|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
The fact that it trees into all those other feats which require "expert combat" works, fluff-wise. I suppose you could make the argument for a minor bonus to CMB and/or CMD, maybe +1 to both?
I have most definitely used combat expertise and/or fighting defensively in combat. There are times when you just can't hit the bad guy (he has DR you can't cut through, or whatever) but as the party martial, it's your job to keep that enemy distracted while it wails away on you until the archer with special arrows or the alchemist or whatever can rain down enough damage to take the beastie out. Or even just hold position for a turn while everyone else runs away.
But that's actually a lie, because while I can and have fought defensively, ain't no one can afford a 13 int on point buy for a melee martial.
Uploading a mind from a neurocam into a clone takes 10 minutes. If the mind belonged to the same creature that was used to grow the clone, it immediately comes back to life as if under the effects of a clone spell (including 2 negative levels or 2 points of Constitution drain)—provided the user's soul has not yet passed to the Boneyard and been judged. It possesses the same Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma of the original mind, all of that creature's skills, and most of the memories and personality of the creature (though there may be gaps or differences). A mind uploaded into a clone after its soul has been judged results in a soulless approximation of the original.
The bolded parts suggest that soul transference happens. Though I suppose it is a GM's call.
Alternatively, I suppose Magic Jar could take advantage of an otherwise mindless empty shell of a body. Lot more labor-intensive, of course, but for a high level caster you have the option.
Sorry to animate thread here, but 2 things came up while I was looking at batteries.
First: they weigh 1 pound. This isn't such a big deal except for an item that is supposed to be "interchangeable with a platinum piece" 1 pound is pretty heavy. Changes how you carry treasure and whether or not they're actually WORTH carrying sometimes.
Second: If "The bulk of "silverdisks" in circulation today are destroyed batteries;" are there any guidelines for what percentage can't be recharged in a randomly-found hoard?
So searching for Gun Katana sent me to a japanese porn game involving a hot chick fighting (and presumably other things) aliens or something with a katana.
Checking...nope, not actually surprised.
Tick another +1 on the "no, he gets a reflex save, period, deal with it" camp.
This doesn't appear to have been mentioned yet:
...which would hit for about 50hp that turn, then again the next turn as the dragon exited the spell...
Why the heck would it be hitting twice? Either it takes effect on the clerics initiative and does damage once or it takes effect on the dragon's turn and takes effect once. Then the dragon is out of the area.
And to expand on flying enemies, a flying creature can do a 90 or 180 degree turn for a DC 15 and DC 20 skill check respectively. ANY critter with a flight speed starts with a +8 for having a fly speed and then adds dex and ranks (which will usually be more than enough) assuming they didn't take wingover or hover, letting them do whatever the heck they want with their flight.
Big stompy SINGLE enemies tend to lose to a party, some joker PC gets a lucky crit or they get an unlucky fail or something happens to wreck the villain's day. But if I was squatting on a CR 15 dragon and he was just getting slapped around by one caster who he (for whatever reason) couldn't just snatch up and eat, I'd have him ready an action to disrupt casting. Sunder his toys. Do what it took.
To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing stopping you from sundering a ring of free action, for that matter.
I could swear there are Staves (the wizard spellcasty kind) that are made of or coated in metal, and can be used by a staff magus.
But that's complicated, Bob bob bob seems to have a much simpler one.
I had a serious comment I wanted to make, but I'm not sure I should...
Eh, why not: I wish there was a rogue archetype that traded in sneak attack for something else. If bard can give up performance, there should be a rogue who isn't packing some brand of backstab.
No, "skirmish" doesn't count.
THERE we go. I figured there was going to be something. As much as I like the idea of throwing glue at the living blob and watching it slow down and harden into a lumpy callous, it didn't really seem like a trick that would work.
Also, thanks for the list. Looks like most good tricks don't work (polymorph-school magic, poison) though it is amusing to me that Fleshworm infestation does.
Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:
Your brain apparently tricks you into believing it's okay that they charmed you, because their super-cool guys.
Except you DO have control over what he does. It literally says it in the spell. You can make them do things against their nature with a Cha check.
the srd wrote:
/you can try to give the subject orders, but you must win an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do anything it wouldn't ordinarily do. (Retries are not allowed.) An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders, but it might be convinced that something very dangerous is worth doing.
Time and effort is a factor. IRL with the right kinds of psychology (indoctrination, groupthink, propaganda, hypnotism) you cannot make someone do something "truly against their nature"; but you can work on them until their nature has changed.
So, I was perusing the ooze entries in the SRD for unrelated reasons when I remembered a question that had arisen in a game a while back.
As a rule, oozes have crap dexterity. No big deal for them, they're oozes, but what happens when I decide to exploit that? I can't find any entry that says oozes are immune to grappling, ability damage, or the entangled condition.
What happens if I hit a 1 dex ooze with a net and it ends up with (effectively) a -3 dexterity? And even if you rule it is immune to the net because it's a freaking net, what if you hit it with an ooey-gooey tanglefoot bag?
Since ray of clumsiness does not appear to have ported over with other 3.5 spells, what other methods are there of cheaply dealing a small amount of dex damage/penalty to an ooze? Or did I miss something and I'm completely wrong about their immunities?
With homebrew rules someone with the right skillz (spellcraft, at LEAST a crafting feat, probably all 3 needed for constructs) could "hack" an appropriately inactive and/or docile construct given time. There would undoubtedly be skill checks and risks involved including the risk of it going berserk or the hack failing at an unexpected time, but that's half the fun (for the GM, at least).
You could also, in theory, bluff or disguise your way into controlling it. At least my quick search didn't turn up anything saying that a mindless creature cannot be bluffed into believing, say, that you are its creator under the effects of a magical disguise. Then you simply order it to obey the orders and commands of this guy you are pointing at as if those orders were your own until further notice.
Simply trapping it in a portable hole will let you transport it without issue, though it will still be uncontrolled. Maybe then someone who DOES have the skills can "hack" it since the party probably doesn't have them.
Break it down to parts and build it again.
That's all I can think of.
Thing about war is that mass combat rules aren't very good (at least according to most reviewers) and if memory serves your troop type and its special abilities don't matter as much when you toss it into said mass-combat rules. I believe that an Iron golem is just a walking CR, and the enemy enchanter who shouldn't be able to do ANYTHING to it is also just a walking CR who has an even chance of beating it.
I could be wrong on that, and for all I know you'll be using some other brand of combat rules anyway, but it's something you will want to look into.
Crafting constructs requires Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, and Craft Construct. It also requires an UNGODLY amount of money. Golems are super-duper expensive, more so if you make them shield guardians (and you generally do).
Personally, I prefer Animated Objects. They are cheaper to build, their modular design means you can give them special movement types or make them for specific purposes (like a helicarrier, or a burrowing transport), and hardness if often better than DR.
Ultimate Magic (paizo product) has more options for building and modifying constructs as well as a handy list of prices and types for everything that was out before bestiary 2 or 3 (don't remember). There are more constructs to look through but you will have to sort those by source yourself, I am lazy.
Now then, class doesn't matter that much. Crafting is based on spellcraft checks, and while a wizard is better (higher int bonus) a cleric automatically knows all cleric spells while a wizard does not. Lacking a spell because you do not know it or because it is not on your spell list means increasing the craft DC by 5, and I am not sure which class is more likely to NOT have the spells you want for all construct types.
Leadership is good, since an apprentice of a different class can shore up missing spell types and just craft his own stuff. Additionally, followers can be useful "pilots" for constructs that aren't very smart. A giant stone man that is hollow inside can hold a warrior giving it orders of what to attack and where to go. A flying metal bird can get a really lousy ranged attack with a 20' range increment on it's own, or it can have a non-magical ballista strapped to its belly and fired by a warrior riding on it for (often) greater effect. To say nothing of giving one of the riders a wand of Make Whole to effect in-combat healing.
