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Weirdo's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 4,336 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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Shadow Lodge

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Secret Wizard wrote:
And it's not just paladins. The [Arcane] sorcerer can match the monk's general bonus without much difficulty with Iron Will as a bonus feat (6 base + 1 wis + 3 feat/trait +2 resist = 12). The empyreal sorcerer exceeds the monk even without iron will or a trait (6 base + 6 Wis +2 resist = 14). Combat clerics and druids will probably also exceed the monk with equal feat/trait investment (assuming conservative 16 wis at level 8: 6+3+2+3=14) and those with a casting focus or Guided Hand will, like the empyreal sorcerer, easily exceed the monk.
I am sorry that the existence of a single archetype for Sorcerers that effectively loses an arcana and is forced to a single bloodline having higher Will saves ruins the Monk for you.

I have bolded the other six types of characters whose will saves make the Unchained Monk's look disappointing. Hope that helps.

Ferious Thune wrote:
There was no need to recreate the perfection of mind and body of the Core Monk, because if that's what you want, the Core Monk is still there.

"We are fixing some well-recognized problems with the monk class, but sacrificed one of its iconic thematic concepts to do so. If you don't like it, use the unfixed version."

Ferious Thune wrote:
Yes, it seems counterintuitive for a Monk to have a poor Will save. But from a game design standpoint, they didn't want to create a full BAB class with three good saves. It can be debated whether or not something in the "Unchained" book should have been allowed to break that rule, but they decided they didn't want to do that.

And some members of the community think that was a bad decision, and are willing to defend that opinion.

Shadow Lodge

My paladins started with 12 con only because yours did - and Paladin 2 did have 14 Con.

And it's not just paladins. The sorcerer can match the monk's general bonus without much difficulty with Iron Will as a bonus feat (6 base + 1 wis + 3 feat/trait +2 resist = 12). The empyreal sorcerer exceeds the monk even without iron will or a trait (6 base + 6 Wis +2 resist = 14). Combat clerics and druids will probably also exceed the monk with equal feat/trait investment (assuming conservative 16 wis at level 8: 6+3+2+3=14) and those with a casting focus or Guided Hand will, like the empyreal sorcerer, easily exceed the monk.

I can roleplay the drunken part of the monk without archetypes. The stat arrangement for the concept is the issue with the UnMonk, especially since I did want to trip which meant no Iron Will for me (even with a houserule that let me skip Combat Expertise).

Agreed with build variety and maneuvers being significant issues with the UnMonk.

Shadow Lodge

Natan Linggod 327 wrote:


Not bad. I'd prefer an option built in for body part choice but that's not bad.

Although, your wording "make appropriate motions", do Kinetecists have to make any motions at all to use their blasts? Cos if they have somatic components then just use the rules for that.

The text doesn't actually require motions, though I and many posters here find some form of gesturing appropriate. I also visualize abilities like Dervish Dance as involving using a free hand in a specific way as a counterbalance, instead of just not using that hand.

I was inspired by somatic components, but I don't think kineticists abilities would have them even if they involved gesturing, since they aren't actually spells.

Shadow Lodge

Secret Wizard wrote:
Yeah, well, we can agree that Monks having on-par saves and AC vis a vis Paladins makes them eligible for the "physically and mentally resistant" type of character everyone here is saying Monks aren't :P

The monk isn't on par with the paladin. It has slightly worse resistance (vs non-enchantment effects, fear, and charm) and expends more effort in getting there. If the paladin spends a feat and a trait on its will save like the monk did, it gets +17 (immune to fear and charm) compared to the monk's +12 (+14 vs enchantment).

Secret Wizard wrote:
The one thing I don't like about dumping INT is not qualifying for Unsanctioned Knowledge tho.

Well, I'm not a fan of a frontliner like your UnMonk having only 12 Con. Mechanics aside, what if I want to play a monk who is very tough, not exceedingly insightful or perceptive - but still has strong willpower? This describes my current character, a drunken monk.

I also notice that your build doesn't include combat maneuver feats, something many people like on a monk. You could trade out a bonus feat or two for Improved Maneuver feats, but that's not enough to be really good at maneuvers in the long run. Maybe Iron Will shouldn't be a given?

Shadow Lodge

I also strongly dislike having a PC with only 2 skill ranks per level (remember, we're adding our FCB to skills instead of ki pool) but that's how the paladin typically plays.

1) 10 + 11 armour + 4 Ironskin + 1 deflection (ring, like the monk) = 26. Paladin 1 has Dex 13 for 27. I mentioned smite AC separately because it is situational, but in that situation it beats the monk. Note that the paladin hasn't taken Dodge (though Paladin 1 qualifies).

2) It matches the paladin against enchantment effects, but not things like Bestow Curse. Also, the paladin is flat immune to fear and charm at this level - and hasn't spent a feat or a trait on increasing its save, just the cloak of resistance. Paladin wins.

Serisan - Good catch, I was comparing to the posted build. Demon-born works for high-wis paladins if you like tieflings.

Shadow Lodge

Secret Wizard wrote:
Weirdo wrote:

The sorcerer is still an issue.

So is the fact that a paladin can comfortably afford 12 Wis and 20 Cha by level 8 and have a +12 will save without a feat, trait, or even a cloak of resistance. If the paladin does spend the same resources as Secret Wizard's UnMonk, they get +17.

This on a class that Secret Wizard rightly recommends for "superior damage," and that's not all it has going for it.

Paladin cannot afford a 12 Wisdom score. They actually have to dump it to 7 unless they dump INT and screw themselves out of combat.


