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243 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Flavor. As a general rule the only things you can summon are either of animal or nearly-animal intelligence, or they are outsider "concept creatures" which embody some primal force, like fire or evil or clockwork precision. Dragons are people; terrestrial, smart, and free-willed (as well as huge and powerful and terrifying) and thus not really a part of that paradigm.

A quick skim through the summon lists shows most monsters for the higher level summons are CR (minimum caster level - 4). Sometimes -3, but it's fairly rare. This rule is harder to maintain at lower levels, but you don't care about those.

Beyond the above, there isn't much. I think there are a few other Prestige Classes out there like Dragon Disciple, maybe some special adventure-specific demon pacts or plot-powered magic items (I remember a certain grove of fruit trees that would either buff a stat or feed you to an elder god, let the biter beware)

And then there's custom-brew, the guidelines for ability score boosts above +6 remain, "bonus squared * 1000 gold", even if you want a 400,000 GP belt that grants a +20 enhancement to your strength.

And possibly psionics, I haven't read the Psionics unleashed book, but if it still has the old ability that let you burn power points for 1-round unnamed ability score buffs and the other old ability that let you pull power points from ioun stones you could give yourself [INTEGER OVERFLOW] strength and shatter the entire world with one mighty blow.

Basically the "you can't touch me" effect ONLY applies to critters that were brought in specifically with the Summon Monster spell (or spell-like ability). Any outsider brought along with Planar Binding or Gate or Plane Shift or actually being born on that plane (it happens, sometimes) is free to act.

The cosmology of 3.0 (which I assume this aspect as copied to Pathfinder) is that "Summon Monster" doesn't bring an actual monster from an actual other plane all the way into the caster's plane. Instead it basically creates an avatar of the creature which is bound by various restrictions and a time limit, and when the avatar is killed or runs out of time the original creature is unharmed (except maybe psychologically) on its home plane. This means summons have a bunch of restrictions to what they can do and what effects can stop them and whether or not they can betray the caster that brought them there which wouldn't stop "the genuine article."

That thinking leads to power creep and is generally why rogues suck now.

Yet I still agree with you...hmm, paradoxical.

Well, if I could get one of those old 3.5 reach-and-melee weapons, I might use that.

But most likely I'd just use a shield, I really like the Captain America fighting style, and I'm just not that big on two-weapon fighting anymore.

I'm not sure if that is the result of TWF rules being so prohibitive, losing interest in the theme because I can't think of a really interesting TWF character, or because I just don't do fighters that much anymore.

Entropic Steel: Said to be forged of Iron torn from the battlefields of Acheron and cooled in the waters of the River Styx, Entropic steel has the power of forgetfulness. On a successful critical hit it temporarily removes one (randomly chosen) feat or spell slot of the target's highest spell level.

It is very nice, and if you catch an enemy in it you can use stone shape on the next round to thicken the prison to the point it is functionally unbreakable (barring truly epic strength). Or just cover up their breathing passages for unconsciousness or murder.

I find it very odd that in 4th ed. Lay on Hands doesn't require, you know, hands.

Sword-and-board just doesn't get the headlines in any system. You aren't top-dog damager, your AC only goes so high (though up to +7 is something) and your hands are full.

But who says you need a sword? A shield of bashing takes 2 feats and a +1 enchantment to be both a shield and a longsword in one, leaving your other hand free for spellcasting, healing, body-dragging, and rude gestures.

And there is nothing stopping you from two-handing it for the extra 1.5 STR mod to damage.

-Do ya have a ring of sustenance? Reduces needed sleep, frees up your hunger bar, and cures hangovers.

-One Item I've always wanted a character to have but can't justify the cost on is a pair of use-activated gauntlets that infinite-cast Stone Shape, making a master sculptor who can build a huge statue in just a few hours. 2k * 3rd level spell * 5th level caster = 30k. I know it's another spell you could just cast yourself, but stone shape is a special case because on those occasions when you want it for adventuring, you usually need like 20 castings to shape ENOUGH stone.

