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If you track xp, a level one guy is 9000-15000 behind level 4, so everybody will be the same level by level 8 anyway.
That said, I'd start him the same level and give him some magic items to make him comparable to the rest of the party. (level 4 martial class? have a +1 weapon, a +2 belt, some potions and alchemical items, and some nice masterwork armor. something like that.) Or let him not spend more than 25% of the WBL on a single item. Otherwise you end up with 5th level monks with monk robes, and that is rather annoying when the rest of the party has been stuck with whatever they can loot from the wilderness.
The other non crb armor that I like is an adamantine haramaki for wizards and sorcerers. No armor check penalty, 1/- damage reduction, and you can pile on the armor enchantments. Determination helps you from getting one hit killed from a critical as a caster.
If you can get mithral, throw that out the window. Mithral chain shirt is best. Ask Frodo.
If you can wear medium armor, mithral breastplate is better especially if you aren't going to have a dexterity higher than 20, and you keep your base movement speed.
Mithral full plate has the best stats of any heavy armor unless you're looking for adamantine damage reduction on a fighter.
I would say that it depends on your level. I think in lower levels, caster level is king. At high levels, the caster level is already maxing the damage even after intensify, so having less metamagic costs would be nice for adding in the metamagic goodies. Or just take additional traits and take all of the above?
Also, a blaster build focusing on caster level may not need piercing spell metamagic. spell specialization and spell penetration are more than sufficient.
Reading might be a bit of a challenge. If he reads something, make sure he sounds everything out slowly and moves his lips.
remember you can be wise and stupid at the same time. Don't charge orcs because you're not intelligent, leave that to the unwise. It might be fun when asked how many orcs there are, to report back with one, two, or lots because numbers past 2 are hard to conceptualize.
I don't like banning anything, but if you want some guidelines on how to make things run smoother, try the following campaign restrictions:
1. No evil characters. If you want to experiment with why this is a good idea, play "We be Goblins" and tell everybody to try to act like an evil goblin. If you group can actually not PK each other, then maybe bad guys will be fine.
2. No minions. (Ban Summoner, and all classes have to take the non companion option like arcane bond items for wizards and domains for druids. This kind of auto bans cavaliers and witches. No leadership either. No undead armies.) This speeds up game play with new players. Everybody wants a pet tiger. Nobody bothers to learn how to level one up. Only allow monster summoning spells to function if the player has a stat card with the vital statistics of whatever they're summoning or else the spell fails. The sole purpose of these rules would be to speed up gameplay. If your group has their s*** together, then minions are a rich addition to the party. If not, they grind gameplay to a halt.
3. No third party. Getting one player character whining in your ear about allowing them to play psionic character rules or some race of half dwarf elf things that they found on the internet seems to happen often. Allow it if you're comfortable with it and it sounds cool, but on closer reading, I usually find such third party races and classes tend to run on the brokenly OP or completely useless side of things.
Again, I always use "explicit GM permission after discussion" instead of a ban.
Also, If you have casters that seem overpowered (unlikely), throw more than 5 encounters at the group between rests. A wizard with no spells is a commoner in a nightgown.
I want an adamantine harimake for my caster so I can enchant it up to +6 armor AC and DR 1/-. It seems useful since I like to stand in the back and archers like to pepper me with lots of arrows.
If you feel cheesy, cast aqueous orb and then cast hideous laughter on whomever gets enveloped by the orb to make them insta-drown.
Stone call as a level 2 spell has nice range and effect. It combines well with daze too.
25k at level 5?
Buy a wand of haste. At level 7 take improved familiar and get a lyrakien azata. Give the wand to your familiar and have it haste your party at the beginning of the battle for the next 50 battles. You need to be CG and put ranks into UMD to make this work.
Buy a bunch of scrolls for weird situations and for copying into your spell book too.
Max your casting stat and buy a headband of intelligence as well. You'll be able to cast 3 or 4 third level spells right from level 5.
Since you'll usually be going first, the enemy will usually be flat footed. Make dexterity your second highest stat and take some ray spells.
At level 7, your opener could be an enervation ray on the enemy while your familiar hastens your party. Thats pretty brutal.
Heck, be a ray specialist.