If a Pally doesn't dump wisdom they cannot get 20 Charisma or good HP/defences or damage for that matter.

Paladins are already screwed for skills, and dumping Int to 7 only costs you 1 skill point compared to Int 10. They can get 2 ranks per level with a FCB, which is enough to max Diplomacy to cover social situations and still pick up a few other skills as you go. They also don't need a high Dex score since they'll likely wear at least medium armour.

Paladin 1 (dual-talent human or angel-blooded aasimar):
Str 16+2+2+1=21 Dex 13 Con 12 Int 7 Wis 12 Cha 15+2+2+1=20

Paladin 2 (dual-talent or angel-blooded):
Str 21 Dex 10 Con 14 Int 7 Wis 12 Cha 20

Paladin 3 (Suli or Nagaji):
Str 20 Dex 10 Con 12 Int 12-2 Wis 12 Cha 20

The last one gets no Int penalty even after the racial mod, so you get 3 skill ranks with the FCB or you can use your FCB for an extra HP, and your knowledge skills don't take a hit.

For comparison, Your UnMonk:
Str 21, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 20, Cha 7

Assume Belt of Str +2 and Headband of Cha +2. Compared to your UnMonk, the cheaper belt and not buying Bracers of Armour gives them 10K, which is more than enough to buy +2 full plate. Throw on Ironskin (paladin spell) for AC 26-27 when two-handing, comparable to the UnMonk. Smite bumps this to 31-32. HP is at least as good, even before factoring in Lay on Hands. Str 20 or 21 is perfectly acceptable for offense at this level. With the cloak that the monk gets, Will save is +14 and the worst save, Reflex, is still at +9 or +10 compared to the UnMonk's +11. Fort save is much better.

Note that if you use Aasimar, Suli, or Nagaji, you get racial features other than stat bonuses.

Shadow Lodge

Imbicatus wrote:
That's more of an issue with the human fcb on superstitious which never should have been in the game in the first place. Racial FCBs were a mistake.

The sorcerer is still an issue.

So is the fact that a paladin can comfortably afford 12 Wis and 20 Cha by level 8 and have a +12 will save without a feat, trait, or even a cloak of resistance. If the paladin does spend the same resources as Secret Wizard's UnMonk, they get +17.

This on a class that Secret Wizard rightly recommends for "superior damage," and that's not all it has going for it.

Shadow Lodge

Secret Wizard wrote:
I think saying that UnMonk has low Will saves is like saying Wizards have few skill ranks per level. C'mon, people, I showed you guys the builds and compared to CRB Monk, you can see that it's a common mistake to believe that but in actual gameplay has no effect :P

No effect so long as you take a feat and a trait to boost your save back up. A poor base save progression is a poor base save progression, even if you can build to compensate for it.

Besides, I'm not comparing to the CRB monk, which I do agree needed work. I'm comparing to the other classes the monk is adventuring with. The UnMonk is at a distinct disadvantage in the will save department compared to clerics, druids, paladins, and other characters who have a good base save plus a good stat. These spiritually minded characters are the ones I'd expect the monk to compete with in the willpower department, but the UnMonk needs to spend extra feats and or/traits to keep up.

In fact, many characters that are not supposed to have a lot of mental strength can get a Will save similar to your UnMonk with a little effort.

At level 8 an arcane sorcerer could easily have 12 Wis, Iron Will as a bonus bloodline feat (plus the trait and cloak) and match your UnMonk: +6 base +1 Wis +2 feat +1 trait +2 resistance = +12.

A superstitious barbarian with the human FCB and Wis 8 can match your UnMonk on non-enchantment effects: +2 base -1 Wis +2 feat +1 trait +2 resistance +6 superstition = +12 (and with Wis 12 they hit the monk's bonus against enchantment).

Shadow Lodge

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My issue with the will save and lost poison immunity is... why? It's not like leaving them alone would make the UnMonk overpowered compared to the paladin or barbarian, even with the very necessary boosts to the Core Monk's offensive ability.

The monk, conceptually, is supposed to be very mentally and physically balanced, so assuming they should take Iron Will in order to make up for a poor base will save doesn't sit right with me.

Since poison immunity would be a ki power, making it available to monks that aim to have that kind of control over their body doesn't mean that you can't still have monks that are vulnerable to poison.

Shadow Lodge

Draven Torakhan wrote:

Yeah.. I advocate fluff, but silly fluff is silly. I go by the spirit of it, and let's be honest, adoption just doesn't work that way. If I was adopted by eagles when I was baby, I wouldn't wake up with wings one day. :P

But hey, that's just my two cents.

We're not talking about adoption at this point, we're talking about Racial Heritage, which means you have a kitsune ancestor a few generations back from whom you derive some aspects of kitsune nature (possibly including a seed of innate magic that might manifest itself in SLAs).

Shadow Lodge

Energy resistance and DR are also significant limitations for the Kineticist. Casters usually have an easier time switching energy types and martials can use backup weapons or enchant their weapons to get through DR.

How about:

Versatile Kinetic Form
You have learned unusual methods for using your body to manipulate the elements.
Prerequisite: Kineticist
Benefit: You may aim a blast or gather power without having free hands. Instead, you make appropriate motions with other parts of your body, such as legs, head, tail, or wings. You must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMD + effective spell level of blast) to gather power while grappled. If you fail this check by 5 or more you not only fail to gather energy but lose control of it and must accept a number of points of burn equal to the number of points by which your gathered power would have reduced the burn cost. You still may not gather power or aim a blast while pinned, paralyzed, or otherwise immobilized.
Normal: You must have one hand free to aim a blast, and both hands free to gather power.

