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I notice that none of your builds pick up Shadow Strike. I realise that Studied Strike is not as large a component of your damage as Sneak Attack is for Rogues but you are still giving up a fair amount of potential damage any time there is a bit of fog or dim light/darkness for non darkvision enabled races.
Paragon surge I avoid explicitly because it's cheese and limited to half elves. It's too good to the point I don't allow it in my games. I'm fairly sure it's banned in PFS as well. So yes, it's good.
While it is limited to Half Elves in PFS it isn't banned. Outside of PFS it is generally available. It has also been erratted recently to fix the feat you choose for a whole day. It is still extremely useful and worth including.
The Aasimar FCB's for Oracle and Bard blow the other ones away completely, but I'd still rather have the one for Sorcerer than for Cleric...
They really don't for the Oracle. I would far rather go Half Elf oracle for the extra spells known and access to Paragon Surge over boosting an animal companion revelation.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Hey now, my sorcerer is better at detecting and disabling traps than all but the most specialised of trap masters.
Lore oracle would be able to get cha to knowledge skills if my memory serves me right. But then you'd not get cha to CMD.
You could go Spirit Guide and pick the Lore Spirit for it when you needed to know stuff.
I dont believe so, both are extradimensional spaces and so the Haversack will not work inside the Pit. I had this happen to me at Gencon allbeit I was hiding inside a force bubble inside my own Pit from a horrible advanced fiendish Bullette.
Many thanks to Sedt, Corvius, Kitan, Jojo and Gram for playing this tonight. You ran Chrysalis Black to the very edge of exhaustion, by the end his only remaining offensive spell was Acid Splash. Congratulations on all surviving despite the double Tentacles.
Yeah pure Int folks generally have enough points to put points into skills that tend to be cha centric. But in general most groups end up with someone who wants to be a talker. In which case someone like an arcanist isn't really the class they'd go for.
My most effective diplomancer is my sage sorcerer with Int30 and Charisma 7 combined with high DC charm spells. It would quite possibly work even better as an Arcanist if it wasn't for the Razmiran Priest archetype.
The only thing you need to do to be an incredibly effective face as a wizard, witch, arcanist or sage sorcerer is invest in a single trait with Student of Philosophy and then put a skill point each level into bluff and diplomacy. You can round things off by making them class skills, adding a competence booster, grabbing something like sense motive or employing spells if you wish.
Int primary characters can now make some of the most potent social characters in the game if you choose to and it is probably worth pointing out in any guide about them.
I would add the following:
Eyes of the Eagle, 2500gp for a +5 bonus to one of the most commonly rolled skill checks.
Cracked Dusty Rose Ioun Stone is worth specific mention. 500gp for +1 initiative.
Potion of Delay Poison may well save our life.
Cracked Pale Green Ioun Stone, 4k for +1 to all saves is great, it is cheaper than upgrading your cloak from +2 to +3.
Potion of Gaseous Form, essential if you don't otherwise have a way out of being grappled, especially for casters.
Potion of Touch of the Sea or possibly the new Monkey Fish spell.
For spontaneous casters you cannot go wrong with buying a bunch of Pages of Spell Knowledge for spells that you will cast a lot. A 1st level age is only 1k.
I would make a note about efficiency in big 6 purchases. For example it costs you 6000gp to increase your amulet of natural armour from +1 to +2 but only 3000gp to improve your armour from +1 to +2 so obviously you should do that first.
Arcane casters might want to consider picking up a mithril buckler, it has no ASF and provides +1AC and can be enchanted.
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Depends on the game you're playing in. Some GMs will certainly encourage or even require diplomacy, which in turn requires CHA.
Int primary characters don't need charisma to become amazing face characters. Clever Wordplay, Student of Philosophy or Orator all allow various social skills to effectively be run from Int. They are extremely potent.
The only thing I might quibble with there is Dodge, its pretty poor as a feat and Rogues have enough trouble as it is without taking subpar feats which offer only small static bonuses.
You are spending about 25k achieving that AC which is about 40% of your expected wealth at that level and you have yet to do anything to address your other weaknesses such as saves, vision, movement or damage.
Beast Pounce doesn't come online until level 10 at least. I am more surprised to see eidolon and wild shape pounce left if it is such an issue.
The Lunar Oracle brings with it a number of really interesting options. Bad touch of the moon is especially hideous as soon as you start dropping mass inflict light wounds forcing max DC will saves to avoid being confused for 5 rounds against multiple enemies. It isn't even mind affecting so can affect plants and oozes.
The ACG brings three very strong Oracle options, two feats and an archetype.
Divine Protection is crazily broken for the Oracle and it is no surprise it was pre-emptively banned in PFS before the book actually hit the shelves. It is the default choice of feat at level 5 for any full Oracle anywhere and you will see a lot of people dipping a level or Cleric, Oracle or Warpriest to get it.