Finally, because you'll be needing LAUGHABLE amounts of money, you'll want to look into ways of getting that money, and discussing with the GM whether that is allowed and what you can do with it. Ironically it is much cheaper to hire a band of 20 CR 11 mercenaries for several years than build 2 CR 11 Iron Golems.
Also, there's a fun trick where you take an Iron Golem, give him a cursed cloak of immolation, and watch him burst into flame. The fire constantly heals him, and can at least theoretically damage others.
Need a tank. In between the Alchemist and the Rogue SOMEONE should be capable of dealing damage, but your paladin is going ranged and you need someone to stand there and be a blocker for the ranged guys to hide behind. Fighter can do that, but the wheels fall off that class pretty early (so plan a build that jumps to another class). Barbarian will want an archetype (invulnerable rager, armored hulk, whatever). Synthesist Summoner can do it but has numerous issues with people not liking the class and the reasons they don't like the class.
Key things that a knowledge: local check should be able to tell you; There be robots, robots have hardness rather than DR (so energy damage will not save you, but power attack might), there are places where you really want to have a Face (charisma-skill guy), and learn the technology rules (including the fact that technology tends to be more expensive and less effective than similar magic) because there is technology.
I have problems wrapping my head around Charm Person working in general, and I can't see it working long-term at all.
In general, the concept of suddenly liking someone is weird for me. Suddenly everything they do seems cool and you trust them, even though there's no logical reason? Maybe I'm a sociopath with severely limited emotions, but when I feel something my rational mind still notices that I am feeling things and tries to ask why.
But okay, it works, roll with it.
But when someone throws something at me and says something I don't understand and suddenly my feelings change, most likely VIOLENTLY change from at least mild suspicion (probably hostility) to absolute trust and agreement? Yeah I'm going to know it was magic. And I don't care because I'm charmed and it's cool, but the moment the charm wears off I'm going to suddenly revert to whatever I was feeling before AND remember they threw some kind of magic at me and then I acted like an idiot and liked the guy who was throwing magic on me? My default reaction as any kind of character is going to be some brand of hellaciously mad and vengeful.
Bear in mind, this is speaking as a player. I'm about to play a wizard and I think, "charm person? No."
Moving on, a charmed person trusts and likes you. The "limits of friendship" argument is as big a beartrap as you want it to be, but never really seems an issue for me. You've got a friend, you can get him to do reasonable stuff with a charisma check and you can actually go to work with a diplomacy check to try and convince him to do other stuff.
But when the duration runs out, I expect the mark to have gone from whatever s/he was (maybe indifferent) to extremely hostile unless you had some other magic trick up your sleeve to make them not realize they were charmed. You get a save, you KNOW you tried to make a save, you know someone just threw magic at you.
Maybe you have a 6 Int and are too stupid to realize you were charmed, but outside of something like that...
Just a Guess wrote:
I have yet to see one.
Nah, everybody loves fighters, they're like football stars. Just pick a weapon you think is shiny and cool and gush about it. And rogues, well they ARE slayers, just with lower stats. Honestly, they're not less bland, they're exactly the same bland. "Me kills da things wit da killin'."
How many points and for how long? There's a blurry line between "I get fast healing" and "I get really slow cure spells."
This thread again?
Ah, already covered.
There's some trick that lets you get past it, let me see...*googles around*
Yep, here we go, just takes some murder and an expensive magic item, maybe two items at worst.
Not that big on coven magic anyway, feels exploity and half-assed.
Well, you could always play with the bleed RAW instead of the RAI. Say that the fast healing is equaled by the bleed damage until you actually tie off the artery.