And maybe a second version allowing you to use talents when immobilized, either at lower power or by taking on extra burn. This would be analogous to a Stilled, Silent spell.

Shadow Lodge

So it looks like the OP's game was yesterday, but for others following:

StoneRose9898 wrote:
I was shooting for a defensive build with the ability to deal damage. The combo, while MAD is the best way I was able to find while keeping any semblance of spellcasting. So basically I was wanting a Spellcaster who can run in with a sword and not be penalized for doing so.

I really don't think that this is the best combo for a spellcaster with a decent defense and the ability to use a sword.

On top of the weaknesses other posters have discussed, both the Magus and Flowing Monk use a lot of swift actions, which makes it hard to get the most out of both classes. I would also be concerned about flurry working with spell combat since both are similar to TWF.

I would recommend Kensai Magus with any Int-based full caster. It gives you much stronger spellcasting, if that's your primary concern, and as a Magus you'll at least have strong enough martial ability to make it a credible backup option. On top of Int to AC, you'll have the spell slots to spare for additional defensive buffs (Mage Armor, Mirror Image, Displacement). A decent Dex and your good Int make up for the low Ref save and skill points - with your stat array I'd swap Wis and Con, and stick with Dex-based.

Shadow Lodge

You're suggesting a commoner is using a teamwork feat in order to more effectively share information about the prices of common items?

N N 959 wrote:
3. Memory. This is the biggest hole in the Pathfinder/3.5 skill system. It's important to remember that if players are playing Commoners and go out to buy an apple, while it may be the first time the player has done so, it would not be the first time the character would done so. As DMW suggests, everyone has a lifetime of experience buying certain types of items. The game does not directly account for that.

Isn't that what Knowledge skills are for? The DC 10 for common knowledge represents the idea that an untrained person of average intelligence should just know certain things from their experience living in the world. There's not a whole lot of guidance on determining what might be "common" based on an individual's background, but it's not a terrible system. At least, it's better than how Appraise is written to require all sorts of circumstantial adjustment to represent the basic experience of the common person.

Shadow Lodge

What is the purpose of the encounter? If you are looking for a puzzle then haste is definitely too simple. If you want to provide scenery or some form of exposition then a simple method for getting through the hallway is fine.

Shadow Lodge

How do we feel about a feat that would allow a Kineticist to manipulate elements without using their hands? That would allow a larger stylistic range but also impose a mechanical cost for removing a limitation from the class.

Shadow Lodge

Eh, I wasn't a fan of the Sacred Fist being able to flurry in armour. Nerfing the flurry itself seems a bit much, though.

Imbicatus wrote:
As for the bracers, I was mistakenly thinking they were not cost effective when compared to regular armor, my bad. :)

They're not cost effective compared to regular armour. That's why being able to wear armour is better than not being able to wear armour.

For 1,250gp, a +1 chain shirt gives you a +5 armour bonus. Try to buy that same bonus with Bracers and you'll spend 25,000gp. Plus armour has its own item slot, so it's not competing with other magic items you might want.

Now, the cost of the bracers is the same as enhancing armour magically, so the AC bonus that the Monk and Sacred Fist get more or less compensates for the "base" armour bonus - a little less at low levels, and a little more at high levels.

Shadow Lodge

I'm on board with DM_Blake's proposed scaling. A DC 20 check is appropriate for goods that might be common by an adventurer's standards (such as a tapestry looted from the dungeon) but is too much for everyday items, and there's no real indication in the skill that it doesn't apply to such things.

While it does make sense to give someone a bonus for things they encounter regularly, or even allow them to "just know" things, the Knowledge skill does account for "common" knowledge and indicates that the DC for such things should be around 10 to start with.

Saldiven wrote:
"Trade goods set in stone" is, at best, a game mechanic put in place to control WBL.

It's also a handy way to indicate that some goods are so commonly traded that everyone knows quite accurately what they're worth regardless of their Appraise skill. Which is fine if we're not adjusting the skill to make sense for NPCs.

Cevah wrote:
That first aid another could also be a long standing relationship of trust, for a +2 circumstance bonus.

So members of a long-term adventuring party should get an extra +2 on the aid another action?

Shadow Lodge

Interesting question thematically. Alahazra the iconic oracle was driven from home due to her divine powers, despite not actually worshiping a deity. A paladin could easily have similar issues if their powers were recognized as divinely sourced, spells or no spells.

Mechanically it is allowed.

Shadow Lodge

Byakko wrote:

"Economy does not include a luggage allowance. Extra luggage will incur an additional charge."

That sounds weird, right? The "extra" doesn't make sense because the economy class does not include a luggage allowance in the first place.

The reason it sounds weird here is because the usual luggage allowance in this situation is always zero. In my example the usual luggage allowance is sometimes zero - it's zero if you have an economy ticket, but not zero for other tickets. Just like the "extra tail" usually means more than the one that a full kitsune has but could also mean more than the zero that a part-kitsune might have.

Byakko wrote:
Extra almost always means in addition to at least one that's already there.

Key word almost always.

Just because a word is often used in a particular context with particular associations doesn't mean those associations are binding.

For example, "some" is often used to mean "not all." This is because If you mean "all" you would usually say that instead of "some." If you say "I ate some of the cookies" I will normally expect that you left some cookies for me to enjoy. However if I put a plate of cookies in front of you, say "Have some cookies," and then walk away, I'm not in a position to complain if you do in fact eat all the cookies on the plate.