The fighter damage is fine. It's all they can do, really. Its a decent strategy to get the rest of your party to just feed crippled and flanked monsters to the fighter. If you as the GM want to torture the fighter, have them fight a pack of harpies with longbows.
You may want to rebuild the monk with an archtype. Zen archers, maneuver masters, etc all seem to do pretty well on the boards here.
If your sorcerer isn't built for high damage blasting, they shouldn't be concerned with dpr. If your sorcerer wants to blast, there are guides around here that will get him pumping out more damage than the fighter at that level. To entire groups. And they'll be dazed. From 500 feet away.
Your two weapon fighter might want to invest in double kukris and critical hit feats. Their damage won't match the THFs ever, but you can pile on a lot of nasty status effects with a critical hit build.
I'm brainstorming a bit on what else you could do to ruin a caster's day.
If you went arcane archer, you could get the ability to imbue an arrow with antimagic field and shoot it at a caster. That basically makes them a commoner but you need a strong fighter type in the party to go beat on them afterwards.
An improved familiar with a wand could give you the ability to use readied actions to disrupt casting without having to waste your own actions. A wand of silence might serve well. Lightning bolt would be precise for doing some damage without blowing up your party in melee.
For a second level spell, I think frost fall is a good anti caster spell. It targets fortitude, gives automatic damage, and failing the save makes the victim staggered so a caster either has to eat damage and probably lose their spell, or waste their turn on a single move action to get out of the effect.
Chain of perdition and black tentacles give you some anti caster maneuvers at a distance that also invoke concentration checks.
Elemental Aura on your familiar and go park your familiar near a caster.
And globe of invulnerability has a 10 ft radius allowing you to shield your whole party.
Earth elementals using earth glide and then grapple are pretty effective, so having summon monster is probably smart.
Parry spell is a 15th level feat from the APG.
The destructive dispel feat (lvl 11) gives you a stun or stagger on any dispel magic you cast successfully.
Just play really smart with trying to touch big angry bad guys. You will need to be flanking to hit reliably with shocking grasp with your strength, and then you'll get hit back. 16 hp at level 2 means you can be dropped in 1 hit from a guy with a greatsword. A critical kills you, and your AC isn't good.
Thats why at levels 1-3 I'd recommend any spell that doesn't involve standing next to the bad guys. Your best defense is staying out of melee. I would add shocking grasp later when I already have intensify spell and can do like 10d6+10 damage and know that I can reliably cast defensively. I would only use it if something ran up next to me to bother me. It would be a defensive spell.
Not saying it's an issue. It's just detectable at level 5. It's a cone so all you have to do is "I go over and check that wall behind the paladin for traps!" every time he whips his detect evil out and starts swinging it around.
1. Instead of adding templates, I just pulled the monsters from the pathfinder bestiary using pathfinder stats. It seemed to work fine. The SRD has everything, even the weird ones.
2. 3 PCs may or may not be okay. It's pretty easy, but if they're new they might be in trouble. You may want to add on some little prequel of some encounters to teach them how to fight and get them some money for gear. At level 1, gear goes a long way. Or just let them start with a cure light wounds wand and some alchemical items gifted to the party by santa claus.
3. I'm a big fan of photoshop. You can even make a layer for dungeon exploration that you erase as they explore. Also, I use battle mats and just draw something similar to what the book has really fast with erasable markers.
You can always bond with the paladin over your love of laws, rules, and statutes.
I think the lyrakien is as good as or better than the imp because they have a high cha, and if you are putting ranks into UMD, they can use them. Also, I personally like their spells and powers more. I can see the imp as being a better choice to polymorph though.
tattooed and draconic go together like peanut butter and jelly IMO. The familiar and caster level boost puts it on par with arcane.
I have a fire blaster that rocks, so here is how I would build.
I would go human for the extra feat.
stat buy Str: 7, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 9, Cha 19
Yes the build is fragile, but the trick is to never be in melee ever. With the dex and con of 12, shocking grasp and ranged touch spells aren't good options. All level ups go into cha. Int is high enough for spell specialization which is worth it IMO
Traits: Reactionary and magical lineage favorite spell. I'd choose ball lightning.
