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andreww's page

FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 3,944 posts (3,953 including aliases). 5 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 8 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.


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Monkhound wrote:
The final encounter turned out to be brutal enough to have the players worried: The "High ground" tactics combined with the AC at ground level were interesting.

When I ran it I found the final encounter to be fairly weak. Kalim runs out of daggers very fast and their range increment makes him unlikely to hit.


On the aiding situation there I one thing I wasn't clear about. Each chase point has two options and we are told to take the highest check and treat the rest as aids. Is that regardless of which check is made? So if our highest roll is acrobatics to swing across the river but everyone else swam do the swim checks count or do we calculate the best roll across each of the two checks?

To give an example, lets say we have 4 players. Two decide to use acrobatics, two use swim. The acrobatics people gat a 14 and a 6. The swim people get a 13 and a 10.

Which of these is right?

They score an 18 because the highest check is 14 and 2 people got a 10 to aid.

They score a 14 acrobatics as the 6 doesn't aid and a 15 swim as the 10 does and so we take the 15.

Given the different DC's what would happen if our highest result doesn't make the DC but a lower result on a different skill check does make it?

As far as this particular combination goes Warsighted is pretty terrible. You can give up 4 of your revelations for some feats, not thanks, I would much rather take Spirit Guide for access to a wide variety of extra spells known, hexes and special abilities.

Cap. Darling wrote:
Several of the moves like the super pet or the SLA cheese are no longer in the game. And the body guard trick is not really boosted by the class. Because if you invest 1 trait and 2 magic items 1 feat is not Big on top. Sure it have the potential to be good, at most stuff, but it is gonna outshine non of the good options.

Straight classed oracles don't need any SLA's so are unaffected by the recent change and there hasn't been any amendment to super-powering revelations except in PFS. Even then the limitation is your AC cannot have more HD than your level +1 which is still a pretty big advancement. My current Emerald Spire PFS Oracle has just hit level 12 and his AC has an effective level of 16.


Washed away in a flood and eaten by a dragon.

Call in a batch of new recruits.


Congratulations Gerald! Yet to see you in action as a GM but you have been a great part of our Emerald Spire group.

I play one in PFS currently, Wizard5/Bloatmage6. I have in effect given up my level 8 school power, a few free spells and a feat for an extra 6+2d8 levels of spells per day.

Also it is still called the Bloatmage, the pfsrd simply cannot use the name so calls it the Bloodmage.


Magabeus wrote:
Nebten wrote:
Can you retrain your CORE Character after level 1 using the Ultimate Campaign rules?
No, because you need to be able to show Ultimate Campaign for that, which is not a legal source in Core

This is wrong, if you read the original blog post you will find this:

•Retraining may be utilized as the rules currently allow, but only when a PC retrains to take an option from one of the allowed Core Campaign resources.

Only managed a quick flick through it so far, disappointed not to see a boon for those who complete all three parts. Frankly the Blade of the Open Road could easily have been removed for it given they are likely only of interest to a very small percentage of players.


Nebten wrote:
Can you retrain your CORE Character after level 1 using the Ultimate Campaign rules?

I believe so although only to legal core options unless you have moved out of core into standard play. It's dealt with in either the original blog or the ensuing giant thread.


When I ran it we had one failed check but a couple of them were fairly close. It was run at high tier but with the 4 player adjustment.

You may want to change your wizard example as sleep has a 1 round casting time and so is a bad idea. The wizard would be better off casting something else and moving to a location from which he could not be charged.


TOZ wrote:
andreww wrote:
That was also playing it online which tends to take longer.
...did you even TALK to the NPCs?

Yep, certainly did. The entire

Torch section took probably 15 minutes just chatting to him before we even got to the boxes. As for the rest, there's not much negotiation you can do with some thugs intending to throw people off a cliff or with undead trying to poison the granary or butcher the people at the Cathedral. Combat was over in little to no time because no opponent could take more than a single blow.

TOZ wrote:
andreww wrote:
It took less than an hour and a half to complete

That was also playing it online which tends to take longer. The whole thing is filled with low AC opponents with single digit HP and barely more than that in the higher tier.


Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
I played Silent Tide with a six man team, all brand new PCs. In the final battle we ended up with the sorcerer and cleric in the negatives and weren't sure we were going to make it. Naturally, the effect of having no cure light wounds wands contributed to our troubles as well.

