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Yosarian's page

280 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Funky Badger wrote:

Sub-optimal != Bad for any given value of Optimal.

Also, Toppling Spell is actively good.

Hmm? I think toppling spell is good.

Extra cantrips, though, is probably the weakest feat in the book, not counting ones that just don't work due to rules errors and/or actually makes your character worse.

I don't know why people are so focused on crippling charm person here. Considering how hard enchantment has been nerfed in pathfinder, I don't see why people are putting such awful limitations on one of the few enchantment spells that is still pretty good.

Remember, Charm Person *CAN* make you do things against a person's nature with a charisma check. And if you fail the charisma check, the only downside is that they won't do that one, specific action; you can make them do something else, it doesn't break the spell.

Charm Person is almost the archetypical sorcerer spell, and it's one of the main reasons to make a enchantment-focused social wizard with a higher charisma score. Crippling it is a terrible idea.

Yeah, I understand that. Skill focus isn't a bad feat because it lets you get really good at one skill. I'm just saying that just on a pure power level, assuming you get it at level 1, Fast Learner compares reasonably well to most feats/traits that give skill points.

Roberta Yang wrote:

The basic idea of the feat is already a bit lame - it gives you whichever favored class bonus you want less, since you're already getting the one you want more. That it breaks design principles, includes unnecessary restrictions, and is strictly inferior to an existing feat takes it from "mediocre but potentially useful" to "garbage".

They could have just made it a simple Toughness-for-skill-points and it would have been fine.

Sure; it's poorly worded, it should have been implemented better, and it's not as good as toughness. Still, assuming you get it at level 1, it's not that bad mechanically. Assuming your normally would get HP, then I'd say that +1 skill points/level forever is usually much stronger then, say, the "skill focus" feat (either +3 or +6 to one skill, static).

Wiggz wrote:

So as far as combat effectiveness its not quite a Hold Person - in other words it wouldn't stop him from buffing his allies if he's a shaman, wouldn't stop him from ringing the alarm bell if his allies are being attacked by allies of the Sorcerer's and so forth.. but he won't attack the caster and is unlikely to attack the caster's friends if he is not directly threatened himself - does that sound right?


Also, if you can do a contested charisma check, and you can communicate with the person you charmed, you can give him orders, so long as they're not suicidal. "Don't attack my friends", "Run away and don't come back until the combat is over", "cast healing spells on me and my friends" ect are certainly fine. "Attack your friends" might or might not work, depending on if he thinks it's suicidal.

Remember the language issue, though. If you charm an orc, and he doesn't speak common and you don't speak orc, you can only give him orders if you can somehow pantomime the commands (suggestion: make the player actually physically demonstrate how their character would do this, mostly because it is hilarious.)

I disagree with the general consensus, and I think it actually is a pretty good combat spell if you use it right (at least if you have a good charisma). Just remember that you want to use it before he is in meele with your guys, because you get a -4 if he is "threatened" by your guys.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Staggered and Unconscious wrote:

When your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you're staggered. You can only take a standard action or a move action in each round (in addition to free, immediate, and swift actions). You cease being staggered when your current hit points once again exceed your nonlethal damage.

When your nonlethal damage exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious. While unconscious, you are helpless.

Diehard does not change anything about the bolded text. It should read 'You may choose to act as if you were disabled, rather than unconscious and dying.'

Even if Diehard only let you stabilize and go unconscious without making a check, that would itself be a significant bonus.

Anyway, since diehard specifically says that when using it you can "make a move action" or "preform a standard action (at the cost of 1 hp)", then by RAW you can do that if you have that feat. Specific rules override general rules.

If you really wanted to get technical I guess you could say that someone with diehard has the unconscious condition but can move anyway, lol. That would be pretty silly, but hey.

Funky Badger wrote:
Yosarian wrote:
Funky Badger wrote:
Yosarian wrote:

As for other feats work as advertised and do what they are supposed to but are just bad, I can't imagine why anyone would get the Extra Cantrips feat. A feat to add +2 cantrips to your spell list? In what situation could a level 1 sorceress knowing 6 cantrips instead of 4 ever be worth a feat?
Cantrips are great, more cantrips are better. Having more of a good thing is by no means bad. Especially for a non-focused caster...

How many cantrips do you need? Sorcerer eventually knows 9 cantrips without a feat. How many are worth knowing?

It's a pretty bad use for a feat, IMHO.

