You're going to attack him with a siege weapon?! There has got to be a rule against this...
(Sorry, couldn't resist the reference.)
Make sure to remember that you can have your monsters prepare actions, so that they can react to the stealther once he finishes his attack. He might pop out and bop one of them on the head, but that might be the opportunity for someone else to hit him or cast a spell to ruin his day. Also, anything that will remove shadows from the area (leaving only whatever cover might exist) will help spice up a few fights. Pretty hard to hide when everything is lit up like it is noon.
How long has it been since the incident? Has the player had the chance to calm down, take a breath, and realize that this is his fault for not reading up on the crafting rules? It sounds harsh, but that strikes me as the truth of the matter. Your player got ahead of himself and didn't take the proper precautions. Now, as for a possible work around.
Have the witch do one of two things. Either the witch can take the item, break it down, and use half of the GP value that was spent crafting it in a second attempt. The player looses out on time and has to spend half the crafting value of the item to try again.
Or have her suggest to your player that this could prove useful as a means of tricking a powerful enemy into hurting themselves. Turning the belt into a weapon to be used against a physically imposing target. Start by building up rumors about the power of this new magical trinket, where enemy ears are sure to pick up the news, and trying to trick someone into taking it. Then, after the enemy dons their new belt, the players could find the chance to strike.
Crafty adventurers should always be looking for a way to turn the tables in their favor. It is what makes them big damn heroes.
You get a good blend of spellcasting, ranged and melee combat, and social skills. The paladin is good for keeping some of the healing pressure off of the witch, so that she can focus on using hexes and control spells during combat. The urban ranger gives you some trap finding, an extra combatant (Don't skimp on boon companion! The paladin needs a flanking buddy and something to look after the horse.), and a nasty archer.
Why people keep repeating that at high levels there is no hope to reliable succeed with a combat maneuver?
From what I could find, it is something from the Pathfinder Society Field Guide (Source)that focuses on Trips, Disarms, and Dirty Tricks. It provides double your enhancement bonus to the checks as long as you use the weapon. So it certainly doesn't work for all of your Combat Maneuver needs, though it is a pretty nice bonus.
Applaud their ingenuity and move on? Seriously, your players are doing more than leaving traps up to a roll of the dice. They are being clever, interacting with your world, and doing more than just playing a game. Rather than thwart them, let them get away with it. There are always those traps that will be too hard for them to handle (say, those involving magic) if you really feel the need to challenge them with something that does call for disable device, or another such expenditure of resources. If my players were to put for that sort of effort, however, I would encourage it. Find more opportunities for them to do that sort of thing! And take it as a compliment that they want to get more involved with the time and effort you put into your game.
We have a system where you count as having rolled half your HD, with an additional +1 at odd numbered levels. It works pretty good and you get a nice little bump by the time you hit level 20. Otherwise, we just go ahead and count as having rolled the maximum for your HD; which is great in some of the higher powered campaigns.
Pardon on Catfall, I see how it is supposed to be read now. However, the wording is: "he reduces the damage inflicted from a fall by 1d6 per monk level he possesses, to a maximum reduction of 20d6 at 20th level." and this can be read as you roll xd6 (where x is your monk level) and reduce the damage you take by what you roll. Which is how I got confused. You may want to change it to say something more like "you subtract 10 feet per monk level from the actual distance fallen to determine the damage you take."
I like the look of the class, but the Catfall ability is really quite cumbersome. Rolling all of the damage from a fall and then all the damage for the ability takes an unnecessary amount of time. Perhaps it should just reduce fall damage dice by one, allowing it to just start canceling out fall damage? Also, why does this Monk not have all monk weapons listed under his weapon proficiencies? Always struck me as odd that you didn't get them right off the bat. Otherwise, this is a nice improvement on the Monk.
No offense intended, but that sounds awful. Why would we want to turn Pathfinder into what seems to be an entirely different game? Then again, I grew up playing the 3.5 system and think Pathfinder is pretty good as-is, so I am certainly biased on the matter. I can't help but ask, if all of that is basically Arcana Evolved, then why not just mod Arcana Evolved yourself to make use of your suggested changes? It sounds like you have a pretty good idea of what you want.
