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Darn, I was hoping for something a little more consistent. I know that non SA static damage bumps are usually the best, I was just trying to come up with something that didn't require other PCs. Though I suppose that's the whole concept behind SA.
Hey all, I see people talking about natural attacks being awesome but after looking at several builds I'm having a hard time seeing how you would be able to consistently get sneak attack, short of higher level stuff like improved invisibility. Am I missing something, or is sneak attacking with multiple attacks really a hit or miss sort of thing?
Hrm... okay. What about a sorcerer? Would the bloodline bonuses that are normally used help the damage from ray of frost/acid splash? If so I guess that would bump acid splash up to 1d3+3 for a crossblooded sorcerer with applicable bloodlines. That's really solid for level 1 at will effect.
After talking to my friend he complained about how wizard cantrips are pretty worthless, and he couldn't see any reason why you would ever use 1d3 ray of frost instead of say, shooting a crossbow. I remember reading somewhere about making cantrips useful, but I can't come up with much of anything. Any help? The only thing that really jumped out at me was the intense spells evocation school power, but that seems like it would take a long time to add much.
Rival merchant gang beating them into town. If the PC's can't make good time their wares might be worth less than they were expecting (profession/skill/handle animal checks)
Caravan leader tries to pull a fast one and change your deal, demanding a bigger cut of the profit (diplomacy, intimidate, appraise, several different options).
Guards give them a hard time, or possibly the merchant's guild in the town they get to want their palms greased. Give them some leeeway in solving the pressure (find a way to blackmail the leader of said group, start rumors, drive a hard bargain, recruit allies, talk to the mayor).
Give them some sort of incentive to CARE about the encounters and you should get a better response. The greasy snivelling low life who "don't want no trouble to happen to you" might get a more lively response than guard #739 demanding 5gp.
Finally, some sort of river/ferry crossing! It's a classic trope for a reason, social encounter, opportunity for the PCs to save or possibly even earn some money. Combat is an easy optional add on, even a side question for a miniature aboleth who ate some customers last week. There are tons of things that you can add.
I actually played a paladin through that level range in RotRL, two options I'd go with are greater mercy (preferred) and furious focus to ignore power attack penalties now that they are getting bigger. You really just have to make it to 11th level, where you can break out aura of justice... and give the gunslinger, synthesist, twf rogue, and fighter +11 to damage. (our party only had 2 damage dealing characters and that still wasn't even funny when I unleashed that). Have fun, and...
seriously consider adding giant bane to your weapon
I know that most everyone around here likes to build characters that are as self reliant as possible, but in this case it's a known quantity that there will be a well built cleric, wizard, and bard in the party. Assuming the bard is optimized for support, and the other two are amenable to buffing the crap out of the damage dealers, how would that change the best builds for melee and ranged?
Normally I know everyone says two handed weapon fighting with static bonuses is the best hands down (I'm not disagreeing), but with a large bonus to hit and possibly damage as well, could other builds with more attacks surpass that standard?
Not to highjack the thread, but Ravingdork have you tried any other similar bite shenanigans with an alchemist? Their base bite damage from feral mutagen is 1d8 at medium size, and with improved natural attack, some wand abuse for strong jaw, and a master chymist dip to increase damage again via furious mutagen master chymist advanced mutagen feature it seems like they should be able to pull something similar off, especially with some of their extracts to increase size.
Ahh.. Nudel is the classic "Raging hippo" build. (I really just wanted to say raging hippo).
Druid until you can wildshape into a huge creature, then add barbarian to the mix. The key here is the 4d8 base damage that the behemoth hippo does with it's bite attack. From there you add in a few extra things, like improved natural attack, possibly an impact enchanted amulet of mighty fists, then you buff your bite with strongjaw and probably something else I'm forgetting. This elevates your bite base damage to some ludicrously large number of d8, which you then multiply via vital strike, improved vital strike... and then maximize via the feat furious finish. There is probably something I'm forgetting, but that's the bones of the build.
Edit: Man I look at a thread that hasn't been replied to for almost 2 hours and RD ninjas me by a few seconds when I reply! Excellent build RD, I think it's really one of my favorites that you've done.
I would say that both are equally viable, albeit with different specific strengths depending on their build The two of them are really the standard for effective martial characters that many of the other classes have a hard time matching. A survivable paladin will do so via massive self healing, while a survivable barbarian will do so via very high DR to prevent them taking damage. Both of them can get high AC, both of them can forget AC and focus on massive damage.
