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"This ability otherwise replaces the summon monster ability of a normal summoner."

I'm reading that as the text highlighted the differences. Otherwise it should be the same as the summoner summon monster sla. So standard action casting, 1 minute / level duration, and no eidolon.

The word "otherwise" is what I key in on. If it just said "This ability replaces..." Then maybe I could see it the other way.


I find for cantrips that acid splash isn't that good because you will be firing into melee and past you allies for soft cover as well. I got huge mileage out of daze though. Its really good in first level combat for removing enemy actions. You may enjoy casting enlarge person on the fighter and then standing behind them within their threatened squares. Its better than having armor.


Well, there tend to only be a few armors that you will consider for any character with the rest being inferior. The only reason to take the inferior armor is because it is better than no armor.

I would definitely wear a Do-Maru over a kikko if I found one with the ghost touch enhancement and I was going into a den of wraiths for example.


I'd throw in my recommendation for paladin since you have full BAB, full armor, and can lay on hands for some out of combat healing, or in combat on yourself if you're getting pummeled.


A couple of advanced burning skeletons might give that guy a bad day. They have a fire aura and explode when killed, and it's unblockable if you don't have fire resistance. (Save vs half for exploding). Basically, if you just stand around and trust in high numbers to protect you, enemies can use abilites to ignore or lower those numbers.

There's always a way to beat the stats, so just remember that the first line of offense and defense is good tactics.


If your party is good about loading up on rainy day scrolls of remove whatever, the oracle doesn't have to blow his spells on them.

Heck, my clerics load up on those scrolls so that nobody has to wait until tomorrow to get blindness removed. They leave slots empty too, but invariably if you're fighting a monster with blind, they will blind one more pc than the cleric has slots open to cover it.

Wands of cure light wounds are economical, but they're more economical after 1-2 castings of channel energy to get some HPs back to everybody in the group after they get fireballed.


I'm a bit soft handed since my current group is a bit new and casual. In 6 levels, we've only had one character have to be taken to a church in a bucket. I usually knock 1 character into the negatives every few fights, but I haven't been using coup de graces or anything even though I could have at a few points. Cursing and stat damage however, I do enjoy.

The difference is a character asking where the nearest priest is vs the player asking the other players if they would be so kind as to take his character's corpse to the nearest priest. It's more fun for the casual groups and keeps them involved. If anybody wants to play like this, its easy to swap level drain with ability drain for a lot of undead, and then introduce more poisons and diseases to put on low crit weapons and replace great axes with disease encrusted morning stars.


Also, gunslingers are proficient in all martial weapons and have a full bab. They have the option of pulling out a sword and hacking after unloading their guns the first round to save some cash. Nothing wrong with blasting the boss and then cleaning up some mooks with a two handed sword. Kobolds aren't really worth a bullet.


In my experience, the best way to be a caster killer is to just blow them up.

From your choices, I'd just go straight wizzy. Taking the level in crossblooded ups your damage considerably for a few spells sure, but high caster level and not being feat intensive setting up your one nuke spell in your build gives you flexibility to adjust your wizard as you play him.

I would probably vote all levels as a divination (foresight) specialist and learn to love going first all the time. Take improved initiative as your first feat and get used to the feel of the campaign before you start down the road of picking your spell perfection spell.


Because foresight diviners usually go first, I'd also recommend looking at taking at least 1 devistating debuff per spell level. Your first action could be to always just hose the enemies. also since you'll be going first and probably never surprised, you won't have to deal with the usual caster worry of having your barbarian charge into the perfectly lined up monsters before you drop an area spell on them.

1: sleep or grease
2: glitterdust or create pit
3: stinking cloud or slow
4: confusion or black tentacles

just to show a few good area save or suck bombs you can drop. I usually follow the rule of buffing the party on single monsters or blasting groups with an offensive spell targeting a weak save in the first round.

Summoning is always recommended because it is very good mechanically, but if you have a large group of other players or no patience to track all the extra monsters debuffing can be very fun. I personally only use summons only rarely because we usually have large player groups.