Not particularly useful for a pure sorceror, probably not, but for a multiclass character - Arcane Archer, maybe... if you only ever take one level of sorceror it increaes your known cantrips my 50%. That's pretty good...

A sorceror/arcane archer does get more spellcaster levels; not full ones, but you still get more cantrips as you level. And, you know, if you're doing that you probably want archery feats...

Funky Badger wrote:
Yosarian wrote:

As for other feats work as advertised and do what they are supposed to but are just bad, I can't imagine why anyone would get the Extra Cantrips feat. A feat to add +2 cantrips to your spell list? In what situation could a level 1 sorceress knowing 6 cantrips instead of 4 ever be worth a feat?
Cantrips are great, more cantrips are better. Having more of a good thing is by no means bad. Especially for a non-focused caster...

How many cantrips do you need? Sorcerer eventually knows 9 cantrips without a feat. How many are worth knowing?

It's a pretty bad use for a feat, IMHO.

Well, everyone tier 3-4 or above can contribute at any level, IMHO. A fighter is always solid, useful, and effective.

Tier 1: Wizard, witch
Tier 2: Sorcerer, cleric, druid, bard, summoner
Tier 3: Paladin, fighter, magus, ranger, barbarian
Tier 4: Most prestige classes
Tier 5: Rogue
Tier 6: Monk

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On a side note, I don't agree with all the people that said that the GM needs to make the challenge easier because the party did something stupid. There are situations where you might need to adjust stuff, but I don't believe you should make the situation easier just because half the party ran away and the other half didn't. The player's decisions should decide the outcome; if the players make bad decisions, then they should get a bad outcome, the DM shouldn't feel he has to meddle so things turn out ok anyway.

zagnabbit wrote:

RPGs (in all of their weird variations) borrow from multiple sources. Even the most strident Fantasy Purist GM incorporates a little Horror and Action into the game. That long ago left me at the conclusion;

Eh. I don't think that you can say that, say, D&D, Paranoia, Shadowrun, and Vampire: The Masquerade are all in the same genre just because they're all RPG's. A RPG can be in almost any genre, or it can be a mix.

I really think a gunslinger is usually better off saving his grit for quick clearing of his gun. It's too limited a resource for those targeting tricks to usually be even worthwhile.

Even without the saving throw, you're just trading one of your rounds for maybe one enemy round, with a 25% chance of not even doing that, and you're blowing a huge percentage of your daily resources to do that. It's hardly broken; it's usually not even worth doing.

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
They told me that it should be my responsibility as a GM to replace all that useless carp with decent magic items.

Kids these days. Back in my day, at the end of an epic adventure you would get as treasure just enough copper pieces to not starve to death and that rusty shortsword the goblin was carrying. And we were GLAD to get that rusty shortsowrd!


Since Programmed Image is permanent until triggered, I like making up a bunch of pebbles with programmed image cast on them and carrying them with me. You can have each one set up with a different trigger word, or have it more specific, like "trigger after I shoot your pebble with a sling."

They make great distractions. Need to get past a couple of guards? Use the distraction pebble, toss it 60 feet to the right of the guards, and then they see a demon rise up out of the ground. Either they go to investigate or they run, and either way you can sneak past. You can also make an illusionary fog cloud or something like that to get some concealment against enemy archers, or an illusionary wall to confuse a pursuer, or whatever. Just get them set up beforehand and then carry them until you need it. Only costs 25 gold each.

The Mighty Khan wrote:

While I don't like called shots being no harder than regular attacks, my main issue is the auto-success. The attack doesn't even have to do damage.

A CR 18 Great Wyrm White Dragon has a touch AC of 5. A level 7 gunslinger would have to roll a 1 to miss. Nevermind that the dragon has DR 20/magic, a CMD of 51, and +15 to his worst save. That CR 18 is confused.

This is what confused means:

01–25 Act normally.
26–50 Do nothing but babble incoherently.
51–75 Deal 1d8 points of damage + Str modifier to self with item in hand.
76–100 Attack nearest creature (for this purpose, a familiar counts as part of the subject's self).

Assuming that the dragon is alone, there's still a 50% chance that it either acts normally or attacks one of the party members. And it wears off after one round. So the gunslinger just used up about a third of his daily resources to do an action that only has a 50% chance of stopping the dragon for one round. And if it's a level 7 gunslinger, then I'm pretty sure the dragon kills him in that one round. And, of course, with DR 20, the gunslinger probably can't even hurt the dragon, so if he does manage to stop the dragon for one round it does him no real good.