The biggest difference between the two in terms of utility is that paladins can buff other party members more effectively than barbarians. At higher levels Aura of Justice can completely turn the tide of a battle with a massive boost to offensive output.
Is there any bonus that the bard can get from the Imperious bloodline? I noticed that the eldritch heritage feats were suggested and I'm not sure how, but being able to augment both morale and competence bonuses seems right up the bard's alley!
So I was looking at stalwart defender and something jumped out at me. A defender with the Bulwark defensive power can add his Armor check penalty to the DC of acrobatics checks and bluff checks. The armor check penalty of a tower shield is -10, and according to the broken status effect
"If the item is a suit of armor or a shield, the bonus it grants to AC is halved, rounding down. Broken armor doubles its armor check penalty on skills."
Is there any way to use this? I've never played a stalwart defender but there has to be something you could do with it.
N. Jolly- love the guide! Just a little find not sure if it's useful. Journal of the beast within is a preconstructed spellbook that in addition to having some handy spells in it has a ritual that empowers your mutagen once per day to give a better bonus. Its cost isn't that high and could be a handy little trick at lower levels. Here's the ritual
Beastly Concoction (Su) This journal grants you the ability to make an extremely potent and savage mutagen. Spend this boon when you imbibe your mutagen. The mutagen grants you a +6 alchemical bonus to your selected ability score instead of the normal +4; you take a –2 penalty to all of your mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma) while the mutagen is in effect."
Okay so I'm definitely not the best know-how about animal companions, but if anybody needs someone to bounce ideas off or help with a mammoth rider guide let me know. I sat down this morning and hit 36d8 base damage with a vital striking Arsinoitherium at 13th level, so there's some real potential for those huge mounts.
Honestly a buffing bard who specializes in aiding his allies and then maximizes bluff along with pageant of the peacock should be able to shine in the direct face of your effectively 10 point buy stats.
I would check out this guide for tips on buffing.
and then this thread for bluff optimization.
Given your poor stats you shouldn't feel bad about pulling out some... effective... choices.
Or you could just play a Cleric. That'd work too.
Okay, so a tiefling (+10 from alternative class) with fey foundling, greater mercy, and Bracers of the merciful knight (to add +4 levels to effective LOH level).
So that would increase LoH healing to 8d6(5d6 from level, 2d6 from bracers, 1d6 from greater mercy) +31 ( 5 from charisma, 10 from class bonus, 16 from Fey foundling). Do those numbers add up right? With an effective paladin level of 14 from the bracers... that gives you (7 level + 5 charisma) LoH per day. That's a crapload of healing for not a terribly hard investment.
So I'm looking to build a paladin that can survive a huge amount of damage and keep trucking via lay on hands keeping him alive. I'm looking for a simple great sword swinging paladin (so power attack and maybe furious focus), but mainly built around surviving without any healing support. Last time I played one the cleric basically had to stand behind me and drop healing every other round and I'd like to avoid that.
Race if preferably human (though after looking the tiefling self healing bonus seems like a massive boost)... assuming WBL and 20 point buy what is the best healing I can get by level 10? Thanks for the help!
Darn, ran out of time to edit. So how would named bullet and the ranger's Quarry ability interact? Would that really work?
Evil minion: I'd forgotten about that spell, I used it on the last paladin I played, really handy to auto confirm greatsword crits on undead. Sadly it doesn't work on ranged weapons.
Rorek: the level 20 TH fighter is my favorite fighter archetype. It's awesome to auto threaten and confirm as a standard, just looking for something lower level.
Hey all, I'm not normally drawn to crit builds, but I was wondering, are there any ways to automatically crit an attack, or barring that at least auto confirm an attack that threatens a critical? The only two things that jump to mind are the fighter's weapon mastery ability to auto confirm criticals and the coup de grace action. Any other sources would be greatly appreciated, especially if they can do it by level 12. I'm not sure if melee or ranged can do it better so I'm open to either option right now.
Summoning on an evangelist is pretty awesome. Summon a lantern archon as a standard action(sacred summons) to buff and then zap things with it's touch attack holy beams. With inspire courage and your heroism domain power it's basically impossible for them to miss and the as you level up you can summon more and more of them and stack more buffs on their to hit and damage.
Two +3/1d6 attacks doesn't seem like anything... until you add several bonuses to hit and damage, throw on haste from a party buff... and summon 5 of them. (all of this should be doable in 2 rounds by level 9-10).
Hey all, I stumbled on the Nature warden prestige class and noticed that it uses favored terrain as a bonus to AC. Combined with Horizon walker for massive favored terrain bonuses, and with Slayer's terrain mastery talents. Slayer gets full BAB, same saves as ranger, some minor bonuses.