Pacifism also could work depending on the game. If pacifism means that your character won't harm living things, then maybe pounding away on undead or constructs would be just fine.


Also remember that aqueous orb targets reflex saves and rolls on the ground, so hold it for big slow tank monsters. Also, look for ways of denying dex to your enemy. Their save penalty is like your bonus to your DC.

Follow it up with hideous laughter and you get an insta-drown.

Also, dazing metamagic on aqueous orb is nasty.

Finally, I think the text says that making a save puts you in an adjacent square to the orb. Your GM may rule that having no adjacent squares makes the save hard to make. (Like dropping the orb with the monster down a 10x10 pit.


Heck, you could make a combat maneuver specialist that just hogties everything up after disarming and subduing them and call it a pacifist.

Or go heavy on charm and dominate spells with a caster.

Or make a life oracle that heals everything and always stabilizes the enemies and leaves them unconscious after the party works them over.

Id probably make a maneuver master or lore warden and go for the incapacitation approach myself.


Really anything but the full plate wearing big stupid fighters would be fine. Just have some skills.


Improv: Give NPCs (monsters and farmers alike) one distinguishing trait when you describe them. Bad Acne, Wheezing cough, high pitched voice for size, just one something and make it up on the spot. You don't need to have them fully fleshed out, nobody will care about the eye color or ranks in appraise that the critter has, but they'll remember the orc with the half moon scar on his jaw. Just make something up every time. Sometimes when you're going on the fly, it ends up being stupid, but there are so many encounters that you'll end up ahead in the imagery department.

Fake the improv with random tables. Have them tagged, bookmarked, hotlinked, whatever, but just have some names, places, weather, and monsters on a list. roll if you need to or just choose whatever you want.
I often roll a die, look at the table, and ignore the dice result and just pick something interesting and different. It makes you look magical as a GM.

If you have a battlemat that you can draw on with dry erase markers, practice slamming down some terrain really fast. Dungeons don't need much, but add a fireplace, a rubble pile, a desk as appropriate to make terrain. Outdoors, get some bushes and a tree down, and maybe a little hill and an old wall. A little bit of terrain goes a long way in making encounters tactically interesting. also it becomes something that the players end up helping with. You draw a green 10 ft circle and say it's difficult terrain, and one player might call it a briar patch instead of a bush like you were thinking. Go with briar patch then. They helped you tell the story so use it.

Also for encounters, if you're rolling random, just get in the habit of asking yourself, "what is this guy doing here anyway?" It helps you decide whether the critter will try to talk or fight initially, or if it will fight to the death or flee at first injury.

I had an overland random dragon encounter last night that turned into a toll booth argument and was defeated with some bluff checks. Swords weren't even drawn. That was fun because it was completely different than the last 10 encounters that ended in fights.

Another thought: Involve the PCs into the world's story. If they meet a random giant, have the giant call one out by name for revenge and refer back to some previous encounter where they killed something random like a worg. Why is the giant out for revenge for the worg? I don't know! but it's fun.


It may not interest you, but I'd be tempted to make an evangelist cleric with a hidden agenda. You could do a lot of rousing / charming / fascinating / enslaving of the peasants and minor nobles with their skill set. Why sneak when you can have the guards just let you in and look the other way?

And you would be a full divine caster.


If you want to make something complicated, arcane trickster might be fun. They get a ranged sleight of hand power.


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I kind of skipped all the discussion, but my advice is to make sure that everybody is playing the game that they want to play, players and GM. My campaign is basically a railroaded monster bash at the moment, but I have a group with frequent schedule conflicts and a fair number of newbs that just like rolling dice for big numbers. I'm amusing myself with making every little random encounter uniquely creative at the moment, so that is still fun. If in a few months we get some stable schedules, I know I can add a lot of plot very quickly if people want that.