In his defense, I am guessing his GM was responsible for giving him his items--or perhaps there is a party member that made them for him, since he was certain he would be getting Boots of Haste. I also disagree with the idea that, just because you favor a high number of skill points, he was building a week Monk by dumping his Intelligence. Skills can be powerful, but that might not be his particular style. A combat focused character doesn't necessarily need the same number of skill points. Just look at the Fighter! Otherwise, I agree on all other points made previously. While this is a team-centered game, one really shouldn't be bringing party buffs into the mix when discussing class balance. Really does throw things out of whack.
1) 20 Point-Buy
2) Fast, but I wouldn't mind a swap over to medium. We also usually start at level 3, as we find it gives us some heroes who are already fairly tough and are starting to really come into their powers.
3) We generally stick to the Core Rules, along with the APG, UM, UC, and ARG. Everything else is allowed as long as the GM has a chance to look at it and give his approval.
While I think Dual Weapon Expertise is an interesting ability, it strays too close to the Ranger's territory for my liking. I would rather see something that lets the Rogue use his Dexterity for Attack and Damage rolls, simply combining Weapon Finesse and Agile Attacks, and leave the dual weapon characters to take the feats normally. Call it Finesse Fighter or something.
The ability to trade sneak attack dice for an attack bonus is excellent and seems like a good way of keeping the Rogue competitive with other melee damage classes. I like it and applaud your thinking here.
Light Steps seems a little too mystical for your average Rogue, but would make for an interesting advanced talent (maybe with a level requirement?) for those who want more of that flavor. Further, Fisticuffs seems like it would also be a better talent, rather than a given for the class. Hell, the talents should just be the way you build your rogue style, though that might be pretty hard without a major revision to make the talents work more like the Summoner's evolution pool.
Most of the comments here are geared toward the general level of excellence of the APs and the world of Golarion, which I actually find quite surprising. I have never really looked at any of the content outside of the core rules (just a little peek at Kingmaker) and I am starting to wonder just how much I am missing out on. What are a couple of good books to check out if I am interested in learning about the world of Golarion and where would be a good place to research the various APs--beyond the stuff here on Paizo that is advertising them.
Just make sure to grab Leadership at level 7, because you aren't surviving without Jurgen watching your back.
I like the rate of expansion, even as I get impatient for the next book. :) One of the problems with 3.x D&D (for me) was that books were coming out all the time and I couldn't keep track of them all. They lacked any real build up or excitement and just seemed to be dumped on the player-base as they were ready. Granted, that is sort of how I feel about the soft-covers that Paizo releases, but it helps that those are not as necessary (if needed at all) for me to enjoy the game.
I understand that and I think they are actually a nice set of rules. Never got a chance to try them though.
However, in the end the point seems to be to stem the tide of higher level abilities and the need for magical equipment that come with it. So delaying the ability for players to reach the higher levels should work for many campaigns that want this sort of game, given that they are probably not likely to reach the higher levels (11+) anyway.
Question: Given that Pathfinder has a slow level progression track that would help keep players at the lower levels for longer, why not make use of that? Start them at level 2 or 3 to give them some hit points if you want, but you will have a much longer time between level-ups. Then you can just stick a cap on the game at level 8 or so and call it good. If that is still too fast for your tastes or if you want to control progression more, you could just tell your players that you want to play a game where you tell them when they level up.
That "if" seems to be the important part, however. If we are discussing a high level enemy wizard, then wouldn't it make sense that he have multiple ways to alert him to enemy attack on his lair? Or be prepared if he is going on so that he doesn't get completely bushwacked? The wizard is at his best when he has time to plan and prepare, which I would expect him to have while the party is off dealing with his minions and raising merry hell with his plans.
@Gorbacz: While I sympathize with your situation, I can't say I share your experience. Your players sound almost insane to put so much time into preparing for a single battle. Given how wildly different any fight with a mage could be, I guess I could see the need for all of those contingencies. Though I would say that it seems like a waste of time better spent on playing the game. All I can really say is that my players don't do that. When they learn about an enemy caster they rely on what they already have available and perhaps buying a couple of extra potions or other trinkets to help out with the fight.
Funny how the mutant bat is what got them, though. Excellent punchline. :)
A high-level Wizard BBEG will cast one save-or-die spell in round 1 that *might* kill one PC in round 1, a well built high-level archer Fighter *will* kill one PC in round 1. In round two, both will be Rodney King'ed by PCs due to how action economy stacks things in PCs favor. Bad example, try another one.