Slayer 2/ Feral Child 3 should get you access, with casting, favored terrain, animal companion, and wild empathy. 2 levels will get you Mystic harmony, and then you can enter horizon walker. Am I missing something here? Or is this just not powerful enough to comment on.
I'd love to see a guide for the Battle herald. It seems like it should have lots of things it can do... but at first glance it doesn't seem to do them very well. Though I'm sure there are some weird combos, probably with a bodyguard style character or something.
I would heartily suggest the Guide to the buffer bard. I've been playing around with buffing bards after seeing the impressive power of a vanilla half elf one in RotRL and most of my favorite tricks are included. I don't agree with 100% of the guide, but it's a great collection of things to help you figure out what to add where. Take a look and put something together and we can help you tweak it.
Also the aasimar bonus is absolutely worth it. It vaults them into the best bard race by far, because many of your performances not only scale in number of effects, but also in DC according to your level. For example, bump 12 levels into your inspire courage, and as a 12th level bard you have maxed out your bonus, and could take the rest of your levels in something besides bard and still receive the maximum bonus.
One quibble: power attack is listed at -4/+17 and should be -4/+12 when he's two handing and +8 otherwise.
The fort attack is a great scenario, hope your players don't try to rush in and take on everyone at once! (also I don't know what level your players are, but if they're level 9 breath of life is a wonderful amerliorative to the Splat effect that heavy hitters like Kreeg can do. That way you can destroy one of them and then the cleric can effectively bring them back to life. win-win)
Oh wow! I didn't know that they bypassed SR, that's definitely a good point to keep in mind (haven't played a witch). I also hadn't thought about the out of combat effects of being able to heal so many different people. Thanks for the feedback.
@Rerednaw: that's a great visual! "We have the witch tied up! Let's...zzzzzz"
So would you all say that hexes have the most utility at lower levels?
Pretty much what it says on the tin. My buddy is an optimizer and declared that while hexes are good for utlity that they don't benefit from a lot of stuff that increases spell effectiveness(items, feats, traits) and so end up weaker at higher levels. I haven't looked at any Pathfinder stuff for a while so I wasn't able to come up with a good counterargument. Any help demonstrating that hexes are as good or better than casting? Also, are there any ways to boost caster level for hexes? I don't think there are since it's based on class level, but I could swear I saw a favored class bonus somewhere or maybe an item.
Oh No! I'm so sorry Jellyman. My campaign page wasn't updating this game for some reason, so I never got notifications that there are new posts! I thought you were still busy. Posting momentatrily.
Haha, exactly the thread I was thinking of BBT.
OP- really if you are a two handed fighter just start at 18 and survive until level 19, at which point you can auto critical enemies and deal several hundred damage with a single hit.
Oh no! Don't feel bad at all! 3.5 had a lot of crazy silly stuff, and decided where the limits are is totally the DM's perogative. With all of the books you gave us we still have a crazy big number of options, and really I just wanted like 4 feats from various (legal) books. Besides, frenzied berzerker wasn't going to kick in until way down the road.
Darnit! Uhh... crap. Well then I think I will be taking you advice and dropping one of the feats I took as a prereq for that class. Though now that I reread the frenzy upon taking damage part I understand why. Time to rethink a little... Is it okay if I rebuild a little? (still barbarian, just tweaking some stuff)
Works for me. Barbarian brothers? Sounds like a recipe for awesome! I went with the lion spirit totem variant from complete champion that gives up fast movement for pounce. I'm going for frenzied berzerker charger build, though I almost went for a mage killer build. I would love to have some melee backup, let's shred some faces!
Oh arcane heirophant! I had forgotten how awesome that class is. If I hadn't already started RPing my character I would so be playing that. Especially considering earth spell and heighten are in the currently available books, so early entry is a possibility (baring DM hammer). Oh well, I'm very happy with my barbarian. He's sweet now and should be pretty devastating by level 7.
Hey, half elf bards with a nice variety of feats and spell compendium to choose magic from are no freaking joke! I remember we had a friend who used charisma to hit, damage, and in addition could empower his performances somehow. I don't remember any of the details because I never played a bard, but I'm sure there are some cool tricks. Also you can never run out of performance rounds like you can in pathfinder.
*insert corny joke about buffing*
Okay I've got a Fighter/barbarian standard greatsword guy I'm working on. I wish 3.5 had a great online SRD like pathfinder does, hunting down the sources for everything is a pain, though I think all but two things in my idea come from PHB and complete warrior.