 wrote:
I made a halfling champion (order of the sword) whose primary weapon was a lance. We were playing the Carrion Crown campaign. It wasn't easy making it work, but riding a wolf made a *huge* difference. He flopped only because I didn't realize that his mount ability gave his wolf evasion and a series of fireballs killed his mount when it should have done 0 damage. The best part of using a wolf-riding halfling was that his total size while mounted was medium, which meant he could go into any place the rest of the party could. His challenged enemy charges were awesome, especially when other members of the party took advantage of his teamwork feats that he could grant (through tactician) and charged with him as he had the Coordinated Charge feat. Also his wolf had a base speed of 60ft, with a run/charge speed of 300 (his wolf had Fleet x2 and Run), which was pretty nice. Even fully armed and armored he was only a light load for his mount. He was awe inspiring in the open, and still useful in dungeon crawls, up until he lost his mount. Then he was a tiny, slow, tank with weak damage.

That's not an inefficient combat style. The lance is the go-to weapon for the cavalier. Order of the Sword, wolf mount, and coordinated charge are all solid choices. And halflings actually make very good cavaliers.

The most "inefficient" PC I've seen was probably a halfling titan mauler barbarian with an earthbreaker and an armoured kilt (the only top-tier rage power he took was Come and Get Me). He used to disguise himself as a human child following the party wizard around. Beat the end boss into a pulp.

I also made an unarmed strike magus as an NPC - scared the party pretty good by taking 90% of the fighter's HP in one turn using greater trip/vicious stomp and his inquisitor buddy with paired opportunist.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ravingdork wrote:

It doesn't keep even, as most things do when they don't stack. In regards to the final Reflex save, it's actually LOWER than if I hadn't taken Prophetic Armor at all! (In which case I would have had Dex and Cha to the save.)

I really don't think the developers meant for a FAQ on non-stacking to actually LOWER your numbers rather than keep them even.

It doesn't lower your numbers.

Prophetic Armor wrote:
You are so in tune with your primal nature that your instincts often act to save you from danger that your civilized mind isn't even aware of. You may use your Charisma modifier (instead of your Dexterity modifier) as part of your Armor Class and all Reflex saving throws. Your armor's maximum Dexterity bonus applies to your Charisma, instead.

"May" means that you have the option not to do something. So you can continue to use your Dex to reflex while using the revelation to add Cha to AC instead of Dex.

You're also assuming that an oracle with this revelation will have a Dex bonus they're missing out on, and many (most?) won't, since they're taking the revelation specifically to avoid needing a good dex. The lore oracle in my party has Dex 10. I've seen builds on the forum that dump Dex to 7.

Shadow Lodge

I feel like a character who gained magic by disobeying his order's prohibition would be more likely to gain arcane than divine power - divine agents generally don't reward disobedient servants. However with a few exceptions (barbarian//scarred witch doctor, sorcadin) full arcane casters don't synergize too well with full martials - you end up splitting a lot of focus between combat and casting. So I'd suggest leaning more towards combat with a martial//part arcane gestalt.

If you do feel like something divine I might suggest a monk//shaman who was invited into the complex by the spirits as their last hope after the rest of the organization was destroyed. Monks are thematically appropriate for guardians of ancient mystical secrets and there's good Wis synergy with the combo. The shaman provides strong casting while the monk has defense, mobility, and potentially martial offense. The Unchained monk provides good general offense, but the sohei gets armour and makes a good reach build, and the sensei has good support abilities. Lore or ancestor spirit fit thematically.

Dasrak wrote:
If 3rd party is allowed, Warder/Magus would fit like a charm. Warder is an intelligence-based warrior with a focus on defense and teamwork, while Magus has arcane the arcane knowledge flair to it. Mechanics and flavor come together nicely with this combo, and gestalt makes it work seamlessly.

I'm not really familiar with Warder but it sounds like a great combo to me.

The Pale King wrote:

I've also been considering Eldritch Guardian Fighter, I love that archetype, what are some good archetypes to combined with it?

For the mystic side, when I say mystic I don't really mean religious but they could be. More that they were magical, secretive, reclusive and powerful.

