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andreww's page

FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 4,451 posts (4,461 including aliases). 8 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 12 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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Planar portals fed from the Elemental Plane of Water fill most of the chambers in this level with water. The heroes will have to find their way through surging currents and long, lightless swims to continue their exploration of the Spire.

Sing up HERE

Bloodrealm wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
a standard action at the start of every comobat is way too precious to give up
Are you high? How is one standard action per combat an unforgivable tradeoff? Not winning the DPR race? Whoopie-doo.

Because the first round of a fight is the most important one and will often determine whether or not you win or lose.

I am also not seeing a massive dex boost. You get at most +2 at level 1, +4 at level 6 and +6 at level 12. It wont stack with a belt. You are getting your stat boost slightly early but that is about it.

You are getting a discount on your gear but that is about it, hardly terribly impressive.


Paz wrote:

The equivalent of a full statblock, I would've thought.

I'm interested to know what provoked the question in the first place.

Lots of people like to play using only electronic sheets, often off herolab or something similar. There was a ruling a while back saying you had to bring a paper copy.


Tristan Windseeker wrote:

FYI I'm not the GM in question. I just heard the story. Most players abide by the muster process, and don't use their special message boards status to get around it. A formal apology to your GM and abiding by the same rules everyone else does in the future would probably be appropriate.

Fighting cronyism in all its forms,
The Shadow Lodge

What muster process? When I was there last year it was mostly too many people packed into a narrow hallway waving iPads or bits of paper advertising what character they had or what their group was looking for.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't have any martial/melee characters but my sorcerer recently hit level 10 and has the following:

Handy Haversack
Eyes of the Eagle
+1 Amulet of Natural Armour
+1 Ring of Protection
+2 Con Belt
+4 Int Headband
+3 Cloak of Resistance
+2 Mithril Buckler
Lesser Extend Rod
Pale Green Saves Ioun Stone
Initiative boosting Ioun Stone
Vest of Escape
6 level 1 Pages of Spell Knowledge
Numerous Potions and Scrolls
Wands of Dimension Door, Grease, Infernal Healing, Mage Armour, Shield
A giant supply of mundane equipment for every situation kept in his Handy Haversack

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It is a legacy of 3.0. The designers of 3.0 overvalued the benefit of spontaneous casting and it has simply continued down the versions since then.

FLite wrote:
I have seen some truly awe inspiring clerics in actual play dishing out (or healing, or both) encounter changing amounts of damage through channel.

I find that difficult to believe. The most you are dishing out as a cleric in pre 12th level PFS is 8d6. If you quick Channel you can reach 16d6 in 1 round. Unless you are hyping up your Charisma to very high levels, which is unlikely, your DC will be terrible. You will also run out of channels very quickly if you start quick channelling as you don't actually get all that many.

None of that is to say that Clerics are not great, they are but Channel isn't the reason why. Some of them can make better use of Channel, negative channellers dazing the enemy or positive channellers adding riders like rerolls or freedom of movement are great. The problem is that the base effect of Channel is pretty rubbish.

If you think an average 27 points of healing or damage (with a save for half) is encounter changing at tier 10-11 then I really don't know what to say.

There is a Kyle Baird scenario that opens with a fight that most tables take an hour to two hours to deal with. When I ran it a quick channeling holy vindicator wiped the floor with the whole fight in one round. (Which made me happy because it meant I had time for other things in the scenario that are a lot more fun.)

I am well aware of the scenario, when I played it we had a wizard, sorcerer and magus. The swarms got maybe one round each after they appeared. A weapon wielder with a swarm bane clasp would have done something similar. Dealing with swarms is something every character should be able to do.

Snowblind wrote:
andreww wrote:
You got the channel rules right but *may* have gotten the Incorporeal rules wrong. Incorporeal creatures have to remain adjacent to an objects exterior and so cannot pass through objects larger than their space.

Only if the wall is thicker than the creature's width.

A medium Incorporeal creature could pass through a 5ft wall or thinner. You would need a really thick wall to stop Incorporeal creatures.

Yes, as I said in my post, it cannot pass through an object, such as a wall, larger than its space. It could pass through something up to 5' thick if it was medium but nothing larger.

