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Weirdo's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 4,924 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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Shadow Lodge

If this is a home game, ask your GM.

If it's PFS, anticipate a conservative ruling. Share Spells and Deliver Touch Spells are useless to a fighter so Emissary is still a positive over an un-archetyped familiar - but it's not compatible with Mauler so there's an opportunity cost.

Shadow Lodge

I would use the master's level as the familiar's cleric level. Otherwise many domain powers quickly become useless.

I think there's been some debate on the related question of "do familiar abilities based on HD (like poison DCs) scale with master's level?" Not sure if there's a solid consensus.

Shadow Lodge

Lorila Sorita wrote:
Ring_of_Gyges wrote:

I don't like DC tied to CR. My young son can consistently identify an Elephant. What's his knowledge nature? According to RAW that's a DC of 17 and can't be done untrained. So my first grader has around a +7 knowledge nature?

Reminds me of a game recently.

DM: "You see a large dog like creature. You can roll knowledge nature if you want."

Player 1,2,3 don't have nature.

Player 4 rolls and fails.

DM: "Yeah, some kind of large wild looking dog."

Player 4: Is it a wolf? I think I could recognize a wolf.

DM: "Apparently you can't."

This is where we remember that the pathfinder bestiaries are extensive and lots of things look similar.

Is it a wolf? Maybe. But it could also be a young dire wolf, a werewolf, a fiendish wolf, a winter wolf, or a worg. And probably some other more obscure things. You're not sure.

Shadow Lodge

Oh jeeze yeah, that curse is a way bigger issue than whether you can gain favour from multiple deities.

Unchained Curse wrote:
At 5th level, you have no alignment. You can become a member of any class, even one with an alignment requirement, and can never lose your membership because of a change in alignment. If you violate the code of ethics of any of your classes, you might still lose access to certain features of such classes, subject to GM discretion. Attempts to detect your alignment don’t return any results. If a class restricts you from casting spells with an alignment descriptor, you can cast such spells without restrictions or repercussions. If you’re the target of a spell or effect that is based on alignment, you’re treated as the most favorable alignment when determining the spell’s effect on you. Any effects that alter alignment have no effect on you.

Paladin morality and spells with alignment descriptors are two of the most contentious issues on this forum and it looks like you're dealing with both. Whether the GM allows this concept depends heavily on how they interpret morality in their game.

How your GM responds will likely depend on what exactly you want to do with this concept. Is this about using [evil] spells? Do you want to revere evil forces, presumably in addition to good ones, Godclaw style? Or do you want to draw your general spellcasting talents from evil agents that favour your character (despite the fact that you proceeded to use these powers against their interests)?

Shadow Lodge

Well, editing would help if you want feedback.

When writing an archetype, you get to assume that everything works as normal except for the stated changes. That saves text.

Edited Version wrote:

Class Skills – A Wild Heart gains Diplomacy as a class skill instead of Ride. This is a minor upgrade - Diplomacy is better than Ride.

Shapeshifter's Empathy – In addition to the usual ability to communicate with animals, a Wild Heart gains a greater understanding intelligent beings by taking their forms. The Wild Heart adds half of their level to interactions with intelligent beings of a species whose form they have already taken. This ability modifies Wild Empathy. First: creatures whose form they have taken ever, or creatures whose form they are currently using? I suggest the latter as the former requires a lot of bookeeping. Second: clarify "interactions." Social skills? Stealth? Attack rolls? I expect you intend social skills but it needs to be clear. Third: I recommend allowing the Wild Heart to use normal Wild Empathy only when taking the form of an animal, to balance this out.

Bondless – the Wild Heart does not receive the Nature Bond ability.

Wild Shape A Wild Heart druid gains the Wild shape ability at level 2, and gains an additional use of wild shape every 2 levels (maximum 9 at level 18). Skip the monkeyfish thing as it is weird and confusing. Let the druid use Wild Shape to add claws, or a bite, or a swim or climb speed. See the totem shaman ability.

In addition, a Wild Heart can use Wild Shape to take the form of a wider variety of creatures. A Wild Heart must spend 2 uses of Wild Shape to take the form of an intelligent being. Does this include elementals and intelligent plant creatures, but not vermin, or do you just want it to apply to the new forms? The alignment restriction is clunky and confusing and I suggest simplifying it eg to "an additional use when taking the form of a creature with a different alignment" or just getting rid of it. The Wild Heart druid adds the following options to their Wild Shape at the indicated levels:

Level 4 – Vermin Shape I.

Level 6 – Vermin Shape II

Level 8 – Beast Shape III (including magical beasts)

Level 10 – Beast Shape IV (including magical beasts) and Monstrous Physique I

Level 12 – Monstrous Physique I and Form of the Dragon I

Level 14 – Monstrous Physique III, Form of the Dragon II, and Giant Form I.

Level 16 – Monstrous Physique IV, Form of the Dragon III, and Giant Form II

In addition, at Level 18 a Wild Heart can use Wild Shape to impersonate a specific individual rather than turning into a generic representative of a species. A Thousand Faces does not let you impersonate individuals.

This modifies Wild Shape.

The power curve is definitely off here. You're losing the most at early levels, when an animal companion or extra spell a day and a minor ability is a pretty big deal. But you're gaining tons in the late game when you have extra uses of Wild Shape to burn and stop getting access to new wild shape forms.

Shadow Lodge

Slayer's Blood Reader talent will do it.

Shadow Lodge

Came out in Ultimate Intrigue, along with Greater Detect Magic.

Probably you just want the Magic Aura function but spread over multiple items. avr's cost suggestion sounds reasonable, though personally I think the Infiltrator's Mail is a bit overvalued.

Shadow Lodge

Ah, your first post mentioned rolling together History and Nobility, and I lost track as the idea developed.

I think there's no problem with Local/Geography covering the broad strokes of the folklore behind a holiday, but not being able to assess how much of the story is true without History.

For example, if reflecting on American Thanksgiving then Local might give you the "First Thanksgiving" story, for example, but History would tell you that the pilgrims didn't call it "Thanksgiving" or wear big buckles on their clothes and that it took quite some time for Thanksgiving to become a regular national holiday.