Ascalaphus wrote:
I wouldn't punish the wizard, rogue etc.; at least not by some power-stripping exercise or something like that. They're not classes with alignment restrictions; don't treat them like they are.

The Paladin and Cleric should clearly get the message from their gods that either the wizard and rogue have to atone, or else they simply can not adventure with them anymore. Assuming that the players want to keep the party together and good, they all need to atone after this. The wizard especially, assuming he's the one who actually burned the innocent people to death.

And that's in addition to whatever atoning the paladin and cleric have to do.

It is a cool ability, no question.

The limiting factor here is that gunslingers just don't get that much grit per day. It's only equal to their wisdom modifier. And they never want to spend their last point of grit, because then they lose other abilities, so you're probably only talking about 2-3 times a day, unless they actually took a feat to get extra grit. They do refill grit when they get a crit, but it's never going to be something they use very often; maybe once a combat.

Also, you're only talking about confusing someone for 1 round, which isn't that big a deal. It basically takes them out of combat for one round, except there's a 25% chance they hit you anyway. Disarm and trip are also only things that disable an enemy for a round or so until they get up or pick their weapon up or draw their backup weapon.

Those are all very cool things to do, but disabling one enemy for one round 2-3 times a day isn't really unbalancing, IMHO.

tonyz wrote:

Find out who keeps resurrecting him. Kill that person. Or take their daughter hostage and tell them that the next resurrection attempt had better result in "he didn't want to come back" if they ever want to see their daughter again. Twirl your mustaches a lot.

Not a bad idea, but the problem is, a high level paladin is likely to have a pretty massive support system, like "an entire church" or "a major kingdom". Taking out the support might not be practical.

Unless you decide to let out your inner super villain.

Step 1: Use illusion magic to make you look like him
Step 2: Commit a series of horrible crimes while looking like him. Murder, burn, slaughter temple acolytes, desecrate the temples, torture, maim, and loot, and always leave a few survivors as witnesses.
Step 3: At the same time, have a bard or rogue or someone like that plant and spread the rumor that your enemy has fallen to the dark side and is now a horrific and terrible anti-paladin. Nobody will doubt it if you've done step 2 properly.
Step 4: Now that the paladin is hated, feared, and friendless, NOW you kill him. No one will bother to raise him.

Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Yosarian wrote:
... he's basically just a level 20 wizard.

That would be stupid...

Now if he was say a Level 20 Wizard with a 40+ INT and other high stats... I can see that working.

Not even. I think he had a 19 intelligence. Of course, that was more impressive then then it is now, but still.

This was in one of the sourcebooks for first edition Forgotten Relms, if I remember correctly.

Davor wrote:
Not at this point. I mean, if you plan on using spellcasting as your primary form of damage dealing ability, you'll probably stick to ranged touch attacks as your main form of damage, which means you won't be getting much benefit out of the standard archery feats, since many of them only work with weapons.

Ray spells are also good, since I believe you can use those for sneak attacks as a rogue.

A lot of the reason that people are so opposed to this was how silly it was back in first edition AD&D when they actually had this in some campaign settings. It was just goofy; you'd have this ancient all powerful god of magic, and they'd give his stats in the campaign book, and he's basically just a level 20 wizard. Really?

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Krome wrote:

Think of it this way, how many pages did Frodo spend crafting, or Achilles or King Arthur, or any other hero? Heroes don't spend time at home knitting.

Eh. In the Wheel of Time books, if you've read that, I think the part where Perrin forges an awesome magical warhammer was really dramatic and cool.

I donno, personally I like playing wizards that research spells, create magical items, write books, and basically try to advance the science of magic when they're not out adventuring.

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Another one from the "famous last words" catagory...

DM: "Ok, you have been caught. There are 10 guards pointing crossbows at your chest. The guard captain tells you to surrender."
Level 1 rogue: "I draw my dagger and charge!"

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Me: Jason! You're not hurting it because you're using a non-magical weapon. Pull out that magical dagger you found at the beginning of the quest!
DM: Ehm. Are you talking out of character?
Me: Huh? No, I'm a wizard, shouldn't my character know that magical weapons work like that?
DM: Sure, but you're talking to Jason, not to his character.
Me: Oh, ok. Use the magical dagger, uh...what's your character's name again?
Jason: Elemrathanhard
Me: No wonder I can't remember it, that's a really stupid name.