The Magical Tail feat probably used the word "extra" because they were expecting a character with the feat would have at least one tail to start with, but it still makes sense if you're starting from zero tails. Contrast Tail Terror's "with your tail" wording, which makes no sense if "your tail" doesn't exist.

Shadow Lodge

Serisan wrote:
I would totally love to see the combination GURPS/Ponyfinder/Cthulu/Conan/Palladium/Cyberpunk table, though, where this question wasn't addressed in advance.

Combined at the same time?

Shadow Lodge

WormysQueue wrote:
knightnday wrote:
There are those that like the idea that they should go where their muse takes them and it is the responsibility of the GM and other players to coordinate their efforts to make the whole cohesive.

I'm one of those myself (and I'm the GM most of the time), but as you said, that doesn't speak against a Session 0 at all. So I'm doing some kind of Session 0, but mainly to learn about what players want to play and to and then to adapt the campaign to their wishes.

So from what Neil describes in his blog entry, in my opinion it's not the players and their PCs that pose the problem. It's the GM who created a campaign to his own liking without thinking one second about the players' likes and wishes beforehand.

Problem being that Neil's blog entry comes across more like session 0 should be used to tell the players what's allowed and what not. I have to admit that I have no interest in such a session 0, neither as a player nor as the GM.

Agreed the blog post does come across that way.

However, the concept of making sure everyone is on the same page before you start the campaign works whether you expect the GM to dictate to the players or players to present their concepts so the GM can plan for it, or some in-between level of mutual accommodation.

I personally have never seen a situation where we can't reach a happy compromise re: character concept, given some time in advance to work it out.

Shadow Lodge

Back in 3.X I played a gnome druid who had to infiltrate an organization that didn't have nonhuman members. We decided that the best plan was to have me sneak in as a tiny-size snake hidden inside the trousers of another party member. Unfortunately the guy screening us at the door noticed something... amiss. "What in the World is in his pants?" he said. The bard, our "commanding officer," rolled bluff: "Do I look like the kind of man who knows what's in my underlings' pants?" The doorman, flustered, let us pass.

Played a druid again in my first Pathfinder game and impersonated a religious omen. A group of orcs with a history of coexisting more or less peacefully with their neighbors had fallen under the influence of the BBEG, who wanted them in his Legions of Doom. The party decided to convince the orcs to rebel by appealing to their traditional culture. The orcs believed white ravens to be a sacred animal, so the party caused some unfortunate accidents to occur to the BBEG's people while my druid flew around as a white raven (and an item that let me speak) calling out "Old Ways! Return to Old Ways!" When the party's half-orc barbarian rolled up to challenge the puppet chief to single combat, most of the rest of the orcs supported him.

Shadow Lodge

Saldiven wrote:
This kind of thing could be done via e-mail or text, but would take dozens, if not more, such communications over (probably) multiple days to achieve what an hour or two sitting together at a table would do.

For me, that's a feature, not a bug. It means that if there's a tricky issue we can go off and sleep on it instead of expecting everything to be resolved in one sitting.

It's also pretty common for a player to have an short in-depth individual conversation with the GM to quickly flesh out a character backstory without having to bring all the other players into it.

Shadow Lodge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
I think that Rules As Written, it just happens to work anyway, because the Arcanist casts Sorcerer{/Wizard} spells.

No, it casts from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, which is slightly different.

This loose interpretation of "sorcerer spells" would also allow a Psychic Sorc 1 / Wizard X to cast their spells from the Wizard class as psychic spells. I think that's clearly not the intent, and agree with Casual Viking about what the intent actually is.

Shadow Lodge

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The question is what you see as your primary identity or social role.

A cleric or adept or alchemist who sees their role primarily as caring for the sick or injured would be more likely to introduce themselves as a "healer."

In contrast, if they see their role as ministering to the members of a particular church and providing spiritual guidance, they might instead introduce themselves as a "priest" or "cleric." (Of course, if they're in a country hostile to religion they may well claim a role they don't really identify with.)

Clerics are more likely than alchemists to see the priesthood as their primary role, but not everyone has to identify with the role their class is named for.

Shadow Lodge

You're referring to this line?

School Understanding wrote:
If the arcanist already has an arcane school (or gains one later), taking this exploit instead allows her arcanist levels to stack with the levels of the class that granted the arcane school when determining the powers and abilities of her arcane school.

If you don't have an arcane school because you traded it away, you don't get the benefit of this favourable stacking.

Without the favourable stacking you only get a small fraction of the school benefits, so it's fine.

Shadow Lodge

Byakko wrote:
Weirdo, graystone, etc, your interpretation largely relies on the "fluffness" of the first sentence.

Actually, I went in the opposite direction and took the first sentence as a mechanical description in that I assumed a human with the feat would indeed grow tails (just like a kitsune would).

Byakko wrote:
If you don't have a tail to begin with, you can't grow an "extra" one. But you still gain the SLAs.

"Extra" means "added to an existing or usual amount or number." If the existing or usual number of tails is zero, then one tail is an extra tail.

If I am running an airplane, and I say "Each class of ticket includes a different luggage allowance. Extra luggage will incur additional charges" and then say that economy class tickets include no luggage, the first bag is "extra" and incurs an additional charge.

Shadow Lodge

Agreed with graystone. Even the flavour text "You grow an extra tail that represents your growing magical powers" applies just fine to a human. If you grow a tail, that is an extra tail in addition to however many tails you had previously. If your magical powers increase, they are growing - even if growing from a dormant state, like a seed.