You got the channel rules right but *may* have gotten the Incorporeal rules wrong. Incorporeal creatures have to remain adjacent to an objects exterior and so cannot pass through objects larger than their space.

So, if you haven't noticed Psychics get Overwhelming Presence (normally spell level 9) at spell level 4. It's an interesting choice but it sort of obviates the need for stuff like Id Insinuation, Greater Command or Greater Forbid Action. I expect errata.

Psychics also hilariously get a complete lose/lose effect at level 11. The Synaptic Shock phrenic amplification means that if you fail a save against a Mind Affecting spell then you are confused for a round after that spell ends or immediately if it is instantaneous. If you make the save you are confused for a round. It only costs a point per target too. So you are ending up confused regardless. Priceless.

Of course with Overwhelming Presence it might not really matter. That is helpless then staggered with wisdom drain on a fail or just staggered on a save and you are hitting up to 8 targets when you first get it.

Hi Mark,

I know you must be extremely busy at Gencon but I wondered if you could offer a little insight on the Psychic spell list. In general it seems to lack a bit of offensive punch outside of mind affecting spells and while you can get around undead immunity a few times per day it looks like you will really struggle against oozes, constructs and plants with not much you can do unless you are extremely careful with spell selection and even then you are probably a bit stuck.

However, that isn't really my main query. I noticed that they get Overwhelming Presence as a level 4 spell. This is normally 9th, 6th for Bards and I wondered if that was intentional or a misprint. A multi target helplessness inflicting, staggering and wisdom draining spell is pretty potent to get at 8th level. Even if everything passes the save auto staggering every target is crazily good.

I also wondered why Psychics get Planar Binding/Ally but not Thaumaturgic Circle which they need to take advantage of those spells.


I have an Amnesiac Psychic in the works.


Carlos Robledo wrote:
Andrew posted he had a Thundercaller Bar

It isn't mine although I have run for it and played alongside it.

I was quite fortunate, I just created a new level 4 GM credit baby Oracle the day the errata hit who I had planned to use the FCB to advance the raise dead revelation on but I changed my mind at the last minute.

This is possibly the least informed post I have read on Oracles. Lets have a look at a few things shall we.

Mystic Madness wrote:
1)They get 1 + their Charisma mod in channels instead of 3 + Charisma with clerics.

Oh noes, the Life Oracle gets 2 fewer channels per day than the cleric. Would you like to take bets on who is liable to have the higher Charisma. I think we both know the answer to that and it isn't a small number. The casting focused Oracle is sitting at 28-30 by level 10.

2)Oracles do not get fort as a high save. Also, a cleric's casting stat, WIS helps with will saves. My Oracle, which has dumped WIS, actually has a problematic will save.

If you find you have trouble with Will saves you might want to consider investing a single trait or save into them. Irrepressible and Steadfast Personality will see it rocket up. Several Mysteries also provide Charisma to saves although that is very late game. Scrolls of Bestow Grace however are dirt cheap.

3) Oracles are distinctly inferior spellcasters. Most of the Oracle's benefits of being a spontaneous caster are shared by clerics, who can spontaneously cast cure spells. Clerics get higher level spells one level earlier and also get domain spells, which are generally superior to and more diverse than Revelation spells. Clerics can also more easily change roles by memorizing different spells. They can also leave spell slots open to memorize a crucial spell (such as remove curse or blindness) when the need arises.

Spontaneously casting cure spells is a terrible ability because cure spells in combat are awful and utterly fail to keep up with incoming damage. Out of combat wands are simple, cheap and effective. As for the cleric list, have you actually looked at it. It contains large numbers of redundant spells, many of the key condition clearing spells ignore caster level (making them easy scroll options) and it isn't difficult to have a rounded list allowing you to cover pretty much any base by level 10 Once you start adding in extra spells known FCB, Mnemonic Vestment, Spirit Guide and Paragon Surge there is basically no spell the Oracle cannot make as effective use of. The only advantage prepared casters have nowadays is earlier access which, while huge, is rather offset by being forced to guestimate what they will need on any particular day.

4) Domains tend to be much more powerful than revelations. The Travel, Heroism, and Feather Domains are absurdly powerful, just to name a few.