-The Blessed Book is 12.5k by itself, if it were, say, an adamantine sphere the size of a fist and was read/interacted with via illusion magic and recalled itself to your possession every morning (assuming same plane of existence) it would run around 30k, and if lightning struck and the DM allowed it to have an AI interface as an intelligent item making little holographic projections and acting like Jarvis from Iron Man, that would be fun too.

So it is a physical addiction? Because there's a pretty vast gulf between the chemically addictive need and the psychologically addictive want. The first leads to murder and suicide, the second leads to lots of whining and petty thefts. Examples, I knew someone coming off heroin was wracked with pain, like "starving to death while being injected with mild acid," pain. The person coming off of weed on the other hand merely became depressed as she realized what a loser she was, actually cleaned up her act for 3 whole months (as in her apartment was no longer a sty and her job performance was, "good," instead of, "why haven't we fired her yet?"). But she also spent the entire time coming up with excuses why she'd be better on weed, that it helped her think, that she was smarter and better with it and that there was no difference at all so she should start toking again.

Presuming it's more like heroin, I'm reminded of that scene in GoT where Bronn talks about sieges and starvation. The smart dealers are going to stockpile every scrap they can, stealing when able and banding together when not, while dumb ones are going to jack up the prices, sell everything, and then get torn apart by rabid junkies when they run out and the junkies refuse to believe them. You'll have pretty rich folk trading magic and treasures for a single hit, you'll have killers trying to put everyone else in the same raw pain they're feeling, you'll have at least 3 people trying to synthesize more or force some kidnapped alchemist to do so. Alchemists like your cohort?

A psychological addiction just results in a whole lot of bitter grumpy a%#$*!+s taking out their dissatisfaction on the rest of the world. They'd also commit crimes, not as desperately as a smack-addict because they still have other things to live for but they'd steal and lie and murder more for the drug than they would have if it were readily available.

Other dealers would be dealing other drugs, because there is always a vice to be found, various dealers who used the drug to control their minions would fall and most organized crime would become DISorganized as the crime families "restructured" just like Robespierre's reign of terror. Since it's a pirate city chances are good a lot of angry pirates in bad moods would be sober enough to do a bit more raiding than normal.

But I also like HaraldKlak's suggestion of more fantastical elements. Consider, a demiplane is a massive creation and a lot of creativity, supposing there's some godling or alien horror that feeds off of creativity, consuming the "spark" of the soul that leads to beauty and art and creation as users "burn it out" on their hallucination. It probably would be angered and hungry once the supply of junkies dwindled and come a-calling, to find out why and how to get more.

Common "cures" that successfully replace an addiction include OTHER addictions, religion, and undeath. A new cult that cures the DTs as long as you keep worshipping the new god(dess) who is secretly an aspect of (insert fiend lord here, perhaps Nocticula or Eiseth?). Or perhaps an ambitious vampire is raising an army of bloodbound spawn. Or finally you just have black lotus make a comeback and a war start over territory.

Illusions and necromancy and being slightly insane but also irritatingly sunny-dispositioned, and I'm seeing mention of fey upthread.

I'm reminded of Lorwyn's elves, who practiced poison-magic and green-black necromancy (corpses animated by magical vines) and of fey in general stealing children and/or "borrowing" them only to deposit them years later, sometimes with new knowledge, sometimes with no memories at all.

So I find myself imagining a pixie wizard named Doktor Spyder who was researching ways to manipulate and control life energy as well as extend his own life, but needed a pair of tallfolk hands to do the heavy lifting. One quick trip to a nasty country and a slave purchase later he had himself a young boy who was just glad to not be slated for some horrible fate. Years past, the boy became a man and learned from his teacher, and his teacher tried one final experiment to become undead which failed. The results were so horrible that Fassal refuses to have anything to do with undead, but at the same time the powers of shadow and mind are as much his life as if he were born to them.