Class and Archtype: Crossblooded orc\draconic for raw damage or tattooed draconic for getting a familiar and some fun abilities. Personally, I'd avoid crossblooded because I don't think the penalties are worth the extra few points of damage. I think that draconic is superior to elemental for several reasons: 1. primal may not stack with an archtype I'm not sure. 2. The skill is better, the spells are better, the 3rd level ability is better, the first and 9th get replaced by tattooed archtype if you do that, and the 15th is basically a wash. The capstone draconic is also better IMO. Tattooed archtype also replaces the weakest draconic bloodline powers.
Other good feats: Improved initiative, spontaneous metafocus, quicken spell, maximize spell.
Magic Items: Nothing out of the ordinary needed.
How I'd play it: Levels 1-3 suck. You're frail and don't have a lot of spells. level 3 is the roughest. I'd use burning hands from behind the fighter and then support spells (Daze!). If you go tattooed draconic, then your increased caster level from mage's tattoo, spell focus, and spell specialization has burning hands hitting at 4d4 with a DC of 16 at level 1.
Playing a tattooed draconic fire blaster, I started shredding encounters at level 7. Like, "Oh hey I won initiative, the rest of the party can go back to sleep now" bad. Before that, It was just consistent damage on par with the fighter.
I think I rolled attack rolls twice. Regretted both times. I would not recommend shocking grasp at all, acid splash always misses in a melee, and trying to AoO is a waste of time. If you start your turn and an enemy is threatening you, use a withdraw action.
The hellknight prestige class is pretty quick to add on, so when doing the same thing as you previously, I would just grab martial NPCs from the codex or the SRD website and toss a level or 2 of hellknight on. Don't forget about the hellknight caster prestige class as well. My party had a rough time with the guy in the black full plate armor that pulled out a wand of fireballs on them. Wasn't expected.
1. you can cast spells with a target of "you" on your familiar through the share spells familiar ability. Form of the dragon is one such high level spell and would allow you to turn your canary or whatever into a huge fricking dragon complete with a breath weapon. Burning gaze is another "you" spell for familiars. It gives them a piddly eye beam attack. better than nothing.
The arcane trickster will probably still be an enchanter combined with a rogue I'm guessing, so transmuter would still be fun.
A common trick for transmuter builds is actually to specialize in divination school (foresight) to get a truely incredible initiative so you can go first to get your buffs up or turn somebody into a newt or whatever.
If you're asking about the best option, your party is still going to be wizard heavy. The best might be a cleric or oracle or druid for full diving casting in a not-so-squishy package.
I still think a transmuter would work though.
With an illusionist and an enchanter, you never need to cast a spell with a will save.
I'd like to second transmuter with a familiar that you can turn into dragons etc. Enlarge person will make you pretty popular with the barbarian and paladin as well.
31. Telekinetic Charge does not have any limits besides "an ally." So make friends with something hilarious. I suggest a war elephant since it's livestock sort of. A brachiosaurus would be ideal if you happen to have a dinosaur farm on the side.
Launching a rabbit would also make a nice homage to monty python.
There is a Tesla coil build at the end of one of the sorcerer guides that does exactly this.
I would recommend building for dazing ball lightning, but using burning hands at low level. Shocking grasp is great for a magus. A sorcerer should never melee. Ever.
Tattooed draconic sorcerers are pretty vicious. Human for extra spells and feats.
15. The Savory Donkey. Does your GM roll random encounters from the wilderness tables that go up to CR10 for your level 1 party? Buy a donkey, a bag of spice, a hammer. and an alchemical fire. Put the bag of spice on the donkey, the alchemical fire on the spice, and hit it with a hammer at first sign of an overwhelming hostile encounter. Run whichever way the fragrantly flaming donkey/BBQ doesn't.
Really just imagining a random encounter where the players try to covertly dispel the enchantments while fighting and then having to turn on the succubus half way through while 1 or 2 characters is still dominated all at once is giving me a boner made entirely out of d20s. It's gonna be close to a TPK and so legendary if it works.
Do you have any casters with 3rd level spells in your party or better?
Here is what I would do. Go along with your dominated orders and go investigate things like they tell you. At the next evil monster combat doing this task, drop a protection or magic circle against evil as a party buff.
Everybody gets another save. If some people start saving successfully, they can start dropping more protections, dispel magic, break enchantment, whatever, and break the domination in the middle of combat.