I will take whatever you are drinking. Mysterys are giving out the ability to ignore dex almost entirely, full strength animal companions, mass confusion effects, supernatural teleport, the ability to act in the surprise round and roll multiple times for initiative and many more. And guess what, if there is one you want from a different mystery you can grab it with a Ring of Revelation.

Nowadays there is very little reason to actually play a Cleric as it is trivially easy to access a massive array of spells as a spontaneous caster.


Jeff Merola wrote:
Kigvan wrote:

For Channeling (and normal non-seeker PFS levels) it gives you +1d6 at levels 6, 8, and 10, and +1 to the save DC at levels 7, 9, and 11, that is all you get for 6 levels of favored class bonus now, much weaker.

All that said, I still feel like my life oracle will be a welcome addition to any table he sits at with his 8d6 at level 10, rather than the 10d6 he had before this change.

Do you have a phylactery, then?

That would be 6d6, I assume he is adding a phylactery to that.


From level 6 you count as being 1 level higher for channelling so where you would normally get an extra d6 at 7, 9 and 11 you now get it at 6, 8 and 10

Actually this also affects super charged animal companions for Nature and Lunar Oracles. Thankfully mine is long since retired following Emerald Spire and Wardens of the Reborn Forge.


Soluzar wrote:
The 1/6 nerf is just crazy. 1/3 I can see but this is too much. They do realize that this applies to only one revelation right. My life oracle didn't get hit with the nerf bat, she got it broken off in her backside.

I have seen the thundercaller bard make very effective use of it. DC25 fortitude save or be stunned at level 9, used as a move action so potentially twice per round, is very strong.


Phew, I just built and played today my new Oracle. Put together from GM credit I went back and forth today about whether or not to go Bones and advance either Command Undead or Raise the Dead with the elf FCB. I am rather glad I ended up doing neither.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

So, in an effort to get to grips with the Occult Adventures classes I am designing characters. I am looking at the Psychic and at the amnenesiac archetype. It specifies that you start each day knowing half the normal number of spells from the spells known table. However, you automatically also know your discipline spells.

My question however relates to the Human FCB which gives psychics an extra spell known. Are these retained by the Amnesiac in full like Discipline spells or do they get added to the table and then halved, creating extra amnesia slots?

Works with the new Steadfast Personality feat as well.

Jacob Saltband wrote:
Omniscience got, casters will ALWAYS know what exact spells to have on hand.

Most of my testing has been with Oracles and Sorcerers, schroedingers doesnt apply.

Jacob Saltband wrote:

So before I mentioned poison did you think of having Delay Poison up and running as a buff? No? didnt think so.

Cluster shot with different poisoned arrows all DC 17+ fort saves that damage STR. Those STR 7 caster are paralyzed. Or do a CON poison, even if you dont kill the caster with damage they die from con damage.

It is a level 2 buff which lasts an hour per level. Extended at 12th level it lasts 24 hours. Every Oracle I have ever played invests in it because it is extremely effective. For one thing it makes you immune to Stinking Cloud and Cloudkill, two very common area control spells.

Given it lasts 24 hours with extend the Oracle can even cast it on every paty member and have their spell slots free.

Also, a DC17 fortitude save at level 12 is ajoke, even assuming you are able to hit which is unlikely. Arcane casters will be employing stuff like mirror image, divine casters will out AC you, all of them probably have fickle winds up as they arrive.

Your plan is terrible and the martial group is detined to fail simply because they do not have access to anything like the respources available to an equal level group of casters.

MeanMutton wrote:
andreww wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

Your plan fails as you only get a single action during the surprise round barring a small number of limited abilities. So your surprise round is to burst out of hiding and yell "surprise". Then the casters beat all of your initiatives and you die horribly.

This also assumes they don't do anything as basic as send a tremor sensing earth elemental to scope out the room.

It also assumes neither the wizard nor the sorcerer can cast emergency force sphere. Either could easily have defensive strategist or if the wizard is a diviner you are screwed.

You can't use Emergency Force Sphere if you're flat-footed. A diviner is still flat-footed until his/her turn starts. So, yeah, first to go in initiative takes out the wizard.

Defensive Strategist is a trait which means you are not flat footed before you act. Good lukc beating a Diviner in the initiative battle.