Or not do bleed damage in the first place, it hasn't come up much in my games, and even if it did, no one is saying fast healing should be automatic for everybody, just easier than "harder than raising the dead."
Bleed itself is just fast healing in reverse, so every argument against fast healing being powerful applies to bleed damage in reverse.
Note that thread's from 2009, so if you necromancy it, it's your own fault.
I don't know. Every time I try to read the Slayer I fall asleep.
Okay, that's overbearing, I honestly just haven't had a sneaky-sneak character idea bouncing around in my head that sparked my interest for a long time. Ultimately, character is what it's about. There are a enough guides and I know enough of the general rules that building a character who is decent at her job is fairly easy. And if the party has a hole that needs filling, I can usually dream up a character backstory and setup that does the job fairly easily. But since I haven't been in a party that needed a sneaky-stabby character for over decade I can't think of anything I want to play.
Without that, without some sort of broken ground to put a root into, I can't grow a character with the class and can't really get into exploring the concept.
That said, I remember 3.5 and I remember playing rogues that can't hit anything, spend most fights trying desperately to get a flank buddy and failing, and looking at their "amazing" sneak attack damage and the regular boring damage done by the party martial and realizing they're better.
Slayer fills the bill of sneaky stabby guy. That is an incredibly common trope, it is rogue but trading a few damage dice and abilities for full BAB. It is bland, open, and can fit the bill for anyone from Aragort the Ranger to Zenzer the devil-may-care anti-hero with friends in low places to Malfeasiol the horrible hit man from the brutal Lotus Cartel. It's like tofu, you add the flavor.
Is it a good class? Seems to be. Rogue's main problem is they can't hit spit. Everything else that is "weak" about them can either be mitigated or was essentially a feature rather than a bug. But you can't do anything about a monster with a high flat-footed AC, which is most of them.
I mean, it might be nice if there was a talent that let you sneak up on unsneakables like critters with tremorsense, and/or something that gave "skill tricks" that did supernatural (or at least impossible) things with skills because they're just that awesome and it slows down the "casters are too powerful" complaints a tiny bit. But that comes up less often than, "oh boy! I brought a bunch of d6s to this fight so I can finally do some damage and...I can only hit most of these dudes on a 19+..."
Pretty sure it only applies to saving throws. Actually, I'm not even sure how sunder works. The lazy perusal of the SRD doesn't mention what AC you're actually supposed to hit when engaging in a sunder attempt.
Sundering is a hassle anyway, it's kind of a jerk move by the GM, and no player wants to break the thing they want to steal and keep.
Reposting from a thread about theoretical infinite-cast CLW wondrous items:
The dynamic doesn't really change much from "I regenerate with fast healing" and "we have enough wands that I heal up to full between every fight." The question is: Is your campaign and adventure one of running yourself ragged and slowly being nickled-and-dimed down to weakness throughout a long and arduous journey/battle? Or are you Fantasy SWAT, kicking down doors and raiding baddies and having your epic fights be epic because the final bosses are so big and bad that it doesn't matter if you were at full strength?
Obviously I'm simplifying things a bit, lotta spectrum, but that's the math side.
The narrative side still kinda works, but adventurers and superheroes with amazing endurance and the ability to heal from "beaten and bloody" to "back in action" shows up in a lot of media, especially anime. Can't count the number of times a manga hero has been turned into a mass of injury and bandages, but one oversized meal and a few hours of rest.
Makes me think of this riff on food as healing (nsfw language).
Looks like he's going Archer Paladin.
If you go Pantheon, you invoke Calistria when bringing "divine vengeance" upon evil, you invoke Alseta whenever you are crossing thresholds, you call upon Ketephys when chasing evil, and you pray to Yuelral for protection from evil magic.
Brain in a Jar wrote:
Last I checked this was only a rule in PFS, and that outside that technically you could be a Paladin of Asmodeus, stupid as that is.