I played it last night with a group of 4 at APL3. Now that meant we had to play down and the entire thing was frankly trivial. It took less than an hour and a half to complete but from what the GM described the higher tier wouldn't have been any harder. Our GM ran all the encounters at the Pyramid together and it didn't make much difference.

I am not saying that Core cannot be difficult, I am sure it can, but this module didn't seem to reflect that at all. Now, the first encounter in Murder on the Silken Caravan, that one has real potential for death.


Mattastrophic wrote:

Dave, Andrew, you guys obviously have axes to grind. Please take it elsewhere, because your repeated mantras aren't contributing in a positive manner.


I will post as I choose thanks. I post entirely within the guidelines. Accusing me of having an axe to grind however seems to breach them so I would look at your own posting before complaining about others.

Koujow wrote:
Pharasma is a Death goddess, not Undeath. Worshippers of Pharasma hate the Undead and hunt down Necromancers and Undead down. They don't command Undead.

Commanding them to stand still while your party returns them to actual death seems like something she might approve of. She is a neutral goddess so presumably has plenty of clerics quite capable of channeling negative energy.

lemeres wrote:

I am going to suggest an eldritch guardian fighter focused in dirty tricks (and 2 handed weapon, for simplicity) for at least one of them.

Besides the fact that this gets another body on the field, and it gives you two characters that are crippling the competition with a variety of conditions. By the time the 13th level build comes around, they can double team in order to nauseate an enemy (which means they can't even remove their condition, or do anything that is real offense) for 1d4 rounds. That basically removes 1 enemy per round from effective combat.

It also seems like it could be a crowd favorite. Dirty trick is very much the 'get creative' maneuver. Pantsing, throwing sand in their eyes, boxing ears, gut punches, etc. etc. There is a lot that can amuse a crowd.

My lack of experience with nonmartials stops me from giving much advise beyond that though.

If you want to be able to apply battlefield control then you want a full caster. No martial character is applying as wide a range of effects across as many enemies as a full 9 level spellcaster.

At13th level full casters are throwing things like dazing chain lightning and persistent mass suggestion. Compared to those sorts of effects nauseating a single target for a few rounds just doesnt compare. Also nauseate is a very easy condition to remove, a level 1 spell does it.

Kletus Bob wrote:
The wizard could actually get a fast moving mount but good luck casting mounted or while flying, there is a quite a hefty concentration check on that even if the wizard even have the skill ranks in both ride and fly.

The DC for casting while subject to extremely violent motion caps at DC29 but that relates to trying to cast while subject to an earthquate or similar. Riding a galloping mount caps out at DC24. Riding a mount normally counts a vogorous motion and caps at DC19. These are trivial numbers to hit from the mid levels onwards.

Also I would place bets on the person more likely to have ranks in these skills as being the Int primary spell caster over the 2 skill point class which has little to no use for Int as a stat.

If you want to focus on being able to deal with the undead then Oracle is the way to go. If you take the Bones Mystery you can Command Undead through a revelation. If you go Life you can get Channel Energy and pick up Turn Undead with a feat.

If you wanted both you could take the Bones mystery and be a Spirit Guide and bond to the Life Spirit. Then you can channel positive energy to heal/harm, channel negative energy to command undead, all of your casting runs off charisma so your DC is strong and you have masses of uses of both options.

At low levels, any combination of druids, clerics, oracles and summoners. At mid to high levels, any combination of full casters, maybe with a summoner thrown in for flavour.

Chess Pwn wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

If I learned anything from the play test, optimizing an arcanist can be done in two easy steps.

1. Play arcanist

2. Congratulations, you are optimized.

Just make sure your int is less than 10, 7 preferable. And your charisma is also a 7. You'll want a high Dex, Con, and then Wis since those are saves and you don't want to fail saves. Str is your free stat, just put points or take away as needed. :P

The majority of arcanists can happily live with a Charisma of 7. Most of the Cha+ use per day exploits are awful and there are plenty of excellent exploits which dont care about Charisma.

rorek55 wrote:
andreww wrote:
Irrepressible trait gives it for charm and compulsion effects.
yes, but I like the wider coverage of the feat, (frankly, its almost a straight buff to will saves... very few will saves are not mind affecting effects)

As do I but Divine Protection isn't PFS legal which is where most of my play is.

Irrepressable isn't all mind affecting effects though, only charm and compulsion. While this will catch stuff like charm, confusion and dominate it doesnt affect things like most fear effects which, while mind affecting, dont have the charm or compuslion tag. Most illusions wont be affected either.

Irrepressible trait gives it for charm and compulsion effects.