Alternatively, I think the only characters that can get away with having any stat maxed out are offensive casters. Nobody else should gimp their other stats because they need to fight too. Really a 20 casting stat means you're going all in on your casting. An 18 after racial mods means you have some points for better defenses and skills and such, which is probably better for most builds and adventures.


Finally, sift, vanish, allegro, and the other bard spells that can make you a good scout would probably help your party out. Try not to be redundant with your other two casters.


Since you have a fighter and a cleric in the party with the sorceress helping them, I would suggest thinking about going with a strength heavy build with a long spear. You lose the shield bonus, but have the same damage as wielding the longsword with two hands and will have the ability to either stand behind the fighter and the cleric (where they provide soft cover for the monster) or off to the side out of harm's way. A great formation would be something like:

OXO
FOC
OBO
OSO

Where X is enemy, F is fighter, C is cleric, S is sorcerer, B is your bard, and O is an empty square. The next round the fighter and cleric can 5ft step into a flank, you're covering the sorceress completely with your threatened squares, and the monster cant get to you without reach unless he wants to just step right into the flank. Since you're poking through an unoccupied square, the monster doesn't even get a cover bonus.

I recommend avoiding spells with a saving throw and put the 13 into charisma. boost it to 14 at level 4, and then get a +2 headband later to get it to 16. put the 18, 17, and 16 into str, dex, and con respectively. If you're going to fight, be really fit and leave the offensive casting to the sorceress. It is easy to fill up your entire spell selection with buffs and utilities as a bard and never have to risk an enemy making a save.

Otherwise, Justin_Sane's half elf arcane duelist / dragon disciple is a legit build. I might swap out dodge for lingering performance or weapon focus (longspear) though. Also, with a high str and dex, get a masterwork composite shortbow with a strength bonus for those days when the monsters won't land.


Halvdan62 wrote:
Best by your own standards, shadow. I want to see everyone's favorite build. They all have their strengths and weaknesses

Well crap. That basically amounts to, "who do I feel like playing today?"

I really liked my draconic tattoed sorcerer in the last game I played as a PC in that stalled out. I want to play it more. It was a well rounded blaster on offense and a wet paper bag on defense. Super fun.


Also, are these PFS rules builds, or anything goes? Because I have this guy will all 18s...

Are you talking DPR builds? Builds where if you sit down at a table with your guy and the guy sitting down next to you has this build, you'll be jealous of his character? What?


Well if you don't like point buy and really want to build a concept and I was your GM, I'd say just build the guy and I'll look at it. If I tossed your scores into a point buy calculator and it was less than 5 points away from the point buy everybody else was using, I don't see myself giving a crap about it not adding to 20 points or whatever in a home game.

However, as a GM every time I let somebody do this or roll their own characters or bring in a character from a previous game that ended that they really liked to play and wanted to keep using, they mysteriously end up showing me a character with a 45 point buy equivalent or higher in a game where everybody else just used the 20 point buy I recommended. This causes spotlight problems.


I think if you go lore warden with a 2 level dip in master of many styles, you can make a pretty good dual kukri wielding trip and blinding crit machine. I was just reading a guide about it somewhere on here...


Well, If you're going all in on a vital strike build so you take a level in barbarian so you can get furious finish, the difference between a 2d6 greatsword and a 2d8 large bastard sword after buffing is like 24 points of damage.


Ethereal Gears wrote:
No, but that's why you spring for EWP Bastard Sword. Large One-Handed Weapon, 2d8 base damage, no penalty, +1 on damage rolls. Am I missing something here?

I think everybody is talking about different things.

Yes, take tiefling, get some oversized limbs, an exotic weapon proficiency in bastard sword, and swing away.

If you don't want to look silly with your arms dragging on the ground, you take a -2 penalty to attack or move down to greatsword.


If you have exotic weapon proficiency bastard sword, it counts as a one handed weapon. Seems silly, but the pathfinder iconic barbarian does it.


If I was playing PFS and sitting down with a group of unknown other players, I would probably run either a 16/14/14/12/10/8, 17/14/14/13/8/7 or a 17/14/12/12/10/8 before the racial +2.