What, no quicken metamagic rod for the Wizard BBEG? Also, why use a save or die spells when there are so many better ways to challenge players? There have been plenty of discussions on how a wizard made to blast or use SoD tactics is inferior to a more cagey mage. For example, making use of fly and invisibility, combined with dropping two monster summons a round, could make things quite hairy for a group of players. Throwing in a Fighter BBEG for the Wizard BBEG to buff is even better, though.
Yeah I would recommend Galaxy at War, Galaxy of Intrigue and the Scum And Villainy books in addiiton to the core books for best bang for buck purchases.
Starships of the Galaxy is also an excellent book, adding a number of useful ways to increase the fun of space combat and adding upgrade rules for gear. You will find more of that in Scum and Villainy too, so that is nice. Also, any of the era books if there is a particular time frame you want to play in.
I have to say I do like the code, but I would also strike the part about 'respecting the honor of women'. Not because of any real world issue with women, but singling out women is awfully patronizing. You can rationalize it to mean respecting the choices and decisions of women (i.e. Don't be sexist or misogynist), but since a LG character should apply that belief to all races and genders, it is redundant at best. At worst it implies that women function only as an agency of men. That worked for medieval Britain, but in the 21st Century it's just offensive.
This strikes me as something that is going to depend on the level of verisimilitude in the particular campaign. Something that strives for a more historically accurate feel--yes, I know this is a fantasy game and not necessarily a historical reenactment--is going to have a clause like that in the oath of a knight. It was simply the structure of European [human] society at that time. Something more fantastic, or a non-human Paladin, might not have that clause, but that is going to depend on the GM and his world.
That said, I do agree that there is a patronizing fell to that part of the oath from a modern standpoint.
By all that is good and holy, I hate this thread. It makes me want to play a Paladin so badly, just so that I could try my best to hold to the ideals listed above. It sounds like one heck of a fun challenge and would make for some good roleplaying. My only real issue is the "no ambushing" thing, because I believe that is a valid strategy. Which is all the more reason I should try and eschew it and stick to the code. *chuckles*
One thing that sometimes gets overlooked for a dungeon crawl is the simple fact that there still needs to be some semblance of a story. There needs to be a reason that the bogeyman decided to take these adventurers and stick them at the top of his death tower. For my part, I like the Aperture Science approach. He stuck them there just to see how they would do, compared to previous participants who failed their test. You can even have your BBEG taunting the players or commenting on how well/poorly they are doing. That little bit of motivation can be all the players need to stick with the adventure.
Also, and it seems you already have some ideas for this, make sure that there is variety within the tower. Traps and puzzles, diplomacy, and combat are three sides to the RPG triangle and you will want to use all of them. Keeps things interesting.
Finally, your communities inside the tower are going to be a big source of roleplaying and gear for the players. They may even be one of the few places they will feel truly safe, once they have the trust of the locals. Which means you can give them a nice area to rest and relax between their objectives and then, when the Bogeyman decides to shake things up, you can have that taken away from them. One more reason for them to hate your villain and want to get out of the tower and deal with him.
When did needing a Rogue become a thing again?
+1, you can get by just fine without a rogue. Don't worry about any special archetypes and instead stick to whatever your original plan was for your character. There are some excellent suggestions in the posts above to get around this little snag without getting drastic, so just view it as another challenge to overcome.
One of my favorite house rules is the Cinematic Critical Hit. Essentially, if a player rolls a natural twenty on an attack roll and then confirms their critical hit with another natural twenty then the damage for the attack is automatically maximized. It has only happened a couple of times, but it is suitably epic when it goes off. Oh! And it only works for player characters, not for monsters or NPCs. They are the heroes after all.
Your best bet is to take the player aside and talk with him about it, expressing your concerns and citing the behavior of the Cleric as an example of what you think constitutes a good example. Talk it and get your player's side of the story, because that may be all it takes. Also, be sure to point out that a Druid is supposed to revere nature and that, if the player keeps this up, you are required to make him into an ex-druid.
If the intent is to balance crossbows with bows, why not have the free reload apply to all crossbows, not just the repeating ones?
The intent is not to balance crossbows. I am just pointing out that this use of the spell does not really qualify as cheese. It would be more efficient to just get the Rapid Reload feat for your crossbow of choice or use a bow in the first place.