Dave Baker wrote:

Core is more challenging in the fact that 'no character is an island'. No character has some of the extremely over-powered options that exist in regular mode and can easily solo scenarios. You need to use teamwork to the extreme in Core mode as a result. It's a team game, not unlike <insert favourite team sports metaphor here>.

The majority of the most powerful options are sitting right there in the CRB and I would expect a goodly number of 5-11th level full casters could very easily solo many scenarios. For some it would be actively easier than having to drag along a bunch of other party members because they could make use of the wide variety of stealth, scouting and divination abilities available to them without some yahoo kicking in the door first.

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666bender wrote:

it all depends on items and initiative.

my level 15 can kill in 1 round ANY caster.

It's cute that you think this, I mean it isn't true but it is cute.

AMF does nothing to casters as soon as level 9 spells come online. You also assume that you are somehow able to get close or that the caster doesnt have a range of called or created allies available to assist which seems unlikely at high levels.

Also, +10 isnt close to the initiative of even non divination wizards. Charisma casters and divination wizards will blow you out of the water. Also your familiar rolls it's own initiative.

I wouldnt worry too mich about summoning at the higher levels. It is strong when available as a standard action and all the way through the low and mid levels but once you start reaching the level 14+ bracket as a tactic it loses quite a lot.

Level 7+ summons will remain decent against brute types but anything that might actually be threatening, like dragons, the higher end demons or devils or enemy spellcasters, isnt likely to care that much about them. High level combat against truly dangerous opponents is potentially full of dangerous aoe effects they simply wont survive.

Few summons are going to save against stuff like dazing chain lightning, blasphemy etc.

Occultist Arcanist with Vanish as a spell known. Turn invisible as your first action every combat then just drop standard action summons or buffs from then onwards.

I would take Improved Initiative at 1st alongside Spell Focus, Augment at 3rd, Natural Spell at 5th. An Animal Companion will be better than a Domain, at least at lower levels. You might retrain out of it later. For stat spread I would look at either:

7, 7, 14, 14, 14, 17 or
7, 7, 11, 14, 14, 18


Hi Flutter,

I wonder if you would be willing/able to outline the differences between mounts and animal companions as regards how to control and make use of them in combat. I had this come up in a recent scenario where one PC was riding his war trained dog and it was unclear if Ride completely replaced the need for Handle Animal or not.

Why are you going with str 10? You wont be engaging in melee and from level 5 onwards you will be shapechanged for the vast majority of every session so you wont need to worry about gear weight.


For centuries the city of Bloodcove has controlled access to the invaluable Vanji River, and for nearly as long, the Aspis Consortium has controlled Bloodcove. If the Pathfinder Society is to move the equipment and personnel it needs into the Mwangi Expanse, it needs a reliable means of smuggling resources through this unforgiving settlement operated by its enemies. It’s up to the PCs to establish a backdoor through Bloodcove—all without being caught by Aspis agents.

Signup is HERE


I just pulled it from the intro but here it is:


Recently, aging Venture-Captain Nieford Sharrowsmith traveled from Nantambu to explore the dwarven ruins, only to run afoul of the local kobolds and greater dangers. Fearing for Sharrowsmith’s safety after the man had been missing for so long, his business associate Aya Allahe requested that a group of Pathfinder agents track him down and provide him whatever assistance he needs. Upon reaching the dwarven ruins and skirmishing with the resident kobolds, the Pathfinders discovered inscriptions describing the Golden Guardian and the talisman in Krihirik hands that might ward it off.

The player characters begin the adventure just outside the Krihirik village, having departed Fort Bandu following the events of Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–12: Scions of the Sky Key, Part 1: On Sharrowsmith’s Trail.

At the conclusion of the previous adventure, the PCs had also discovered that Venture-Captain Nieford Sharrowsmith was likely deeper in the dwarven ruins of Ashkurhall, but exploring any further would require the mystic talisman held by gripplis in the Kaava Lands.

You are tasked with finding that Talisman.

If you want to maximise Colour Spray usage just stay Oracle. I wouldnt take a delay on casting for a sorcerer and crossblooded is generally a horrible trap for anything other than very decicated blasters.

Sorcerers dont need to focus so much on a single spell as they get access to a wide variety of powerful control options.

On your gear it is doubtful you will have a +2 tome at level 12. Level 12 wealth is 108000, +2 tome is 55000 of that.

