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Gorbacz wrote:
Because that would limit monster design severely, as many monster types would have to be designed with the "hey we need to consider what will happen if a Druid gets this ability" caveat.

This. Wild Shape doesn't give you all the abilities of the thing you turn into because the designers want to be able to make, for example, a CR 13 Large size plant with special abilities that would be overpowered if given to a 10th-level druid.

It's still a fantastic ability. Being able to turn into a huge water elemental with +8 Con, DR 5/-, and immunity to bleed, sneak attack and crits has literally saved my druid's life. At least twice.

And that's not counting the time I helped overthrow an evil regime by turning into a sacred white raven...

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I really should hope that even if he's focusing on necromancy the cleric would be able to provide a decent amount of healing.

And the alchemist should be willing to chip in with Infusions (both curative and utility buffs).

If you have a cleric and an alchemist in the party, expecting a kineticist to fill the healer role seems... unfair.

Shadow Lodge

D&D and Pathfinder do tend to have a lower bar for when violence is considered acceptable than real life does.

But exactly what that means is subject to a lot of table variation and group norms.

Shadow Lodge

There is a certain flavour of optimizer that enjoys taking concepts that are normally not very powerful (eg dwarven bard, dagger-wielding inquisitor of Pharasma) and making them work.

If you are concerned with your ability to adjust for a high-power group, you might consider asking the players if they are up for starting with more challenging concepts.

Shadow Lodge

But have you warned them that those consequences might include an alignment shift? Because that's a very different sort of consequence from an NPC reaction.

Shadow Lodge

Definitely debrief the players, if not immediately then after the consequences of this action become known. They probably have what seemed to them a good reason to be suspicious of the old woman and finding out what it is will help you predict them better in the future.

Consider in the future being more proactive about dropping hints if you see the players ignoring your planned sources of information. If the players aren't asking questions, might the mother have approached them to express regrets for her son's behavior? Or at least sent some message to that effect? Could you have explicitly described her showing some form of discomfort during the encounter where the party saw her attending her son?

And definitely don't get too attached to specific scenes happening. Having the plan that at some point the grandmother will tearfully help the party to defeat and likely kill her son is fine. Having the plan that it will happen in a particular way during the final showdown... well, you could certainly keep the possibility in mind, but there are so many different ways that could go in a direction you aren't expecting - sometimes for the better!

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Scarlocke wrote:
One explicitly gives you the skilled trait. The other is the skilled trait. And bonuses from the same source—e.g., the skilled trait—don't stack (no matter which optional systems you are including or excluding).

This is how I read it.

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Well, the characters could easily be suspicious that an old woman standing quietly behind the violent barbarian leader is pulling strings behind the scenes, especially if the leader's "corruption" meant that he is behaving in a way that outsiders would recognize as out of character.

At this point I see three options:

1) If the players actually want to play in a more morally complex world with real consequences, and still want to be heroes, you need to help them be less clueless about their actions. In addition to dropping more obvious hints, consider pausing occasionally to ask them things like "Are you sure you want to insult the guards? How do you think they will react to that?" or "Why do you believe the old woman is a bigger threat than the barbarian chief? Would you like to investigate further?" You don't have to flat out tell them they are about to make a mistake, but some pointed questions can get players to reconsider hasty decisions.

2) If the players want to play in a morally complex world but don't care too much about being heroes, apply realistic consequences. This will probably include an alignment shift since characters who repeatedly perform evil acts should not be good-aligned, which may leave divine casters in need of atonement or conversion to a new deity. It will certainly require the player to give up on aspirations towards paladin-hood. Personally I think this is least likely to be the best solution given what you have said - the players seem to want to be heroic, they're just having a hard time following through on that.

3) If the players aren't particularly interested in a morally complex world and you really aren't interested in making them play in a more morally complex way, start running a more black and white world. At least stop introducing antagonistic NPCs (or even apparently antagonistic NPCs) who you don't want the players to kill

Shadow Lodge

So this is already a pattern. Have you had an actual conversation with the players about it, or just applied in-game consequences and hope they get the hint?

Shadow Lodge

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I think you may want to have an out of character discussion with your players about expectations for how you will be communicating about who they are expected/supposed to fight.

On the one hand, the players have reason to be suspicious of the old woman. Good characters - especially good clerics of good deities - don't usually stand by quietly while evil characters "raid every village and small town within 30 miles." Even if she isn't capable of stopping her son, I would expect the cleric to make some attempt to mitigate the effects of his actions on the surrounding communities, or at least show some sign of displeasure. It may have made sense from your POV, but for the players the most likely assumption here is that the old woman was evil, and possibly an evil spellcaster.