There is no reason to say that the magical nature of the kitsune is entirely represented by the Kitsune Magic trait, especially when kitsune can have alternate traits replacing Kitsune Magic but still possess shapeshifting.

And I think it's really flavourful for someone to just suddenly grow a fox tail because unbeknownst to them, grandma was a Kitsune.

Kahel Stormbender wrote:
You can only take Magical Tails 8 times. How can you be a 9 tail scion, if you can only have 8 tails? :)

So would you require a kitsune who took the trait to also take Magical Tail 9 times? Would you require them to take Magical Tail at every opportunity so they get 9 tails as fast as possible?

Shadow Lodge

A bit more context on j b 200's citation:

Casting a Spell wrote:

A spell that takes one round to cast is a full-round action. It comes into effect just before the beginning of your turn in the round after you began casting the spell. You then act normally after the spell is completed.

A spell that takes 1 minute to cast comes into effect just before your turn 1 minute later (and for each of those 10 rounds, you are casting a spell as a full-round action). These actions must be consecutive and uninterrupted, or the spell automatically fails.

When you begin a spell that takes 1 round or longer to cast, you must continue the invocations, gestures, and concentration from 1 round to just before your turn in the next round (at least). If you lose concentration after starting the spell and before it is complete, you lose the spell.


Casting a Metamagic Spell

Sorcerers and bards must take more time to cast a metamagic spell (one enhanced by a metamagic feat) than a regular spell. If a spell's normal casting time is 1 standard action, casting a metamagic version of the spell is a full-round action for a sorcerer or bard (except for spells modified by the Quicken Spell feat, which take 1 swift action to cast). Note that this isn't the same as a spell with a 1-round casting time. Spells that take a full-round action to cast take effect in the same round that you begin casting, and you are not required to continue the invocations, gestures, and concentration until your next turn.

I'm not aware of any actions that take 1 round other than casting certain spells.

Rub-Eta wrote:
I think that a 1 round action can be started and finished on different rounds (start with a move action and finish with a standard action your next turn).

You're thinking of:

The "start full-round action" standard action lets you start undertaking a full-round action, which you can complete in the following round by using another standard action. You can't use this action to start or complete a full attack, charge, run, or withdraw.

I'm not entirely sure this applies to spells with a 1 round casting time, but since the rules do say that casting a spell with a 1 round casting time is a full round action (with some extra complications) it should work.

Shadow Lodge

Don't think so. They don't take extra damage from area spells when they take up multiple spaces in the area.

Shadow Lodge

lemeres wrote:
EDIT/SIDENOTE- is the divine support 'much needed'? You also have an inquisitor. Now, having two 6 level divine casters is fine and good. Just doesn't seem 'much needed'.

As someone who played an inquisitor as the party's sole divine support - yes, it's pretty needed.

The inquisitor spell list lacks some significant buffs from the cleric/oracle list, such as Blessing of Fervor, in favour of utility spells like Keep Watch or debuffs like Blistering Invective.

Also, because they are not just a partial caster but a spontaneous partial caster they have a hard time using spells for condition removal (Neutralize Poison, Remove Disease, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Break Enchantment... it's a ton of spells known). They also lack any non-spell source of healing. You end up going through consumables like candy in order to fill basic healing needs. If the party had a witch, alchemist, or other backup healer it would be less of a big deal.

I'm hoping, btw, that the evoker and arcane archer are looking at at least some battlefield control options instead of just damage?

Shadow Lodge

Indefinitely: for an unlimited or unspecified period of time.

To me, that sounds like an ongoing effect rather than an instantaneous one.

Shadow Lodge

Yes, if you hit with at least 2 unarmed attacks you deal boar style damage. They don't have to be your normal iterative attacks.

Shadow Lodge

ZZTRaider wrote:

As a concept, I think it makes plenty of sense. Let's take lemeres's idea of being opposed to aligned outsiders a step further.

Suppose one kingdom is Good and the other is Evil. Even without outsider involvement, these kingdoms naturally fall into conflict with each other. Each believes their philosophy is better and should be spread to the world at large.

How do we avoid that conflict and possible war? By ensuring that neither side feels they have the upper hand. If both kingdoms feel they are evenly matched (or better, that they are outmatched), they're more likely to keep to themselves -- the cost is too high to fight, as it is more likely to lead to mutual annihilation.

This isn't really about ensuring balance between alignments, though. Such a character would be just as motivated to keep any two powerful and antagonistic nations in balance, even two TN nations.

The Raven Black wrote:

I could see an order welcoming to anyone who is of the opinion that people should be able to have differing opinions without trying to kill each other. An adamant opponent to any fanatic whatever the stripes

With Smite any alignment as long as the corresponding aura is strong enough

Again, not really about alignment. People aren't always violently antagonistic towards others of opposing alignments, and some may not even want others to share their alignment - CN I think would be particularly likely not to care about others' alignments as long as they don't try to harm or control the CN person. And conversely, a TN person who hates undead may get into violent conflict with a TN or NE person who creates undead.

There are lots of ideals besides alignment that can cause destructive conflict.

Shadow Lodge

...and Shield is necessary instead of Mage Armour because Mage Armour is actually a conjuration spell. Seriously, are you sure you want Abjuration as your specialty school when it doesn't even get the two best low-level wizard defenses? The protective aura is really not that great a way to use a standard action, compared to the benefit of having useful spells. If you took Conjuration (Teleportation) you could have Mage Armor and Mirror Image (with Glitterdust as your 2nd level school spell), and you'd get the ability to teleport away from a threat as a swift action.