According to the golariopedia:
So it's not that weird to say you worship the Elven Pantheon and have a host of sayings and prayers for different situations.
Everybody knows you want to poly any object that kind of thing anyway, in case you need to throw it over a low wall to avoid getting covered in the backwash. There is also the issue of whether or not you can upend a portable hole. And if lava in the extra-dimensional space doesn't lose it's heat, then you run the very real risk of baking to death despite adequate air supply if you try riding in one for any extended period of time.
First: A totally sweet ride with the after-market Plane-shift, Planar Adaptation, Negative Energy Protection, and Dimensional Lock add-ons.
Second: A shield guardian Iron Archer golem. Name him "Chauncey." Give him a top hat and a butler's coat.
Third: I dunno, whatever. Maybe a Demiplane.
Now if you're allowed to still buy regular stuff from regular merchants, go stack up all the regular things like Portable Holes, cubic gate to your demiplane, necklace of adaptation, ring of free action, some heavy-duty siege weapons for the airship, etc.
You've got a plot, the plot involves searching for a MacGuffin Sword of power (golden lance, holy avenger, Master Sword, whatever) somewhere on the way to completing the adventure.
How does the career of the sword-swinging warrior's sword abilities go through this plot?
I'm just curious what your preferred method would be.
I believe it's one of the many enchantments that has been repeatedly thwacked with a nerf bat over many years and editions until it's practically useless. To be fair, a weapon that you don't have to touch or even pay attention to is a weapon begging for ways to abuse it.
A simpler solution is thus: the level at which your CASTER can blow 50k on a dancing sword is the level at which you can afford a pet construct or 4 which can stand next to you and make those kinds of moves. 2 animated steel tower shields would provide decent cover and blocking, and with hardness 10 they'd soak anything short of the Big Melee Monster standing right next to you and wailing away. A shield guardian golem would cost more, (45k gold on top of whatever golem you picked) but would heal itself and give you shield other.
Obviously this is subject to DM discretion, since it goes a bit beyond buying a magic sword, but I am pretty sure it is a better use of your money.
What's the plan for the macguffin sword that you go questing for?
No wait, that seems passive-aggressive; what's YOUR plan for the Macguffin sword that the party goes questing for? I can think of a few ways, but I'm curious what yours would be.
Another thing, if WBL is flat-out wrong when you pregen a character to be 10th level because your Paladin Fell (into a pit of lava), what IS the correct WBL that the new one should have when she shows up with all her gear? Apparently the paladin was supposed to have 62k gold, "some of which" would be potions and his wand of Heal Mount and "some of which" would be an evil sword he needed to sell. When the sorceress comes in, what percentage of her items need to be magical axes she can't use and has to sell at half price?
I mean, not to be a jerk, but either the number is correct (give or take a bit) or it isn't. And either you're supposed to be around that number (again, give or take a bit) or you're supposed to have gotten that much over the course of your adventure and nothing more. Tough patooties if the GM rolled lucky on that rust monster ambush, your stuff be gone and your character be crippled for life.
If it's option A there's going to be metagaming going on as a matter of course, if it's option B then your spending needs to be that much more vanilla and OCD-boring-optimized.
Even if you stretch that as far as it will go, someone who spends half his gold on wands and burns through them is supposed to get back up, at least according to the general WBL rules. There's this unstated rule that he never will, and that the PCs would rather sell than use the vast majority of the consumable items they get, but it's never stated and never codified.
And part of the point, I suppose, is that those, too, are aspects of wealth that the WBL "unwritten rules" mean your PCs can never use, just like the 30k gold boat or the really nice palace that is basically a punishment to own.
I mean, personally, 2 out of the last 3 games buried me in useless magic items (and I do mean useless, cantrip wands and a sum total of 600 CLW charges across numerous wands) and severely limited places to buy, sell, or craft stuff. In one of them we could outfit every single party member with a +2 or better greataxe (no one used 2-handed weapons) and were still at half WBL when you added it up.
