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Pathfinder Society Member. 2,821 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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Shadow Lodge

Undone wrote:
Could you elaborate? It looks like you're talking about combat reflexes working well with a Dex build, but the whip is the only finesse reach weapon and it's a bit of an odd duck with regards to how its reach works.

Assuming as little as a 15 point buy you can take a 16/14/12/12/10/7 stat buy which gives you 2 additional attacks and allows flatfooted attacks which is potentially 3 bonus hits with a dex ioun stone yielding a 5th.

While the builds do work with dex it's just as good str using the 14 in dex. 3 bonus attacks is equal to TWF, ITWF, GTWF only at higher to hit bonuses. Although they are less reliable.

I agree that's the best stat strategy with a reach weapon. I'm confused by the reference to agile weapons, which are used in a finesse build.

Undone wrote:
Combat reflexes can scale up on agile weapons or even just with an ioun stone to be one feat with a potential 3 or 4 extra attacks.

Shadow Lodge

Undone wrote:
-Combat reflexes can scale up on agile weapons or even just with an ioun stone to be one feat with a potential 3 or 4 extra attacks.

Could you elaborate? It looks like you're talking about combat reflexes working well with a Dex build, but the whip is the only finesse reach weapon and it's a bit of an odd duck with regards to how its reach works.

Errant Mercenary wrote:

I have to say that the Long Arm spell has to be burnt and taboo'd!

Not serious, but the spell is a little too good in certain situations. Enlarge came with some disadvantages.

Enlarge also gives you about +2 to damage, +2 CMD, +1 CMB, lets you threaten more squares (up to 20ft away from a 10ft base vs up to 15 feet away from a 5ft base), and may make you immune to special abilities with a max size (eg swallow whole).

There are disadvantages, but there are also greater advantages.

Also, I like not having to recalculate half my stats if I want increased reach.

Shadow Lodge

Let's try some numbers.

Let's assume that a 10th level magus with a +3 rapier is fighting beside a magus in a 6-clawed form (but no AoMF). The claw magus has taken Eldritch Claws as you suggest – the rapier magus instead took Improved Critical. Both are otherwise identical and using Haste, Spell Combat, and Frostbite. Let's assume that the claw magus has a 75% chance to hit with each attack. This means the rapier user has a 90% chance to hit at full BAB with the +3 and their iterative attack will have a 65% chance to hit. For simplicity attack damage only includes base weapon damage + enhancement + spell.

Rapier = 3*.9(2d6+13) + .65(2d6+13) = 3*.9*20 + .65*20 = 45.9 + 11.05 = 67 DPR

BUT there's also a 40% chance of crit threats, so we have to add an extra .4* Expected damage. Working this out in the long form, for each attack we add chance threat * chance confirm * attack damage:

With crit = 67 + 3*.4*.9(2d6+13) + .4*.65(2d6+13) = .4*45.9 + .4*11.05 = 26.8 + 67 = 93.8

Claw gets 7 attacks: 1 haste + 1 spellstrike + 6 claws – 1 hand being used to cast a spell = 7 attacks, with a 5% chance of crit threat.

Claw = 7*.75(2d6+10) + 7*.05*.75(2d6+10) = 89.25 + 4.46 = 93.7

DPR is 93.8 vs 93.7, virtually identical. Both characters are almost guaranteed (>99.9% chance) to hit at least once, so the target is also fatigued. The claw user has an extra 18K, but the rapier user didn't cast Monstrous Physique, so they have an extra 4th level spell slot. 4th level pearl of power = 16K so I'd call that even. Keep in mind also this is a favourable level for the claw user since they have just gotten access to their 6-armed “king of forms.”

Now, both characters are likely to have a few extra damage bonuses, whether from a Str bonus, elemental property, etc, so let's see how this works with a general “X” where X is total damage from the attack before weapon enhancement:

DPR (natural weapons) = 7*.75X + 7*.05*.75X = 5.5125X
DPR (rapier) = 3*.9(X+3) + .65(X+3)+ .4*(3*.9X+3)+(.4*.65X+3) = 4.69X+14.07

The claw user wins when:
5.51X > 4.69X+14.07
X > 17.16

X = 17 above, which means that with a higher Str the claw user pulls ahead... unless X is reduced by DR. At level 10, many foes have DR 10 or higher which eliminates weapon damage, leaving only Frostbite damage. That's 7*.75(d6+10) + 7*.05*.75(d6+10) = 74.4. Your DPR drops by 20 against DR/cold iron or DR/alignment! Note that align weapon works on manufactured but not natural weapons.

Let's vary to-hit:

Y=chance to hit with claw:

DPR (natural weapons) = 7*Y*X + 7*.05*YX = 7.35XY
DPR (rapier) = 3*(Y+.15)(X+3) + (Y-.1)(X+3)+ .4*previous

It's been a while since I worked at expressions that don't simplify nicely and the latter doesn't so I'm going to plug-and-play with X=17 as above:

With a 90% chance to hit on the claw, you get 112.5 claw vs 102.2 for the rapier*
With a 80% chance to hit on the claw, you get 100 claw vs 99.4 for the rapier.
With a 70% chance to hit on the claw, you get 87.5 claw vs 88.2 for the rapier.
With a 60% chance to hit on the claw, you get 75 claw vs 77 for the rapier.
With a 50% chance to hit on the claw, you get 62.5 claw vs 65.8 for the rapier.
With a 40% chance to hit on the claw, you get 50 claw vs 54.6 for the rapier.

*Note that I capped out the rapier's chance to hit for full-BAB attacks.

Claws get an advantage, then, with higher than 75% to-hit, but it's only significant when the rapier wielder starts missing only on a 1, which is not typical in a serious fight. As your chance to hit drops, the rapier gets better than the claws, though not by much.

Now, if you do decide to spend 16K on a +2 AoMF you pull ahead (7*.85(2d6+12) + 7*.05*.85(2d6+12) = 118.7 using initial assumptions). But then you're about on par with wealth, still a 4th level spell slot behind, and you still fall behind the rapier when dealing with DR (7*.85(d6+10) + 7*.05*.85(d6+10) = 84.3).

Note also that none of these calculations included an arcane pool enhancement, which benefits all rapier attacks but only one claw (3/4 claw attacks). This is an advantage for the rapier, though probably not an overwhelming one.