On the other hand, she didn't deserve to die for her inaction. Going from "maybe the old woman is an evil spellcaster" to "the old woman is probably the real BBEG and we should immediately assassinate her" without any attempt to find actual evidence... that is not the kind of action I would expect from heroic characters in my games. And if you intend to have more not-evil NPCs associating with evil NPCs, this sort of situation is likely to repeat and maybe cause problems.

And as a player, if I felt that a GM had somehow misled me into killing a good-aligned cleric, I would be upset, even if there weren't mechanical impacts.

So really I think the most important thing you can do for your game is to figure out why your players felt confident enough that the old woman was a threat to justify a lethal ambush, and figure out if you need to adjust your GMing appropriately or reassure them that mysterious old women will not reveal themselves to be dangerous witches at the worst possible moment.

Shadow Lodge

I can't find the actual version, but the [rul=https://img.4plebs.org/boards/tg/image/1484/45/1484457943983.pdf]playtest[/url] Dread Champion appears to (1) have archetype specific talents and (2) replace four vigilante talents with spellcasting.

It seems likely that the inability to choose stalker and avenger talents is entirely intentional.

But indeed it might be a good idea to look in a different area with a more specific title to answer 3pp questions. N Jolly is a regular on the boards so you might even get an answer from the designer.

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Shisumo wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Weirdo wrote:

I'm also a bit concerned about how much the granularity was reduced, though I could see skill feats being used to make characters that are specialists in some sub-use of a skill and I expect that Lore will also be useful in developing interesting specialist training. Having a character with a specialty skill makes them feel special to me.

...

Maybe a rule where Lore proficiency can be used in place of a subset of another skill when applicable would help? Kind of like versatile Performance in PF1e.

For example Lore Locksmith allows you to know about locks, craft locks, and pick locks. You can also use your proficiency in Locksmith lore in place of your theivery proficiency for picking locks as well as qualifying for and upgrading skill feats which relate to lockpicking.

Other examples:
Underworld Lore could include Pickpocketing
Mountain Lore could include climb
Atlantis Lore could include swim
Circus Lore could include Jump

I would very much like to see the final version of PF2 include a full-throated endorsement of the idea of using Lore skills as a substitute for characters who want proficiency in only one aspect of another skill, including (with GM permission) taking Skill Feats of the broader skill that apply to the aspected Lore. That would be a fairly simple addition that would go a long way toward satisfying those who feel that they are "too proficient" because of skill consolidation.
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah, I'd be very pleased to see a Skill Feat at the very least that just adds one specific use of another skill to an appropriate Lore.

That'd allow people who want to have only one aspect of a skill to do so without getting weird.

Something like this would be great.

The "Blind Spot" mechanic might also work, but if creating broader skills is a design goal then it makes sense to allow people to package narrow skills into an appropriate Lore type.

Shadow Lodge

Dreadnought definitely works, since the only thing preventing you from using SLAs (blasts) is not being able to concentrate. (Related thread on spellcasting with Dreadnought.)

Expanded Metakinesis (Furious Spell) also absolutely works, since it's clearly intended to apply the effect of the metamagic feat to your blast SLA. Whether it's useful enough to build around is up to you.

However I would lean conservatively with Mad Magic. Mad Magic is designed to give the flexibility to cast a spell at normal power during a rage, not to use your rage bonuses to increase the potency of your spell (as the rage Con bonus increases blast potency).

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I'm also a bit concerned about how much the granularity was reduced, though I could see skill feats being used to make characters that are specialists in some sub-use of a skill and I expect that Lore will also be useful in developing interesting specialist training. Having a character with a specialty skill makes them feel special to me.

I've definitely played engineer types that are decent at Disable Device but would never attempt a Sleight of Hand check. I could just decide not to roll that skill, but I find that in situations when there is a clear benefit to using a mechanical ability it can be hard to stick to self-imposed roleplaying restrictions - especially if you get the impression you'd be letting other players down by not using the skill that you're absolutely trained in. So I'm not sure that "just roleplay it" is an easy answer.

I'm also going to miss Sense Motive as it's a fun skill to specialize in and definitely distinct from Perception as I play it - I've had two characters with high Sense Motive and minimal Perception, and one character with very high Perception but only a rank in Sense Motive.

I agree with Fuzzy that it makes sense to consider Sense Motive and Perception skills. Even if everyone is automatically trained in order to provide a defense against Deception and Stealth, having skill feats to invest in these areas would allow you to play someone who was exceptionally observant.

I do like the rolling of UMD (and Spellcraft?) into skills about different types of magic. I don't think I'd miss Knowledge Planes if its functions were somehow shared between Religion and Occultism, and maybe Arcana.

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I would definitely agree that you shouldn't lie to your boss about why you don't want to work Tuesdays.

However, saying that you don't want to work Tuesdays so you can "hang out with friends" isn't a very accurate way to express the level of commitment of a weekly RPG session.