+1 to uncertainty if Spyder's final fate is somewhat uncertain, he's believed to be dead but there's a tiny chance he's something else, probably not a lich, but maybe a ghost.

Which spawns a second consideration, perhaps the full-of-life illusionist and necromancer is haunted. Maybe he spends a LOT of time talking to ghosts, and is so cheery and bright because, among other things, he feels the need to brighten the moods of the restless spirits around him.

If it lasted 24 hours I would take prestidigitation even if it was 1st level spell. It is every modern convenience a wizard needs rolled into one, from staving off pneumonia by cleaning and drying your clothes to half the minor telekinetic tricks that any Jedi would use to putting on a show in order to win over peasant children.

Goth Guru wrote:

So Sad Skull the Demi Litch could have a tooth cloned and the clone could enjoy life like he no longer could?

Your vampire would suddenly suffer amnesia. 3rd edition rules are that once activated, the clone becomes the only one of that person. The rest of the body cannot be resurrected. All the memories, levels, and name are transferred. Since vampire is a template, you would have to leave it the levels it got since rising. Either that, or it turns to ash and blows away.

This presumes no separation between soul and spirit, a separation vaguely supported by such things as generic d20 speak with dead (though not, oddly enough, the PF version).

Real-world theology and parapsychology have long held the idea of many spirits within one being, of souls that are naturally divided (see the Taoist Yin-Yang for the most obvious example) into separate parts of a greater whole. Now obviously this has as little or as much to do with the game rules as you want it too, I'm just blathering because I find the topic interesting...

Another interesting bit of lore from a Dragon magazine "ecology of-" article was the Devourer, a giant (large size) undead which rips out the souls of the people it slays and uses said soul to charge its supernatural powers until the soul is expended and consumed. In the article much was made of them being desperate to regain their own soul, and consuming others to fill the indescribable emptiness of an existence without one. In this story they were first created when a failed rebellion against the githyanki lich-queen (said rebel had the option of having his soul eaten by her or going rebel) left a number of soul-drained bodies floating through the astral near some negative-material-plane portals. It ended with a second rebellion that climaxed with the Devourer and the lich queen fighting atop a pile of the corpses of their loyal servants and uncertainty as to whether either escaped "alive."

But that was another tale of another time, the focus here is why a lich would ever experiment on himself first, when there was a perfectly good fallen paladin to run the risk of madness or ectobiological dissolution for it first. I mean, animal testing protects more important beings, and everything's an animal to a sociopathic undead wizard, especially former paladins.

Sleep-Walker wrote:
If all of the players were on-board then keeping the mole mis-informed would be an option. The mole is in a relationship with a PC who will not agree to such a plan.

Nah, even if they were on board a lot of them probably have crap bluff checks, you'd be misinforming everyone.


WWBD? What would Batman do? Having just played Arkham city where special weapons (which would be off-handed) included smoke bombs, caltrops, bolas, shuriken, grappling hooks, and (not in the game) tanglefoot bags.

I find entangling enemies to be quite under-rated. It brings down anything with wings, knocks out 4 dex with no save, and reduces enemy to-hit. And that's before you start adding on effects that can be applied to the bag instead of the target, like the silence spell.

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Inside of every problem is a solution involving high explosives, inside of every mole is a false information hotline to the enemy, and inside of every infestation of the bee people is a central mass.

Seems to me a known mole is useful to keep alive and misinformed.

Monk/cleric, beat people down with your fists of fury.

Talos Valcoran wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

really? is the OP upset about PCs being at full health every fight?

750 GP per wand which has 50 uses before it burns out. later on, they will need like a dozen wands per encounter. even more if you have a large party.

wand of infernal healing (or lesser vigor w/ 3.5 edition stuff) is cheaper, but slower.

and when you consider how much time is spent healing between encounters, travel becomes a whole lot slower.

slower travel means you spend more time at the same level due to taking longer to adventure.