Shadow Lodge

Looks like the unchained version has slightly different wording.

I would guess they are clarifying original intent.

Shadow Lodge

Glad that was useful!

There's definitely a balance between having skills that are too broad to express characters' varied abilities and skills that are too specific to be useful.

For example, I would not be a fan of a system that had the knowledge skills "Magic" (Arcana, Planes, Religion) "People" (Local, History, Nobility) and "Science" (Nature, Geography, Dungeoneering, Engineering). On the other hand, no one seems inclined to split "Nature" into Botany, Zoology, Meteorology, and Fey Lore, despite the fact that those are very reasonable distinctions in real life (aside from not having IRL "fairy science" T_T).

I think at minimum there's a good argument to merge History into one or more related skills. Nobility is the best bet, since "lineages, heraldry, personalities, royalty" are interwoven with a good chunk of history and education in history is likely to be much more common in the upper class, to whom noble lineages would also be important. Geography's a little harder, but it's distinctly less useful than the other knowledge skills and can probably be covered by some combination of Local (where do the people live?), Nature (what is the terrain and weather like?) and Survival (how do I navigate?).

Of course, you could also combine a relatively broad approach to skills with a more detailed list of background skills. I wouldn't put Knowledge (Nature) into background skills because it's a fairly useful skill. But I could absolutely offer Botany as a background skill, functioning like Knowledge (Nature) but only to identify plants and plant creatures.

Shadow Lodge

Philo Pharynx wrote:

Actually, you should be getting feedback on how to do this from your players. Player input is critical for a game like this. They'll have to be in on it, or it's just not going to fly.

If my group were doing this, I'd be playing my DVR at home - it's just not my style of game.

I believe the post three above yours addresses that concern:

Inlaa wrote:
I'll be recruiting players for this online when I start - specifically looking for players that want this kind of game. I'm not springing this on a group I already have.

That said, there's always some room for getting input after recruiting players - for example, you might not need to bother with writing an herbalist class or changing the bard's spell list if no one would be interested in playing those classes.

Shadow Lodge

I would charge at most 400gp, probably more in the 100-200gp range.

Even if the PC does use it as a prop in a clever bluff, he's not getting good tactical value. 400gp will buy you a permanent +2 competence bonus to Bluff by the item creation formulae - or 180gp gets you sleeves of many garments which could help out with a variety of deceptions.

Shadow Lodge

Trish Megistos wrote:
Advanced Race Guide wrote:
If a humanoid has a racial subtype, it is considered a member of that race in the case of race prerequisites.
Pass for Human wrote:
This ability alters the tiefling’s type, subtype, and languages.

Since there is no specific subtype for elf he would get both of them. And therefore qualify for all the (4) racial prerequisites.

Am I missing something?


Pass for Half-Elf only exists as a home-brewed trait allowed by your GM.

It is not reasonable to expect a GM to take a trait that lets you count as one additional race (Pass for Human) and home-brew a version that lets you count as three additional races.

For balance reasons, I would expect that a half-elven tiefling appears as a half-elf, but must choose to take racial options associated with only one of humans, elves, and half-elves depending on what part of their heritage is more strongly expressed.

If you pick half-elf racial options then either you shouldn't have the subtype (but you do count more generally as humanoid eg for Charm Person and Enlarge Person) or else you do have both subtypes but don't count as human or elf for racial prerequisites - since we're already homebrewing, breaking the ARG rule is better than allowing an unbalanced trait.

Shadow Lodge

I am pretty fuzzy on Golarion and have not played through RotR so I'm not familiar with the example given.

Again, even if an outsider is stranded on the material plane and their original purpose for being here no longer applies, I would expect them to find something to do that is consistent with their alignment if at all possible.

Sounds like it would be pretty easy to tweak Magnimar in the direction you want and make it a hub for stranded celestials who need help figuring out what to do with themselves.

Celestials don't have to be the center of attention but they should draw at least as much attention as an adventurer of their CR. Probably a bit more because of being obviously otherworldly (aside from the handful of exceptions that can change shape like the cassisian or the gancanaugh).

Shadow Lodge

ALLENDM, I think you can simplify your descriptions a bit:

1) No longer identifies spellwork, spell effects. These have been moved to spellcraft checks.
2) Magical components, history, traditions, writing, symbols, rituals, and afflictions.
3) Identifies dragons, constructs, and magical beasts.
4) Astrological information

1) Identifies underground creatures and oozes/slimes/fungus.
2) Underground civilizations, folklore, history, geography, minerals, and other resources.
3) Underground survival and recognizing hazardous conditions.

1) Technological, Architectural, and Mechanical subjects.
2) Building of structures and underground complexes.
3) Identify constructs, robots, and mechanical creatures.
4) Identify how a trap works (not locate or sense a trap).

1) Read and amend maps.
2) Identify humanoids and monstrous humanoids.
3) Identify lands, cultures, agriculture, and weather.
4) Astronomical information

1) Strengths and weaknesses of historical figures, monsters of historical significance or ancient myth (eg dragons).
2) Historical events, figures, and locations.

1) Local customs, laws, organizations, rumors, leaders, trouble makers.
2) Locations of importance.
3) Identify humanoids.

1) Military history, hierarchy, traditions, tactics, and logistics, including siege equipment.
2) History of battles, major engagements, and wars.
3) Military races.

1) Identify animals, fey, monstrous humanoids, plants.
2) Weather, agriculture, Druidic traditions, fey lore, lands of the First Realm.
3) Identify fresh water and edible plants.

1) Noble lineages, heraldry, traditions, and history.
2) Laws, diplomacy, court gossip.

1) Identify aberrations and ancient outsiders, undead, alien lifeforms.
2) Identify strange rituals, cults, and practices.
3) Summoning of creatures, Great Old Ones, Outer Gods, and similar creatures.
4) Obscure religions and practices. Apocalyptic history/myth.
5) Psychic magic, lore, components, properties.
6) Languages, symbols, runes and texts tied to these items.

1) Myth, history, and properties of the planes.
2) Outsiders.
3) Summoning, Possession, banishment of outsiders.