If someone told me they like to hang out with friends on Tuesdays, I'd treat that as a lowest-priority consideration. If that person misses a Tuesday a month, bummer for them, but there are other times to hang out with friends.

If someone tells me that they host an activity group with friends once a week, I'd put that slightly higher, because hosting is a bigger commitment than attending and if you can't host, then it negatively impacts the rest of the group as well. (Note: I haven't actually had to schedule people for work shifts so I'm not sure what this difference would translate to in terms of actual scheduling. Certainly you'd still be behind people with classes or child care needs.)

It is not ok to say the activity was "school-related" unless the school was actually involved, eg a teacher has organized an after-school Pathfinder game, or you're part of an official university gaming club. And even then it's probably more honest to call it a "school club meeting" so that the boss doesn't think you have scheduled tutoring or something.

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Oh yeah, having general rules available on the d20pfsrd is also a big feature for me.

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
xSaber0022 wrote:
Cevah wrote:
That point is now.

I meant a good starting point as what campaign to run and such.

I want to make my own campaign at some point as well, but I need an example of what a good campaign looks and feels like, and how to run it.
That's a difficult thing to really find. Not because there aren't many good campaigns out there, it's just that what is good or bad is entirely subjective. For example, I think my 27 year old homebrew is great, as do my players. But because it's homebrew it's not to everyone's taste. So really you just need a few pointers from veteran players, take what you feel works for you, and starting building away, either in an established setting such as Golarion or create one of your own.

Speaking of tips from veteran players, I like Matthew Coville's youtube videos. I think he also links/refers to videos of his group and others actually playing, if that would help for reference. He also sometimes talks about the subjective elements of play like "How directly should the plot revolve around the PCs?"

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I also mostly use d20pfsrd, because of the increased update speed and because it suits my searching/navigating needs just fine. I do like how the the FAQ/clarifications are presented. We don't use much 3pp, but I don't find it difficult to sort through (though it would be nice to be able to filter 3pp out of search results).

I find AoN most useful to me personally in keeping updated with new softcovers, since it supports browsing content by the source. On several occasions I've made a decision to purchase a book based on skimming AoN (most recently, Heroes of the High Court). I occasionally use AoN to check setting-specific material, but since I don't run or generally play in Golarion it's not a major feature for me.

Shadow Lodge

Definitely agree that as a GM you need to be careful not to abuse your players for making a Wish that they didn't know they were making.

For NPCs to get into trouble, though...

Adjoint wrote:
Weirdo wrote:

Personally I think it makes sense to vary based on creature.

Devils work through contracts, so if they can grant wishes it will only be through a contract, and if they sign it they are obligated to follow through - though they're unlikely to sign / grant the wish unless they're confident they'll come out on top.

Something noted for being capricious like a Marid or a fey might very well be capable of responding to unintentional wishes.

What do you think would fit a glabrezu? A demon whose favorite method of causing suffering is to twist the wishes of mortals, and who has a powerful Veil ability to pose as something else?

Glabrezu are tricky and treacherous, but they also represent the destructiveness of mortal desire. I would expect that a glabrezu could only grant a wish to someone who expressed a true heartfelt desire, not a whim or a slip of the tongue. And they should probably have to actually address this desire to the demon - glabrezu have the ability to disguise themselves, not to become invisible and eavesdrop. But the person making the wish wouldn't need to know that they were expressing this wish to a demon - or even that they were making a wish at all. Pouring your heart out to a "kindly old woman" about how badly you want a child of your own would be enough.

I would also expect that unlike a devil, a glabrezu could back out of a wish even if they told a mortal they would grant one.

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Personally I think it makes sense to vary based on creature.

Devils work through contracts, so if they can grant wishes it will only be through a contract, and if they sign it they are obligated to follow through - though they're unlikely to sign / grant the wish unless they're confident they'll come out on top.

Something noted for being capricious like a Marid or a fey might very well be capable of responding to unintentional wishes.

Shadow Lodge

The Magical Child archetype is generally considered weak, so giving it the slightly stronger original summoner list shouldn't be a problem.

However, it is my understanding that either the bard or magus lists would more closely fit with the concept of the Magical Girl as typically presented in anime.

Honestly I think it would be fine to let the player pick one of the three (again, not a super strong archetype to begin with).

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GM Rednal wrote:
Yeah, it helps if you're willing to ignore the basic descriptors. XD

It's not so much ignoring the descriptors as using a different interpretation of them.

Before Paizo clarified their intention, there was a lot of debate over whether casting an [evil] spell was an evil act, or whether it merely drew upon Evil powers that Good deities (thus clerics of Good deities) could not access. The best summary of the latter position is: ccasting a [fire] spell doesn't make you more "fire", it just means the spell manipulates fire. So why would casting an [evil] spell make you evil?