Are you aware that the haramaki would cost you all of your cleric powers if you choose to take Ecclesitheurge?

Cha 10 still gives you 3 uses of Channel Energy, and while I'm not familiar with the AP I'm skeptical that +2 uses of channel, Diplomacy, and Bluff is going to be worth more than +2 AC, Reflex (your one poor save), and Initiative.

Shadow Lodge

The Madness domain's 8th level power is a save or suck. You've also got Blindness from the Darkness domain and Hold Person and Bestow Curse as general cleric spells (the wizard gets these too, but a level later).

Save or die aren't necessarily the best spells for a "god" wizard to use, and a lot of good battlefield control spells don't have a save (like Black Tentacles), or are have effects regardless of saving throws (like Grease, Wall of Stone, or Glitterdust - still useful as anti-invisibility). Note that these are all spells the cleric doesn't have.

Shadow Lodge

Whitestar19 wrote:
I was specifically talking about Kingmaker, and Abadar, but I was also talking about non-evil religions in general for any campaign. In a previous Kingmaker campaign, I played a Cleric of Iomodae and once again the DM thought if I was Ruler I would establish a theocracy and push my religion over all others, making Iomodae's version of Sharia Law or something. (is there even one for her?).

Yeah, this really sounds to me like your GM is bringing over a lot of assumptions based on how certain real-world religions behave, but as others have pointed out these assumptions don't really apply in Golarion or many similar settings.

The relevant question to ask when assessing whether a person's faith or priesthood will interfere with their ability to lead is: what does this faith actually require of the person, and will that interfere with their leadership duties?

If the religion in question encourages its followers to convert others to the one true god, or to make annual human sacrifices, or to spend months out of every year in the wilderness in quiet contemplation, you will have problems - or even if the priesthood simply requires you to spend so much time ministering to the faithful that you don't have time to fulfill political responsibilities.

Religious requirement to keep oaths, care for those in need, or seek peaceful cooperation with others (including other faiths) are not likely to cause problems.

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Heck - in the war represented in 300, the Persians were conquering Greece in part to convert them to their gods, though since their religion claimed that their king was a god, it was all tied into the politics.

Source? Everything I've heard about the Persians indicates that they were exceptionally tolerant - and essentially monotheistic, so not relevant to how tolerant polytheists are in either case.

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Polytheistic religions commonly persecuted those who disagreed. Besides the whole Nero/lions thing, and more commonly through the court system in Rome, Christians were also killed in mass numbers in Japan when they went isolationist.

I'm also not so sure that instances of persecution against Christians are a good justification for polytheistic religions not being able to play well with each other. The Romans tolerated most other pagan religions much better than they did the Christians with their annoying "we are the one true religion" thing.

Shadow Lodge

If you don't play a lot of casters, it's worth it to check out the basics for each class individually. I'd read over Treantmonk's wizard guide (unfortunately out of date, but good for the fundamentals of wizarding), and the support cleric, bad touch cleric, and pure casting cleric parts of this guide, and maybe some of the other sections like spells.

I like ecclesitheurge for wizard//cleric, because once you've passed up on armour as a wizard there's practically no cost for the archetype. Madness is probably the best call for your primary domain since it has a lot of spells not normally on the cleric list.

Are you sure about abjuration as a school? Unless your GM is very lenient about the energy resistance ability you're not going to get that much defensive benefit from it (spending a standard action to get a small deflection bonus is pretty meh). If you're worried about defense, consider swapping your 14 Cha with your 10 Dex - and make sure to use Mage Armor, with the long duration it's much more useful to you than Shield! Mirror Image is also probably a better 2nd level choice than Protection from Arrows.

Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Finally a cloistered cleric in this particular instance isn't horrible; more skills and some item creation feat isn't the worst trade for a domain for your character.

It's not just a domain, you also lose a normal spell slot every level. Which isn't as big a deal when you also have wizard slots, but it's still not worth what you get, especially when you have a high Int and a houseruled bonus 2 skill points, and Scribe Scroll as a wizard bonus feat.

Renegadeshepherd wrote:

My advice would be to focus more on being the cleric than the wizard in this instance. My logic is that you have the ability to make your foes curl up into a ball thanks to darkness and madness powers. At the same time your arcane abilities, especially for an abjurer, will provide very nice defenses and save or dies. Mirror images and self protection spells of all kinds will make you hard to kill even in no armor.

... In terms of stat allocation I would give INT the better score because you need extra high DC for the save or dies and the control spells. The cleric spells are better for buffing and have no need of DC.

This advice is contradictory. If you're using the cleric side for control/debuffing you need a good Wis, and if you're using wizard for protection effects you don't need as much Int. Of course, with OP's starting stats he should be able to keep both casting stats respectably high.

Shadow Lodge

KainPen wrote:
I actual believe those things requiring standard action is intentional to add a bit of balance and make fights last longer and make them more challenging.

Except it doesn't make fights longer or more challenging, it just encourages characters to use abilities that don't need the extra activation:

KainPen wrote:
so the 1d6 damage abilities are bad choices, better to pick keen, speed all the passive options or just increasing the bonus.

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Imbicatus wrote:
All of those options grant you the ability to enter several styles using the same action.

Yes, but if you're a Free-Style Fighter entering more than one style at the same time is a move action instead of a swift action, and the Master of Many Styles doesn't get the option to enter multiple styles with the same action until level 8.