Battle Cry is another interesting feat for any high Charisma character. Its a swift action you can use a number of times per day equal to your Cha mod. All allies in 30' gain a +1 morale bonus on attacks so it is like a free Bless along with a +4 morale bonus on saves against fear which is OK. However, they can also end the effect on themselves to reroll a save which they have failed. Rerolls are always strong but most require you to decide whether or not to use it before knowing the outcome. This one is used after you have rolled when you also know very clearly what the effect is. I would be seriously tempted to take this on any Oracle.
Finally we have the Spirit Guide archetype which is amazing. You get a wandering lore spirit choice from the Shaman class every day. There are 9 of them and you initially get a single hex, at 4th you start getting their spells and then at 7th and up you start getting the spirit abilities. Most of the spirit abilities are fairly weak but there are a number of excellent hexes. Confusion Curse from Lore is an EX non mind affecting confusion effect. Enveloping Void can drop people into supernatural darkness. Fearful Gaze can frighten or panic. The real strength however is the spells. Each day you get to switch your choice of spirit. With 9 to choose from taking the archetype effectively gives you access to 81 new spells (barring overlaps). With any degree of scouting or preparation you can really tailor your spell list to the situation. Facing hordes of enemies grab Flame for Fireball and Wall of Fire, need to learn what is going on, Lore will give you Legend Lore and Contact Other Plane, want to raise an army of undead then Bones has animate dead, have your friends been ravaged by wraiths, Life gives you Restoration etc. The only downside is that you cannot combine it with Dual-Cursed but frankly I would take it over that. You give up two revelations but what you get more than makes up for it, especially as you can gain additional revelations with a feat or cash.
If you have an issue with your GM your first step is normally to contact your local Venture Captain. If you are not sure who they are they are listed in the back of the Guide to Organised Play.
Its an OK feat but it does take up a feat slot. You may be better off with Student of Philosophy which turns the deception part of Bluff and convince part of Diplomacy into Int based checks but it is only a trait. Clever Wordplay does much the same thing but only for all aspects of one skill.
Their are a couple of additional options you might also want to mention for School Understanding.
As far as I can tell you can pick subschools. That opens up the teleport subschool which will give you Shift. You wont move very far but you don't care much about that, Shift is generally just used to get you out of grapples as they will shut you down. If your GM rules that Dimensional Slide cannot be used to escape a grapple this is a great option.
The second option is to take divination and grab the ability to act in the surprise round. This may well save your life many times, especially in PFS where many encounters have virtually enforced surprise rounds and where scouting can be very difficult due to the random nature of groups.
For me that is the difference between the power gamer and the munchkin. The powergamer will scour multiple sources to put together mechanically potent and effective combinations. Sometimes they will be hyper specialised murder hobo's, sometimes they will be potent generalists able to contribute effectively in many different situations. Personally I think making the first type of character is a mistake and tend to create the latter as most of my play nowadays is done either online or at conventions where you have little prior knowledge of the other people sitting at the table with you or what they will be able to do.
As an example my sorcerer will retire on completing Rats 2 next week. He is a sage specialist sorcerer capable of throwing mid-high 20's DC control effects targeting multiple different saves with single target and area effects. He can work as the group face, can spot and disable traps, can scout, identify monsters and cast a large number of divine spells. He is by any measure a very potent character and a lot of fun to play but he is completely within the rules.
Because he is capable of operating in several different areas he fills in if there is a gap but if we have some other form of specialist he is happy to take a back seat to those specialists because I know he can cover for other areas. In effect I always get to be able to do interesting stuff during the game regardless of who I am sitting down with. Given I am possibly devoting 5 hours of my time at a convention I spent a fair chunk of cash to attend that is quite important to me.
The munchkin however has little actual regard for the rules and will happily try to twist, ignore, change or outright deceive their GM about what their stuff does in an effort to "win" the game.
Rules as Written and Rules as Intended. The first involves taking the literal interpretation of the words on the page, occasionally to absurd results. The second means trying to divine intent from either descriptive text in the feat/ability or other material and occasionally means deliberately misinterpreting stuff to accord with the readers own prejudices/preconceptions of how things should work.
I would add in "flurry of fail", generally referring to various monks and dual wielding types (typically rogues) who make many attacks but often at such a low attack bonus that few of them are ever likely to connect.
No SMV list should ignore the Anylosaurus. With augment summoning its tail attack is forcing DC25 saves to avoid being dazed which is about the best condition around barring dead/helpless. It is huge so it blocks up loads of the battlefield and has 15' reach so threatens a massive area.
Your recommendations for Charisma are pretty terrible. Very few of the Exploits actually use much charisma and it generally tends to be the terrible elemental blasts. Charisma can very easily be a dump stat for Arcanists and even one using stuff like the dispel probably dont need more than a 10 to start with.
You can afford 5lbs even with 7 strength, most casters don't really carry much outside of the Haversack. You generally wont have any armour or much more than a mithril buckler at best. You really don't want to be using a weapon so are unlikely to have much more than a basic dagger. Beyond that there isn't much, a spell component pouch, some masterwork tools, a wayfinder, magic belt/cloak/headband.