Post-clarification, I think it is a very reasonable house rule to use this more morally ambiguous definition of what the [evil] descriptor means.

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I like the general structure of how animal companions work in PF1, though large bears are definitely a must and I agree with Set that better balance between the options is necessary.

I hope that either animal companion archetypes make it into PF2, or that they get animal companion "class feats" as their main source of features (ie replacing the set Devotion/Mulitattack type features). I really like the ability to customize animal companions beyond basic skill and feat selections.

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Zwordsman wrote:

Mainly something along the lines of a Powder Mage from Powder Mage Trilogy of books by Brian McCelellan.

Also the person in question is just not fond of extracts and the semi required need for that discovery that allows others to use extracts (infusion i think it was. forget atm tired brain).
...

I'm not familiar with that series, but given that Kiesman mentioned a gun-using archetype I'm assuming it would be appropriate to swap extracts for firearm features.

So, I'd start with firearm proficiency, the Gunslinger's Gunsmith ability (including starting with a battered gun), a grit/magic pool based on Int, and deeds. Honestly, you could probably add all the gunslinger deeds and still not quite be balanced. So then add an ability to spend grit/magic points to enhance a firearm, like a magus' arcane pool weapon enhancement (possibly delayed until level 4 to avoid front-loading too much). And maybe increase skill points to 6+Int as suggested earlier, and add a few class skills - Acrobatics and Knowledge(engineering)?

The Grenadier archetype and Explosive Missile Discovery also seem appropriate.

Shadow Lodge

It would be easier if you were willing to relax the default assumption that creating undead is always an evil act. It could still be very easy to do unethically due to any of a number of factors, if you don't want to treat undead casually in the campaign. For example, creating intelligent undead interferes with souls, and uncontrolled unintelligent undead attack nearby creatures, which makes keeping skeletons around rather reckless even if it weren't inherently evil.

If you are sticking with creating undead being inherently evil, my gut says Shelyn. She's redemptive, like Sarenrae, but more pacifistic about it. A follower of hers could very plausibly stick with trying to persuade the necromancer to stop creating undead, and making sure they're slipping into greater evil, rather than take aggressive action. The necromancer cound even take the time to turn their skeletons into works of art.

It would also help if the cleric has a reason to want the necromancer around, such as confronting a greater evil or a personal relationship (or both). Siblings seem particularly appropriate given Shelyn's relationship with Zon-Kuthon.

Shadow Lodge

Metamorph is the only one I know of that trades extracts.

Free VMC is not enough to justify loss of extracts. VMC options are (in theory) worth 5 feats, and I think most people would agree that losing 6 levels of spellcasting for 5 limited-selection feats is a bad deal. Even worse, in practice, many VMC options are not even worth 5 feats. Gunslinger, looking at you.

Maybe free VMC, increase skills/level to 6 (to offset loss of utility from extracts), and an extra Discovery at level 1. Though I think that trade would be lacklustre at high levels - you might have to throw in a few more bonus discoveries or feats.

Is there a specific concept you had in mind? Or are you just trying to make a less-magical alchemist?

Shadow Lodge

MER-c wrote:
It's actually surprising how many people try to play a character with a mental condition and just flat out get it wrong.

Given the typical portrayal of mental conditions in the media, I wouldn't say surprising, but definitely unfortunate.

Shadow Lodge

I've also got a google docs form of that thread if you prefer to read it that way.

Shadow Lodge

I believe that generally having multiple familiars is discouraged so it should probably stack in some way.

Shadow Lodge

Lost track of this thread for a bit so sorry if the delay means this is no longer relevant.

I think SorrySleeping's idea was to do a Scaled Fist // Virtuous Bravo Paladin, which would give you swashbuckler finesse and deeds, plus Smite Evil, Lay on Hands, Divine Grace, and most paladin Auras (though not mercies, spells, or Aura of Justice). It would be less support than most paladins but more than a Swashbuckler//Scaled Fist Monk - and you get better AC and mobility than a Swashbuckler//Paladin. And there are a few Unchained Monk ki powers that you could take for extra support (eg Ki Guardian lets you roll saves for allies using your probably excellent bonus; Insightful Wisdom lets you grant your allies rerolls on attacks or saves).

The initiative bonuses stack, they're untyped.

Shadow Lodge

I am generally not including prestige classes in the guide. The project is big enough as is and I am not familiar enough with prestige classes to give useful insights. I may call out a few prestige classes if they strike me as particularly relevant to a combination (for example progressing from Sorcerer to Dragon Disciple fits nicely if your other class is Full BAB).

Heather 540 - Added Pack Flanking to the Hunter//Rogue description and the general Rogue notes (since Hunters aren't the only build that can use it, they just have an easier time).