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Anguish wrote:

Final comment, this may not be obvious, but I don't allow crafting to enable players to have more wealth than recommended. So yes, you can craft stuff at half the price you'd buy it for, but no, I won't let them end up with double recommended wealth. As players craft more, bad guys have less treasure to be looted and converted into components.

I really hate that kind of reasoning. It's just unfair to players who take crafting feats.

Take two wizards. One wizard takes a few crafting feats, the other instead takes a few feats to make their magic more effective instead (spell perfection, metamagic feats, whatever.) Which one is better off? It's tough to say; the second wizard is better and more flexible with his own magic, but the first wizard has more wands and toys to play with. They're probably pretty balanced.

Unless the DM then goes and deliberately unbalances the first wizard by giving him less gold for no reason. Then the second wizard without crafting feats is clearly better off; he just buys the stuff instead of making it with the extra gold the DM is giving him for no reason, and just ends up being more powerful.

If a player wants to use his feats/skills/traits to get more gold (crafting, professions, the traits that let you start with money), then that's fine. He then has less feats and skills and traits to use during the adventure, but that's balanced with the fact that he probably has slightly better equipment to compensate. If you take that away, then that's just unfairly treating one play-style worse then a different playstyle.

Hey, if you really don't want your players to be crafters, then just don't let them be crafters. Don't let them use their feats for that and then cripple them to a point where it does them no good.

The monk walks into a cave, and discovers that it is a dragon's hoard, with an ancient red dragon sitting on a mountain of treasure! He was quite tasty.

A rogue, a paladin, and a wizard are all walking in the mountains.

The rogue walks into a cave, and discovers that it is a dragon's hoard, with an ancient red dragon sitting on a mountain of treasure! He carefully speaks past the dragon, takes all the treasure he can carry, and then sneaks out again.

The paladin walks into a cave, and discovers that it is a dragon's hoard, with an ancient red dragon sitting on a mountain of treasure! He walks up to the red dragon, slaps it in the face, and yells "Hey, wake up and fight me, coward!"

The wizard walks into a cave, and discovers that it is a dragon's hoard, with an ancient red dragon sitting on a mountain of treasure! The wizard Dominates the dragon, and has the dragon go through all of his treasure for him. Then the wizard pockets the one spellbook that was at the bottom of the pile of treasure, gives the dragon the rest of his treasure back, and then walks away whistling.

Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:

Also, randomly rolling for traits seems to sort of defeat the purpose. Traits let you customize a character and get mechanical effects for important aspects of their background. A random ability would have to be shoehorned into a character's backstory, and may not fit. While there is nothing wrong with games that let you roll for background elements (many fun RPGs do), limiting it to one tiny, tiny area seems a bit pointless.

Well, fair enough.

How about a list of "good traits" and "bad traits", and tell the PC's they can pick one good trait and two bad traits, or something like that. There are so many traits that add almost nothing but flavor, but the favor is really cool and I would like players to be able to use it.

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As for the "putting party members at risk"; that can be true, it depends on the sitatuion. Generally, though, if the cleric heals you back up to 2 hitpoints, you don't charge into melee. It's certanly something to keep in mind.

It can go the other way, too. If you're in a situation where "This fight should be fine, we're winning, but the fighter is getting a little low and there is a 5% chance that that guy gets a full damage crit next round and just kills the fighter in one shot", it can be a reasonable option to heal the fighter to get him out of megacrit range. Yeah, a 5% risk is small, but it will happen from time to time, and avoiding unnecessary risks is a good thing.

"Devil's Advocate" wrote:

Your suggesting that if you heal someone they become another active offensive member, which sometimes is the case. But more typically, you are trading your limited resource to prevnt a portion (which can just as easily be 1% as it can 70%) of the enemies unlimited resources, can still fail, and even worse can either greaten the threat to the wounded character or yourself, (which is far, far worse). Especially when we start getting into encounters with largr creatures with multiple attacks and natural reach.

Oh, sure. I'm not suggesting that you heal if you can't keep up with damage.

Again, I'm not saying that in-combat healing is usually the best option. Most of the time, you're better off doing something else in combat and healing later, it's better in terms of action economy. But the fact that you CAN do it when it's appropriate is a significant part of your flexibility and combat effectiveness as a cleric, and just forgetting about the option completely does make you less effective.