1) Identifies undead, outsiders associated with Gods and religion.
2) Religious folklore, symbols, customs, rituals, history, materials, and writing.
3) Astrological information
4) Identifies magical afflictions (curses, possession, lycanthropy)

I also agree with Aldrius that it's risky to add new knowledge skills without getting rid of old ones. I like the idea of combining local and geography and folding together history and nobility into "government."

Shadow Lodge

I think that whether it's considered normal for celestials to casually interact with mortals would depend on the setting. Keep in mind that while it's not unusual for a party of 5th level adventurers to run into a fiend in a dungeon or helping a cult, it is unusual for them to run into an imp - let along a babau demon or host devil - just hanging around town. Even assuming that people wouldn't try to run them out of town (a problem celestials presumably wouldn't have), fiends are pretty consistently driven to pursue their evil agendas.

Celestials don't necessarily have to be fighting the Good fight 100% of the time, but if they show up someplace it should probably be related to some goal, and even if it isn't they should be quick to take opportunities to do Good wherever they can.

I would not be surprised if really minor celestials, the kinds that can serve as familiars, did regularly get sent down to help particular churches. Their duties would be related to their particular abilities. I've got a cassisian at a church in my setting helping out the priest with his record-keeping. A lyrakien might follow caravans along a pilgrimage route, encouraging the travellers and keeping an eye out for danger. They would probably be a curiosity but would only cause a real stir in small or isolated settlements where they don't see much magic period.

Bralani and Vulpinals, while minor by celestial standards, are pretty powerful compared to the average mortal - "mythical being" sounds about accurate.

If a bralani took up protecting the forest near a small rural settlement, I wouldn't expect it to need to come to the inn - people would come to it with food and conversation. The locals might even hold an annual festival in honour of their protector featuring whatever games the bralani most enjoys. If someone (like a PC) happens to show particular martial talent at this festival, then the bralani might challenge them to a friendly duel.

A vulpinal might not have any particular goal in mind, but it's not going to "just pass through." I would expect it to ask the impressed guards to direct it to a local goodly temple which would assist it in distributing healing (vulpinals have lay on hands and remove disease) and give it a stage from which to share its inspiring music and stories with the community - an event which would be very well attended. With three Knowledge skills of +21 they could easily have information relevant to the PCs. Depending on the PCs' level and goals, you could even have the vulpinal join the party on their quest in an inversion of the quest-giver dynamic.

The gancanagh are a little less powerful and also apparently a little more distractable, so there's quite a few things you could to with them. For starters, they could take an interest in a PC (who may not know that their admirer is a celestial). Alternatively, you could have a well to do couple approach the PCs with concerns that their daughter is being corrupted by an incubus. Actually, it's a gancanaugh. The parents are over-protective and over-critical of their only daughter and he's giving her the confidence to assert herself (and will not be pleased if confronted with the "incubus" accusation).

Shadow Lodge

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Set wrote:
When comparing the damage / utility of summoned creatures or animal companions (like trying to make a medium-to-large size bear companion for a Druid), I try to resist the urge to compare a lower power option such as the ape to what might be the totally optimal option, like big cats with their pounce/rake options. Not every option needs to be buffed up to compete with the absolute best option (and, indeed, the absolute best option might warrant being downgraded a smidge...)

Not everything needs to be as powerful as the big cat. But if you buffed it and it's still weaker than the big cat, it's not overpowered.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Goth Guru wrote:
Let's face it, the bad guys having access to things the good guys do not, is already non core, and you don't want to swim after a ship that sailed.

Not really. Most of the monsters in the bestiaries get weird powers, some of which are completely OP compared to anything that PCs get. Say, a lich's phylactery.

Given that the players are knowingly signing on to a low-magic game, I don't see a meaningful difference between "Hey, you might run into a lich/vampire/dragon" and "Hey, you might run into a wizard."

Just make sure they have the tools to deal with it.

Shadow Lodge

Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:

With out a significant form of healing (Lay on Hands would work, but you now have a required class for literally any adventuring party). You will Quickly level into a range where KO's are possible, but Death's are just as (and probably more) likely. As Creatures hit harder the odds of being knocked straight to dead will increase.

I would probably implement something like a doubletap rule. A hit that knock's a player out, can not also kill them. A second hit, even for 1 damage however can. This allows an option for players knocked far into negative to remain alive, as long as the rest of the party can prevent them from taking any further damage.

You could also extend the "unconscious and dying" window. The Alexandrian has some interesting house rules that might also be useful here. (You can skip the "Resurrection" option, though note that it's much more limited than the usual Raise Dead.)

Shadow Lodge

Inlaa wrote:
The Herbalist is an idea I'm super fond of anyway, so I'll see what I can do. Maybe I can make that hybrid Druid/Investigator I've been wanting to see... Elsewise, yeah, a Hunter may be a good call.

Setting up a framework, I'd suggest:

  • Medium BAB/HD
  • Good Fort and Will saves
  • Either 4 skill points and Int-based or 6 and Wis-based (you don't want them to have significantly more skills than the bard).
  • Infusions (as the discovery) with a limited spell list, mostly remedies, toxins, and subtle personal buffs like Bull's Strength or Barkskin.

Ideas for special features:

  • Skill bonuses to Knowledge (nature), Craft (alchemy), Profession (herbalist), Heal, Survival.
  • Poison resistance
  • Poison Use
  • Abilities to improve poisons (from alchemist)
  • Tonic of Vigor. Similar to mutagen but provides +2 Str, +2 Con. Possible high-level improvement: DR.
  • Tonic of Celerity. Similar to mutagen but provides +2 Dex, +10ft movement. Possible high-level improvement: Evasion
  • Tonic of Acuity. Similar to mutagen but provides +2 Int, +2 Wis, low light vision, and scent. Possible high-level improvements: blindsense, see invisibility, or improved uncanny dodge.
  • Noxious Missile: Like bombs but instead of fire could deal acid damage, sicken (stink bomb), deal ability damage (poison), or infect with a disease.
  • Studied Combat or something like it if you want the character to be able to melee.