At a home game with the same people every week that I could train to stand in front of me properly, I would max the casting stat. Playing with a maxed casting stat feels very squishy, but is nice for knowing that your foes won't be hitting your save DCs.

Also Jiggy, if your casting stat powered save DC is super high, the difference between rolling a 20 only to save and having to roll a 19 or 20 is that twice as many enemies will make their saves. If you're dropping save spells every round, you do see a noticeable difference every session from just one point (because 2 monsters survived when you nuked the group instead of one).


Maybe at some point if I were super motivated, I could make a guide for how to counter common player character tactics and builds as a GM.

Caster problems? readied actions, spell sunder, AMF, etc.
Crazy high armor class? Fire mephits!
Everybody took human? Deeper Darkness!
Feel like turning out the lights and everybody took dwarves? Dark Stalkers!
Everybody took huge melee weapons? Flying monkey archers!
Everybody took bows? Swarms!


Or with that makeup you could switch over to a goofball wilderness intrigue campaign. I'm playing my group through the Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale right now. Your party would probably fare well there.


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/dragons/dragon/chromatic- white/white-dragon-mature-adult

Give this guy a scroll of AMF and change one of his skills like intimidate to a +19 UMD.

Giggle maniacally as it does flyby vital strike power attack bites with its 172 hp, 30 AC, and DR 10/magic. And it's just CR 11.


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There is always the "a dragon with anti-magic shell cast on himself is still a dragon" trick.

Hello Commoner! Nice Wizard hat! Check out this claw/claw/bite/wing/wing/tail combo!

Bonus points if the dragon gets his AC and DR tattooed on himself somewhere obvious. Watch your fighters cry as their magic swords turn into just shiny swords.


Someday I need to go read the advanced race guide.


Have them play we be goblins together? If they realize that some 15 point buy low level goblins are more effective than their characters, then maybe they'll rethink things?

Multiclassing is usually bad and these characters don't sound optimized in build or equipment. You may need to send them on some side quests that are lower in recommended level than the group is to get them some experience on how to play their characters. Also let them know that pathfinder isn't WoW and thinking it is will get your dude killed. You may well end up killing the rogue druid anyway. I recommend barbarians for first time characters. Getting them used to adjusting their stats for rage is good practice for a class that actually requires a lot of book keeping, like every caster. Also, rolling lots of big dice and adding lots of big numbers to it seems to be satisfying to newbs.


Casting enlarge person on the fighter is a great pre-fight buff. It's only worth casting in combat at low level when you don't have a lot else to do with your caster, or if the fighter really needs the reach. Since it's low level, you can potion or scroll up a few for pretty cheap.

Lead blades and impact are the same enchantment and don't stack.

2d6 18-20/x2 is basically the stats of the hypothetical best weapon you could use. Don't expect it to exist.

For a vital strike build, I think base damage dice is better than crit range since vital strike dice doesn't multiply on crit. A greatsword with 2d6 19-20/x2 is pretty great. Large bastard swords have the -2 attack, but if you're using furious focus and are properly boosting your attack bonuses, it probably won't miss anyway.

So in summary, a large impact bastard sword swung by an enlarged fighter is a -2 attack, 4d8 19-20/x2 weapon. Whump.


Gosh, I use withdraw all the time as a player and a GM. Half the fun is to watch the PCs frantically try to run down fleeing kobolds before they manage to get away and come back with reinforcements.

As a PC, I have escaped TPKs by using withdraw -> ready action burning hands -> withdraw on repeat against monsters slower than me and stupid.
(I think it was a big nasty advanced zombie of some type.) I backpedaled like 400 feet.


Also you can dual wield your own bombs and go crazy throwing them with fast bomb, two weapon fighting, and rapid shot. I think that spams 5 at level 9 with improved two weapon fighting.


Conductive only lets you use the ability on a single attack once per round.

I know of NO abilities that would let you bestow conductive on two weapons.