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MER-c wrote:

I actually see a low Wisdom, Low Charisma, High Intelligence character as a candidate for a Character with Autism, particularly if Wis or Charisma is cripplingly low.

Now before the internet rages at me let me first say, I do have ASD, I reflect a lot of that type of statline.

High Int, with Autism often a person is a savant, if they are high functioning they mostly have incredible levels of processing and analytics, often an Autistic individual is able to learn a given subject very quickly, however with that incredible ability comes with a couple of major downsides. In my own case I have a hard time applying a lot of what I can learn, further I have a hard time judging the effects of my own actions. This could be very reflective of a low wisdom.
Then we have Charisma, it is a known fact that Autistic people tend toward having a hard time in social situations, that part of the brain doesn't quite work right, I personally have an incredibly hard time around other humans. I'm bad at reading them, and I can't read a situation for the life of me, often I come off as harsh, cold, uncaring, even emotionless and apathetic, the point is I am almost instantly unlikable in person and heaven forbid I have to try and explain an idea or concept to someone, I honestly just can't.
I think much faster than I talk and often what I think and what I say are two different things. Trying to covey an idea of any kind, is hard at best, impossible at worst.

In that sense you can look at stat as +INT, -WIS, -CHA as a person with high functioning autism, they are absurdly bright, but applying what they know, and even trying to work around people and with them is a constant challenge (I'm not even going to get into the sensory overload, that is a dark place with many triggers, like perfume, perfume is evil)

Thanks for sharing your experience. I was wondering if that stat array might be a good representation for a character with Autism, but don't have the personal experience to make that assessment.

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Elder Mythos Cultist definitely needs to be added. (Another archetype that came out after I'd “finished” its class... but because I wasn't as personally drawn to it as say the Feyspeaker Druid or Scaled Fist Monk I forgot to update the Cleric with the Cultist.) I added a description of the archetype to the general cleric notes and started to add in some more specific comments to combinations that are affected. (Could do neat things with Bard//Cultist, Aberrant Bloodrager//Cultist, or Antipaladin//Cultist...)

VoodistMonk – I don't think pairing two hybrid classes gives you consistent power levels. For example, Investigator//Slayer is better than Skald//Bloodrager, since you can use Studied Target and Studied Combat together can't benefit from Bloodrage and Raging Song at the same time. The Investigator//Slayer also has an extra good save and more skill points.

It is hard to go too wrong with a gestalt that gets full BAB, at least two good saves, and at least some spells, though I wouldn't really recommend Skald//Bloodrager or something like Paladin//Eldritch Scoundrel Rogue (ASF and too many stats).

Heather 540 – Added a quick note, will expand on Hunter//Rogue when I get around to fleshing out specific combinations for Hunter.

Ouachitonian – Noted on Magus//Rogue. Not entirely convinced on Magus//Warpriest (is getting an extra spell in really worth the MAD and getting neither full BAB nor 9th-level spells?) but noted action economy. With medium BAB, I am not sure that Oracle//Ninja's charisma synergy (ki pool) is worth missing out on UnRogue's Debilitating Injury. Really like the shadow mystery for either Ninja or Rogue, though!

Shadow Lodge

Right, sorry for the minor necro but I did say I'd come back and share more thoughts:

-INT +WIS +CHA: These characters have a natural talent for reading situations and both reading and influencing people. Combining confidence with strong will means that they are particularly suited for leadership. Unfortunately, while they probably have good instincts their analytical reasoning abilities are poor and they don't have a good memory for facts or details. While not necessarily uneducated, they are slow to pick up new skills and particularly struggle with academic subjects. Ideally, this character will accept their areas of weakness and find one or more high-Int advisors to keep them informed. It's also possible that the character may devalue logic and book learning in favour of "simple truths." Could be practical and charmingly folksy, or alternatively a big-picture visionary who delegates working out the details to others. May be stubborn. May be good at faking a higher level of intelligence.

+INT -WIS +CHA: Likely to be a celebrity intellectual / inspirational expert, in demand as a speaker. Likely to be confident in their own intelligence; if they are arrogant they are probably more subtle about it so as not to alienate others. May be a little self-centered and have difficulty reading people unless they specifically invest in Sense Motive, in which case they are likely to be master manipulators. Likely distractable, charmingly impulsive, or whimsical. May focus so heavily on intellectual fields they forget about mundane things, or have a tendency to get so caught up in a big idea that they disregard realistic constraints. Area of expertise will likely provide a lot of variation in character. May lack practical expertise in favour of theory. Alternatively they could pick up a wide variety of skills with little apparent effort. Not necessarily formally educated.