I'm leaning towards giving every Herbalist the skill bonuses and a choice between Noxious Missile or Studied Combat, and then filling in the gaps with talent-style poison/tonic abilities (and whatever else you feel like grabbing from the druid or investigator).

That should make them similar to the bard in terms of having good skills, a selection of subtle magic, and some offensive combat abilities.

Shadow Lodge

I'm just fine with the character never getting a +5 weapon, and I'm trying to encourage at least a little golf-bagging. I'd like to see the the character carrying, for example:

Adamantine short sword
+2 dagger
+1 demon-bane kukri
Snakebite dagger

Which is 30,000gp worth of weapons or about as much as a +4 weapon.

And I'd like to have the character be able to spend some amount of additional gold to have an effective +4 equivalent weapon for their biggest fight of the day. I'm just not sure what a balanced amount should be.

I could also keep Greater Magic Weapon's "this does not improve the weapon's ability to bypass DR" clause such that the character would still need to be tactical about that (eg carrying at least one Holy weapon, at least one Adamantine weapon, and either a cold iron and silver weapon or a +3 weapon).

Shadow Lodge

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Sundakan wrote:

To be frank, the best way to balance a low or no magic party vs enemies with superior classes is to play the superior classed NPCs like idiots.

Most reasonable precautions high level full casters can take are only viably negate by other caster techniques or specific class abilities (EX the Symbol spells are only detectable by Trapfinding, and nothing else).

Or assume that it isn't as easy to learn and cast whatever spells are most effective as in the default PF rule set.

Instead of learning a Symbol spell because they've reached a high enough level, the wizard has to actually find a tome of forbidden secrets that details that particular magic.

Instead of casting whatever they like off their spell list, druids cast whatever happens to be in alignment with the phase of the moon and the position of the stars today.

Sorcerers get whatever they can wrangle from the weird forces that have tainted their very flesh.

Also, if OP is limiting advancement to 9th level, that eliminates problematic spells above 5th level - though there are still some very challenging lower level spells.

Inlaa wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
I think a bard with 4-level spellcasting, full BAB, and its current list of features would be pretty close to balanced with paladins and bloodragers.

You may be onto something here.

Part of me REALLY wants to keep the bard around in its standard form, but at the same time I'm worried it would immediately start outshining everyone else with its magic. I'd be tempted to trim its spell list.

But I also like the idea of a full BAB warrior bard with some bard spells operating the same way, but developing at the speed a paladin's do.

And of course, a medium BAB bard whose spells develop at the Adept's rate might be a nice in-between? And in a 9th level capped campaign, a pure Bard of this sort would have 3rd level spells vs. everyone else's 2nd level spells (or their lack of spells). Then again... so would the regular bard.

I think I'd rather tailor the spell list than reduce the number of spells. That way you could give the bard access to things that the party is expected to have access to (Lesser Restoration) while controlling things that might trivialize encounters or just feel too flashy (Hold Person, Glitterdust). It also feels more like an extension of the limited choices idea than just taking stuff from bards.

You'd also want to deal thematically with the fact that the bard would be handling unusual amounts of magic in a setting where magic is scary. You might have others treat them with fearful respect if they know what the bard does. You might require the bard keep one or more "taboos" in order to keep themselves "safe" from the forces they're dealing with. (The effect of violating a taboo could be minor or more serious depending on how much you want to push 'hard mode.')

If you do allow bard as a 6-level caster I might suggest also allowing hunter and/or even homebrewing a herbalist class (take investigator and replace whatever you find too "Victorian" with extra healing or poisoning abilities?)

Shadow Lodge

Amanuensis wrote:
But the blinkback belt's 'returning' effect would only trigger in the round during which it is drawn, correct? I'm still having trouble getting my head around this.

Ah, you're right, I missed that limitation.

For making the enhancement stack, I think it's safe to estimate that that the effect is an extra +1 (stacking with a +1 weapon with properties)? In that case maybe I should benchmark at 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 charges. So that would make

1 charge 1,600
2 charges 3,600
3 charges 6,400
4 charges 10,000
6 charges 12,800 (twice 3 charges)
8 charges 20,000 (twice 4 charges)

Then add 5,000gp for the teleport effect*


Blademaster's Belt

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 7th
Slot belt; Weight 2 lbs
Price: 6,600 (1 charge); 8,600 (2 charges); 11,400 (3 charges); 15,000 (4 charges); 17,800 (6 charges), 25,000 (8 charges)

Up to four light or one-handed bladed weapons may be hung from this belt. When drawing a weapon attached to the belt, the wearer may expend one or more charges to increase the weapon's existing enhancement bonus by the number of charges expended, to a maximum of +5. This effect lasts for 1 minute. If the wearer throws a weapon that is enhanced in this way, the weapon teleports back into its strap or sheath after the attack is resolved.

Construction: Craft Wondrous Item, teleport object, greater magic weapon.

*I'm expecting that the removal of the time limit on throwing roughly balances out the fact that the teleport effect only works if the blade has been enhanced.

Looks too cheap at high levels to me.

Shadow Lodge

I think a bard with 4-level spellcasting, full BAB, and its current list of features would be pretty close to balanced with paladins and bloodragers.

Shadow Lodge

The magic item cost formulae are only a starting point, and this is why.

A pipe that prevents the stuff within the pipe from smelling is not granting the benefits of Negate Aroma, which prevents an entire creature from being perceived by scent or negate scent-based attacks.

An item that can change the flavour of food, an item that can change the colour of something, and an item that can clean something, are not each granting the benefits of Prestidigitation, which can do any of those things and more.

A knife that makes toast is not giving you the same benefits as heating up someone's armour sufficiently to deal them 8d4 points of damage over 42 seconds.

For comparison, see the Sleeves of Many Garments. They are based on Disguise Self, but because they can only disguise clothes they cost 200gp instead of 2,000gp.

Shadow Lodge

The character isn't a throwing specialist - he is mostly a melee fighter. I want to keep his knife collection relevant at both ranges.

The blinkback belt feature is so that once he's chosen to enhance a particular weapon for a particular fight, he can throw it at any point he wants during that fight without having to then pull out a second weapon.