I assume that you still have access to materials needed for an alchemist to make bombs and infusions? Otherwise you're really hooped.

Without arcane bond, I can't think of any other way to get conducting onto your weapon.

If your concept demands shooting exploding arrows, just get explosive missile and drink a dex mutagen and/or an extract of cat's grace/true strike/etc


Generally speaking, ammunition that hits its target is destroyed or rendered useless, while ammunition that misses has a 50% chance of being destroyed or lost. This holds true for magic ammunition as well.

Crossbow bolts are a lot different in shape and weight than arrows. A crossbow bolt is too short to shoot from a bow, and a crossbow would probably snap any arrow you try to shoot out of it.


I believe that alchemists can get the discovery "explosive missile" at level 4 and turn their ammunition into ammo.

However in practice I have seen this become frustrating because the alchemist has to hit vs regular armor class instead of touch armor class and does not splash. It ended up being a trap ability for the alchemist.

I don't think that conductive would fare much better, especially since you trade 2 bombs for 1 ranged bomb missile attack, and it doesn't say ranged touch attack so I think its implied that the attack is vs regular AC.

In summary, I would just toss bombs were I an alchemist.


I would get a mount (wilderness) or a hireling lvl 1 warrior (urban) to carry my stuff and hide behind.

An extra spell book and component pouch might be nice.

A wand of Cure Light Wounds

Alchemy items for power components or lobbing at the bad guys. You can never have enough at low levels.

Kits are great. I recommend having a look at the Chronicler's, Dungeoneering, Grooming, and mapmaker's, and shaving kits just off the top of my head. Healer's and Chiurgen's kits are nice if you don't have a cleric type handy.

Also you could try to be frugal and exchange most of your cash for platinum pieces and sew it into your underwear and try to save up for a handy haversack ASAP.


It is also nice to have a scroll case full of lesser restorations and remove [status effect] for whenever you get poisioned, deafened, cursed, ability damaged, etc.

remember the big point on scrolls is that they go off at minimum caster level. If the spell is highly level dependent, it's not a very good scroll. For example, dispel magic requires a caster level check. Using caster level 5 will make it useless off of a scroll relatively quickly.


Arcane duelists (bard) arcane bond their weapon and can enchant it for cheap as per the wizard rules. I don't know if this counts as building a magic item or not, or if having 5 levels of bard is feasible for your build.

Just a 1 level dip in wizard and another class with caster levels will get you the same thing I think.


Well, if they're supposed to get the vampire eventually, you could power it down a little bit. Alternatively, you could drop a few false rumors that get the PCs into side quest dungeons looking for the vampire and instead finding other bad guys that have experience points and loot to drop. The PCs gain a level or two and a bag of arrows of undead bane or similarly useful consumable magic items, and then the vamp can't TPK them so easily.

Since it's a sandbox, this may actually be fairly easy to do.


He can grease himself.

If I was the gnome, I would cast invisibility, use a potion of fly, and then spam detect magic assuming that you have something magical on you until I found you. Then I'd use a scroll of fickle winds or just protection from arrows and pound you with damage from above. Even magic missile would end up being lethal if you couldn't effectively return fire.

Anyway, that's what my strategy vs a ranged attacker with a pet would be. Just to think about.


The boombox is never optional.


I recommend coming up with a reason to use some themes.

Have the next adventure be in a fey forest. Fey have a load of weird abilities, motivations, attitudes, and play styles that will be very different than a standard evil overlord with an evil mook army.

Have the one after that vs a force of (un?)nature that causes a ton of undead of different types and varieties to show up and generally cooperate against the PCs.

Next, send them into a wizards tower full of animated objects, bound extraplanar creatures, constructs, etc, to retrieve something for some reason.

Grab a premade adventure and figure out how to work it into your campaign. Since it has a different author than yourself, it will approach things in ways that you wont.

Basically, if you catch yourself falling into a box, look for inspiration to get way outside of it.


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As a player, you can always stand in the bushes outside his bedroom window at night and sing to him until he responds to your inquiry.

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