Conclusion: natural weapons exclusive build is viable, and under optimal conditions can beat a simple crit-fishing magus on damage. However, DR is a serious weakness and an AoMF is a must. You shouldn't ignore weapon damage – it may be a minority of your damage output but it's a significant minority and a decent Str mod may give you an edge over that guy with the rapier. Also from the OP's POV you'll need to abandon your natural natural weapons for a polymorphed form, otherwise your number of attacks won't keep up.

Shadow Lodge

I can't argue my side. I don't have one. I am undecided on how the natural weapons magus stacks up against the manufactured weapon magus. I was just lurking and hoping you'd convince me (I'd really like to try this build!) but I'm noticing some inconsistencies and I can't ignore them because I'm stubborn. It's a character flaw.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
You are entitled to your opinion however the Faq says what it says.

B) We are agreed that the natural weapons magus has a higher average number of hits in a round. We are not agreed that makes the build "better."

C) I notice that your Transmorgifist build #2 takes Eldritch Claws to bypass DR/magic and DR/silver - at level 9. At that point WBL is 46,000gp and even if you haven't got a +3 rapier you can make one with arcane pool, so why are you spending a feat on getting through less kinds of DR than a +3 weapon does? That's not easier and cheaper.

In terms of value, a rapier also gets the +1 bonus on its free spellstrike attack and any iteratives, so you need more than twice the number of natural weapons for AoMF > rapier. With six arms an AoMF is a better buy than swords - but that doesn't make it less necessary for the build, which was your original assertion. Goal-posts should stay put, thanks.

D) Maybe I'm blind. Bold it for me.

Two Touch Spells wrote:

In general you shift into a Form with multiple natural attacks, say a Gargoyle for example, and then close and use the Frostbite spell. From this point on every attack you can burn an arcane pool point to add your Int bous to your attack bonus for normal weapon damage + 1D6 cold + CL in non-lethal damage and Fatigue as well as Entangle the target(s) because of the Rime Spell metamagic. That is usually enough non-lethal damage to knock most things out in a round and if it lives being entangled lets you 5ft away and it can’t follow you to retaliate. Also each successful hit will allow you to Intimidate the target for the Shaken condition.

At higher levels You’ll replace the Arcane Accuracy with Accurate Strikes to resolve all your attacks against Touch AC while power attacking and using your AoMF to drop an Intensified Shocking Grasp on each target you’re fighting. At this point you should have 2 touch spells running for each attack (Frostbite & Chill Touch) stacking with your regular weapon damage and the elemental effect from your AoMF. On average you should be doing 4D6 +str +level +PA bonus on 6-8 attacks each round all at full Bab against touch AC.

Ctrl-F Wand:
But you have a good will progression and a trait like Birthmark makes you better off than most Melee chars. Wands of Protection from evil are cheap.

Plus you can have a tail to hold a wand or rod for you (saves taking hair hex). The alternate favored pool point favored bonus is sweet too.

One for you, one for your familiar (they use YOUR skill ranks remember?) so your 8 Int little buddy actually knows quite a bit. Spring a feat on Improved Familiar later and get a Faerie Dragon to use wands (considered a 3rd level sorc so no UMD check!! and telepathy!) for you while you fight, either buffs for you or Debuffs on enemies (Did I mention Ill Omen yet?)

Wand Wielder: Not bad. But not awesome. Having a wand gets you tons of spell combat rounds without burning spells. But wands are expensive, have a poorer CL than your spells and you can't two hand Spellstrike with a wand in your offhand. Why isn't your familiar using the wand again?

It is effectively an extra 'hand' that can hold a wand (so can a familiar though).

Evil Eye+Ill omen wand using Familiar= MASSIVE DEBUFF.

Use wands of Infernal Healing outside combat. Works out better than CLW

Not finding it. Just a lot of references to giving your familiar the wands.

spell scar:
Spell Scars: This lets you scribe spells onto your skin and the creation costs are the same as scrolls. The big difference is the can't be stolen and don’t require an action to pull from a scroll tube. Much cheaper than a ring of wizardry for example but requires a standard action to cast, so does not combine with spell combat. Prepare utility spells as Scars and load your slots with combat spells. For example, at 7th level for the cost of 1575gp, you could 'scribe' 6 extra 3rd level spells in your skin. Powerful if expensive, but a great way to guarantee access to all your best known utility spells you cast out of combat. All your prepared slots should be your bread and butter combat spells. This is SLIGHTLY better than just getting the scribe scroll feat because they can't be stolen and will not need an action to take out.

*twice in build lists*

Extra Spells from Spell Scars gets you a bunch of out of combat slots that make you awesomer.

Page reference?

Shadow Lodge

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Am I The Only One? wrote:
Because rangers are guys who hang out in the woods, stop poachers, deal with animals, rescue the lost, etc.

You have that exactly backwards. Lots of people hand out the woods and stop poachers without necessarily having levels in ranger.

Similarly, there's no reason a ranger can't work as a lifeguard at a beach.

If there is an associated profession, that's usually a pretty good sign that the class is not the profession. A class is a skill and ability set, a profession is how you get paid.

A person who hangs out in the woods and stops poachers etc might not have levels in ranger, but he is a ranger, in the same sense that:

zefig wrote:
A paladin of Shizuru who serves a Lord would call himself a samurai and he wouldn't be wrong, even without levels in the class.

Ranger describes an iconic profession, just like samurai describes a profession/office. I'm not sure whether Am I The Only One? intended to say the class is identical to the profession or whether there's just strong overlap, but it is much more likely to exist as an in-world concept than "rogue" or "slayer" which aren't associated with iconic professions.

Shadow Lodge

Laureth wrote:
My whole point is about dev posts directly contradicting the pre-exisiting rules without erratae being made.

That's why dev posts are not considered official for rules purposes - they don't always carefully consider all rules implications and might miss things outside of the context of the question.

Shadow Lodge

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

OK Wierdo, at this point you are obviously not reading the clear cut rules quotes provided and just making things up.

Now if you wish to continue in this discussion you should probably read what you are replying to first.

Take your own advice.

A) UAS are normally full-body weapons and can be delivered with any body part (general rule), but when using Spell Combat you must use hand-associated weapons (specific rule). The FAQ allowing UAS with spell combat still requires that the attack be hand-associated, which means a punch, not an elbow or kick.

Magus: 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.