Repeating Crossbow is not a valid choice for Rapid Reload. There is no feat I can find that reduces the time needed to load a case of bolts.
That would be because, once you have Rapid Reload (Light Crossbows), there would be no need for the Repeating Crossbow. Reloading would be a free action at that point so it is not worth struggling with the clip system. My point was that, if a player really wants to go ahead and cast this spell on the Repeating Crossbow rather than getting the feat, it really isn't going to hurt anything.
Given that a standard (composite or otherwise) longbow archer is going to be getting more shots than the crossbow character--and with things getting worse for said crossbow character along the way--is this really something that could be classed as cheese? It strikes me as a way for the crossbow to have a little extra oomph and take some of the headache out of the character build. Besides, it is a spell that mimics a feat: Rapid Reload (Light Crossbow) and it does so for a relatively short time. I am not impressed with this spell enough to see it as cheese.
I am fascinated by the fact that the Paladin is the only guy who ever seems to have to worry about his alignment, despite numerous classes having alignment requirements and restrictions. Is it maybe because the paladin must be Lawful Good, where as other classes have wiggle room? And why does it seem to bring out the worst in a DM--or maybe just poor DMs?
Pick an important combat and then hit him with sleep or hold person, so that he gets to sit out for a few rounds. Don't even attack him, just let him sit for a few rounds. It is excusable in-combat that they would target threats to try and remove them and you get to return the favor of making him miss a couple of rounds of the fight--plus you don't have to break any rules to do it.
The thing to be aware of is to not gloat over this. Just hit him with the spell, if it fails do it again, and then move on without comment. You are sated, he is none the wiser, and you can go on adventuring and being friends. Good luck!
Oh you goblins, always complaining about how hard the world is on you. "Oh nobody understands us! They think we are all bad!" Try dropping your strength score by four you big-headed loons! [/a kobold's attempt at humor]
I think the idea of the noble monster character has become something of a cliche, honestly. Maybe that is why we see a dearth of non-core race paladins? With characters like Drizzt running around, I know nobody wants to see their character written off as "just another cliche". Not to mention concerns on the mechanical strengths/weaknesses that are always at play when building a character. Paladins call for good strength, constitution, and charisma these days. (Thank God they don't need Wisdom anymore!) Though you can replace constitution with dexterity for the archery builds. With three stats that are all pretty important, it becomes necessary to consider which race is going to be giving you the best bang for your buck if, like many of us, you are inclined to build a character who will not be too much weaker than his fellows.
From what I am seeing on thesrd you are taking a DC 15 concentration check anytime you want to cast that one spell--higher if you apply any further metamagic feats on top of it. Further, this little trick is only going to work on first level spells, which seems pretty good at low levels, but less so the higher level your character gets to. Some spells, like Glitterdust, would be pretty cool cantrips, but again you are looking at that concentration check to make sure you don't botch things.
So even if, by RAW, it works, I am not terribly frightened of this little combo. Anybody with good system mastery got a good way to really show how damaging it could be to game balance?
Given that there are a bunch of new Drow feats to make a PC into a Drow Noble, why don't you just have your player do that? He or she can have all three feats in the Drow Nobility line by level 5 (though the Improved Drow Noble feat seems the most important to you) and could even get the two Umbral Scion feats and be set by level 9. This avoids the massively powerful Drow Noble option nicely and keeps your players on an even field as they level up.
As for Cavern Sniper, since that is a Fighter archetype, your player will find that it is easier to keep up with all of the feats they are going to need for their archery to be effective despite the need for the Drow Noble feats. They are not going to be on par with other archers of their level for a little while, but sometimes it is the flavor of a character that is most important, right? You will want to give the player some way to access poison as well (or they're going to want to dump some skill points into Craft (Alchemy) and get a couple of feats to bolster their ability to make their own) because otherwise that aspect of the character--small though it may be--is going to be pretty weak. As shame they didn't give the character Poison Use at some point in the progression.
Overall, I would hazard that this character is going to be a little tough to play, but should do fine by the time they hit level 10. It sounds like a good RP character too.
I second VillainHat's suggestions for the build. The massive hit to Strength that kobolds take are going to make it difficult to play anything that needs strength. The Vital Strike feat chain may also be useful, but I am not sure what the math looks like for Vital Strike versus Rapid Reload with a Heavy Crossbow (going for Crossbow Mastery).