If you do stick with this then Improved Initiative seems like overkill. DC is not the only important issue, you also need to consider SR. You may also want spontaneous metafocus so you can always move and cast a metamagicked version of the spell. Metamagic Adept will do you fin for a bit but the numbers of uses are poor.

You will also want to buy a Robe of Arcane Heritage by level 11, it adds 4 to your level for bloodline abilities giving you School Power much earlier.

tuypo1 wrote:
however you might be able to use the terrain to your advantage but you would have to get lucky with surrounding terrain. You can probably survive if you retreat though

How does an unarmed fighter with no equipment manage to retreat against a party that is very likely to all by flying all of the time?

How does he use the terrain to his advantage when he will be lucky to have maybe 3-4 skills maxxed out and no items boosting them. Your typical heavy armour melee fighter probably has a dex of 22-24, even with max ranks in Stealth, which is unlikely, that's only +27 at most. He isnt likely to have Skill Focus and he needs to achieve cover or concealment to even be able to try.

Your typical level 10 none Wisdom focused character is looking at 10 ranks, +2 wisdom, +3 class skill and probably +5 for Eyes of the Eagle. Those who lack Perception as a class skill are likely to be getting it with a trait. Wisdom primary characters like druids are probably rocking a 26 Wisdom at this level if they have any interest in casting giving them around a +26. I will take one +26 and 3 +20 rolls against the one +27.

Kaouse wrote:
At level 11 you can and should have access to Improved Eldritch Heritage. Those things definitely make a difference, let me tell you.

Not really, the Arcane spells trick doesn't work anymore and the other options are underwhelming given the number of feats you have to sink into it.

Buri Reborn wrote:
I don't see how you can get those three in the same build. That makes it kind of disingenuous. A feat gets you saves leaving you to pick AC or initiative based on your mystery. That's two. It's not bad at all. However, to make a list like that which you have to pick from is certainly not the same as getting all of them.

Cha to Initiative is from Noble Scion of War at level 1, a feat.

Cha to Saves is from Divine Protection at level 5, a feat.
Cha to AC is from your mystery, using Nature will also add it to CMD. Lore or Lunar add it to Reflex from level 1 but wont stack with Divine Protection.

The cleric list has some decent AoE but they tend to be status inflicting spells not damage. Burst of Radiance, Holy Smite and Order's Wrath all inflict some of the most debilitating status conditions in the game. Late game it isn't difficult to be throwing CL20+ Holy Words from level 15 onwards if you bring spell perfection into the mix.


Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
That last encounter nearly resulted in a TPK, other than that nice adventure.

I ran this yesterday with an APL3 group, high tier with 4 player adjustment. It does have the potential to be very nasty. The leucrotta outright killed one PC with a 39 damage bite crit!

The Asura in the temple is extremely dangerous between many attacks, DR, SR and Regeneration. My group faffed about so it also dropped its summon power and they ended up having to fight a second. Also don't underestimate dropping spike growth across the entire area. The asura is immune to it as the damage cannot beat its DR and it gets to move as it makes attacks which can force people to run after it taking more damage every time. I only covered half the room with it as they messed about it the doorway.

Given the temple is a ruin with a collapsed ceiling and is described as being overgrown it counted as having sufficient growth inside for it to work but if you didn't agree you could always use it to cut off retreat.

My group ended up running from it and sneaking back in the next day invisible to complete their scouting. Even with the +20 it detected something (+19 perception!) and two of the group had to distract it while the Halfling finished the mission. Then they all ran away again.


Kigvan wrote:
A nice simple smoke stick can prevent an enemy in darkness from making their sneak attacks and saved at least one character at the last core table I GMed, works just as well in a normal PFS game.

A 2pp wand of obscuring mist will do much the same for the entire group.

If you want divine healing then probably life oracle is your best bet. I would add spirit guide for access to a wider array of spells. Be a human, half elf or half orc for the extra spells known, half elf is preferable for access to paragon surge for all of those occasional use removal spells.


Deussu wrote:
Utility gets a foothold. No omnipotent characters capable of multiple roles. Charactes often have to concentrate on one thing if they wish to be very good at it. You'll need more balanced parties, that's basically it.

Not really, at low level a group of Druid, Cleric, Wizard, Paladin is still going to have an easier time than Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric. At mid levels the disparity grows even larger. Full casters will still be able to fulfil multiple roles as some of their strongest options remain in the CRB.