You can fit all of the into 23lbs. My wizard, sorcerer and lore oracle all have 7 strength and only the Oracle needs to even consider using ant haul. The most awkward things are actually metamagic rods as they are a rather heavy 5lbs.
Yeah, no-one is going to buy it for its rubbish spells, it's all about the metamagic effect.
At high levels I would happily buy multiples of these.
Staff of the Master Necromancer is incredibly powerful, it's like the worlds most versatile metamagic rod. Being able to freely add quicken, dazing, persistent etc to your highest level spells in huge. In a home game you can limit it a bit by placing time pressure on players making it hard to start each adventure with it charged but that gets very obvious and very forced very quickly.
If you are treating a Cleric as a primary caster then I would strongly value the spell penetration and spell focus feats as well as improved initiative and some metamagic (mostly persistent, dazing and quicken) over anything to do with spring attack.
Clerics have almost no offensive SR: No spells outside of the summon monster spells so generally have few options against high SR enemies that avoid that SR. If you are employing much control magic then you definitely want to boost your saves. Enchantment (Forbid Action, Command, Greater versions thereof, Hold Person, Debilitating Portent), Evocation (dazing spells, Burst of Radiance, Holy Smite, Holy Word) and Necromancy (Blindness, Bestow Curse, Wall of Blindness) are all strong options. Conjuration is a decent pick as well if you plan to summon and will also help offensive uses of spells like Plane Shift and Wall of Stone.
In a home game I would strongly limit certain metamagic rods (persistent, dazing and quicken mainly), the Staff of the Master Necromancer, Candle of Invocation and I pretty much wouldn't allow any cursed item to be weaponised (Necklace of Strangulation and Dust of Sneezing in particular).
PIXIE DUST wrote:
An Elf Wizard (i.e. the most common wizard... seeing as it is PAINFULLY obvious elves are meant to be wizards) would have a 16 dex.. also take into account that wizards tend to grab Improved Iniative... and can easily pump up their Initiative by another 4 with a simple choice of a familiar. Divination is just gravy on the cake...
Heightened Awareness is a new 10minute/level level 1 spell that you can end when you roll initiative to get an extra +4. I am taking it on pretty much every character capable of casting it.
I find that the range on summon monster makes it sometimes iffy to summon things adjacent.
The Human Diversion wrote:
Can you go over all my characters to tell me how horribly I'm designing them please? Thanks!
If you are going to give out bad advice you can hardly be surprised if people disagree with you.
Acadamae Graduate is the big one. I would also pick up Greater Spell Focus for battlefield control spells as long with Improved Initiative. You will probably want a crafting feat or two as well.
The Human Diversion wrote:
As far as feats go, I'm a firm believer that spontanious casters shouldn't be without heighten spell. Being able to pump up the DC on a control spell can be invaluable, especially if you have taken spells that affect different saves. My PFS life oracle has murderous command and hold person for will save, sound burst for fort save, and well ... now that my oracle is 10th, flame strike for reflex save (are there even any controlling type spells that target reflex on the cleric/oracle list?).
Heighten Spell is worse than Persistent Spell in pretty much any situation you will encounter in PFS. +2DC from heightening two levels is a far smaller increase in your chance of landing the spell than forcing an enemy to reroll a successful save.
Have a look at the maths:
If the enemy saves 50% of the time 2 levels of Heighten changes that to 40%. Persistent changes it to 25%
If the enemy saves 80% of the time 2 levels of heighten changes that to 70%. Persistent changes it to 64%.
If the enemy saves 20% of the time 2 levels of heighten changes that to 10%. Persistent changes it to 4%.
The only time you want to even consider heighten is for heightened continual flame to tell deeper darkness to sod off. As far as races goes I would take human over aasimar any day of the week. Adding a few d6 to a pretty poor ability like Channel pales in comparison to adding 2 extra spells known of levels 1-5 over your PFS careers. Half elf is better than either of them as you can get both the human FCB and Paragon Surge.
Have you been following the discussions on typed versus untyped bonuses and whether stats count as a type of bonus?
Can we expect any view on multiple stacking of the same stat down the line? Examples include Monk/Sacred Fist Wisdom to AC and Lore/Lunar Oracle combined with Divine Protection for Charisma to reflex twice although there are plenty of others.
What Summon Good Monster did was change the alignment subtype of a lot of monsters to neutral good.
I don't see it doing that anywhere. It noted the alignment of lots of creatures, it did not give them a subtype. The only real additions for standard action summons are the small number of azata's, agathions etc. None of the celestial animals count.
It does but as a Cleric are you really going to spend 3 feats on Spring Attack when you get a total of 10 in your entire career and probably more like 6 by the time most games finish.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
You cannot use spring attack against a foe who is adjacent to you at the start of your turn, you would have to keep withdrawing.
Overland Flight is a personal spell generally only available to arcane casters and a small subset of clerics and oracles, I don't see many of them setting fire to 3 of their limited feats to do this, especially clerics and oracles who get so few in the first place.