+INT +WIS -CHA: A character with strong perceptive, analytical, and insightful talents who unfortunately has a really hard time getting people to listen to them - as ryric said, the "Cassandra." There's a few possible reasons for this. LordKailas mentioned the "insufferable know-it-all" type, where the character is obnoxious or condescending and thus alienates people. This type may enjoy and be good at picking at others' insecurities (training in Intimidate or possibly Bluff would be appropriate here) or simply be very blunt about unpleasant truths. Another possibility is that the character is timid and lacks confidence - they may see themselves as only knowing enough to know how much they don't know. Alternatively, they may have a hard time translating their abstract thought processes into something meaningful to other people. In this case, they likely bore or confuse others. They may be introverted, mostly concerned with their inner world.

-INT -WIS +CHA: Has presence and confidence but otherwise very little mental capacity. Depending on personality/skills, they could consciously try to appear smarter and wiser than they are (Bluff), be nice enough that people like them despite their foolishness (Diplomacy) or possibly be a bully that people listen to or else, at least as long as he's around (Intimidate). May delegate the thinking to others as a figurehead or “team mascot.” Might be overly optimistic, grandiose, or vulnerable to manipulation.

-INT +WIS -CHA: Intuitive, perceptive, strong-willed, but no analytical ability or personal presence, and slow to learn new things. Could easily be hermit-like, whether because they actively reject human company or are too shy to engage with people. If they do interact with others they may tend to be unpleasantly blunt or have difficulty communicating their viewpoints. Could have a spiritual bent or at least a similar “big picture” viewpoint (“all living things must experience pain sometimes”). Alternatively, may have a very down-to-earth manner and focus largely on practical matters. Might be stubborn, and may actively dislike formal logic and argument.

+INT -WIS -CHA: Strong analytical capabilities, memory, and ability to learn but lacking insight, willpower, and personal presence. Most likely stat array to be withdrawn from the outside world, being deficient in not just influencing others but also in perceiving their environment. If they do attempt to interact socially they may have difficulty relating to others' emotions and are particularly likely to be boring, obliviously droning on about their interests. Also likely to suffer from self-doubt or indecision since they can easily understand the complexity of a situation but can't trust their “gut reaction.” Alternatively they may be arrogant, trusting their analytical ability to provide the “right” answer, but prone to mis-judging situations. Skill investment could make up for weaknesses in specific areas. For example with training in Diplomacy the character could have some ability to make reasoned arguments that others find convincing despite the character's general lack of charisma.

Quote:
I'm also interested to know how characters who are impatient, jovial, melancholic, condescending, playful, disparaging, moody, dramatic, timid etc etc might be best represented in the framework of character creation rules.

To me, timidity suggests low Cha, impatience suggests low Wis, and being condescending is somewhat more likely with a High Int / Low Cha combination. But that's not set in stone, and I don't think the other traits relate to ability scores well at all. At most, I might say for example that a jovial character probably has a higher Diplomacy skill than Intimidate skill, a playful character probably has a higher Bluff than Intimidate and possibly a rank in Perform (comedy or acting), and a dramatic character might have a rank in Perform(oratory or acting).

Shadow Lodge

I agree that it should be possible for a lich to keep themselves looking fresh, but I would expect it to involve some kind of additional cost or upkeep - or at the very least that the lich remain strongly motivated to keep up appearances over the centuries. If it was simple to make such preparations as part of becoming a lich, you would expect most liches to appear fresh and unrotted, which is counter to the usual depiction.

Love the idea of remaining presentable requiring repeated totally-not-evil rituals...

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Just because a Paladin is instantly identifiable doesn't mean that they are necessarily instantly respected.

I think there's also room for the obviousness and "unerrability" of whatever identifies the paladin to be somewhat flexible based on table preferences. For example, paladins could have a special aura that is 100% unfallibly identifiable IF viewed with the Detect Good spell, which would be very useful if you needed to lean on your reputation to testify in a court that can verify with the appropriate spell, but would still leave room for the average peasant or guard to be unable to instantly identify a paladin. Or there could be a physical mark which can be displayed easily but possibly faked with sufficient skill in disguise or illusion. Or some combination - an unusual mark on your Good aura that could be affected by the kinds of abilities that can fake aligment auras.

In any case, it would clarify how people identify paladins and how certain they can be about the paladin's status.

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I think Athena's intelligent warfare angle would be represented less by magic and more by having a Tactical element, eg Cavalier, Tactician Fighter, Holy Tactician Paladin, or maybe Exemplar Brawler. If spells are desired Tactical Leader Inquisitor seems appropriate - especially with Athena's association with Justice/Judgment. She also has an arts/crafting/invention angle that could fit well with a crafting-focused build (Spell Sage Wizard?) or something like Scavenger Investigator.

SenseiTrashCan, are you considering deities other than Hecate and Hades?