Shadow Lodge

I've designed an item for a PC who collects a variety of light blades for melee and throwing:

Blademaster's Belt: This item has a number of daily charges. When drawing a weapon from the belt, the wearer may expend one or more charges to imbue the weapon with an enhancement bonus equal to the number of charges expended. This enhancement lasts for 1 minute. In addition, the item functions as a Blinkback Belt.

I'd appreciate help valuing this item at 1, 3, 5, and 10 charges.

I'm also wondering if I should have the bonus granted by the item stack with any enhancement on the blade, making the item more valuable but encouraging the PC to value for example a +1 dagger over a silver dagger. EDIT: On second thought, I'm pretty sure I do want it to work this way.

Shadow Lodge

There's a bit of range in usefulness in "based off cantrips," though. Something that duplicates a very specific function of prestidigitation like flavouring food is not as useful as actually casting prestidigitation, and not all cantrips are equally useful.

I'd say about 100gp for the items that just make life slightly easier in very specific ways. Ones that do actually duplicate spells should be a bit more. Maybe 300 for the Everdamp Rag, 700 for the Goblet of Poison Detection, 1000 for the Ring of Prestidigitation.

Shadow Lodge

You've seen the sea witch archetype? And the water lung hex?

Do you know what the other player is interested in, and whether the GM has plans for her character? With a small party it's a good idea to make sure that your gestalts cover all the major bases.

koluminar wrote:
i started thinking a bit with doing a few different archtypes on the witch side, and leveling mindchymist alchemist, buff int and go to town.

This is a pretty darn good option. All good saves, d8 HD (fine since you're staying out of melee), 4+Int skills on a combo with lots of Int synergy. Full casting, extracts, hexes, bombs. Cognatogen and many of your extracts are long-duration; pre-buffing helps with action economy.

In terms of party roles you'd be a good scholar, controller/debuffer, and buffer. You could cover healing pretty well, too, since between the two classes you can access the important condition removal stuff, even without the healing patron as a witch.

Not much good at weapon combat, but if you choose your spells/extracts/hexes carefully that shouldn't cause you much trouble. (I don't think my party's sorc//bard has ever felt the need to attack something with a weapon.) If you want to hedge your bets, a half-elf with an elven branched spear and Weapon Finesse should at least stand a chance of poking something that gets too close - AoO are good action economy. If your GM is amenable you could reflavour it as a "kelp spear." You could add a bit more of an investment by getting Combat Reflexes, Arcane Strike, and the Agile enhancement - but that's quite a bit more opportunity cost.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Slayer would do much the same, except that I think it's too melee-focused. So ranger remains my first choice.

Slayer is a bit more melee-focused than ranger, but not by much - mostly it's just easier to sneak attack in melee. Studied Target works at range, and you still get access to ranged combat feats. You have less issues with attribute dependency because Slayers use Int for save DCs - and you can take Weapon Finesse as a talent in case you want to improve your "melee backup" option without investing in Str or spending a feat.

Shadow Lodge

For starters, writing things down requires more effort, and can't easily be done in a combat situation.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

I would say no. Mental speech is speech after all. You're speaking with your mind as much as you would with your tongue.

I enforce the spirit of the oath as much, if not more than the letter of it. Allowing free use of telepathy pretty much negates the spirit of the sacrifice.

Going to clarify - I would treat the Monk of the Sacred Mountain's vow the same way as the general Vow of Silence.

OP appears to have come to the conclusion that the general vow allows for telepathy, so the Monk of the Sacred Mountain should also get to use telepathy.

I'm not necessarily agreeing with that premise but the ruling should be the same in both cases.

Shadow Lodge

Comb of Colours: If you visualize a colour while brushing hair with this comb, the lock of hair current brushed changes to match that colour. Extended brushing can colour the entire head of hair, or you can just add accents. Provides a +1 bonus to disguise checks.

Tidy Handkerchief: Perfectly cleans small messes without becoming dirty itself (as prestidigitation).

You might also check out the useless magic items thread - most of the responses there are silly but some are not entirely useless.

Shadow Lodge

I would assume so.

Shadow Lodge

I find it useful to Google "Pathfinder FAQ (topic, eg Negative Energy Affinity)" in case the answer is listed under a different book than you'd expect.

Shadow Lodge

Thanks for the ideas! Let me try to summarize:

  • Local should only give superficial information about rulers and their public reputation. Nobility is necessary for the details, particularly relationships between powers.
  • Local covers common rumours but Nobility should cover rumours that specifically circulate among the nobility (likely the juicier plots).
  • Nobility should cover some History insofar as those events directly involve the nobility.
  • Despite what the book suggests, Nobility should be at least as useful for understanding the legal system as Local is.
  • Make etiquette count.

Wheldrake wrote:
If we base our arguments on logic, rather than the very scarce examples you cited in the rulebook

Part of my concern/confusion is that the scarce examples in the rulebook seem to contradict logic. For example, 'laws' is mentioned under Local but not Nobility despite that being contrary to most of the posters' ideas of how it should work.

MrCharisma wrote:
Another way to handle this is to have the plot revolve more around events that Kn:Nobility would be more likely to hint at. If there are assassinations going on, maybe knowing who's next in the line of succession is a clue to who's behind the killings (or who the next victim might be). The Kn:Local character will probably end up rolling their skill-checks more often, but the Kn:Nobility character will be the one to get the major clues ... just a thought.

I've already outlined and laid the groundwork for this particular plot. It does mostly concern nobles so I'd assumed that it would have a lot of opportunity to use Knowledge (nobility). While I've still got at least one major clue that involves succession/inheritance and a couple of opportunities for etiquette rolls, I'm surprised by the amount of politics that could according to the CRB fall under Local.

Shadow Lodge

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

You still were a hell of a lot better off than the serfs or free peasants. If your kids could not attend Eton, You could hire a Jesuit monk to teach your children pretty much all that they would have learned there. And a swordsman to teach your sons how to defend themselves. If you ran a banking institution, those nobles would come crawling to you for loans to finance something they needed done.

Has Marx might have said if English were his first language. "Money talks and the world always listens."