B) Your argument was that a claw/claw/bite user has a higher chance to deliver a spell because your third attack is at full BAB compared to an iterative attack. While I agree this is true, I was pointing out (1) the difference is only meaningful with multi-touch spells (2) there are trade-offs which you are not mentioning. Both of these are important points for the OP when considering how effective a claw/claw/bite build will be.

C) Magic weapons aren't just about weapon damage. They also increase to-hit, help you overcome DR, and can add properties like Keen or Holy. The former amplifies the rapier magus' crit advantage and the latter is very useful in certain campaigns. Rapier magi also derive much of their damage from spells and they still want magic weapons.

D) Your guide doesn't mention using a wand or spell scar to pull off the Frostbite + Chill Touch combo, so you can hardly fault me for failing to read your mind and anticipate the rules exception you were using - and I think it's a disservice to those reading your guide who might not realize that you need to jump through those hoops and expend extra resources to pull off that trick. (Which I do think works RAW, though maybe not RAI.)

Shadow Lodge

Also noticed in your guide:

At this point you should have 2 touch spells running for each attack (Frostbite & Chill Touch) stacking with your regular weapon damage and the elemental effect from your AoMF.

This doesn't work - you can't deliver Frostbite and Chill Touch at the same time.

When you have charges remaining in a touch spell eg Frostbite or Chill Touch, you are still considered to be holding the charge.

Holding the Charge: If you don't discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates.

If you have Frostbite active and cast Chill Touch, Frostbite dissipates, and vice versa.

claudekennilol wrote:
I can see how A says what you're saying about negating the need for natural spell combat, though. But I'd be heavily prepared to defend it to a GM with the dev posts you're talking about since it answers the question with a "Yes" but then goes on to say everything about haste and nothing about the question.

That's not what it does. There are still FAQ on the books limiting the weapons used with spell-combat to hand-associated ones. Of course, Mathwei ap Niall hasn't actually claimed that you don't need natural spell combat to use spell combat with a bite, just that you don't need it to use spell combat with a claw - which no one is disputing.

Shadow Lodge

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
And you are essentially wrong here as well. Yes, a claw wielder technically gives up one hand to use spellcombat which would cost one attack. But since spell combat with a touch spell gives you an extra attack he's back up to 2 attacks a round. Yes a manufactured weapon wielder with a BaB over 6 can get a 3rd attack but that attack will be at a -7 to hit and will usually miss.

At this point, at BAB +6 we have +4/+4 with the claw (main hand, main hand delivering touch spell) and +4/+4/-1 (main, spell, iterative) with the rapier. At BAB +11 we have +9/+9 vs +9/+9/+4/-1. Rapier wins - even if the iterative attacks don't hit as much, they hit sometimes.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
However the natural weapon wielder can invest in a Natural Spellcombat arcana and add another weapon into the rotation or simply cast a spell granting a form with extra claw/slam attacks OR simply use an unarmed strike. (The UAS does require burning two feats to do it safely without to extreme a penalty but still an option)

If you go UAS, it replaces your main hand claw since any UAS used with spell combat must be your hand-associated weapon. Polymorph and Natural spell combat let you add more attacks, but they also require you to spend resources (spells and arcana) that a manufactured weapon wielder could allocate elsewhere. For example, if you're casting Monstrous Physique I, you and your party might be turning down Haste.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Add to this that the Natural Weapon wielder will almost always have a better to-hit chance then the weapon wielder for their extra attacks usually makes it a better option.

For example a 8th level rapier wielding magus would have a attack routine of +4/+4/-1 (before stat/magic adjustment) vs. the identical Natural weapon magus with a +4/+4/+4 with a claw/claw/(bite, Slam, gore, etc.)
Since the most important thing is to connect with the target to discharge the spell the natural weapon wielder has a superior chance to do that.

The odds of missing with two highest-BAB attacks in the same round are in my experience not high, even at 3/4 BAB, and if you're delivering a single-charge spell you just need one hit in a round. When using multi-touch spells the last attack packs a bit more punch, and it's nice to speed up the rate at which you deliver a multi-touch spell since they often have more total effects than the one-shot touch. But is that worth an arcana, and the resources to obtain the natural attacks? Note also that the rapier wielder crits on a 18-20 instead of just the 20, increasing the chance they'll do double damage with both weapon and spell.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
I think the big issue here is in your understanding of what an off-hand is. It's not a real term, there is no off-hand in spell combat, there is only "the other hand". It's just the hand that is occupied with casting the spell, it doesn't impact anything else, it's just busy during this round is all.

And because it's busy, it can't make a claw attack.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

The will also have significantly more cash since they don't ever need to buy, improve or replace a weapon.

Eventually they will probably buy an AoMF but it's not a mandatory purchase like a magical weapon is for your weapon wielder.

Justify this, please. I have never seen someone suggest an AoMF is less important to a natural weapon user than a magic weapon is to a manufactured weapon user, especially when as pointed out upthread the natural weapon user can't use arcane bond to enhance all their attacks at once. And the AoMF is more expensive, meaning the natural weapon user will have less cash.

Shadow Lodge

I think a lot of people are forgetting the premises in the OP's first post.

1) Evil actions are evil because of their consequences ie they cause harm.

2) Casting an evil spell is an evil act.

Therefore, Infernal Healing should cause some harm. Because it's intended as a temptation, it should be a very small harm and it should be easy to justify. But if Infernal Healing doesn't cause harm, either it wouldn't be evil (violating 2) or evil would be "arbitrary" (violating 1).

Infernal healing could very well be a "first one's free" sort of lure to encourage casters to feel more willing to cast evil spells that are actually harmful in the future. But in that case, it would not itself be an evil act any more than associating with evil people - who might persuade you to do evil things - is an evil act.

Jaçinto wrote:

For infernal healing, check out the show supernatural (earlier seasons, I forget which) and see what happens to Sam's personality when he consume's demon blood.


I mean sure you can use evil to do good things but you are still doing something horribly evil. It is like that saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

I find it interesting that you reference Supernatural given the lengths that most of the angels are willing to go to to ensure that their side wins. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, the road to heaven is paved with casual disregard for human life and well-being. And in that respect it's also a great example of the arbitrary good and evil that the OP wants to avoid. (Note: currently watching season 5, there may be future developments I'm not taking into account.)