Eldritch Guardian mechanically works really well with Investigator, since you get all good saves, great skills, and access to combat buffs including the great studied combat on top of the fighter's core combat competence. Thematically it might be pushing your idea of "mystical" but I think it fits if you're guarding a sort of Freemason/Illuminati secret society. My second choice would be bard (possibly Magician) for the mystical class - it has similar types of benefits but is more magical. Magus is also fine but I think Magus//Warder is better than Magus//Eldritch Guardian.

The Pale King wrote:
I'm also allowed Occult Adventures. Anything in there I should look at?

I'd check out the Occultist and maybe the Medium. I haven't playtested either myself but the occultist's implements look interesting and useful to a warrior (start with abjuration and transmuation), the medium can be possessed by combat-focused spirits, and both classes feel thematically appropriate for someone who essentially stole secrets from a mystical organization. You could pair either with the Eldritch Guardian, and the Occultist should also work pretty well with the Warder.

Shadow Lodge

My group maybe averages out to 40% crafting, 40% loot, 20% purchased.

It varies more by campaign than by GM. As others have pointed out, some campaigns have more downtime, thus more crafting. A current campaign has more military/mercenary style where we get a lot of gold payments, so about 60% of our stuff is purchased.

We also had one GM try out an experimental system where most of our wealth came in the form of magical components which could then be converted to certain types of items by a friendly NPC. For example, a particular vine could be used to make a physical enhancement belt, and certain beetles were useful for items that shifted their form or their user's.

Shadow Lodge

I don't think it's any less plausible for an alchemist to grow an imp out of their body than it is for them to grow an intelligent cat.

After all, with the right archetype and feat you can put a hound archon in a tiny bottle and throw it at your enemies. And since you don't have to choose which creature you summon until you use the extract, it's not even really a tiny hound archon in a bottle, it's some kind of mysterious extraplanar protoplasm.

Alchemists are magic, and a weird kind of magic at that.

Shadow Lodge

I for one was trying to respond to OP's concern that stealth would be useless if you can make a perception check to detect a stealthy creature without spending a move action.

Melkiador wrote:
That stealther is pretty strong but that's mostly because of all the goblin goodies. And goblins aren't going to be an option in a lot of games.

Goblins are an option in any game I run. My SO also has a thing for them. :)

A halfling could use basically the same build and still get a +20 unbuffed, or +25 buffed, which still beats your half-elf shaman's perception - and while the halfling is down a feat its other racial features are better.

Ratfolk and svirfneblin are a step stealthier if your GM is OK with some unusual races but not goblins - they both get +2 dex and a +2 racial bonus to stealth, meaning their modifiers are +22 and +27. The ratfolk +2 Int is also useful for alchemists.

(I could have sworn halflings got +2 stealth as well, but apparently it's acrobatics and climb.)

ALSO it's possible OP was looking for sneaky enemies to use on the PCs in which case goblins are great!

Shadow Lodge

Neal Litherland wrote:
How often do characters with purposes greater than "I need the gold, for reasons," or "I accept this quest, because it's the right thing to do (and the DM clearly wants me to)" make themselves known in your heads?

Frequently. But like Kestral and Mark Hoover, I find it's easier to play when those purposes are very closely aligned with the adventure.

For example, one of my two current characters (a gestalt alchemist//drunken monk) is trying to establish a world-class bar. Since it's an urban game, most of the adventuring serves that purpose, whether it's directly protecting customers, building a reputation, or obtaining specific resources - one plot hook involved tracking down a whiskey supplier.

We've also had several explorer/cartographers at the table. A summoner in a game I'm running is writing his thesis on his eidolon, which requires field testing.

Also, you seem to dismiss "it's the right thing to do" but it can be a very flavourful form of greater purpose if you define it specifically enough, like a character trying to save his homeland or atone for past misdeeds. One of my more interesting characters was a knight who had been placed on administrative duty due to psychological trauma from the field. The campaign pulled him back into combat. He was primarily motivated by what was the right thing to do partly because there was no one else left to do it and partly because he was trying to make up for what he saw as past failures and finally become what he had always wanted to be.