The thing is, as Orfamay Quest said, in many periods in history that would land you not in the "upper class" of inherited wealth and aristocratic status but in the "merchant class" of people who may have been very wealthy but had to work for it. And those rules about who can go to what schools - or wear a sword, or so forth - are meant to keep the merchants from actually achieving the same social positions as the nobility.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
But lets get back to the game rules themselves. As a first level adventurer you start with 150 gold pieces to equip yourself. Do you realise how much wealth that is to the common man?

A little over four years of wages/living expenses for an untrained labourer, or about 15 weeks pay for a skilled professional (Profession skill +10). So quite a fortune for the average person, but a professional who saves a quarter of their income could supply a younger child with adventuring gear in a little over a year. The rest of the income will cover an "average" lifestyle for the professional, the adventurer-in-training, and one other dependent.

Shadow Lodge

I'm starting an intrigue-heavy plotline and noticed that one of my party members has a good Knowledge (nobility) check but no Knowledge (local), and another has a good Knowledge (local) but no Knowledge (nobility). Normally I don't sweat the overlap between these two skills, but I'm trying to put in an extra effort to provide clues relevant to individual PCs' skills & background for this adventure.

The description of the Knowledge skills says that Knowledge (local) covers legends, personalities, inhabitants, laws, customs, traditions, and humanoids. Examples of knowledge (local) checks are:

  • Know local laws, rulers, and popular locations (DC 10)
  • Know a common rumor or local tradition (DC 15)
  • Know hidden organizations, rulers, and locations (DC 20)

Nobility covers lineages, heraldry, personalities, and royalty. Examples include:

  • Know current rulers and their symbols (DC 10)
  • Know proper etiquette (DC 15)
  • Know line of succession (DC 20)

So since Local can be used to identify rulers and personalities, it looks like the only things that are uniquely covered by Nobility are lineages, heraldry, and etiquette. And Nobility notably doesn't appear to give you knowledge of the "power behind the throne" or laws and traditions regarding the rights and responsibilities of rulers.

Granted, heraldry and etiquette will be a bit more useful in a courtly intrigue situation than a typical dungeon, but this still seems unimpressive, and I'd really like to make the player with Knowledge (nobility) feel good about his skill investment.

Any ideas?

Shadow Lodge

Saldiven wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
The issue is the animal companion versions, where the wolf gets bigger than a normal wolf (becoming a dire wolf) but the bear only gets as large as a smaller (black) bear.

The funny thing is that the historical "Dire wolf," from archaeological evidence, really wasn't that much bigger than a modern grey wolf, and was still smaller than a modern black bear.

The best I can figure is that whoever originally designed the rules was some sort of lover of all things canine.

That is an issue of gaming fun beating realism.

Dire Animals are typically larger than their normal counterparts, with how much larger apparently varying wildly based on what would be the most interesting. Dire Rats are small, just large enough to be a credible threat to low-level adventurers. Dire Bats are freaking Large size because having another kind of flying mount is good. Similarly, Dire Wolves hit large size because it's neat to be able to have medium size-creatures ride them (elves seem popular) and because it's balanced for them to do so.

Plus, dire wolves aren't supposed to represent prehistoric dire wolves so much as be inspired by them (which is why we can get dire animals that didn't exist at all). So I wouldn't expect them to represent their inspiration any more than I'd expect a paladin or druid to represent their historical counterparts.

KahnyaGnorc wrote:
A medium bear is too strong compared to a medium wolf for both to be selectable animal companions at level 1. So, in order to have the choice of a bear at all for level 1, they needed to make it small. Same thing for the size increases.

No it isn't. Making the bear start at medium actually makes it weaker at level 1 since it loses the +1 size bonus to hit and AC. It's not like you'd have to increase its strength to get a reasonable medium-size bear. The current strength is 15, which is the same as the medium-size constrictor snake and orc warcat companions, and not far off the adult black bear's Str 17 and d4 damage die for its bite and claws.

It would get a bigger power boost increasing from medium to large than small to medium, but it needs that to stay competitive. There's a bigger power difference between a medium bear and large wolf than between a large wolf and large bear (and the large bear would still be inferior to the large cat).

Shadow Lodge

Saldiven wrote:
The question about the wolf/bear sizes have perplexed me for a very long time. Even the relatively small black bear (in North America) is roughly twice the size of the largest comparable wolf species. The brown bear is almost ten times the size of the largest wolf species. (These comparisons by average weight for the species.)

That actually sounds about right if you look at the non-companion versions. Wolves are medium, brown bears are large. Large creatures are twice the length/height of medium creatures, which if all proportions scale means 8 times the volume/mass/weight. Of course bears are stockier than wolves, so a large bear could easily have 10 times the mass of a medium-size wolf.

Black bears are medium, like a wolf, but they could still be twice as heavy as a wolf. A male half-orc and a elf are both medium size, but the former weighs on average 240 lbs and the latter weighs on average 111 lbs.

The issue is the animal companion versions, where the wolf gets bigger than a normal wolf (becoming a dire wolf) but the bear only gets as large as a smaller (black) bear.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Important thing to remember... Game... not simulation. Realism is part of the formula of game design, but not the overriding consideration.

Sure, but in the case of bears more realism (bigger/grizzly bear companions) would make the game better. Bear companions are considered to be moderately strong at best, and in particular don't hold up at level 7+ compared to even the wolf or ape, let alone the big cat or most of the dinos. If the bear started at medium (with the same stats) and became large at level 7 with a grab attack on the claws, it would not only allow realistic grizzly companions compared to the bestiary version, but also give the bear a more balanced progression AND allow people to more easily make bear cavalry. Sounds like win all around to me...

Shadow Lodge

Wouldn't making it a balanced option be a good reason to stop using the house rule?

As you said, if the bonus can't be added on top of max ranks in a skill, it's demonstrably inferior to the skill point.

Shadow Lodge

Hans Hansen 433 wrote:
I am considering dropping out, since he is making things excessively difficult and I no longer live close enough to join the games on short notice. It takes me 2 hours just to travel, and he told us 5 minutes ago that there will be a character workshop today. (sorry if this is off topic.)