Free-Style Fighter:
At 3rd level, a freestyle fighter can freely mix two of the styles he knows into a more flexible style. A free-style fighter can have an additional style feat stance active simultaneously with his first style feat stance. He can enter all of his allowed stances as a move action or one stance as a swift action.

At 1st level, a master of many styles can fuse two of the styles he knows into a more perfect style. The master of many styles can have two style feat stances active at once. Starting a stance provided by a style feat is still a swift action, but when the master of many styles switches to another style feat, he can choose one style whose stance is already active to persist. He may only have two style feat stances active at a time.

At 8th level, the master of many styles can fuse three styles at once. He can have the stances of three style feats active at the same time. He gains a bonus on attack rolls equal to the number of styles whose stances he currently has active. Furthermore, he can enter up to three stances as a swift action.

Weapon Style Mastery:
You can have the chosen style and a second style active at once. Starting a stance provided by a style feat is still a swift action, but you can assume both the chosen weapon style's stance and another style's stance simultaneously using this action.

This ability doesn't stack with other abilities that allow you to have multiple styles active at the same time.

Shadow Lodge

I don't find a "balancekeeper" a particularly sensible concept, for reasons mentioned by other posters.

I'm also not on board with TN as anti-"extreme alignments" because I don't see LG, LE, CG, CE as any more extreme than LN, NG, NE, CN. Being Lawful or Chaotic doesn't affect how Good or Evil you are. In fact, they can moderate it in situations where the two parts of your alignment conflict - such as if a LG character is told by an authority figure to commit an evil act, or a CE character needing to organize to achieve their goals.

I do think you could make a reasonable argument for a character being opposed to aligned outsiders (including deities) on the grounds that their cosmic conflicts are overall damaging to the Material and that mortals need to be able to make their own moral decisions. Mechanically its abilities would target just outsiders or maybe characters with alignment auras (as servants of these forces) rather than simply any creature taking a moral stand. I don't think there's a good class for this.

I'm also in favour of a TN Stabby Divine Magiknights who espouse other philosophies independent of alignment, like knowledge above all or destruction of undead. (If you don't have a strong philosophy you should be an arcane Magiknight rather than a divine one.) The inquisitor and warpriest do pretty well with those, though I think it's a real shame that there's not a more general charisma-based Stabby Divine Magiknight, which is a distinct mechanical niche currently being monopolized by a very specific flavour niche.

I think the druid originally was cast in the role of "balancekeeper" because of the idea that nature is in balance but nature isn't nearly as balanced as most people think. Even if nature were in many ways balanced, balance of natural forces like predator & prey or summer & winter isn't really the same thing as balance between alignments. And because "nature" is a separate value from "alignment balance" we shouldn't use the class dedicated to the former to deal with the latter. It makes a pretty good TN Stabby Divine Magiknight who happens to be devoted to nature, though.

Shadow Lodge

1) Reduce Person is not a polymorph effect, but it is a size change and that means it doesn't work with polymorph effects. However, that is the only reason it doesn't work - Reduce Person can generally be used offensively since it doesn't specifically require a willing target (the target can make a Fort save to negate), and polymorph effects such as Wild Shape don't change your type, so the druid would still have been vulnerable to eg Charm Person.

3) You can certainly have two energy properties on the same weapon, even opposing properties like Frost and Flaming.

This may be a house rule, but my group considers these properties to start active so the magus (or paladin etc) doesn't need additional standard actions to turn them on. Otherwise there's not much point.

4) Also, you cannot use Share Spells on a spell cast from a wand, because it doesn't count as "casting a spell" for purposes of special abilities.

FAQ wrote:

Items as Spells: Does using a potion, scroll, staff, or wand count as "casting a spell" for purposes of feats and special abilities like Augment Summoning, Spell Focus, an evoker's ability to do extra damage with evocation spells, bloodline abilities, and so on?

No. Unless they specifically state otherwise, feats and abilities that modify spells you cast only affect actual spellcasting, not using magic items that emulate spellcasting or work like spellcasting.

5) The haunt rules read "positive energy applied to the haunt (via channeled energy, cure spells, and the like)" - channeled positive energy is a type of positive energy but not the only type that works on haunts.

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DM_Blake wrote:
I'm well aware those exist. That's why I referenced those kinds of items in my post. I think the developers dropped the ball a little when they made that stuff, but I'm perfectly fine with letting my crafters use DWI to make the elixiirs (et al.) that are actually in the book, but when they come up to me with the idea of making an elixir of [insert random spell] with no precedent for it in the book, I say "Sure, but you'll make that elixir with Brew Potions".

I'm actually inclined to house-rule that you make all elixirs with Brew Potion, including the non-spell effects currently allowed through CWI.

Shadow Lodge

As someone who likes paladins of different alignments, I still find the idea of a paladin of balance to be philosophically and mechanically inelegant.

I have written a true neutrality-friendly paladin variant that gets to choose a smite target from the ranger's favoured enemy list, or can select the ability to smite followers of an opposed deity or organization at GM discretion. It also swaps DR 5/ and 10/evil for DR 2/- and 4/- and when smiting can stun a foe on a crit, instead of banishing outsiders. It otherwise plays as either a paladin or antipaladin, without the aura of good/evil, detect evil/good, or alignment-based spells.

Another mechanical option would be to replace Smite with the cavalier's challenge, but I think that makes the paladin a little too generic. Even if we remove alignment I think the class needs a focus on a particular divine mandate, and that means smiting something specific as opposed to just challenging whatever happens to be in front of them at the moment.