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Good point about halfling paladins. I think riding dog divine mounts, or alternatively the Virtuous Bravo archetype, would particularly suit.

However, I wouldn't say that roguish classes are only appropriate for forces of chaos. The classes that I suggested have no alignment restrictions, and if you look at both the Rogue class description and the description of halflings from Inner Sea World Guide you can definitely see an affinity:

Rogue wrote:
Life is an endless adventure for those who live by their wits. Ever just one step ahead of danger, rogues bank on their cunning, skill, and charm to bend fate to their favor. Never knowing what to expect, they prepare for everything*, becoming masters of a wide variety of skills, training themselves to be adept manipulators, agile acrobats, shadowy stalkers, or masters of any of dozens of other professions or talents. Thieves and gamblers, fast talkers and diplomats, bandits and bounty hunters, and explorers and investigators all might be considered rogues, as well as countless other professions that rely upon wits, prowess, or luck. Although many rogues favor cities and the innumerable opportunities of civilization, some embrace lives on the road, journeying far, meeting exotic people, and facing fantastic danger in pursuit of equally fantastic riches. In the end, any who desire to shape their fates and live life on their own terms might come to be called rogues.
Quote:

Often blamed for putting themselves into danger, the small folk simply cannot resist the temptation of a new adventure, a daring heist, or the lure of the unknown. Fortunately, their superior sense for danger allows them to survive these hazards and has granted them the reputation of being exceptionally lucky. ... Being lucky is second nature to nearly all halflings, though many demystify their successes with tales of superior reflexes, unmatched skill, or inscrutable cunning.

...Because of these attributes, and in contrast to their stable and altruistic communities, half ling society has a hidden, darker side as meaningful, developed, and important as the unassuming face maintained for the unwitting public. Almost all halflings possess a strong opportunistic streak that is most prominent during their younger years. During this time, many stray from the rules of the community and involve themselves in the disdained affairs of thievery, subterfuge, adventuring, and vagabond life.

*See also the halfling racial feat "Well Prepared."

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I've asked for this in 1e before, so I'm very much on board with this becoming a thing in 2e. Though frankly I'll probably add it to my house-rules for the next campaign I run in any case.

Shadow Lodge

Hecate screams witch, though if you wanted something a little more off-beat you could also try druid (consider Urushiol, Mooncaller, and herbalism as a nature bond), poisoner alchemist (not sure what the best archetypes are for this) or herbalist alchemist (official or Paizo Fans United), lunar oracle, or maybe something on the ghost/necromancy angle (undead sorcerer, spiritualist, Necroccultist or Haunt Collector Occultist?) though that would overlap with options for Hades. I would pick Arcane as Hecate's bloodline. And check out Threefold Aspect.

For Hades you have death, the underground, and wealth. So basically anything necromantic would fit. A Silksworn Occultist with the Necromancy implement school would hit both the death & wealth notes. Geokineticist would also be appropriate. If you're looking at bloodlines I'd take Bedrock (wildblooded from Deep Earth), or Undead.

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I think it may be time for my group to encounter their second lich bard.

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My group allows it to work as you say.

However, I believe the official RAW reading is that while a monk's UAS is "treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons" it is NOT a natural weapon and thus doesn't qualify for the "natural weapon applying 1.5 Str" as described in Power Attack.

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Ignoring the official racial archetypes...

Dwarf: Tough, conservative, crafters. Fighter, cleric, warpriest, paladin, shaman, geokineticist. Maybe also Gunslinger or Dungeon Rover Ranger.

Elf: Associated with archery, graceful styles of swordplay, arcane magic, and nature. The wizard, magus (including Eldritch Archer), and ranger are probably most iconic. Druid should be pretty high up there, especially more spiritual flavours like the Menhir Savant. Inspired Blade Swashbuckler is pretty spot-on. I think they also fit very well as occultists. Arrowsong Minstrel Bards are probably worth a mention.

Half-elf: All the elven choices could apply, but half-elves are also somewhat more versatile and less long-lived (read: less patient). They're also noted diplomats and may feel torn between two identities. Thus I'd also consider bard (in general but particularly Arcane Duelist and Negotiator), alchemist, investigator, swashbuckler (not just Inspired Blade), medium, and vigilante.

Half-orc: While also fairly versatile, half-orcs tend to get a strong dose of the "brute" flavour from their orcish parent. They're portrayed as intimidating and able to take a beating, so roles that involve some potential for melee are more iconic for them. Barbarian tops the list. Fighter, Brawler, Bloodrager, Inquisitor, Warpriest, and Skald should be pretty far up there. Personally I also see them as great druids, particularly imposing flavours like Tempest or Goliath. More physical sorcerous bloodlines like Abyssal are also a good fit.