I would not travel 2 hours for a game that I wasn't 100% in love with.

Shadow Lodge

Avoron wrote:
as well as a +2 sacred bonus from a wand of veil of positive energy.

That one only works against undead:

Veil of Positive Energy wrote:
When under the effect of this spell, you gain a +2 sacred bonus to AC and a+2 sacred bonus on saves. Both of these bonuses apply only against attacks or effects created by undead creatures.

Shadow Lodge

That's my reasoning for allowing it.

For contrast, see Claw Pounce which uses the "racial trait" language rather than just saying "catfolk, claws."

Nitro~Nina wrote:
Thank you for the response! That's pretty much how I'd thought it'd work, apart from the "additional use" which I don't think was written with this sorta ability in mind, though I also see your point of view.

I don't think any of it was really written with this sort of ability in mind. But I do think it's balanced and thematic, and a generous interpretation of "additional use" doesn't change that.

Shadow Lodge

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Orfamay Quest wrote:

A lot of Paizo's product seems to have been created based on a misguided notion of symmetry -- we have demon lords and archdevils, therefore we need mirror images of them (empyreal lords).

Unfortunately, from a narrative perspective, the symmetry often doesn't make sense. You see this in other media as well -- in the Knights of the Old Republic video game, for example, the Light side is portrayed as "good," but the Dark side isn't so much "evil" as cartoonishly dickish. Tolstoy famously wrote that "happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Bunyan pointed out much the same in The Pilgrim's Progress; there is only one path ("the strait gate") that leads to "good" and all the other paths will lead, ultimately, to "evil."

Goodness, just ask any soldier. How many ways are there to be "out of uniform" as opposed to how many different ways are there to be correctly dressed?

While I agree that you don't need celestials and fiends to be symmetrical, I don't think virtue is a uniform, either. It's more like a dress code. There are a lot of ways to screw it up, but there's also a lot of ways to live a virtuous life.

Just looking at the Core deities, Erastil and Iomedae have very different ideas of what a virtuous life looks like for their followers.

Even with a monotheistic take on virtue Catholicism has a boatload of patron saints associated with different callings or hazards, in order to guide the faithful through the individual challenges they face. These include the patron saints of anesthetists, protection from rabies, and doing stuff quickly, and several patron saints of marriage. If Catholicism had a slightly different take on sexuality I could easily see a patron saint of lovers whose job would be to help people approach their romantic/erotic relationships in a virtuous way (compassionate, giving, not exploitative or destructive).

Shadow Lodge

Thanael wrote:
As you start reading the Alexandrian you might as well read the clever articles on node based design. This keeps the "plot" going even if characters do not intersect it and also gives different points of intersection.

Thanks, that was a great read!

Looking at the three clue rule:

  • 8(ish) clues pointing at the merchant's abuse of Lisa.
  • 1 clue suggesting the murderer knew about it (note with names)
  • 3 clues connecting the merchant with the butler's employer.
  • 2 clues pointing at the matron's murderer (neck broken by "someone strong", witness seeing butler visit).
  • 1 clue pointing at the drunken father's murderer (garrote)
  • 2 clues about the drunken father's abuse
  • 2 clues pointing at the oni (two kids with nightmares)
  • 3 clues pointing at the orphanage (Lisa's origin, doll, talking to drunk's kids)

You're short on clues about the drunken father's abuse. I'd add a mark or two on the sister as a third clue.

While it makes sense for the merchant's death to be a little more brutal I'd make sure it's clearly the same killer - for starters, he should still ultimately be strangled. this justifies investigating them together, and sharing clues about the killer between the investigations. In particular, there isn't a lot connecting the butler to the matron or the father. One of the father's kids could add a report of the "well dressed man" snooping around.

In fact, there isn't a lot implicating the butler in particular, just circumstantial evidence suggesting someone working for his employer is suspicious. You'll want something stronger so that the PCs can prove his guilt. A handwriting comparison between the note and a sample of the butler's writing (Linguistics check) would be very good evidence if they find the note. The party could alternatively find footprints or a scrap of fabric matching the butler at the scene of either the matron's or the father's murders (since unlike the merchant's house there's not a good innocent reason for him to be in these places). Or, they could find notes in the butler's quarters detailing his investigations - which contain enough details regarding the murder victims to be incriminating, and also give the party more information on the further investigation of the orphanage/oni.

I'm also not clear on why the lover's death would be included in the same investigation. If you want to include it, I would make it also a strangulation. However, while the other three have had their tongues cut out (preventing speak with dead), this one has not. Using Speak with Dead would implicate the lover. Throw in a witness who knows that the lover was present the night of the murder and one additional clue - like something indicating why the lover was enraged in the first place - and you're set for clues.

A check will reveal that he's got marks on his hands from hitting his children.

I'd be careful about how you present this one. It's unlikely that you could tell from the marks alone that he was hitting his children. However, you probably could tell that they didn't come from hitting his killer (he was strangled from behind, the marks don't look fresh) and that he doesn't have any injuries aside from the strangling (so probably what/whoever he hit didn't hit back).

Shadow Lodge

Generally like this archetype, especially the magical tool option and the archetype-specific talents.

I think it's odd that you require 1 hour of communion with the tool/guide as a spontaneous caster - 15 minutes is typical.

The magical tool strikes me as significantly less attractive than the guide. The guide gets a bunch of free improved familiar benefits and extra DR compared to a normal familiar, while the tool's only advantage compared to a normal bonded item is that it can be used to cast metamagic'd spells. (Both guide and tool appear unobtrusive in non-vigilante form.)

I would consider making "Magical Weapon" work like a normal spellstrike/ranged spellstrike rather than having it be able to miss/hit touch spell only/hit with everything.

Another idea for improving the tool is giving the Mahouko the ability to temporarily enhance it, like a paladin or magus. However that would be again weapon-specific and not something that would help if you wanted magical jewelry.

I don't like the charisma check in Power of Friendship. It doesn't need a chance of failure as a balancing factor, and it just slows things down. Making the uses per day based on charisma is enough, I think. Alternatively, you could grant the ally a bonus equal to the Mahouko's charisma bonus, instead of a d6. I would also consider extending the range to 30ft.