He spent a lot of downtime doing paperwork.

Shadow Lodge

You absolutely can get a very high Perception. It just takes a bit more work than a comparable Stealth - and then it's more of a 1v1 contest between the high perception character and the high stealth character, with most of the group being extremely unlikely to spot the sneak.

Also I'd bet that the cap on stealth is higher than the cap on perception.

1st level goblin homunculist alchemist:
1 rank
3 class (via trait, eg conspiracy hunter)
6 Dex (18+4=22)
4 racial
4 size
3 cat familiar (not conditional!)
3 skill focus
1 trait (above)

= +25. Add Reduce Person extract for another +1 from Dex increase and +4 from Size (Small +4 -> Tiny +8), for a total +30.

At 2nd level take Dex mutagen as a discovery for another +2 (and also combat benefits). At 4th level you can take Invisibility as an extract. Note that it's usually easier to predict when you'll need these stealth buffs than when you'll need passive perception buffs.

Bonus points if you can get stealth synergy with your familiar, which reduces the risk of a bad roll.

Shadow Lodge

I'd agree that the basic mechanic sounds like a grapple (where the grapple check represents your ability to "hold on").

Getting the ridden/grappled creature to bash into your enemies sounds like something a feat would cover. I'm not aware of such a feat but I think something that would allow you to make a grapple check to induce the opponent to attack a random creature within its reach would be appropriate.

EDIT: Perhaps adding a small bonus to grapple checks made against creatures larger than you.

Shadow Lodge

The most relevant thing I can find is the FAQ on spiritual weapon, which doesn't answer the RAW* but strongly encourages the common-sense interpretation that you use your casting stat (Int for Arcanists).

*The parenthetical in the text suggests that it's not the character's choice, which in the case of classes not mentioned leaves us clueless.

Shadow Lodge

Seelenbarde wrote:
Otherwise its almost impossible to sneak to a group if they all roll dices automatically together, without having to say so.

Depends on the modifiers and the size of the group.

Stealthy characters often have really high stealth. Dexterity is usually a key combat stat for these characters, and you can get significant bonuses from everything from invisibility (+20) to magic items to race to smaller size. A 1st level heroic goblin can easily have +16 Stealth without magic (1 rank, +3 class skill, +4 dex, +4 racial, +4 size).

While most PCs and many NPCs have a good perception bonus, it's rare for it to get quite so high. At 1st level you rarely see Perception modifiers above +8 (1 rank, +3 class skill, +4 Wis or +2 Wis and +2 racial), and most will be in the +2 to +6 range. If the goblin takes 10, its check is 26 - which means the very perceptive character needs an 18 to detect it and most 1st level characters can't spot the goblin even with a 20.

Even a standard goblin with a mere +10 stealth has a 30% chance of sneaking up on a party with perception modifiers of +8, +4, +4, and +0. That's pretty good considering that the party would clobber the goblin in actual combat!

Shadow Lodge

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
An anchor.

In a similar vein, leashing your familiar to yourself should keep it from being blown too far from you, at least.

The storm-lashed feat might be useful if you expect to run into a lot of wind and electricity effects, but is probably too situational to be generally useful.

Shadow Lodge

I like pfsrd because I find it generally easier to find the information I'm looking for, especially when I don't know exactly what I'm looking for. For example, if I want to ignore difficult terrain but don't know if I need a feat, spell, or magic item.

Though while we're giving feedback I've noticed that recently the search function has failed to find certain basic topics (usually in the Magic section) - I have to navigate there from the main links and then Ctrl-F to find the specific section I'm looking for. Don't know if you have control over that. Also I greatly prefer class feature subpages that look like the alchemist discovery list compared to, say the arcanist's exploits - again, the former makes it easier for me to skim for abilities that do a particular thing.