Imbicatus wrote:
How do you accurately define the origin point of an AoE effect without metagaming? You know there are monsters in that square, but your character wouldn't, unless they had some other ability that allowed them to pinpoint a square without sight.

Characters can talk to each other as a free action outside their own turns.

Assuming you were blinded mid combat then you already know the layout and can choose as you wish.


bdk86 wrote:
You cannot judge distance while blind by game mechanics. You can pick a direction, point and shoot. But unless the character can do spatial geometry in their head, a spotter doesn't really do any good beyond "to your left!".

The rules disagree with you and allow the placement of area effect spells by defining the location on the origin point.

Casual Viking wrote:

Assuming a Schrödinger's Gunslinger, who has an infinite number of one- and two-handed magical firearms, Quick Draw and any other feat you care to name, as well as any type of ammo, access to any spell that comes in potion form as well as +&TEXAS to UMD, what do?

Stick him behind a wall of force then make it permanent. Wait for him to die of thirst. Sell his equipment to defray the 7500gp cost. Alternatively send wave after wave of earth elementals and shadows at him through the walls until he runs out of bullets.

Bandw2 wrote:

no because here's the thing, the only thing monks are really really good at is killing casters. especially if there are 6 of them.

any kind of created obstacle can be jumped over, they can run up and grapple you, the melee ones have a short range pounce. They pretty much will make all saves, windwall is a pillar so they can either enter it and shoot up or directly at the guy inside or move around it if it's a flat plane.

Monks have a reputation as being good at killing casters which is really undeserved. I am not sure how you jump over a wall of force that stretches floor to ceiling. You are facing a level 12 group with multiple people capable of casting freedom of movement. All of them will have it active as it lasts, at a minimum, 2 hours at this level. You may be a tetori in order to suppress fom, congratulations, every single one of the casters can cast liberating command. With a maxxed out escape artist, vest of escape, a masterwork tool and 14 dex they are rolling at +42. Even if not going that route many may well have SU means of teleporting out of a grapple or one of the others can almost certainly teleport them out.

As far as saves go, no, Monks don't make most saves. You have decent saves but you are far from Paladin or raging superstitious barbarians. Against save or suck you can expect to be facing DC's in the range of 28-30, if they bring a Kitsune enchantment specialist you are looking at DC33-35. You are also likely to have to be rolling twice and taking the worst roll.

Casual Viking wrote:
Interestingly, I'm finding it difficult to trivially shut down the Gunslinger.

Fog effects, walls and will saves should all do the job quite nicely. Honestly the entire martial group may well end up killing each other with a couple of castings of confusion as the caster group withdraws to place bets on which will die first.

Casual Viking wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Why was no poison used?
Because, outside of dedicated poisoner builds, poison is a very expensive save vs. minor inconvenience.

Also delay poison is a level 2 spell which lasts hours per level.

You specify core (which is terrible for the martial team) and then include unchained and an Oracle? Curious.

Blindsight automatically beats stealth as does blindsense and tremorsense. Dampen presence will help against the latter two but not the first.

You might want to read echolocation.

Communal Resist Energy is one of the very best buffs in the game, especially if you have someone who can make reasonably reliable knowledge checks. My oracle ran all through Emerald Spire with it and it ranks as my best spell pick ever.

HWalsh wrote:

Your plan fails as you only get a single action during the surprise round barring a small number of limited abilities. So your surprise round is to burst out of hiding and yell "surprise". Then the casters beat all of your initiatives and you die horribly.

This also assumes they don't do anything as basic as send a tremor sensing earth elemental to scope out the room.

It also assumes neither the wizard nor the sorcerer can cast emergency force sphere. Either could easily have defensive strategist or if the wizard is a diviner you are screwed.

I have to chuckle at people suggesting stealth, grapple and ranged attacks as a strategy against a group of 6 9th level casters where multiple members are capable of casting emergency force sphere, freedom of movement, echolocation and fickle winds and where team caster, should it actually decide to turn up in person, will all be flying and invisible and with defences most likely far beyond those of the opposition.

thegreenteagamer wrote:
Oh noes, there's a caster that isn't SAD! Whatever shall we do?! Shelf it into abscurity like the Cleric before it, daring to require Charisma AND Wisdom?