Jaçinto wrote:

See, since you are going for flavour here, think about it. You are infusing someone with blood that is literally made from a creature that is physically evil incarnate. It's devil's blood (sometimes unholy water, I know.) and that is from a creature that really is made of evil, if evil was a physical thing you can actually make something with.

The reason the spell is evil is because, well think about it. Yes you are healing them but you are infusing them with the very essence of evil. Even if it is temporary, you are putting evil inside someone.

But what does putting evil inside someone actually do? Premise (1) requires some harm, not just arbitrary "it's evil because it's evil." Now, that shouldn't be hard. Physical evil would be a Hell of a drug. Does it physically hurt them, induce them to commit evil acts, slowly turn them into a tiefling, turn their unborn children into tieflings? Does it result in a small chance that Hell will claim their soul after death, regardless of their actions in life?

Shadow Lodge

Mathwei ap Niall, I don't think you're paying attention to what we are actually objecting to about your posts. For starters:

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

C). Using touch spells through natural attacks can be done the same round they are cast. This is addressed in the spellstrike rules you just quoted.

See where it says ANY weapon? As the previous faq quote just directly said that all natural attacks are light, 1-handed weapons that makes them a valid choice for spellstrike allowing you to use any of them as a delivery method for that spell.

claudekennilol and I have repeatedly pointed out that spellstrike is exactly what allows you to do this. Why is this important? Because here's where that question came up in the thread: the OP pointing out that if he's not a magus with spellstrike, he can't cast-move-natural attack.

And here was your response to that (bold mine):

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
FOURTH, some of you really need to re-read the rules for touch spells. ANY offensive touch spell allows you to cast then move and attack. Base rules allow you to swap that with a natural attack. Natural Weapon Magi don't even need spellstrike at all as long as they focus on just their natural weapons.

But if you DON'T have spellstrike:

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Anytime a Caster touches anything other than his weapon with a touch spell active the spell goes off. Swinging a claw and hitting the target counts as touching and triggers the spell.

Hitting something with a claw certainly discharges the spell, but without spellstrike hitting a target with a claw requires an attack action. Which means you cannot NORMALLY (without spellstrike, quicken, or some other exception) deliver a touch spell using a natural weapon in the same round as you cast the touch spell. Which is exactly what the OP and Artoo were saying, so your objection was unfair and inaccurate.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Don't forget casting a touch spell with spell combat grants you an extra attack with your hand. You give up 1 of your hand based attacks but get to make 2 an extra attack with the other. It's pretty much a wash when it comes to natural attacks.

I'm not forgetting it. But you also get that extra attack if you are using a manufactured weapon. Again, the specific thing I'm objecting to is:

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
A magus using spellcombat can attack with ALL their hand based weapons

You can't spell combat with all your hand based weapons because you can't spell combat with your off-hand claw. The usual advantage of claws is that you get two attacks at full BAB, but when using spell combat you lose one of those attacks. That means that spell combat with claws, assuming you have only two arms, is not an improvement over spell combat with a manufactured weapon in your main hand. In fact the claw is worse at BAB +6 or higher. Using Monstrous Physique to turn into something with multiple arms resolves this issue, but that doesn't come into play until high levels.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Natural weapon builds are AWESOME for any caster focused on touch spells, Magi just have a LOT of advantages to make it extra awesome.

Magus are probably better than average as natural weapon / touch spell using spellcasters. The question is whether natural weapons are the most effective weapon choice for a magus, given that spell combat does not work as efficiently with natural weapons (you lose your off-hand claw and have to take an arcana to use non-hand-based weapons) and that spellstrike allows you to use a manufactured weapon instead of a natural weapon to deliver a touch spell with an attack. I'm undecided, hence hanging out here and trying to clarify the relevant rules.

Shadow Lodge

It's two new variables, one weapon property and one size modifier, and the latter requires a chart to look up. I prefer to avoid charts where possible.

I also don't see fiddling with the reach granted by an inappropriately sized weapon as much of a benefit, assuming that's what you mean by "accepting of various modifications." It might be a bit more realistic, but this is a game that gives small and medium creatures the same reach for the sake of balance and simplicity.

The only real problem with the current reach rules is a lack of a clear definition for "reach" with respect to "natural reach" and "reach weapon."

Shadow Lodge

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Owly wrote:
Let's not forget the material component of Infernal Healing is devil's blood. How does the caster get this component? Why, through the evil act of summoning, bargaining for, purchasing or otherwise getting a substance that is inherently evil, even if just from someone else (who must be evil, or he wouldn't have it).

Or you could kill devils. That's a good way to get devil's blood.

Shadow Lodge

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

FIRST you don't need natural spellcombat for claws, those are already hand based weapons so automatically work with spellcombat/spellstrike. Natural spellcombat is for natural attacks that aren't hand based (like Bites, Gores, Pincers, etc.) As for it only allowing you 1 natural attack a round, well that's just completely wrong.

A magus using spellcombat can attack with ALL their hand based weapons as well as any natural attack they defined with natural spell combat.

Not quite. Spell combat requires that you wield a spell in your off hand, which means you can only use one of your hand based weapons. You can't spell combat with two daggers, you can't spell combat with two claws.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
FOURTH, some of you really need to re-read the rules for touch spells. ANY offensive touch spell allows you to cast then move and attack. Base rules allow you to swap that with a natural attack. Natural Weapon Magi don't even need spellstrike at all as long as they focus on just their natural weapons.

It's my understanding that delivering a touch spell through a natural weapon normally (without spellstrike) requires you to be holding the charge from a previous round, and that the free touch you get in the first round (when you can cast as a standard, move, and deliver as a free action) only works for a touch.

Touch Spells in Combat:
Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.

Touch Attacks: Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an armed attack and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The act of casting a spell, however, does provoke an attack of opportunity. Touch attacks come in two types: melee touch attacks and ranged touch attacks. You can score critical hits with either type of attack as long as the spell deals damage. Your opponent's AC against a touch attack does not include any armor bonus, shield bonus, or natural armor bonus. His size modifier, Dexterity modifier, and deflection bonus (if any) all apply normally.

Holding the Charge: If you don't discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. 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.

Shadow Lodge

Debate on that point.

There's a strong case for slams being associated with arms in humanoid creatures (and thus not able to be combined with claws).