I'm not upset I'm asking about a magic item I've never encountered. Since when is doing a little research being upset?

People often don't read as carefully as they ought to in discussion threads. Try not to take it personally.

Here's a more amusing factoid, a use-activated item that does continuous or unlimited castings of a spell is 2k * caster level * spell level, possibly * 2 for being slotless. You could have an infinite-charge CLW (*rolls randomly*) nipple ring for 4000 gold with just core rule guidelines.

Not that anyone should, but if they did, at level 10, I don't think it would really change much in most campaigns.

As Mysterious stranger says, Wish can do pretty much whatever you need.

Undead being soulless is less than clear in PF, for complicated editorial reasons (soulology and ectobiology are tricky subjects with far-reaching storyline ramifications). This is fine, and you're well within your rights to rule undead are without souls but that rule and topics related to it are going to be largely uncharted territory, and therefore your call.

If an undead critter is without a soul, you could (arguably) use a combination of restore corpse and purify food and drink to make unrotted flesh from dried bone.

A regular clone of the undead critter would have whatever class levels/powers/body it had when it died, but perhaps you want something lower?

If you actually WANT the shared-soul/split-mind nightmare thing I would say undead critter has "captured" its own soul from another plane using some weird dark ritual and is splitting off pieces of that soul to create clones. Side effects include ability to share senses, varying abilities among clones, direct and/or indirect control of the clone, encroaching madness, a slowly degrading original soul, and the possibility of clonal rebellion wherein a clone begins to grow a new full soul based on the "seed" taken from undead critter.

The real question is why anything with access to at least 8th level spells (clone) can't get at least a resurrection up ins and cure all its ills. Even a True Resurrection should be within reach at that point via a scroll or a deal with an extra-planar. I assume you already have the answer to that question, and I am pretty sure it's going to have an effect on the why and how of creating clones and messing around with souls to find a cure.

Is there going to be a dramatic reveal where one of the PCs turns out to be a "Cloud" to undead baddie's "Sephiroth"?

Presumably using a wand isn't directly touching someone.

Arrows of Cure were a thing, a silly, silly thing, once upon a time.

The 3.5 complete arcane had spelltiles which were basically throable potions.

Turn your allies undead and there are some nice negative ener- why are you giving me THAT look? Okay nevermind...

Talos Valcoran wrote:
Matt2VK wrote:

Something you need to look at -

That Wand of CLW takes a Cleric of 5th level that has the Feat: Craft Wand. Which then takes resources and a full day to make.

This is no real problem for PC to make if they have the feat but can be a problem for NPC. As clerics of that level usually have other duties to preform.

So while there can be Wands of CLW out there for the PC to buy. You can limit how many are out there that they can buy and at what price.

I've thought about this but I've not really thought about a number just yet. I sincerely doubt Sandpoint has stockpiles of wands of clw. So at low levels his access to them will probably be fairly limited.

At low levels he hasn't yet realized how quickly wand prices go up. 750 gold is bargain-basement dollar-menu cheaper-than-several-one-shot-wondrous-items cheap. (bead of force, if memory serves)

Keep calm and carry on. Also, according to the Pathfinder panel run by, like, the lead designer, "killing PCs is fun."

Last time this showed up in regular play the DM tried to cut down on the abusability of it by treating the falling object with the same rules as a cave-in. It worked okay.

Sounds like 6 cases of plot armor and a desperate need for a Macguffin that fits the chinks in said armor.

The "ancient undead that are older than several gods and civilizations" and "really odd to see 4 of them together" are plot hooks that have fallen the the thudding CLANG of a boat-anchor, but the clarity of a smokestick.

My guess? Things have gotten political and you need to go find some unbeatable champion force/avatar of a god to fight THEIR unbeatable champion force/avatars of a god.

But it's just a guess.

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Crikey that was long.