I have never noticed the problems James Risner points out, possibly because my group doesn't mind deciding what a rule should be. We accept a GM call on these issues but are also OK with a player requesting a rule be bent, like stacking two archetypes that aren't technically compatible but don't interfere with each other. So any confusion introduced over any rule, including by site formatting, is quickly resolved to everyone's satisfaction. I will also note that we've had more such confusion resulting from poorly phrased PF rules than from pfsrd formatting. A recent example: the difference between a spell with a 1-round casting time vs casting a spell as a full round action.

I definitely appreciate the FAQs and other commentary being on the same page as the material it refers to, since otherwise I might not be aware of those FAQ.

Shadow Lodge

Eltacolibre wrote:
The only time, they would know that it is a high level magic item, would be if they get to cast identify and examine the item closely...which shouldn't happen.

Detect Magic gives you the aura strength of items in the area. That doesn't necessarily match item power (for example a +2 headband and +6 headband have the same CL and thus aura strength) but if an apprentice is walking around with multiple moderate-strength auras it might raise some eyebrows.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If Weapon Finesse was about precision shouldn't it fail against creatures immune to precision damage?

The use of the term Dexterity in PF is somewhat broader than common usage and does not have as strong associations with fine hand movements. For example, balancing, flexibility, and reflexes are governed by the Dex stat. So a character with Weapon Finesse may be particularly quick to respond to an opponent's openings, or may use an acrobatic style to attack from unusual angles.

Shadow Lodge

So what does it refer to, Milo?

It looks like rules text but doesn't actually provide the mechanic for learning unusual spells (in terms of any extra requirements over learning normal spells, or limitations on spells learned). That means that if it is rules text it's an incomplete rule.

There's also no particular reason that it couldn't refer to something that more than one spellcasting class could do (like research spells). Saying that a sorcerer can do X doesn't mean that it's the only class that can do X. It's a little clumsy not to include the same text in every class's description but that doesn't make it logically impossible. Paizo is not 100% consistent and reminder text in particular can be spotty. For example there was a rules question a little while back about a weapon that read "Elves treat this as a martial weapon," which turned out to be a reminder that Weapon Familiarity applied to that weapon. The lack of this reminder in other racial familiarity weapons had caused some confusion.

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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Every night of full rest that you get cures 1 point of ability damage. In Skulls and Shackles, it really just means that you won't be able to perform any of the nighttime activities.

Except you take d3 points of damage with every ration, average 2. So you're taking damage more quickly than you're healing it.

Alexander Augunas wrote:
Assuming its not against Besmara's religion to share with your crew, you could always give your rum ration to someone else.

Not against the religion but appears to be against the rules of the ship - "no selling the ration" probably is meant to include giving it away.

Shadow Lodge

There are a lot of things that would reasonably be harder when grappled. The rules are very specific about what actually is harder: -4 Dex penalty, -2 to attacks, casting difficulties, and no two-handed actions.

Since putting on a ring doesn't take two hands (I've confirmed Orfamay Quest's experiment) and is not an attack, spell, or dex check, it doesn't qualify.

You can house rule if you like but be aware that it's a house rule and not supported by the text.

Shadow Lodge

Correct, this won't affect undead. The spell has to specifically say it affects objects to affect undead (or constructs).

It's possible that this is an oversight and it simply didn't occur to the spell's author that they needed to specify that it worked on objects, undead, or constructs. However you'd have to appeal to the GM for a houserule.

Shadow Lodge

That's significantly worse than the usual rules.

The GMG says only that alcohol can sicken the drinker after a number of drinks equal to 1+(2xCon Mod). No Con damage. It doesn't cause addiction unless consumed in great quantity, either, so no penalties there. ("Those who regularly abuse alcohol might eventually develop a moderate addiction.")

It looks like the point is to cause additional difficulties for the characters, both in a metagame sense and in that the ration is distributed to keep the crew compliant - though they're seriously overdoing the latter.

Are you sure that pouring it out would be against your religion? The only reference to booze/rum I can find in Besmara's writeup is that spilling alcohol on a deck is good luck. Certainly she doesn't seem the type to require you to be suicidally obedient.

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I think most people would allow a character to retrieve and drink a potion with one hand (holding a weapon in the other). Equipping a ring should be similar.