Gnome: Essentially required to seek novelty, have fey origins, have magical talents (typically illusion), and tend to be obsessive about their vocation. Bard, Druid (especially Feyspeaker), Sorcerer (especially Sylvan), Summoner, Tinkerer Alchemist.

Halfling: Stealthy or acrobatic classes with a preference for Dexterity and/or Charisma. Rogue, Bard (particularly Juggler and Street Performer), Swashbuckler, Slayer. As an exception to the trend, cavaliers with riding dogs.

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Personally, rather than have the familiar cease to exist if you're not in a compatible environment I'd have them revert to an unmanifested state (as if temporarily killed) where they could talk to you in your head and provide Alertness.

(I might even homebrew a Wood wysp with the stats of an earth wysp but with Greensight instead of Tremoursense, and no Burrow speed. But that's because my group plays a little loose with these kinds of things.)

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Given that the eidolon and summoner share item slots, in your specific case I would consider having the summoner wear the shoulder-slot item.

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There were some previous discussions along this line here and here if you are interested in seeing some more thoughts.

I commented on the first thread I linked here (relevant comments on mental ability score combinations quoted below). Will try and come back to this thread later to see if I have anything to add or change based on the last four years of gaming experience. In general, I agree that it's best to look at the whole character sheet when trying to figure out a character's personality - ability scores might suggest some personality traits but they are pretty broad descriptors so there are multiple ways to interpret a particular stat.

Weirdo wrote:

High Int, Low Wis: The absent-minded professor. The character is clever and learns and reasons easily, but may be distractable or may focus so heavily on intellectual fields they forget about mundane things. May (but does not necessarily) lack practical expertise in favour of theory. Not necessarily formally educated. Depending on Cha, others may find this behavior annoying or endearing.

High Int, High Wis: The detective. Observant and good at logical reasoning, they notice all the clues and put them together. They see both the forest and the trees.

High Int, Low Cha: The insufferable know-it-all, the bore. The character may be arrogant in displaying their intelligence, may lack confidence, or (particularly if low wis) drone on and on about their area of interest oblivious to others' disinterest. Higher Wis variants might enjoy (and be good at) picking at others' insecurities, while lower Wis variants might have general problems reading, understanding, or relating to others' emotions.

High Int, High Cha: Those who naturally become inspirational experts, master manipulators, and gentleman/lady scholars. Likely to be confident in their own intelligence without being openly arrogant.

**

High Wis, Low Int: These characters tend to be practical rather than theoretical, and prefer the big picture but get lost in details. They may have good instincts and easily intuit the truth of a situation, but are not good at conscious reasoning - thus may have difficulty justifying their decisions to others. Learn slowly, but may be patient. Might be stubborn, dislike formal logic and argument, or distrust those who "use fancy words to pull the wool over the eyes of us simple folk."

High Wis, Low Int, High Cha: As above, but their confidence and personal magnetism make them natural leaders, preferably when paired with a trusted high-int character as an advisor.

High Wis, High Int: The detective. Observant and good at logical reasoning, they notice all the clues and put them together. They see both the forest and the trees.

High Wis, Low Cha: Insightful and strong-willed but with little presence, this character might be very introverted - that is, they are mostly concerned with their inner world. Alternatively, they may be very blunt about unpleasant truths in a way that makes others uncomfortable.

**

High Cha, Low Int: Not very intelligent but confident and charming enough to distract from their shortcomings. May be very good at faking expertise. May delegate the thinking to others.

High Cha, Low Wis: This character may be a little self-centered (highly confident but unaware of their surroundings or others' feelings), charmingly impulsive and whimsical, or focused on their goals to the point of disregarding realistic constraints. The last type may be seen as a hero or fool depending on the success of their enterprise.

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The Alchemist is assumed to be able to carry the supplies he needs to use his class features, with no cost aside from that of the basic crafting kit. How you justify that, flavour-wise, is up to you. But requiring the Alchemist to spend money or make Craft checks in order to resupply is a house rule that unnecessarily hampers the class. Even in a campaign where mundane resource management is important, I would be cautious since it gives a relative advantage to certain classes that don't need resources (eg sorcerers).

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Chosen One doesn't lose Divine Grace, it just delays the ability until 4th level.

On the Swashbuckler Side, Noble Fencer also gives up Charmed Life, and Guiding Blade lets you use it on your allies instead of on yourself.

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Looks pretty solid to me. Energy Shield isn't my favourite, personally, but it's not a bad use of a 3rd level power. Sets you up nicely to take Mind over Gravity at level 7 and Shadow Beast at level 9.

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I'm not sure I'm the best judge of what realistic armour looks like. I think I lean on the "realism" side of things, but moderately stylized is fine.

Pair of examples I like:

Paladin - Gritty
Inspiring Angel - Shiny

Might dig up some more later.

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