If your wizard dumps his CHA and STR to boost his INT yet somehow can never keep up with his encumbrance (he's a genius now) or plays his character as a charmer or at least as not a boor. I see this a lot.

If you have an charisma 7 you shouldn't be role-playing your character "as a boor". Maybe slightly absent minded, maybe someone who forgets NPC's names and sometimes talks over their heads, but most PC's do that anyway.

The truth is, you can't dump stats in pathfinder. You don't really get "dump stats" until you're getting to the point where you have 3-4 intelligence so you can have 20 strength, and that's not how the point buy system works. The entire point buy system is set up in such a way so there is no such THING as a PC with low stats if you use it, so it's silly for people to complain about it.

Roberta Yang wrote:
to determine anything about people in general.
I too am offended when jokes are not literally true under analysis of statistical significance.

The nobledrake is obviously actually Nate Silver.

Actually, this gives me an interesting idea.

You know what would be a lot of fun? Next time everyone is creating new characters, the GM can make a list of 40 or so cool but nearly worthless traits, then use dice to select one at random and give everyone a free random mostly worthless trait at character creation, in addition to whatever traits they pick.

I just think that would be a lot of fun and cool roleplaying, and make characters a little more unique even though it would rarely have much of an in-game effect. "Hey, look at that, my character can run down hills slightly faster without tripping!" "Yeah, well my character is slightly better at swimming downstream in a river!"

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Bigtuna wrote:

I think one of the things a HATE about being a heal bot is that I should use my action to give my ally another action - which would make my action less important than his. Why would I wanna play some less important than than the other players?

Well, no. If by healing you give your ally another action :AND: you negate your enemy's action at the same time, then your action is now roughly TWICE as important as your allies action.

DarkLightHitomi wrote:

It isn't the population that is evenly distibuted, it is the numbers, which is because they are numbers.

Basically it's a ratio converted to a different numerical form (more modern IQ test actually use the percentile as the form now I.E. joe shmoe has an IQ of 57%)

If you graphed how many people had each IQ number, you would get a bell curve, probably a sharper thinner one then DnD too.

It is statistics, read the manga guide to statistics, great introduction to the concepts and you can understand them in 5 minutes, instead of reading a textbook for three days.

Actually, no; if you look at the IQ bell curve, it's set up in such a way that about 68% of all people are between IQ 85 and IQ 115. By the time you get down to a 70 IQ there's only a few percent of the population below you.

[url] _asymmetrical_data.html[/url]

Strength? Really? Maybe for a full wizard, but for most characters, encumbrance gets to be a problem pretty fast, especially if you're wearing any kind of armor.

You can dump Dex is you really have to. Going from 10 dex to 8 dex only gives you a -1 to AC, which hurts, and a -1 to reflex saving throws, but if you're a deeply MAD character it can be worthwhile.

Con, I agree, is hard. Which is a shame, playing a sickly wizard would be fun, but it really hurts your survival chances at low-level.

Artanthos wrote:
Grey Lensman wrote:

The sorcerer has it because they ARE magic in a way. Plus the limited spells known makes it more likely they would use wands and such than wizards.
With current spells, feats and magic items the sorcerer is significantly more flexible with spells than the wizard.

That's debatable, and not what he was saying anyway. All he was saying is that wands and such are more useful to sorcerers, because they know a limited number of spells, so you can carry a wand of a spell you don't know and increase your flexibility a lot. For a wizard a wand is usually just extra spells a day; still useful, but not as crucial.

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Nether wrote:

A character with a 7 Int should literally be mentally handicapped, and you should be rp'ing your character like a mild retard. A Cha of 5 means you literally cannot function very well in a group, let alone society.

Why do people say stuff like this?

Assuming that NPC's role stats with 3d6, then 17% of all NPCs have an intellegence of 7 or under. That's not a "mild retard", that's about 1 out of 5 people. You're not a genius, but you're not an idiot either, you're just a little below average.

A Charisma of 5 or less is lower then that (about 5% chance), but that's still 1 in 20 people. If you work with 20 people, one of them has a 5 or lower charisma; he might be a little socially awkward, but he still gets by in society ok.

All the stat inflation in pathfinder makes people forget how low "normal" stats are. I think that's part of the reason that people get so up in arms about "stat dumping".