Shadow Lodge

CraziFuzzy wrote:
Since it is affecting the persons actual arm reach, I think that means his natural reach is extended. The problem is that, with the way the rules are written (written before someone could arbitrarily make their arms 5 ft longer), the statement of 'doubling' is in there, making it all get wonky.

It's not wonky. If a medium creature has a natural reach of 10ft, they wield reach weapons like a typical large creature (natural reach 10ft).

It does, however, contradict the precedent set by Lunge.

I think it would unnecessarily complicate things to have a separate size-dependent weapon reach. It would be nice if the rules for reach weapons specified that an effect increasing reach (as opposed to "natural reach") increases the outer limit of the creature's striking range, but not the area in which they cannot strike. Assuming that's the intention.

Shadow Lodge

It's an interesting concept and I think it works as Calth describes, but it is pretty darn high level: 16th as a Bloodrager 11 / Oracle 4 / MT 1. And then because you don't have many bloodrager slots, you'd only be able to cast Cure Light Wounds up to 3 or 4 times/day using Combined Spells (or about the equivalent of a single Cure Serious or Cure Critical, plus a bit of a bonus from extra uses of Fast Healer).

Also, if you're an oracle/bloodrager, just take the Lame curse and become immune to fatigue no later than level 9 (oracle 1/ bloodrager 8).

As an alternative, you could play a Samsaran and add CLW and CMW to your list from the witch or bard list (depending on what else you want to steal). Then you'd be able to ragecycle heal right at level 11 (or 12 if you dip oracle for life link and the lame curse) and not have to burn a higher spell slot. Samsarans normally make poor martials due to their +2 Int +2 Wis -2 Con, but it might be worth it to get your concept working 4 levels earlier, especially since many campaigns don't last until level 16 in the first place.

Shadow Lodge

Dustin Ashe wrote:
Calex wrote:
So are people learning the games later because its seen as more of an "old folks" game now? It seems to me more people here are picking it up as young adults rather than kids or teens. Maybe I'm mistaken though.
It might just be that kid and teen players don't frequent the messageboards.

That too, it's a biased sample for sure.

Cintra Bristol wrote:
When I was 10, my church put together a six-week summer program, with young adults teaching various hobbies to the middle-school-aged kids. Two young adults taught a group of (I think) ten of us to play D&D. This was in Georgia, which may quite possibly make us the only ten kids in the bible belt ever to be taught D&D in a church-organized official class.

Sounds like a cool church!

Shadow Lodge

cnetarian wrote:
That said there is nothing particularly difficult about making cipher rings and 60G for a pair should be fine - pay more if you want something fancy like having the letters engraved instead of painted.

I agree. Special features like "False Jewelry" or "Poison Pill Ring" are usually +X gp, so I'd consider "Cipher Ring" to add 10gp to the cost of any ring.

Shadow Lodge

CraziFuzzy wrote:
The rules for small and medium creatures with reach weapons are different than the rules for large and larger creatures. (And there aren't rules for reach weapons on smaller than small creatures).

That's not true. "Most reach weapons double the wielder's natural reach." That's not in big and little creatures in combat, that's under "Reach Weapons." It's a general rule no matter what size you are. This also means a tiny or smaller creature doesn't benefit from a reach weapon (since twice reach 0 is 0).

CraziFuzzy wrote:
Long Arm, however, does not distinguish between size.

It doesn't have to. "Increase your natural reach by 5ft" is, for a small or medium-size creature, identical to "increase your reach to that of a large creature."

CraziFuzzy wrote:
I don't see how that can be considered anything other than an increase natural reach of 5 ft.
CraziFuzzy wrote:

Except the text of Long Arm doesn't say it 'grants you natural reach, as though you were large size category', it specifically says that "Your arms temporarily grow in length, increasing your reach with those limbs by 5 feet." ...

Because this specifically adds an absolute 5 ft of reach:

So do you think it adds to natural reach (before the doubling operation) or "absolute reach" (after the doubling operation)?

Shadow Lodge

Do people who learned the rules from books and computer games before joining a group feel that they hit the ground running, or was there a lot of adjustment to the actual dynamics of play and roleplay?

I think I hit the ground running once I found a real group, but that's probably partly because I spent a lot of time playing make-believe without rules as a kid, and later writing fiction.

And teamwork still took getting used to.

Calex wrote:
So are people learning the games later because its seen as more of an "old folks" game now? It seems to me more people here are picking it up as young adults rather than kids or teens. Maybe I'm mistaken though.

I don't know if it's seen as an old folks game so much as it's getting more socially acceptable for adults to play games.

Shadow Lodge

Toirin wrote:
Weirdo, looking at both of your math, it looks like you added an extra 5' when you said a medium size creature with Long Arm and a reach weapon will hit 15-20' and not 5-10'. It looks like your mistake is looking at it as if the person was enlarged,

Yes, that's what I mean by "the premise was wrong, the math was right." As noted.

Toirin wrote:
A large reach weapon has a range of +10', a medium reach weapon has +5'.

While it might be the intent to tie reach to weapon size, it's not the current rule. I cited "big and little creatures" above, but it is a general rule that a reach weapon doubles the wielder's natural reach (even for medium creatures):

Reach Weapons wrote:
Reach Weapons: A reach weapon is a melee weapon that allows its wielder to strike at targets that aren't adjacent to him. Most reach weapons double the wielder's natural reach, meaning that a typical Small or Medium wielder of such a weapon can attack a creature 10 feet away, but not a creature in an adjacent square. A typical Large character wielding a reach weapon of the appropriate size can attack a creature 15 or 20 feet away, but not adjacent creatures or creatures up to 10 feet away.

The reference to a large character wielding an appropriately sized weapon suggests that weapon size is intended to have some effect on final reach, but (1) that restriction isn't stated and (2) if it were, it would likely be like this 3.5 FAQ and prevent undersized weapons from granting reach, not allowing a medium size creature wielding a large reach weapon to threaten at 15ft (5ft natural+10ft weapon). As far as I know a medium creature with a large weapon isn't currently possible RAW but could happen if you're using the designer's interpretation of Titan Mauler.

The reason that Lunge and Long Arm don't appear to RAW increase a human longspearman's reach to 15ft-20ft is not that the weapon is medium, but that Lunge and Long Arm don't affect natural reach. Instead they increase reach after the multiplication provided by a reach weapon.