Shadow Lodge

1) Yes, and in fact you don't just need one scroll, you need one scroll per day of crafting. Or you can add 5 to the DC and skip the scroll. Or a friend could cast it for you.

2) Yes, if you're using the scroll and you can't cast from the scroll normally you need UMD.

3) You can't take Master Craftsman twice and you must use the selected skill to make the item so you can never make armour.

4) No, you need either actual caster levels or Master Craftsman (armoursmith) to even attempt to make magic armour.

Shadow Lodge

Because it's easier to lift things out of your own pouch than someone else's?

Shadow Lodge

I agree that the intent is not for animal forms, generally, to be able to provide somatic components.

Dragons and nagas are not necessarily proof that you can use claws and tails, since both have innate spellcasting abilities that may be unusually suited to their anatomy (in effect, the Natural Spell feat in their natural forms) and dragon claws in particular are usually portrayed as much more dexterous than animal claws.

As a GM you are free to be lenient on this front but I personally would require opposeable thumbs or at least a limb with multiple digits - no tails or trunks.

Shadow Lodge

I would not use these builds for PFS - and not just because of the unclear rules. It is a potent enough combination that I would expect it to be painfully unbalanced in PFS.

Shadow Lodge

This is a problem with the way the PF rules are written - sometimes inconsistent and with no clear line between game-specific and colloquial terms.

It's a little odd. As far as I can tell, inspired rage doesn't count as the rage class feature (is lacks the terms in bloodrage that would make this the case) but it does count as raging (as does the rage spell). It seems likely to me that the line "raging or under the effect of a rage spell" in the Furious weapon description is redundant.

The closest thing to official clarification of these terms is this FAQ:

FAQ wrote:

Anger management: If I am in a rage, or an Unchained rage, or a bloodrage, or some similar form of rage, can I stack up as many benefits as possible?

No. When you either activate or are affected by a new form of rage (such as a barbarian’s rage, a skald’s raging song, a bloodrager’s bloodrage, and the rage spell), you can choose whether to keep your current rage or to accept the new rage instead, much like a creature affected by multiple polymorph effects. If you are in the throes of a rage that you could not automatically end on your own, such as a wild rager’s wild rage, you may not choose to replace it with a new rage effect. The exception to this rule is the skald’s master skald ability, which explicitly allows the skald’s raging song to stack with other rage effects.

The reason you can't use your rage powers or bloodline abilities during raging song is that you can't stack rage effects, not that raging song isn't rage.

However it may violate the intent of Amplified Rage which seems to assume that you're using the rage class feature you used to qualify for the feat. Using the rage spell when you have the rage feature is close to pointless, and the skald didn't exist.

As the GM, you can decide whether you want to allow this. Personally I would go for it since the player sounds so enthused and it's not going to make one particular player overpowered compared to the others (though the party as a whole will be very strong so you'll want to adjust your encounters accordingly).

Shadow Lodge

The AoO as they approach to attack really makes Zoog vulnerable, especially if you happen to have a PC with combat reflexes. I sent maybe 6-8 Zoog and an advanced zoog at a 3rd level party where the fighter had Combat Reflexes and it was a massacre - even with a surprise round.

Might be a little less skewed at 1st level since the PCs are less likely to one-shot the Zoog with an AoO, though I don't think there's a huge difference. A 1st level martial with a greatsword and Power Attack can do 11 damage pretty easily.

One idea for when you're unsure of how many weak enemies to throw at the PCs is to send them in waves. Attack the party with 2-3 Zoog. If it's a cakewalk, throw a few more at them. Continue until they've expended about 1/4 of their resources (spells & HP). Give them a little extra reward (treasure or XP) if they take out a lot of them.

Shadow Lodge

I don't think it is intended to give you an effective familiar level of twice your character level. I would recommend a houserule either allowing a witch to take an arcane bonded object from the VMC or else give the witch a free Improved Familiar.

Shadow Lodge

I know it's possible that they could make an official ruling against raging performance but I don't think it's likely. The 3.5 precedent isn't about proof, it's about evidence. Evidence is about adding together a number of observations to determine what is likely true.