How does one justify being a pirate? Yar - har - fiddle-dee-dee, being a pirate is all right with me!


Make a new character. You're already going to, or throw in a *very* drastic shift, (key point, you left your tribe rather than just murder every tribe-member who threatened you and yours) and you have a good reason to not tolerate slavery. Moreover as long as vampire-dude is on the ship you're pretty much hosed because you're ALL just bloodbags to him, betrayal and mutiny or eventual consumption are pretty much your only options.

I mean I guess you could get turned, go vampire, be evil, but it's basically unavoidable that a character with one way of doing things (exceptionally dark privateering) is still "only one calorie, not evil enough."

Is his name Rock Lee?

Sorry that's probably both stupid and obscure.

Barbarian seems like a good addition, since your guy's whole backstory was uncontrollable rage. Three things that spring to mind are the (Su) rage powers because your guy discovers he can only work mystical ki-powers if he's in his uncontrollable rage. Or The rage powers centered around messing up magic because he hates it (even though those rage powers are supernatural) or work on a spirit totem line that ties in with the mystery of why your character is SO. DARN. ANGRY. RRRR!

And now I'm remembering the Angry Marines.

Vampires are noted for summoning some crap monsters, mind control, and energy drain (two types). Everything else (in terms of relevant offense) is the same as a human with whatever class levels they have. You have mind control covered with Protection from (alignment) and you're working on negative energy protection.

Thing is I don't know how far this "we're vampires but immune to all undead weaknesses" goes. Are they immune to positive energy?

Assuming it's just sun and holy water, there is a D20 critter from other sources called the Ravid which hits things with positive energy, can animate objects to serve it, and was once on the Summon Monster 7 list. A good combo if you can convince one to come to the Prime and make, say, a giant stone bash-o-matic out of a nearby castle wall.

More within Rules-as-written anyone with UMD should have a decent chance of dealing serious damage with a healing wand or scroll.

But let's say these jokers have immunity to everything easy, I still have a plan and it's right up your character's alley. You're smart, you're magic, and you use/know/love gunpowder. My people have a saying, "inside of every problem is a solution involving high explosives." Step one is to scry the location of the vamp's empty coffins, they'll still have 'em since that's where vamps go to regenerate when you chop them up into bits. Step 2 is to beg, borrow, or steal a metric ****-ton of gunpowder and/or the fabricate spell a few times. Step 3 is to have the rogue, with teleport support, steal the coffins and put them somewhere nearby. Step 4 is BLOW UP THE CASTLE. Step 5 is advance and smash any surviving (but injured) vampires with overwhelming conventional assault. Step 6 is stake them in their coffins, which they instinctively flee to but are in your possession. Optional step 7 is Miller time.

Blowing up the castle may require an engineering roll, as well as placing the powder inside the castle, but should (hopefully) allow you to bury the vampires in rubble, just make sure the fuse is surrounded with garlic and holy symbols.

Now then, in terms of combat a vampire's saves are based on class but they all have strong reflexes. Since most of their abilities are supernatural an anti-magic field might prove most useful, especially if one or more of the high-rank Leeches is a spellcaster. Just remember to plan the tactical usage of it out with the party because it's going to center on whoever uses the scroll, which probably means your sorceror buddy.

Finally, when it comes to the avatar guys? From the sound of things they are giant walking engines of destruction slowly plowing their way towards the city like a big ol' tank column. And the best way to deal with a column of tanks is precise, strategic use of carpet nuking. It's cheap and mean but a bombing run involving many gallons of acid, flaming oil, and/or lava can all be done with a little flight magic, a few castings of Shrink Item, and some leg-work. Just drop the shrunk item and dismiss the spell. Landmines and traps like Explosive Runes also work.

- War (Mass Battles)

No thanks. I mean I like war as a backdrop or even playing a strike-team while a battle rages nearby but I don't have the mindset for playing warhammer and the like.