That being said; if you're a wizard starting with 19 intelligence, you've got 6 skill points a level, and then more later when you boost your INT higher. If you want to take UMD as a non-class skill, just in case you ever need it, feel free. You won't ever be as good at it as a high CHA class, and are usually better off just using magic items based on your class spells, but hey. At least if everyone else ends up knocked out from damage, you can walk over to the cleric, pick up his wand of CLW, and have a chance of using it successfully.

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JrK wrote:

RP wise that's fine but it's just foolish to think this has anything to do with being optimal.

If you are in a situation where an action spent healing on your part will keep another party member on his feet for another round, then healing is probably optimal; it costs you one action to heal the damage, it costs the enemy one action to deal it again, and it gives your ally one extra action.

That situation doesn't come up all that often, but when it does, healing is probably optimal (assuming by "optimal" we mean "most likely to win the fight".) And the fact that you can do it at will without needing to prepare any specialized spells means that when it is optimal to heal, then you can always do so.

Now, it's not optimal to use combat healing to keep your allies at max HP; it's probably better to let them take a few hits, hit the enemy a few times yourself, and then heal them after the combat. But if a heal spell this round will keep your ally on their feet for another round, then it's worth using.

It's not just the maximum, Ashiel. More important then either the average or the maximum is "how likely is lethal damage to happen in one round".

An orc hitting and then critting happens, what, 1 time in 40 or something? And a orc hitting, critting, and rolling lethal damage happens less then that. Sure, it can happen, and that's fine, some element of risk is good, but it's going to be pretty rare, and I'm not worried about it.

On the other hand, "you probably die in one round if all 3 heads hit, and that happens 1 time in 3" seems a lot more dodgy to me. It's not a bad thing, necessarily, but you probably don't want every encounter to be that risky, unless you're the kind of DM that doesn't mind leaving a trail of dead characters after every quest.

Dragonamedrake wrote:

Wouldn't they Implode instantly in open space? Id rule it a insta death no save if stuck in space.


People used to be concerned in the early days of the space program that someone exposed to vacuum might explode from internal pressure, but that turns out to be not true. It's been tested with monkeys and stuff, and there was at least one case where an astronaut was accidentally exposed to about 30 seconds of hard space with no real lasting harm.

On the other hand, they'd better hope they have a silent spell metamagic rod ready to go, because I don't think they're casting anything with a verbal component in space, lol.

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cartmanbeck wrote:

You can absolutely "adopt" a real tiger as your companion, using the Leadership feat.


Leadership? Really? For a tiger?

Why not with the Handle Animal skill? That actually has rules for rearing a wild animal yourself and then training it for combat, and it makes a lot more sense for a druid.

Sir Jolt wrote:
BiggDawg wrote:
Each incident has the same chance, but over time things progress towards the average which is why when talking about the game in general referencing averages is useful.

Actually, it doesn't. That's the Gambler's Fallacy again; assuming that previous results somehow have an effect on future results. They don't.

BiggDawg wrote:
Sure a single Kobold could walk up to the party and roll nothing but 20s and the party could all roll 1s and the Kobold would have TPK'd the party, but does that make the Kobold some mega-monster? Obviously not because the rolls in that one single incident were skewed. Instead you ask how likely is that to happen on average and the answer is not likely at all.

It only seems skewed because you obssessing over averages. If I flip a nickel a hundred times, how likely is it that I'll get heads every single time? Not very. But that chance isn't isn't any less than any other single combination of flips. Because how many times I flip heads has no bearing on how many times I'll continue to do so. The d20 is a flat probability. That "skewed" example you gave is no less likely than any other set of numbers than any other set of rolls the party an kobold might generate.

The averages only matter in a long battle.

Let me put it another way. Let's say that you have an NPC wizard with a spell called "super death ball" that either does 100 damage to everyone in a 30 foot radius, or does nothing. 80% of the time, it does nothing. The average damage isn't bad, it seems like a fair spell if you just look at the average, but the problem is there is a 1 in 5 chance that this NPC will cause a TPK and wipe out the whole party, not because the party did anything wrong or because anyone made any mistakes, but just because they got one bad roll. That's not a good gaming experience for anyone, so that makes it a poor design choice to use against that party in that situation.

It's the same thing here. "How likely is this thing to roll high and just wipe out the party in round one" is more important then average damage.

The downside to trying to make money using the cantrip "mending" is that it takes 10 minutes to cast. If people are willing to pay you a sliver to magically mend something for them, and you are busy nonstop, you still can only make 48 silver in 8 hours.

The Crossbow Mastery feat in the APC lets you reload a heavy crossbow as a free action.