From a roleplaying standpoint, somewhere in your subconsciousness, you know that you need to cast these spells on yourself, so you do whenever it is logical to do so while following orders.
Then the whole party either immediately takes on the lone succubus who cannot cast further enchantments while everybody is protected, or the party flees and hides. The latter would probably be the most fun because then you have to go and retake your kingdom back while probably being declared outlaws.
Well the nice thing about clerics is that if you're focusing on buffs, then those will probably be good no matter what the encounter is. Leaving a slot or two open per level to fill up as needed is great as a cleric. Waiting 15 minutes for a remove blindness is usually always a good thing.
Also, you should take scribe scroll if you want to be a support and caster type of cleric. Then you can fill up a haversack full of useful spells in your off time and never be lacking anything.
Then you just toss some general use spells in your slots and you're good to go.
If you want to play it up, you could get a long spear and affix a magic banner to it and still feel a bit like the old cavalier.
How would Mounted Fury Stack with a full level animal companion from a druid or similar?
Because Taking all the raging mount feats with a dual cursed nature oracle 1 / mounted fury barbarian x would be pretty epic.
Were I making the wizard, I would use this guy.
I would drop him down a level, and then apply the lich template. I might change his opposed schools to enchantment and evocation.
It is often easier to slightly modify something existing than to make something entirely new.
If he is trying to undo his lichdom, then for flavor I would not give him undead minions.
Since he is a caster, I'd use some golems.
Basically, Pick the CR of the encounter. Probably APL +4 or +5 (since there are 5 pcs) so CR 16 or 17.
For CR 16 Id make the lich a 14th level Heroic NPC wizard with the lich template and give him two stone golem guards or 1 iron golem.
To increase the difficulty to CR 17 (brutally hard), I would either add 2 more stone golems, 1 iron golem, give the lich pc wealth, or give him one more level of wizard.
Basically, the golem(s) can be statues in the abode of the wizard that you can describe to the PCs when they first start off, and then never reveal that they are more than just statues unless they fight the lich.
If I could I would use a bonded item from levels 1-6 and a familiar 7-20. Basically that extra any spell per day is super useful when you have maybe 8 spells total. If you have 40 spells memorized and a haversack with one pocket full of various scrolls, then having the familiar wand-cast several times per combat gets you a lot of extra actions.
I assume your bluff is super high.
My favorite all time bluff was changing my appearance to look like a hobgoblin captain, marching into a barracks full of hobgoblins, and ordering them to do calisthenics (I am your new senior drill sergeant! Now give me 100!). The bluff worked (high roll too), so the third exercise I made them do was a human (hobgoblin) pyramid. Then I blasted them with an intensified burning hands. Killed all 12. (GM ruled that they lost their dex bonus and nobody beat the save without it.)
To echo what others are saying here, wizards start slow. Your party has a high offense it looks like, so just make sure that they're killing the enemies quickly and efficiently to start. You may not feel too special right now, but if you're enlarging the paladin and greasing whoever approaches first so they end up prone and in a threatened square, your party probably loves you. Just make sure that your spells don't negatively affect the party.
If you have an option to rebuild, drop your strength and charisma and get your con a little higher, and maybe get your intelligence higher as well. I tend to always start casters with a 19 or 20 in the casting stat. Might as well be good at it.
The teleportation subschool is the best conjuration specialist school because movement and positioning is the next most important thing you do besides cast.
Personally, I usually take enchantment and necromancy as my opposed schools to conjuration. I find illusion, enchantment, and necromancy all have a lot of will save spells, so I just go with one. At level 10, the wizard feat opposition research allows you to add one back. Divination might also be a good choice since it can be replaced by scrolls and other casters can cast detect magic.
Also, get a familiar if you can, and one with thumbs. Give it a wand later and you have just added another casting action to your turn. Lyriaken Azatas from the improved familiar feat might be the best at this. You can give it a wand of enlarge person so you don't have to do that anymore, a wand of haste for super buffing on round one every fight, or a wind of lightning bolt or scorching ray to allow it to blast for you.
grease, enlarge person, and color spray gives you offense, defense, and control at level 1. acid splash is okay, but even as a touch attack, firing into melee with soft cover makes it weak overall. my favorite 0th level spell is probably daze. shutting down one enemy is a good action. It allows the cleric to conserve their spells by not having to heal whomever the enemy was about to attack. Don't bother with magic missile until you get several of them and aren't using 1st level spells much anymore. Then only use it for mopping up.