Shadow Lodge

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Daedalus the Dungeon Builder wrote:
Weirdo wrote:

Holy smokes, it actually lets you do that.

Legalistic Curse wrote:
Whenever you break your word (either purposefully or unintentionally), you become sickened for 24 hours or until you meet your obligation, whichever comes first.

Yep. I know. It's awesome. Plus, if you're careful with your wording (which is really thematic for the curse, really), you can have your cake and eat it too, being able to sense when you break your word accidentally and then completing your clause.

"I will not speak to any being whose intentions are evil without punching them at least once".

Since the curse says your sickened condition lasts for 24 hours or until you meet your obligation, you can talk to a creature (getting sickened if they're evil, giving you free unlimited-use non-concentration detect evil), and if they turn out to be evil, to ensure you aren't sickened, just punch them and you get better. Other examples of abusing this so-called "curse" include...

That is hilarious and awesome and if you tried it at my table I would make sure that fulfilling the obligation in cases like this can cause you quite a lot of trouble.

For example, you have a meeting with an important noble who has just learned that their spouse is cheating on them, and they are contemplating murderous vengeance - evil intent, though one that they may never follow up on and which is completely irrelevant to your current investigation. Feel like punching them?

I am cool with someone deciding they want a piece of information badly enough to be sickened for 24 hours after receiving it. But try to use it as a no-consequence "detect anything" and I will find a way to add consequences.

Because that's what happens when you try to get the best of an Infernal contract...

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Holy smokes, it actually lets you do that.

Legalistic Curse wrote:
Whenever you break your word (either purposefully or unintentionally), you become sickened for 24 hours or until you meet your obligation, whichever comes first.

Shadow Lodge

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
The bigger question is whether or not this particular aspect of Christian morality should have a place in Golarion. What narrative purpose does it serve? Given the amount that has been written about forbidden love/lust, and its long-standing ties to classic drama, I think it's a part of the source material worth preserving, just because succubi let you tell more stories.

Succubi are great storytelling elements and I'm certainly not suggesting we get rid of them.

However, it's also entirely possible to tell stories involving illicit sex without actually casting it as evil. And it can be interesting to develop a culture by defining what kind of relationships are acceptable.

For example, I've got an elven subculture in which it is perfectly acceptable for an elf to have an extramarital affair with a human, but not with another elf. This is because it is not considered possible for an elf to form a deep emotional bond with a short-lived human, and because half-elven children are easily identified and excluded from inheritance. There are least two angles to take with a "forbidden love" story in this setting.

1) An elf is in love with a human, but is under pressure to marry "properly." They can continue their relationship, but it will always be seen as lesser. Is that enough for them?

2) An elf disguises themself as a human in order to carry on an affair with another elf. Everyone knows about the relationship, but if they find out the lover is an elf it will be scandalous. (The fact that the lovers would conceive a full elven and not a half-elven child could cause problems...)

Orfamay Quest wrote:

I don't see what additional stories anti-succubi would let you tell that couldn't be told simply by using a vanilla angel.

I mean, yes, the newly redeemed succubus could probably make coffee and answer the phones as well as anyone else.... but it's actually really hard to make use of a temptress ex-demon to "tempt" people into supporting Truth, Justice, Beauty, and the Golarion Way. There aren't really a lot of things that Shelyn could do with an ex-succubus that couldn't be done just as well by, for example, a vulpinal, or a balisse.

Well, what kind of stories can you tell with a vulpinal or balisse that you couldn't tell with a lillend? We don't really need a lot of types of celestials to tell various stories, but they can still add interesting flavour as unusual servants of a particular deity or cause.

The succubus makes a much better infiltrator than the vulpinal or balisse, so if I were Shelyn I'd have her seek out the most evil places in the material plane and either bring aid and hope to the good mortals trying to fight that evil, or else seek out those who might be redeemed in turn. The latter would work as Cenorin described - still very much about desire, but with a focus on leading a target to fulfill their desires in a nondamaging or even life-giving way. As several others have mentioned, she'd also be a very capable sex/relationship therapist.

The gancanagh can do some of the same things, but as OP pointed out it's a bit of a shame that they're supposed to be all male. As UnArcaneElection said, we're already changing the inspiration from a fey to an azata. I think we might as well allow them to be either gender.

M1k31 wrote:

Essentially going around to evil or negative energy infused, (otherwise)chaste beings offering redemption, then when the offer is taken they have sex with the subject, absorbing it and it's evil essence into themselves, making them pregnant and dissolving the evil entity complexly (as energy drain).

Then within a week(keeping it within reason for gameplay, otherwise a few months) the celestial succubus dissolves and the entity is reborn in her place, as a Celestial succubus(gender neutral), with this as a race and a geas to convert a willing evil(which once they resolve causes their own demise as it did the succubus that raised them, and they are then reborn again x days later to the nearest chaste, willing good aligned entity of any race, similar to a druid's resurrection).

Or you can do that.

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Plant Growth and Cure spells would certainly work. A divine caster would miss out on most of the non-healing spells, which would be a problem in terms of flexibility. Though since you mentioned dinosaurs I could see a time-themed saurian shaman druid doing very well. Healing, growth, and summoning.

I could also see a really interesting time-themed Witch with Cure spells as well as the nasty aging debuffs. Hex selection would be a bit limited but you could justify Healing, Fortune ("Prediction of Fortune"), Misfortune ("Prediction of Misfortune"), Cackle ("Chant of Preservation"), and of course Soothsayer. There's even a time patron (spells: ventriloquism, silence, haste, threefold aspect, teleport, disintegrate, expend, temporal stasis, time stop) though you could build with the healing patron if your party needed that role.

Threefold Aspect, btw, is possibly my favourite explicitly time themed spell in Pathfinder and is on both the druid and witch spell lists.

Shadow Lodge

Definitely a good starting point, though most characters will need more spells on the list.

Nitro~Nina wrote:
I think anything that turns people to stone would also work: "Fossilisation."

Good catch! I have Calcific Touch, but Flesh to Stone could also be included at level 6.

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