- Post - 20th Level Content (Not necessarily 21st level)

Although I always wish I had more power and rarely get to roll with characters above, say, 8th level; Epic-level stuff is just...meh. It's like DBZ when every single character is strong enough to blow up a planet, it just doesn't seem to make sense.

- Some Science-Fiction Elements

I could take it or leave it. It's usually fun for me, depending on the implementation, but if it provokes a particularly hateful response among other players they tend to suck the fun out of the whole thing.

- Diplomacy and Intrigue (More Roleplay than Rollplay)

Yeah. I also like "dynamic diplomacy," where the adventure includes choosing whether to, say, rescue the princess or deliver her to different kidnappers and the related political ramifications. Not everybody's good at acting, but most of us have played a bioware game.

- Modified Profession/Craft Skills (Opening up new options)


- A World With More Races (More than just the core races appearing prominently)

Yes, actually. I was just thinking about how much I don't like Elves and Dwarves, or more accurately "declining and waning" Tolkien-style elves and dwarves. I listen to enough whining from long-lived people about the decline and decay of western civilization in the real world and *everybody* has elves and dwarves. I especially like the rat-folk, there's something charming about those little gypsies.

- Time Travel (Only to a specific event in time)

I could take it or leave it. It's a solid plot device but whether or not it's fun depends on the implementation, much like the entirety of the plot.

- Less Good vs Evil and more Lesser of Two Evils.

What about greater of two goods? I don't like, "****-sandwich, now take a bite" adventures because if you're hosed no matter what you pick because it's a downer. I *do* enjoy some ambiguity from time to time, and I'm okay with adventures where the multiple "win" conditions all have downsides, I just don't want a situation where the best outcome is, "Well at least the town died horribly in fire instead of having their souls devoured slowly to empower an eldritch evil." Maybe have only the innocent-but-dickish town council get killed.

- Factions (Earn reputation and rewards)

I'm prejudiced against these because of MMO experiences but it actually *does* make sense and is a lot better than forcing the DM to come up with in-game versions of, "we made good friends with these people and they like us a lot."

- Optional Objectives and Locations (Small side-quests and locales for players to explore.)

Of course, do you even have to ask?

Beyond that? I would like to see many, many things, some of which probably wouldn't fit together.

-Adventures from 0-20th level.

-Politics and diplomacy ranging from family feuds to the eon-spanning plots of extra-planar powers.

-An optional "0th adventure" where the party starts as NPC classes, only gaining "real" classes after 500XP of getting to know each other and work together solving Farmer Brown's rat problem or rescuing the lost halfling child. To their benefit, perhaps the players get the powers of their stint in suckville "free", stacking with the normal benefits of a level 1 (insert chosen class).

-Mobile living space, either in the air or on the water. a Floating Fortress is good, a floating city is even better.

-Better living through magic. Like Eberron or some parts of Forgotten Realms have a nation-state where wizards come down from their hidden towers and cloistered demiplanes and actually make the world a better place, with magical mass-transit, magically-mechanized labor, proper sanitation and such.

-Healing Salve, the alchemist's poor-substitute for a healing potion.

-A Big Bad Evil Guy who is supposed to lose in the end, but a whole lot of more ambiguous struggles in between him and the PCs. Like nations at war who went to war on their own, whether or not BBEG is taking advantage of the conflict.

-Dragons! Good and evil. I like dragons.

-I still like the campaign world I made where elves had conquered and politically/socially absorbed the Drow, almost wiped out the orcs, killed both Lolth and Gruumsh, and forged a slave-taking fairly-evil empire on the surface world, and were expanding. It was fun because the Drow were refugees/slaves and the orcs were going through a cultural renaissance (similar to the orcs of Warcraft under Warchief Thrall actually, but much less in number).

-Morally ambiguous necromancy. If you pay a dying man (and his needy family) for permission to use his corpse after disease kills him, and use that corpse for acts of good like building roads and aqueducts, is it still just an evil act?