At 3rd level you get your second level spells. Glitterdust really can wreck an enemy and rolling around flaming spheres is good for damage and control (and swarms!). Invisibility is a powerful buff, and the create pit spells are good for control. At this point, you will start really feeling like you're contributing heavily to victory.
From there you will really start to take off in power.
Don't be afraid to craft some scrolls. It makes you more flexible.
As you advance, The important skills are spellcraft, perception, use magic device, and several knowledges. I also like linguistics.
Don't worry about armor. Worry about your saves and not getting hit in the first place. I find standing behind enlarged paladins is an excellent defensive strategy.
Super dazing ball lightning as computed by me:
Magic items of note are
Assuming character level 20 and a cha stat of 20+5lvl+5book+6headband=36
Save would be 10+4(slvl)+3(heighten)+13(stat)+4(feats)= DC 34. They only save on a roll of 20. 5 balls x 2 saves per ball.
So 4 saves from the dragon, 6 from the planetar in the first round. I'd put 3 on the planetar just in case the orb damage is not enough to overcome its electricity resistance.
Odds of success are still close to 99% of daze locking both.
I missed the contingency, so I think I would go with an opener of a quickened time stop in the surprise round and disjunction on the force wall. Then I would spend 1-2 rounds dropping disjunctions and greater dispel magic on the dragon, prismatic sphere, and planatar to get rid of contingencies and magic items. On the third round, I'd start casting ball lightnings. When time resumes, I would hope to win initiative or survive the initial pummeling, and then cast or move the precast lightning balls to the two enemies while the chamber floods with lava.
I would still keep the draconic bloodline for blindsense, flight, and fire immunity that can't be dispelled.
For the "grin and bear it" option, normally after a few weeks, things will stabilize with a lower number of players and you can see who your regulars are. Or more people will join and the gaming group will naturally split in two.
In the mean time, just double the monsters in an AP. Also, if you're running a dungeon crawl with 8 players, don't be afraid to double the size of everything. Otherwise large groups get super cramped.
OK I have some ideas. I'm going to put down the basics before I flesh them out completely.
Character: 20th level human draconic sorcerer (brass)
Now each challenge as I see that must be overcome in order:
Not being detected
So to recap how to win:
What do we think? What mistakes did I make with my strategy?
Personally I'd dump craft want and take craft staff instead for the same purpose.
Wands are great for buying for a single frequently used spell of low level that you don't have on your list already.
Scrolls are for seldom used spells that you really need on the rare day you need them, and the spell doesn't depend on caster level.
Staves are for spells that you want to use your caster level and saves on. Like command undead.
It's an 11th level feat, but way better investment than craft wand IMO. Personally, I only consider craft wondrous item worth a feat unless I know I'm going into a low magic campaign. Then I'd choose arms and armor next, and rings after that.
I assume that you want a high charisma because you want to imagine your enchanter is charming. I'd recommend dumping it and using magic to be charming instead, and boosting dex.
I would echo previous posts in saying to spell focus in one school only. Necromancy has a lot of no save spells, so id skip focusing on it, or take it later in the higher levels when you actually get several of the spells that have saving throws.
Not having improved initiative will hurt. Not having an improved familiar will hurt in later levels where 1 extra spell isn't a large percentage increase and alertness and action economy is great.
Only going CRB these days kind of hurts because the APG and ultimate magic have a lot of wonderful caster feats like greater spell specialization and spell perfection, fun spells, and the green-sting scorpion familiar.
I don't think having conjuration and evocation opposed is that big of a deal. It just means that you need to burn 2 slots on memorizing a spell if you really know you need it that day.
There is a magical tattoo that gives you the ability to apply silent and still to any spell you cast once per day. so its kind of like a metamagic rod, but a tattoo. I think one those would be useful for sneaky casting.
Its in inner sea magic with the tattooed sorcerer archtype I believe.
Never ask where somebody will put the rod on the internets.
A lesser metamagic rod of quicken lets you haste the party and nuke the mooks the same round. It's a fantastic opener.