Anzyr wrote:
andreww wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Let me put it like this... Oracle is the only class I know of that can cast arcane and divine level 9 spells without a dip in anything. Furthermore oracle had the most X to Y features than any other class and that's usually top tier. Finally, two words .... Divine Protection!! +4 to all saves is ridiculous.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but post Spells Known FAQ, the best Oracles can do is all access to all Cleric/Oracle spells (thanks to Paragon Surge and not all at once) and 1 arcane spell of each level thanks to Ancient Lorekeeper.
Spirit guide gives access to a bunch more.
RAW, Arcane Enlightenment will do nothing to help an oracle as it only adds spells to the list of spells you can prepare. Since Oracles don't prepare spells it sadly does nothing. I truly wish I could make an argument otherwise.

Spirit Guide gives you the spells from the Wandering Hex as spells known from level 4. Some standouts include:

Bones: Control Undead, Horrid Wilting, Wail of the Banshee
Heavens: Chain Lightning, Prismatic Spray, Sunburst, Meteor Swarm
Lore: Legend Lore, Contact Other Plane, Vision, Moment of Prescience, Time Stop
Stone: Clashing Rocks
Waves: Vortex, Seamantle, Tsunami
Wind: Sorocco, Whirlwind, Wings of Vengeance


pauljathome wrote:
And at least the rogue has SOME use now (trapfinder and disabler). But I agree that the stronger classes lose less than some of the weaker classes

Druids and Clerics have pretty much always been better at trap detecting, at least those with much of a focus on Wisdom. Trap disabling can be done by anyone who puts points in disable device and magical traps can largely be ignored with a 2pp Wand of Mount.

Honestly, given that the Strength route is often touted as the Rogues best option for doing melee damage most archer types are going to be better at disabling mundane traps if they want to be.


Walter Sheppard wrote:
The shadow demon cast detonate on himself. We bullrushed him away from the party before he could explode.

How did you bullrush an incorporeal creature given...

An incorporeal creature’s attacks pass through (ignore) natural armor, armor, and shields, although deflection bonuses and force effects (such as mage armor) work normally against it. Incorporeal creatures pass through and operate in water as easily as they do in air. Incorporeal creatures cannot fall or take falling damage. Incorporeal creatures cannot make trip or grapple attacks, nor can they be tripped or grappled. In fact, they cannot take any physical action that would move or manipulate an opponent or its equipment, nor are they subject to such actions. Incorporeal creatures have no weight and do not set off traps that are triggered by weight.

Overland Flight is pretty much the best long duration buff going for anyone with access to it. All day long flight renders you largely immune to a huge array of primarily melee based enemies. Many monsters have no means of flight and few if any effective ranged attacks.

Darkvision is another excellent pick if you cannot see in the dark and lasts an hour per level.

My divine casters routinely drop delay poison on themselves every day, at an hour per level it isn't hard to have it up all day. Air Walk and Freedom of Movement are both great 10min/level buffs.

Ant Haul is 2 hours per level and is great for low strength casters who want to avoid any question of medium encumbrance. Life Bubble is also 2 hours per level and will make you immune to a range of effects.

Anzyr wrote:
Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Let me put it like this... Oracle is the only class I know of that can cast arcane and divine level 9 spells without a dip in anything. Furthermore oracle had the most X to Y features than any other class and that's usually top tier. Finally, two words .... Divine Protection!! +4 to all saves is ridiculous.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but post Spells Known FAQ, the best Oracles can do is all access to all Cleric/Oracle spells (thanks to Paragon Surge and not all at once) and 1 arcane spell of each level thanks to Ancient Lorekeeper.

Spirit guide gives access to a bunch more.


Dave Setty wrote:
Don't expect much difference in challenge. The strong options are as strong as in Standard. Really the only exceptions are swarms.

I suspect that most of the challenge will come due to have a larger proportion of classes which struggle to contribute, especially in the higher tiers. A number of those classes also lose some important archetypes such as Quingong for Monk or Scout for Rogue.

A Fighter/Rogue/Bard/Monk group is likely to have a far rougher ride in 5-9 and 7-11 than Wizard/Druid/Cleric/Paladin.

chbgraphicarts wrote:
Nothing is more powerful than the Wizard, save for the Cleric who is arguably as powerful as the Wizard, and Oracle isn't on their level of absurdity.

This isn't really true any more given the number of different ways which exist for spontaneous casters to gain pretty much wide open access to their entire spell lists.

Bwhahahahaha, you have to be kidding yes.

Its a full level 9 caster with access to features like a full blown animal companion, Charisma to virtually everything, Colour Spray abuse and a whole host of other options.

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