Clerics don't require Charisma, channel is simply not worth the stat points of investing in it unless you re going down the daze lock route.

Similarly Arcanists still don't need to bother with Charisma. The decent exploits only use 1 point per use, only the Occultist is really shafted by this. The base Arcanist doesn't care.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Owly wrote:
Yours is the "quantum spellcaster" argument; Not every caster has every utility or buff/debuff or attack/defense, control spell available on every turn. Not every violent conflict needs the wizard to use up spells. Opponents don't always make their saving throws either. For those moments, its good to have a fighter or two around.

And this is where the problem arises, why would you bring the fighter when you could bring a cleric or druid or oracle who can all be as good at dealing direct physical damage as the fighter while also bringing so many more options.

ikarinokami wrote:

optimal oracle.

traits - wayang spell hunter (fireball), magical linage child of havoc (adds 1 point of force damage to your damage spells).

1. spell focus
3. spell specialization
5. dazing metamagic
7. preferred spell (fireball)
9. varisian tattoo
11. greater spell/ focus

I choose fireball but any 2nd or 3rd level spell will do just fine. the feats will slighty depending on the spell. but you would never waste a feat on DP.

for instance if you choose a cold spell, you also pick up the rime metamagic.

I play a lot of Oracles and this is a terrible example of one.

You mess around with caster level boosts to turn yourself into a one trick pony rather than broader more applicable feats like persistent spell or spell penetration. You take Spell Specialisation forcing you to invest in at least 13 Int when you need maximum Charisma and cannot afford to ignore Con or probably Dex depending on Mystery.

You take Dazing at level 5 when you cannot make any use of it and in fact, even with double dipping traits, you wont be throwing dazing fireball until level 8. You take preferred spell without its Heighten prereq when you could just take spontaneous metafocus.

You also completely ignore initiative which is one of the key features for anyone intending to employ any form of dazing or other crowd control.

Really this is a compete mess which suggests you don't know a thing about Oracles.

If you want to play with Daze then you need to focus on getting through SR and increasing the chance of a failed save. Caster level boosts are from crossblooded1/something else x who want to be throwing extra dice to add +2 damage to.

Even with all of that Divine Protection was still insanely good for you as it makes you virtually immune to any save effects, especially when combined with anything like borrowed fortune.

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
I don't know why everyone is making this harder than it is. What's tough about casters is if they can prepare for you in their stronghold and/or have 8th/9th level spells. Neither of those is the case here. Not even 7th level spells.

What makes you think a level 12 group of casters is ever going to turn up in person. Frankly they could just entomb the idiotic martials behind an arbitrarily large number of walls of stone and forget they exist or just send wave after wave of summoned or bound minions at them until the are done. If they do turn up in person you can bet the first several forays are fakes, illusions or what have you. There is no reason at all for a group of casters to limit themselves to the pitiful tactics possessed by people who lack access to magic.

If you want extra combat ability then feeblemind or hold monster. If you want extra utility then teleport or summon monster 5. You lack some of the fairly common and backbone spells, Haste, Dimension Door, Communal Resist.

If you can I would suggest changing some of your feats for one or more of expanded arcana, persistent spell or spell penetration. Flagbearer is really unnecessary as is realistic likeness, it could largely be replaced by a 1000gp Disguise Self page of spell knowledge.

Wall of Force
Wall of Stone used carefully
Euphoric Tranquillity
The Pit spells if all your are looking for is to create a blockage
Wall of Lava
Trap the Soul when used intelligently
Fickle Winds (hello archers)
Enervation, it requires a touch attack so combine with Quickened True Strike at higher levels
Black Tentacles, you are in difficult terrain even if you don't get grabbed
Power Word Stun/Blind/Kill
Simulacrums of horrific monsters (I used one this weekend as the GM in the Moonscar to create a copy of a nascent demon lord)

Explosive Runes!

Of course the other reality is that casters who are using spells which allow saves are jacking those DC's up to nigh unbeatable levels, adding riders like dazed and/or forcing multiple saves with persistent spell.

You don't need to be a planar binding, undead army raising, simulacrum abusing monster to dominate as a full caster.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Sarvei taeno wrote:
honestly whe people make builds they generally tend to read between the lines and find loop hoes. all they did was close the loop holes that they never intended to be there.