My initial suggestion:

Outer limit = (natural reach+5)x2 = (5+5)x2 = 20
Inner limit = natural reach x2 = 5x2 = 10

Your suggestion:

Outer Limit = natural reach+weapon reach + 5 = 5+5+5 = 15
Inner Limit = weapon reach = 5


Outer limit = (natural reachx2)+5 = (5x2)+5 = 15
Inner limit = natural reach = 5

Note that the last two are no longer identical if natural reach stops being identical to "weapon reach."

Shadow Lodge

I do really like the idea of hunting down unusual materials in order to hurt certain monsters, and agree that the current DR system is not the best way to implement that.

Ascalaphus wrote:
On the other hand, there's a fairness issue here. If you couldn't just hack through with a +X weapon, then you'd need a different weapon for different enemies. That gets icky with WBL. Meanwhile, casters can switch to different energy types or even different sorts of nasty spells with greater ease.

I think this is the biggest argument against having DR be more significant or harder to circumvent, at least if a party expects to encounter a variety of DRs frequently. Martial characters are encouraged to invest heavily in at most two magic weapons, and if you often can't use those weapons (or are significantly penalized for doing so) that investment is wasted. Natural weapons and unarmed specialists would be even more screwed if you couldn't work around DR. If you invest character abilities in fighting with a greatsword, you can put down your +X greatsword for a cold iron one, but you can't pick up a cold iron UAS or bite which means you're not just wasting money on the +X AoMF you're wasting feats or class features.

Spells like align weapon or versatile weapon prevent that but also make DR somewhat trivial.

If you were to make it harder to circumvent or power through DR, I would suggest also adding houserules to make +X weapons less important generally (like granting inherent bonuses to weapon attack, damage, etc as characters level), though that still doesn't help unarmed builds.

Switching to vulnerabilities is an interesting idea in that it would be a relative nerf to energy damage, which ignores DR but doesn't trigger vulnerability. Helps martials vs casters, but still disadvantages unarmed builds.

(There is a DR/wood, by the way: Nosferatu.)

Shadow Lodge

On reflection, I agree with CraziFuzzy and Magda's numbers. The lack of a well-defined term "reach" as opposed to "natural reach" or "reach weapon" confused me, but it appears that there's a precedent with Lunge (the only other effect I can find that increases reach without increasing size).

EDIT: Still confused why Magda thought my premise was right but math was wrong, since it was the reverse.

Shadow Lodge

Magda Luckbender wrote:
Yes, Claxon is correct, but Weirdo's math is wrong.

Pretty sure if Claxon is correct my math is also right (unless you're reading my uncorrected post).

Claxon wrote:
Long Arm effectively grants you natural reach, as though you were large size category.

Large creatures with polearms threaten up to 20ft but not 10ft or less.

The alternate interpretation that Long Arm doesn't increase your natural reach by 5ft but instead increases the outer limit of your reach by 5ft. That would make your numbers correct but Claxon (and me) wrong.

Shadow Lodge

I think Claxon is correct and the most sensible interpretation is that the spell increases your natural reach by 5, meaning that a medium size creature with Long Arm cast on them threatens 5 and 10ft with a non-reach weapon and 15 and 20ft with a reach weapon.

Big and Little Creatures in Combat wrote:

Unlike when someone uses a reach weapon, a creature with greater than normal natural reach (more than 5 feet) still threatens squares adjacent to it. A creature with greater than normal natural reach usually gets an attack of opportunity against you if you approach it, because you must enter and move within the range of its reach before you can attack it. This attack of opportunity is not provoked if you take a 5-foot step.

Large or larger creatures using reach weapons can strike up to double their natural reach but can't strike at their natural reach or less.

Basically, it's like Enlarge Person but just the reach effect (no taking up more squares or adjusting stats/size modifiers).

Shadow Lodge

No, I'm talking about Fruian's point that arcane bloodline bloodragers can use some spells including spider climb on themselves as part of a rage at the same level that sorcerers gain access to these spells (4) as opposed to waiting until level 7 like most bloodragers.

Shadow Lodge

kestral287 wrote:
Viridium: Iffy. Aasimar aren't Outsiders, they're Outsiders (Native), which is an important difference. I would think they still have to make the save. But I'm not sure on that front, so go with what Weirdo said.

Outsiders (native) are still outsiders. They have a few different properties, particularly with how they respond to banishment and raise dead, but this isn't a situation where native outsiders behave abnormally since it's not called out either in the native outsider description or the viridium description.

Malakaus wrote:
Sounds cool, but are there any rings that I could buy to do that? I play PFS, so I can't craft it.

This thing

Shadow Lodge

1. Gauntlets and armour spikes are considered weapons, not armour, so RAW they grant no fire resistance and you'd take damage as normal heating them up. As a permissive GM, I'd let you apply fire resist 2 on the damage you'd take heating the gauntlet up (and no other fire damage), but you'd still definitely burn.

2. Aasimar as native outsiders are immune to viridium.

3. I'd take Moment of Greatness or Saving Finale.

4. Yes, you can buy and use wands for any spell on the bard spell list, even ones you don't have as spells known and even spells that are too high a level for you to cast yet. Holding a wand in your off hand doesn't require Two Weapon Fighting - that's only if you're taking a bonus attack with a weapon. However, you wouldn't be able to cast spells with somatic components while holding both a whip and a wand - you'd have to sheathe one as a move action that provokes AoO.

5. Not for an orc.

Shadow Lodge

"For PFS" is better than "official ruling." Unfortunately not possible to alter the title.

Here's a thread on the tattooed sorcerer in the PFS forum. Not much new information, but it might be useful. It's also a good idea to keep in mind that PFS has a few special rules like "no item crafting" that might affect the usefulness of answers you get.

I do love half-orcs myself, and I think a tattooed half-orc with a knack for enchantment would be a fantastic character. You could play it as a wild man/woman with animal magnetism, or someone trying to prove that half-orcs can be just as cultured and refined as humans. Their experiences with prejudice might have made them hungry for friends - even those not honestly won. The tattoos might serve as either a rejection or acceptance of their body - an attempt to transform an "ugly" form into something more acceptable, or an affirmation that they are indeed a work of art.

Shadow Lodge

I feel like giving every character one or two free class skills would solve many of these problems. I often use traits for this, but if you're not using traits or only use one it might be worth providing for separate class skill customization.