1) Raging performance worked in 3.5. Since there have been changes between 3.5 and PF this is only weak evidence, but it is at least slightly more likely that something not explicitly changed in PF works the same. Paizo at least tries to make an effort to be clear and consistent in their rules.

2) Rage in general has less restrictions in PF than in 3.5. As a result it is unlikely that raging performance is more restricted in PF than 3.5.

3) Bardic performance was also more restricted in 3.5 than in PF. You couldn't cast spells or activate items while maintaining a performance and some effects such as fascinate explicitly required concentration. PF removed all that. Since performance appears to require less effort and concentration in PF than in 3.5, it is unlikely that it has stopped working in rage.

What is our counter-evidence?

1) The skald does not have the same restrictions on raging song that exist for rage. This is weak evidence since the difference could be justified by spellcasting alone.

It is possible that performance takes "some form of concentration" but a statement of doubt is not actually evidence. It is possible that I could die tomorrow but I have no evidence that I will - so it's not likely. We likewise have no thematic or mechanical reason to believe that performance takes any more concentration than speaking, or using wild shape, or maintaining a grapple, or any of a number of other activities that are well accepted to be allowed during rage. So our conclusion should be based on our other observations, which are in line with a less restrictive approach.

Given these observations I believe it is much more likely that any official word would be "yes, you can perform while raging" than "actually, we removed a ton of restrictions on what you can do while raging or performing, and we know that there's a long enough history of rage-performing bardarians that they got their own cute name, but we don't want that to work anymore."

It's also possible they could go the taking 10 route and say that it is intentionally vague to invite table variation, though I think that's less likely than a clear thumbs-up given that it's less of a situational issue than taking 10, and would cause problems for PFS builds.

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Rook the Mighty wrote:
The tactical genius part was meant to be sarcastic, I did some REALLY dumb things, some things so bad that about 4 characters and 20 levels later they still remember.

That tends to annoy people more than actual tactical geniuses.

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
I don't know if it's in-character's fault or out-of-character, but Rook doesn't cooperate much with the rest of the group. He runs ahead, carelessly triggering traps or smashing things to pieces, and complains when there's too much role-playing because he's bored and wants more combat.

Putting the safety or success of your party in jeopardy because you're bored is a jerk move. And complaining about (or worse, sabotaging) social or exploratory scenes may come across as demanding that everything take place on your terms. You built your character for combat so there must be as much combat as possible - taking the spotlight off those characters who invested more resources in scouting, trapfinding, or diplomacy. For some people that's even more frustrating than the in-game consequences.

Shadow Lodge

If a living familiar loses its spells 24 hours after the master's death, wouldn't a stone familiar also lose those spells?

Is it really the intent for a familiar to permanently lose all their spells any time the witch dies and is not raised within 24 hours? I believe the intent within the APG was to allow witches to potentially get spells from a defeated NPC witch in the same way a wizard can take a foe's spellbook.

Skylancer4 wrote:
The other side of that is, the witch has specific rules about losing spells if the familiar is lost. If the witch dies, the familiar is essentially lost as well. This is no different than a wizard dying and the spell book being lost.

I have never seen a wizard die and lose their spellbook. I expect it could happen if the body is lost or else destroyed in a way that also destroys their gear, but I've never seen it. In fact I've never seen a wizard permanently lose their spellbook at all. Temporarily taken, yes, but it's always recovered soon. From the boards I've gathered that targeting spellbooks is usually considered a "jerk GM" move. Witches' familiars are already in more direct danger than spellbooks and it's doubly costly - like a wizard losing both familiar and spellbook at the same time. Does it really make sense to add an additional penalty on the witch's death?

Shadow Lodge

Spells includes spells known, spell slots, caster level, designation as a "spellcasting class," everything.

The two archetypes are compatible but the spelleater ability is useless since you have no spell slots. You effectively trade both uncanny dodge features and DR for fast healing equal to the DR that you lost. Usually not a great deal but may be worth it if you expect to get some of those features from another source.