I like playing healbot, people will fall over themselves to protect me while I get to do what I always love doing, toss spells with one hand while holding a cocktail glass in the other.
Trapsmith is actually the problem entry, because while there are a lot of ways to make it work they all cost class abilities, skill points, and/or other resources that nobody wanted to actually spend because they wanted to do X. I mean, you can git'r'done with a single trait and 2 skill points (per level) if you have access to that 1 trait from Mummy's mask (apparently), but that's still a wasted trait and a wasted skill track (we won't count perception, but we will count disable device).
What can I say? We don't find traps or the traditional "thief" to be fun.
Another thing we have a problem with is filling a blank when someone switches archetypes. We have player a who likes playing Faces, but if he really gets into a bookish spellcaster with no people skills it's hard to get someone else to step up to the plate. We have someone who loves frontlining it with a big ol' tank, but when he decides to experiment with monk our backup is a gisher and the healbot-lover (me).
What does he collect the gold for, then?
Though to be honest, there's nothing non-magical (excepting "technically not magic" items like cybergear) that's going to break the game by the time your character can afford it. Commission a Trireme and man it? Not that big a deal even if you're rolling a pirate sandbox. They might be able to buy a bigger ship than they otherwise would have, but ship-to-ship combat is basically a separate game from the PC's abilities (and gear-based-bonuses) in all other ways.
Same is true, ultimately, with hirelings and bribery. You buy off the troll guards instead of diplomacy/intimidating them into "going on break and not coming back" and you had the same effect, and if the GM refuses to let one thing happen then the GM can refuse to let the other thing happen. You recruit a literal army and send them to clean out a dungeon you were supposed to crawl? Not that different from using an earthquake spell to bury the entire top level and abandoning that plot thread, especially when the army keeps all the loot for themselves (or worse, half of them come back as vampires).
If I had my heart set on separating wealth and power, I'd just make magic items impossible to buy and fabricate an alternate method of doing magic and alchemical items that functioned as clost to WBL as possible but didn't involve gold changing hands. Maybe the PCs have a patron/guild thing going and get their stuff from the boss, maybe they have magic tattoos that increase with level in the directions they wish, maybe they have a godly messenger reward them with lewts occasionally or just OOC tell me what they want and find it in the hands/claws/nests of the next monster when it's about time for a "gear" upgrade.
But there's the breakdown, I'd still be giving the PCs what they wanted, gear-wise (even if it wasn't actually "gear"); which is usually the real problem. The GM that waxes poetic about the "christmas tree effect" and laments the "unmagicalness of magic items" wants to control what goodies the PCs get. They hate the WBL system directing all players to get the +5 cloak instead of "something more interesting" because they hate the +5 cloak, not because it isn't magical.
Which is certainly an opinion to have and a gameplay style to follow. Indeed, apparently 5th edition really dives into that with magic items being even rarer than in 1st edition (Full disclosure, I'm going on second-hand stories there). But that's fundamentally a narrative and play-style problem. You want a game where you offer the players less choices and you take more control, and that's not something that a modular and mechanical rule-set is going to reflect beyond what modifications are necessary to make up for the magic items you banned or simply never gave to the PCs.
Oh, and a reminder of something often overlooked. Generally speaking static items are weaker than exhaustible items. A magic item that casts fly for 3 minutes per day is more expensive than a wand that casts it for 3 hours (but then runs out forever). This makes sense, since the wealth and the item is consumed. Except according to WBL the PC should get ALL that wealth back by next level to spend again, and let's be honest, a wand will last most folks through their entire level, maybe they'll need 2 if it's a particularly heavy-use item (CLW wand).
Yet for some reason it is always recommended to use consumables sparingly, and the idea of a wondrous item of infinite CLW is always met with a great wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I'm not explaining this as clearly as I'd like, but I'm not sure how to better word it...