I do like class skill lists. It has good flavour, provides a starting point for skill selection, and rewards at least dabbling in iconic abilities. It also helps skilled classes get even better use out of their skill points, which makes being a skilled class more meaningful.

Shadow Lodge

I'm not suggesting that the Bloodrager have a crazy good spell list, and it's certainly nice to be self-sufficient for a few buffs. However, the ranger and paladin both have spells on their list that do more than save the primary caster the trouble of buffing the frontliner. I was hoping to see a little of that on the bloodrager list and was disappointed.

Shadow Lodge

PrinceDogWater wrote:
Apparently having no legs makes you immune to being tripped. Although you can still have the prone condition by using a free action on your turn. Since Merfolk and other races or monsters don't have 'immune to prone' only tripping. Another example is the Command spell usage of 'Fall', these still would make the character(or creature) in question prone.

No one except you has suggested that having no legs makes you immune to prone. We're just discussing how significant immunity to trip is.

Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Agree with 20 feet move speed and trip immunity.
For comparison, merfolk with strong tail is 15ft move. Without strong tail is 5ft move.

Yes, but from a balance POV note that merfolk with strong tail also get a swim speed of 30ft, water breathing, +2 natural armour, and +2 to three stats with no penalties, compared to the nagaji's +2 to Handle Reptile, Perception, mind-affecting effects and poison, +1 natural armour, and standard stat array. I think the merfolk are overall a stronger race, so it's no big deal to give the nagaji legless for free (remember, the downside is no boots). From a realism POV note that even strong tail assumes that the tail is primarily designed for swimming, while a snake tail is designed for land movement and could easily be more efficient. And serpentfolk to have 30ft speed.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Anaconda flavored Strongtail Merfolk sounds cool.

That it does. Maybe swap the (aquatic) subtype for (reptilian) if you're allowed the tiniest mechanical change instead of just a reskin.

Shadow Lodge

There's some debate over that.

Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
Weirdo mentioned early access. Not early but the Arcane Bloodrage puts blur, spider climb, protection from arrows, and resist energy on the same time a sorcerer would get to pick them up. Not early access but on level access. But if you add in it happens at free action speed you have to see the action economy as the big bonus instead of early access to standard speed spells.

And for this you give up two rage powers. And you can't use these spells on anyone else. And if you're using spider climb out of combat you have to burn bloodrage rounds to do it. And it requires a specific bloodline. It's nice, but doesn't address my general concern about the spell list.

Shadow Lodge

MonoSpectre wrote:
If this was acceptable, but would require tweaks to the character, what would be reasonable penalties? I assume maybe something to do with movement and maybe a penalty to a stat or two.

This is homebrew and needs a GM, but I personally would say that immunity to trip (from having no legs) is about balanced already by the inability to wear magical footwear. Tripping is a major pain when you run into it but I think I've seen it about once per campaign on average.

If your GM doesn't agree, dropping your speed to 20 should more than cover it.

Shadow Lodge

To take a level in Holy Vindicator you typically choose them over a level in cleric, which amounts to a loss of spellcaster level and a lower cleric level for domain powers. Not exactly free.

And there are plenty of class abilities better than feats. Easy examples: many people are willing to take Extra Rage Power and Extra Revelation feats, trading a feat for a class feature. Really easy examples: wild shape, eidolon, smite evil.

Shadow Lodge

The main problem I see with the bloodrager spell list is that despite having only 4 levels of casting, they don't get "early access" to anything - which means late access. Very late access.

  • 1st level spells are available at level 4, 3 levels behind other casters.
  • 2nd level spells like See Invisibility, Glitterdust, and Spider Climb come at level 7, 3 levels behind the sorcerer and 4 behind the wizard.
  • 3rd level spells like Water Breathing, Haste, Fly, Ray of Exhaustion, and Windwall aren't available until level 10, 4 levels behind the sorcerer and 5 behind the wizard.
  • 4th level spells like Enervation aren't available until level 13, 5 levels behind the sorcerer and 6 behind the wizard.

I find it hard to believe that these spells are still fully relevant at these levels, especially major utility spells and those with any saving throw (even partial). Yes, 4 level casting is supposed to be limited, but Rangers get "early" access to spells like Resist Energy and Fickle Winds, and Paladins get Lesser Restoration and Bestow Grace of the Champion "early", and both get a few class-exclusive gems like Instant Enemy or Hero's Defiance.

Shadow Lodge

I think Blakmane is mostly correct, except step b, which has no good answer.

Re-rolling a Misfortune roll would still be affected by Misfortune. If you choose to re-roll your attack, the re-roll is still "making an attack roll" so you'd need to roll twice and take lower.

The question then is what happens to Aura of Perfection when you're rolling both 2 take lower and 2 take higher.

Blakmane wrote:
b) Dude rolls poorly and so decides to reroll using ILR. He still must roll two dice as per misfortune and take the lowest. He rolls an additional die and can use the higher of either this dice or the lowest of the two previous dice. You would not double the aura of perfection dice in this case if I am parsing the two abilities correctly. There may be table variation here.

Here's the thing. There are two possible orders of operations:

1. (take higher of 2 dice) then roll again and take lower
2. (take lower of 2 dice) then roll again and take higher

You suggest using order (2). This option is most favourable to the rolling character. Consider three possibilities: the final value is the lowest of the three, the highest, and the middle value.

If the final die is the lowest, 2 is more favourable to the roller since you don't have to take the final, lowest die.
If the final die is the middle value, both work out the same.
If the final die is the highest, 2 is also more favourable since you get to take the final, highest die.

I don't think there's any RAW indication of which order to use (and thus whether or not to favour the roller), so instead I would simply cancel them out: if you have reroll take lowest and reroll take highest, you roll normally. This is to the best of my knowledge definitely not RAW but I think it's more fair and less headaches.

Persistent is the "outer layer" of all this. Basically, whatever happens with the other abilities, if you succeed on the first gauntlet you have to repeat the entire thing (using LoC instead of ILR as Blakmane described).

Shadow Lodge

I would not recommend trying to get Wis to attack - it's more efficient for you to use Weapon Finesse and treat Dex as your primary stat with Wis secondary.