(I should also note that my personal preference is for an Any Good paladin and Any Evil antipaladin, but I wrote the any-alignment version as an exercise for a game in which alignment works somewhat differently - aligned outsiders also got a bit of tweaking.)

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Read the general notes on poison stacking if you haven't.

1. As far as I can tell, your poison actually initially has an instantaneous duration - you make one save immediately, take damage once, and then take no more damage (the effect ends). This would mean that multiple exposures have no effect. At level 4, each dose the target is affected by increases the DC for their next save before the end of the round increases by 2. The duration doesn't increase because half of 1 round is less than 1 round. At level 8 when your duration is 2 rounds, you get an extra round of duration from stacking doses.

2. Grapple checks and touch attacks are not natural attacks or unarmed strikes, so they aren't by RAW affected. Reasonable house-rule though.

3. I think so, not sure. Fernn's ruling that you can't actively poison them but that they're affected by the defensive poison seems reasonable.

4. Yes, putting multiple doses in a jar should be enough. Concentrate Poison is useful for the more common injury or contact poisons - inhaled or ingested poisons work differently:

Poison Blog wrote:
6. If a character is exposed to multiple doses of inhaled and ingested poisons simultaneously, only one save is made at the higher DC. If the save fails, the character is subject to all of the doses, but still only takes the effect once for the failed saving throw. If the save succeeds, the character avoids all of the doses.

Note that this is slightly less effective than multiple successive doses, and keep in mind that inhaled poisons are pricey unless you're using poison conversion.

5. An improvised weapon is described as a singular object, so the poison doesn't qualify - you'd have to bottle it or smear it on something to throw. However, I personally would allow it to be flicked as a touch attack with a range of 10ft using a standard action.

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I'm not opposed to a paladin getting a diplomacy edge from display of paladin powers (as long as the person they're talking to has the knowledge to recognize those powers). But I strongly prefer to rely on the reputation of an organization or the individual character - partly for a metagamey reason.

It rewards player engagement with the world.

As a PC advances in level they develop a wider reputation. If they make a strong effort to act in a particular heroic way or to gain entry to prestigious organizations then it enhances their reputation. That reputation and its effects on social interactions is the biggest intangible reward for progressing in the campaign, and the one most directly tied to a player's roleplaying choices.

Having someone get the benefit of an ironclad reputation basically out of the gate simply due to character class.. well, that cheapens the value of a stellar personal reputation built over 10 levels of unimpeachable heroism.

And that makes the game less fun for me.

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Also worth noting that the small elemental has normal space and reach. Other improved familiars may have a harder time in combat when they don't threaten normally.

I like hawk for a mauler myself. Surprisingly good starting physical stats, two natural attacks, and flight for scouting.

Shadow Lodge

Wouldn't increased damage be the only benefit for applying the Ascetic Style line to an UAS? Three feats seems a bit much for that.

Though I could see a fighter or sohei (with their normally abridged UAS damage table) getting use out of it if they used the rule Chess Pwn cited to combine UAS with some other weapon - maybe something with reach like a kusarigama or tri-point double-edged sword?

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That's what Touch of Truthtelling is for. 1st level spell available to multiple classes that clearly visually confirms whether the target (whether accuser or accused) is telling the truth.

HyperMissingno wrote:
Druids, monks, barbarians, inquisitors, and possibly hunters can also fall. How they do depends on the class though.

Again, aware.

Druids lose powers temporarily for wearing metal armour, or permanently for changing to a corner alignment, teaching a nondruid Druidic, or "ceasing to revere nature," which is super vague.

Inquisitors fall for alignment change (like clerics) or for "slipping into corruption," which is also super vague.

Monks can no longer take monk levels if they become nonlawful, but keep existing abilities.

Barbarians cannot Rage (and thus use Rage Powers) if they turn Lawful, but keep uncanny dodge, fast movement, and DR.

Hunters, like rangers, cannot fall.

Because alignment change is super subjective (where exactly is the border between LG and LN?) it's pretty common for most non-paladin classes to get a pass on the falling thing unless they take a flying leap over the grey area in acceptable behavior or unless more specific guidelines are agreed on ahead of time (eg druids must not kill an animal or plant they don't eat or otherwise use).

Paladins are much more likely to be put on a hair trigger, which is why it's much more likely to not only be discussed among RPG fans but to be part of an in-world narrative.

YMMV on whether this is a good thing. I wouldn't mind establishing more specific guidelines for falling for other classes, but I think like hammering out the ambiguities in the paladin's code it's best done at each individual table. Personally I've found that players in my group are much more vigilant about their codes of conduct than the GM is, meaning that no one falls unless the player intends to do so.

Shadow Lodge

Arachnofiend wrote:
...You know it's not just Paladins that can fall and lose their abilities, right? If a Warpriest decides to take on an extra set of codes to keep himself on the straight and narrow and then proceeds to break that code then you'd be damn sure that Torag is gonna be pissed about that.

I am aware, I just hadn't re-read the specific clause for clerics and warpriests in a while and remembered it using the term "grossly violates" which would not include falling for a minor transgression like the paladin's code does. The actual wording is "violates the code of conduct required by their deity" which could include any violation of the paladin's code.

Also Tectorman's original post includes wizards, which can't normally fall - HWalsh just quoted the section on warpriests so I thought I'd be consistent. The same sentiment applies - if the wizard's player thinks he shouldn't get spells after violating a code of conduct I'm personally happy to enforce that as GM.

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