It is pretty suboptimal, but it is kind of cool. I remember back in second edition days, when a heavy crossbow just took a full round to load and there was no getting around that, one of my player's solution to that was just to always load it as soon as anything happened, so it was loaded and ready to go before combat started.

DM: Ok, as you're walking through the woods, you come into a green, grassy clearing with a stream running through it...

Him: I load my crossbow.

As a low level wizard, your best bet is probably cantrips. You jut can't cast that many non-cantrip spells a day, and it'd be hard to charge enough money to make it worth your while.

Especially if you're thinking about casting spells for nobles instead, keep "detect poison" in mind. You can cast it all day, and I'm sure a paranoid noble would be willing to pay a decent amount of money to have to cast "detect poison" on everything he eats in a day.

"Message" is another one that has potential; so long as you're at least level 2-3 and can cast it on 2 to 3 people, letting them silently pass messages back and fourth during a negotiation or something seems like a cool service.

You might also be able to make a little money with "mending", although probably not nearly as much.

As for level 1 spells:

Endure elements:in either a hot summer or a cold winter, I bet a noble would be willing to pay a pretty penny to feel perfectly comfortable in up to 140 degree heat for up to 24 hours. Remember, medieval technology means no air conditioning...

Comprehend languages

Detect charm (another service for an overly paranoid nobleman...)

Crafters's fortune (If you can manage to catch the village blacksmith just as he's making an expensive masterwork sword for someone, he might be willing to pay you for this one.)

Expeditious Excavation maybe? Although again it's probably cheaper to hire a laborer to do it...

Keep Watch (A "be able to stay up all night and study without getting tired" spell might be something the rich kids at the local acadamy might pay for, heh.)

It is true that the Paladin can do more out of combat then the fighter.

In combat, a well designed fighter does very well compared to the paladin, and will often do better. Fighter probably has better combat stats since the paladin is more MAD, fighter probably does more DPR when not using a limited-shot ability, fighter likely has better AC but lower saving throws. The paladin is likely harder to kill because of the awesome lay-on-hands ability, but when it comes down to all-day-long damage output when not using up limited use/day resources, it's hard to beat a fighter. Fighter also probably makes a better archer then paladin does, and we all know how effective archers are these days.

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The good thing about in-combat healing is that you can do it any time it seems like a good idea without actually devoting any prepared spell slots to it since you can cast healing spells spontaneously as a cleric. It's often not the best option, but more options are always better.

You do also have the option of swinging a weapon. Even if you don't have a lot of strength, you still have a halfway decent BAB, decent hitpoints, and medium armor. Again, options are good, especially early on when your spells/day are fairly limited. If you are focused on casting and don't spend resources improving your fighting, then that option will drop in usefulness as you level up, but that's fine because you'll have more spells/level then.

Clerics have a lot of decent in-combat spells. Dropping a buff before combat starts or in the first round of combat can be a good move, but keep in mind the cost/reward thing; the less rounds there are left in the combat, the less good a buff is going to do. Other then that, Cleric has some decent save-or-suck spells that might work well for you if you have a high wisdom score (cause fear, hold person, blindness, ect), some good summoning spells (often a great option), and you can do some blasting. Cleric also has a lot of debuffing spells, but I'm not as big a fan of these, personally; if I'm going to be hitting an enemy with something he can save against, it might as well be a save-or-suck spell, not just a -2 to attack or something.

As a cleric, you have a lot of options, and it costs you nothing to try out stuff and see how well it works for yourself, since you don't need a spellbook or anything to prepare whatever you want. Play around with different things, see what you like.

Most steampunk books I've read haven't been fantasy at all. I'd generally put them into either "soft science fiction" genre or the "alternate history" genre, depending on the book. Fantasy books set in Victorian times are cool too, but they're not really steampunk.

I also do think it's reasonable to say that some steampunk elements have been creeping in to recent Pathfinder releases. Both the alchemist class and the gunslinger are more steampunk. (At least the way Pathfinder does the alchemist, which is basically a cross between "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and "Early 20th century chemist".) I don't have a problem with that; it's not like D&D has ever been pure medieval fantasy (hey, I know I'm not the only one who still has the old spelljammer campaign setting books, lol, and the Mind Flayer is clearly a 1950's science fiction invader from another world).

I do think that it's pretty clear that they are based on the steampunk ascetic, and I'm not sure how anyone can argue with that.

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