Snake Style is a strong option, especially since it can replace not only your normal AC but your touch AC. It's also pretty easy for a fighter to pick up. I'd recommend taking a trait like suspicious to boost your sense motive. With a 16 Wis and that trait you should have at least +12 Sense Motive at level 3 when you qualify for Snake Style. Depending on build, this may not be much better than your normal AC on an average sense motive check, but it's almost certainly going to blow your touch AC out of the water. If you've got a spare feat, Alertness or Skill Focus will boost that even further. Added bonus: out of combat utility.

If you are willing to consider a dip as long as you're mostly fighter, and a little magic is OK, I'd suggest inquisitor over monk. Inquisitor doesn't come with armour restrictions and two levels give you + Wis to initiative, + Wis to identify monsters, lots of skill points and class skills (including sense motive), a first level domain power, first level spells, detect alignment at will, +1 to track, sense motive, and intimidate, and a small swift action buff from judgment.

Shadow Lodge

Yes. Weird.

Shadow Lodge

I'd say no, not any more than a druid can wild shape into a speaking parrot because a parrot can be trained to speak.

That said it's not remotely OP so I'd allow it.

Shadow Lodge

2. I read "channel energy into shield" as flavour explaining why the power is related to your channel strength, not requiring a use of the ability. I might be wrong (paizo isn't exactly known for consistency) but all similar cases I can find say "expend a use of channel energy": Channel Foci, Channel Smite, Channel Hate and Channeled Shield Wall. In fact, if Vindicator's Shield requires expending a use of channel I personally would prefer Channeled Shield Wall, which takes only a swift action to activate, does not end if the user is struck in combat, and also grants a bonus to adjacent allies.

Shadow Lodge

A half elf getting +1 DC vs elves is better than not getting that +1 and still dealing with the higher will save. And they get the same benefit against humans that humans do.

St Noble wrote:
My thanks! Sorry, newbie to the forum.

Then two bits of advice. First, don't ask for official answers, you usually have to be satisfied with help from other players. Second, unless your questions are related, post a separate topic for each question. It's easier to keep track of what's answered that way.

St Noble wrote:
Just how does the Domino Effect for investigators work? Is it a new instance of studied combat with full duration?

Yes. Remember that the first studied combat will end because to activate Domino Effect you have to hit one target with a studied strike, which ends studied combat on that target.

St Noble wrote:
On a Tatooed Sorcerer, does the spell tattoo cost anything? Is it only for storing a spell as a tattoo or can it create other magical tattoo effects?

It's free and is just storing a spell as a tattoo. Other magical effects on tattoos require you to use the item creation rules and this feat, which tattooed sorcerer doesn't get for free despite being able to create spell tattoos that work similarly.

St Noble wrote:
If you took eschew materials, does that permit more spells to be turned to tattoos?

I believe that a spell that you can cast without components using Eschew Materials can be turned into a spell tattoo, but I am not certain.

Shadow Lodge

Having ghouls attack and the sheriff release the gunslinger to help defend the town is a good idea.

At the same time, I wouldn't wrap it up as neatly as Westphalian_Musketeer suggests. It feels convenient and obvious. As a player I like to feel like there are real consequences to my actions and having the GM give me extra gold to pay a fine doesn't fit that.

From the sheriff's POV, I'd also want to humble the gunslinger a bit. While it's good that he's accepting punishment, he also appears to think that his status as a local hero will blunt the edge of that punishment. Requiring him to give a public apology and perform some menial service (for the community or the merchant in particular) in addition to playing back at least the value of the potion would be a good idea - particularly if it won't take him long to gather the repayment.

Also remind him IC that as a local hero he should be able to find someone willing and able to provide basic medical help like confirming he's infected with ghoul fever, before he does something rash. I think Father Zantus should be capable?

Shadow Lodge

1. FAQ

FAQ wrote:

The holy vindicator prestige class has an ability that gives him a sacred bonus to AC until "struck in combat." Does a touch attack count as being "struck"? What about a spell like magic missile or fireball?

The ability lasts until an opponent makes a successful attack roll against the vindicator's Armor Class.

2. It doesn't say anything about expending channel, so no.

3. The bonus uses all sources of channel energy. It's not all that good since it only lasts until the first hit and then it's a standard action to re-establish, and dipping 1 level Holy Vindicator costs you a caster level and may hurt your domain powers as well.

Shadow Lodge

Savage GM wrote:

Still does not answer the question.

So here's the picture that is to be a dwarf's fiance.

My thinking for the backstory is her future mother in law, whom is very traditionally minded would think she is way too skinny.

That does look very skinny for a dwarf. Especially in the hips. Dwarves should have a low center of gravity.

Shadow Lodge

I'm surprised there aren't more family groups and teacher/student groups. I've heard a lot about both situations. Then again, maybe that's the next generation who haven't made it onto the Paizo forums yet...

Shadow Lodge

blackbloodtroll wrote:
The beginning of the thread advocated being Noble, as if it were an advantage.

I don't think that was the OP's intent. I think the OP was advocating considering being a noble because, rather than being foppish and lazy, historical nobility commonly had both the resources and the motivation to pursue adventuring.

All PCs start with certain resources - gear, training, innate talent, and maybe contacts depending on the GM. The job of the backstory is to explain where they got these resources. Are you the child of a mercenary who insisted you learn to defend yourself, or did your wealthy parents pay for your tutors? Did you tame your class pet yourself, did you free it from a cruel circus-master, or was it a present from your noble family? Were your weapons and armour commissioned specially for your 16th birthday, were they scratched and dented hand-me-downs, or did you take them off a skeleton that you killed using a quarterstaff?

Contacts take a little more work, but noble characters aren't the only ones who can have powerful contacts. The GM just needs to figure how much help those contacts can provide and make sure it's an occasionally useful tool and not an "I win" button. One of my current player is the son of a powerful cleric, and the party just asked the father to intercede with a general on their behalf. It was a good call and will probably remove one obstacle but won't auto-solve their current problem.

Shadow Lodge

Rob Duncan, ramblers like you are why I asked for first experience - entry to the hobby! In your case that sounds like option 3, the teacher/student group.

Aranna, I'd go with "peers new to gaming" since you were the leader in introducing the game to your peers. Passively seeing other people playing isn't quite what I'd call joining the hobby, any more than seeing an ad would be. Also, great use of Barbie!

Shadow Lodge

I'd prefer one choice but if you really are halfway feel free to vote twice. Which two are you halfway between and why?

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