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Abraham spalding wrote:
pointing out that it is the same action type, level of effort and level of patience and concentration as is needed to maintain rage should not be neccesary, but apparently is.

Rage doesn't take an action to maintain - if you're dazed and can't take actions your performance ends but your rage doesn't.

However, you have to spend an action to maintain a grapple.

Does that mean that grappling requires concentration and can't be done while raging?

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Each round, you must spend a Free Action to maintain it from the previous round it was active (meaning it continues on from the previous round, it doesn't become separate performances in comparison to your analogy of attacks), otherwise it dissipates. It's a buff that requires some sort of concentration to keep active, otherwise it just doesn't work.

It requires maintenance. That's not the same thing as requiring concentration.

If you're flying, you have to move a certain distance or make a fly check every round in order to stay in the air. If you fail your hover check you fall, not because flying takes concentration (do we want to argue barbarians can't fly in rage?) but because you are no longer physically controlling your flight.

If you stop taking the free action to perform then you are no longer moving your limbs and/or mouth parts in a way to produce a physical performance. The performance doesn't "dissipate," it ends because you stop performing.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Rage doesn't allow any activity that requires patience or concentration. By your reasoning, casters under the effects of Rage can still cast spells, they just can't do Concentration checks, and it's quite obvious that's not intended.

Casting a spell requires concentration even if you aren't making a concentration check - the check indicates a threat to your concentration. From the section on concentration checks: "To cast a spell, you must concentrate. If something interrupts your concentration while you're casting, you must make a concentration check or lose the spell."

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If I have to spend a Free Action each round to maintain a Performance, how is that, thematically speaking, any different from having to spend a Standard Action each round to maintain a Spell?

Thematically, while spending a standard action on a spell you are exerting so much mental energy on controlling an ongoing magical effect that you cannot perform any other significant action. While spending a free action to maintain a performance you are trading one-liners along with your punches (comedy) or using some sort of spinning fighting style (dance) or loudly shouting about the power of friendship (oratory) or something else that's inspiring but doesn't really take much effort aside from moving your mouth parts.

Mechanically, if someone hits you while you're maintaining the spell, you might lose the effect. If someone hits you while you're performing, nothing happens.

You can also cast spells while using bardic performance, indicating an ability to concentrate on the magic while performing. It is both mechanically impossible and thematically implausible to concentrate on two things at the same time, thus bardic music does not thematically or mechanically require concentration.

I sing absentmindedly. I know dancers who dance absentmindedly. I sometimes sing, and I know people who dance, in order to help ourselves concentrate on something other than singing or dancing. I used to sing while doing my calculus homework (inspire competence!).

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The reason Combat Expertise was not allowed originally was because it was a form of concentration with your attacks, which was demonstrated in the bonuses/penalties the feat granted. Pathfinder didn't find that sort of intent to fit with their rules, so it was changed.

Yes, Pathfinder found that the restrictions against Combat Expertise, activating command word items, etc. did not fit their intent. So why would it fit their intent to add a restriction on bardic music that did not exist in 3.5? ncreased restriction appears to run counter to the intent of rage in PF.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
In my personal opinion, I'd say something that requires you to spend actions each round to maintain its effects (just like you would spend a Standard Action each round to concentrate on a spell that you cast, whose duration is of concentration, i.e. Wall of Fire), regardless of their action, would constitute concentration in some manner.

You start attacking on turn 1. If you want to continue doing damage on turn 2, you have to spend actions to attack. The only difference between this and bardic performance is that the latter takes less effort to maintain than to start.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Lastly, referring to the Skald, there is a specific exception to their Inspired Rage performance that exempts the Skald from being limited by skill-types, or activities that require patience or concentration, providing compelling evidence to my case (if Bardic Performances could normally be allowed, there would be no reason to have to exempt the Skald from the limitations).

The skald is weak evidence at best. Spellcasting and knowledge skills would be more than enough to justify removing those restrictions. There is even an archetype with a counterspelling ability that requires the skald to be able to use Spellcraft and spellcasting during raging song. There is no reason to believe bardic music was involved in that decision.

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