Also the Dragon Empires Gazeteer gives some fluff on it to get started, if you just want to know whether or not you want to open that can of worms.
Go to the bottom of the Pit of Gormuz and return alive.
Actually, just clear out 9 major problem areas, such as the Haunted Nation of Shenmen, the Clicking Caverns, construct an elf gate or other fast-travel connection between Jinin and Kyonin, kill the Kraken in Wanshou.
Rescue 9 stolen souls from the darkest pits of the abyss.
Raise dead has specific text regarding "I was killed by stat drain/damage," while Breath of life does not.
Wanna start splitting hairs with wording? A shadow doesn't kill you, it's strength damage equaling or exceeding your total strength kills you. Since you don't get healed by Breath of Life you still have that damage.
Fun fact I just learned by looking it up, Greater Shadow does not create spawn. Ergo Raise Dead would work and would bring you back with 1 strength point.
Cheaper than resurrection, I suppose.
A thought occurs regarding double-barreled weapons; if firing the second barrel was a swift action (thus limiting you to one per round, or using them as part of your iterative attacks) would that be too far, just right, or not enough?
Musket can't do Free-action reloading (and thus iterative attacks) unless you get the special class feature that Musket Master has. Pistol can stack rapid reload with paper cartridges. Long-term, you want that free-action reload.
Range is an issue, but 40 ain't much better than 20.
zza ni wrote:
Blood Money is used as part of casting a spell with material cost to get that material cost. you can't rise money out of it. as whatever you make is used immediately in the 2nd spell.
"Shenanigans" presumes casting a spell that is worth money. Examples include Bless Water, Continual Flame, Masterwork Transformation, and of course: Fabricate.
You still have to sell the products, and blah blah blah spell is broken yada yada ways of stopping it etc. but the point is it works by RAW unless the GM goes out of her way to stop it. This makes it a wacky exploit, (the purpose of the thread) and by using the profits for something completely out-of-play (such as establishing a Temple/school/orphanage run by the church of Sarenrae) makes it "all in good fun" because it won't be breaking anything.
This rule continues onward to apply to ALL money-making shenanigans, such as Fabricating Longships out of trees, using divination and transmutation to mine out expensive ores, or industrializing charmed/undead/transmuted slaves in nasty sweatshops. Easy enough to throw all the money into incidentals and side-trips, such as Ale and whores for the local mayor or constructing major public works and plastering your name all over them.
Hell, it's (part of) how one guy became the Roman Emperor. Well, according to my dusty memories of some history channel show on the fellow.
Thing you have to understand about time travel is it all runs on applied bulls*&%^tium anyway. The more you think about it the more likely it is to cause problems.
So anyways, NPC travels time by jumping OUTSIDE of time. As a result he is no longer bound by causality, but he also doesn't properly exist in time and space. When he 'ports back to the beginning and gives the PC's tips, he's completely insubstantial and can only interact by talking, or perhaps even by writing. Maybe he's a ghostwriter or can only communicate through special means like the Selectric 251 or dreams. As a result he could be 20/10 super-archmage and still not do much.
As for bopping around and manipulating things out of order, nobody says he's the only version of himself, or sane after existing outside of time, or hitting the right timelines. There could be a plot point where two of them from two bad timelines are trying to kill/outmaneuver each other because the PCs have to choose A or B and (it turns out) both A and B end badly and they have to figure out C.
Of course in my experience with games, the players WON'T figure out C, they never do. But that's just one of the many challenges you've thrown into the blender when you whipped out the Time Chess set and started playing Paradox Poker with it.
As for the lost time lines, popular ends include "blew up the universe to fuel my trip back," "timeline turns to dust and ghosts which haunt you in the next campaign," "Timeline self-destructs, which is sad but nobody cares," and of course, "Timeline gets folded into existing one, some people get headaches or weird dreams, but everything is cool afterward."
Then you meet yourself, and mistake him for grandpa