Can you explain exactly which loophole was involved with the Consume Spells feature of the Arcanist? These are blatant changes to the content of ACG, not tweaks to cover up poor editing or sloppy writing.


There is no real way of doing this within PFS. The closest you will get is the clouded vision curse.

James Risner wrote:
Cussune wrote:
Any way of adding spells that is not incorporated to a class ability is disallowed. For what my opinion's worth.

The FAQ was to cover two issues:

Eldritch Heritage for Arcane for spells not on your list.
Cracked Orange Ioun Stones for spells not on your list.

That was the intent but it had wider implications as was pointed out at the time. I recall Mark Seifter asking people to compile a list of what other things were hit by it but nothing seemed to happen with that. It impacts the Shaman FCB as well as the Wayang Oracle FCB amongst various other effects.

_Ozy_ wrote:

My goodness, you appear to be correct:

Check: A check is a d20 roll which may or may not be modified by another value. The most common types are attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws.
This is a killer item for someone with CHA-based saves.

They have to be actually Charisma based rather than simply adding Charisma to the normal stat. It works for Lore and Lunar Oracles and for people using Steadfast Personality and Irrepressible. It doesn't work for Paladins.

bookrat wrote:
Why can't the fighter just punch the stone until a large enough chunk falls out where he can throw it at the kobold, killing it? With Power Attack, he can easily beat the hardness of the stone.

Because then you run into the "damaging an object rules" which say that, regardless of hardness, if the weapon you are using is unsuited to dealing damage to a particular object then it potentially does nothing. In much the same way as you cannot dungeon tunnel with adamantine arrows you don't get to do so using your bare fists.

Its a part of the whole "martials must be chained to a low powered version of reality" schtick.

_Ozy_ wrote:

Dude, it CLEARLY applies to UMD checks as per the rules description text of the item. You don't adjudicate an items effect by using the NAME of the item.

The grey area, for some, is whether it applies to CHA aided attacks. I would say no, since an attack roll isn't a check.

Lazar X is routinely wrong on the rules.

It does apply to charisma based checks, it doesn't apply where you are just adding Charisma to a different stat. So if your attack roll is BaB+Charisma rather than dex/str then it should apply. Similarly it would apply to the Charisma based checks in things like Black Tentacles and Telekinesis.

A check is any d20 roll with a modifier as per the glossary. It even calls out attack rolls as a common type of check.

bookrat wrote:
If the wizard was blind, deaf, and quadriplegic, could he still win the challenge?

He could still teleport away, teleport is V only. He would have a 20% spell failure due to being deaf.

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LazarX wrote:
It's called not being an ass. Believe it or not, non-casters can also be asshats as well. The Fighter who refuses to help a Rogue flank, or concentrating on the wrong target, the rogue who's more interested in picking pockets, the cleric who's determined to swing a mace rather than helping someone who's down... Gaming and adventuring are social activities. A team works when people and characters think in terms that are not limited to how they themselves can hog the glory or the rewards.

I find teamwork to be a more effective concept when each member of the team has something useful to contribute to it which is not trivially outdone by other members. If my team has 3 skilled professionals and a rank amateur I am left wondering why we didn't bring a 4th professional when everything the amateur can do can easily be covered by one of the other 3.

Dekalinder wrote:

It is so hard to accept the fact that if you want to do things other than murder stuff you need to chose a class that doesn't have as job description "I just murder stuff"?

Every class comes with his own disclaimers, and you should pick your class based on those. We don't want every class to be a mary sue. You want to murder stuff? Pick a martial. You want to heal? Pick a divine character. You want to play battlefield control? Pick something suitable (note there are actually a decent number of martial battlefield control build out there).
This whole argument of "I wanna teleport without using magic" is as dumb as a lobotomized rock.

No it isn't because if you choose say "I want to battlefield control" and go Wizard it comes with a full side order of "killing stuff better than the martial" and a good dollop of "do pretty much anything else". Choose fighter and you come with "hit things with a point stick moderately well if it stands still" and then you have to jump through ridiculous hoops if you want to be even barely competent at pretty much anything else.

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