Eh, probably.

Ranged fighters don't have the BOOM of a spellcaster but they can fire a LOT of arrows per round which tend to hit more often (arrow don't get saving throw) and they don't run out of arrows as fast as a mage runs out of spells.

When it comes to major ****block defenses, like flight+wind wall or improved invisibility there are usually magic items that can get around them or at least mitigate the impact, it will just suck a lot harder for the fighters.

When it comes to more complicated problems, like chasing the BBEG to his extra-planar escape or undoing a permanent curse they're kind of hosed. And with no good will saves it is a much higher possibility that the whole party gets mind-controlled and permanently enslaved.

Beyond that your question is more a sense of opposition. There are basically two things a fighter does, fight at range and fight in close. Looking in closer you also have reach vs. melee, but only a little since any spear-wielder also has a steel gauntlet. AC is relevant but at the end of the day the difference between the blocker and the basher is going to be 2-7 points, and at higher levels AC stops being *that* relevant because all your enemies have unholy attack bonuses.

And in an all-fighter party you don't actually WANT everyone to be specialized because with no healer you need pretty good overlap of "jobs" for when one fails her will save against the Sexy Sparklepire.

John-Andre wrote:
boring7 wrote:
Is it the armor?

No, it's a stated preference to avoid spellcasters. I know that spellcasters tend to rule the roost as you rise in levels, and sure, if I wanted to play a powerful character I could build a sorcerer and rule the roost. I don't want to play powerful. I did 'powerful'. Building a complete damage-dealer isn't FUN. Concept characters, those are FUN to me.

What I meant was, "why not fighter or barbarian, is it the armor?"

Your own story about ladder-fighting points out you can fight with an improvised weapon instead of a real weapon. Like your cookware or some such, so I was guessing it had to do with the fact that non-monks and rogues doing melee kinda NEED to wear armor.

Didn't say you could.

When the party is in melee the squishy caster who hides behind the fighter still tends to get within melee range of at least one enemy, there are only so many fighters to hide behind after all.


Arguably they can't go through stone, burrow always seemed vague on that sort of thing.

Pretty sure umber hulks can do it though, are they in PF?

davidernst11 wrote:
John-Andre wrote:
davidernst11 wrote:
By the way, a wizard with 20 intelligence should have 5 spells: 1 base, 1 for primary school, 2 for intelligence bonus, and one from the bonded item.
As an aside: It's kind of funny how people just assume you'll be playing a minmaxed character. What if the OP wanted a wizard with, oh, I dunno, average strength? Decent CON? Or wanted a familiar, and not the bonded item? Or worse yet, wanted to play a universalist?

I was going by what the original poster used as an example (20 int, bonded item). I was saying that in that scenario, you get 5 spells instead of 4.

If you had decent strength, you wouldn't be asking a question about what to do, as you won't be much worse than a fighter at hitting with attacks.

And Universalist wizards? Pssh, who would play one of those? ;)

Me. Every school has something that is worth keeping unto very high levels of play.

Though admittedly, my last mage was an abjurationist and dropped illusion and enchantment.

And it's always important to remember what you can do without a spell. There are a lot of combat options, uses for skills, and the like to be used without magic, or with nothing but cantrips.

I once used detect magic to find a shapeshifter who was pulling a, "which one is the real one" dilemma with another character. Transmutation has a certain aroma to it, after all.

John-Andre wrote:
I remember a 2nd Ed D&D campaign I played in; we started as 0-level characters and went all the way to 15th. I ended up as the dwarf fighter who specialized in ladders. (We were told to go into the shed and pick weapons. The party rogue and the ranger grabbed the two longswords. I was told 'there are plenty of axes...' but I refused to be pigeonholed into being a typical dwarf, so I grabbed a ladder. Never regretted that decision.)

Improvised weapons are always amusing, though my "child of the 90s" trait continues a big soft spot for the spiked chain.

John-Andre wrote:
That being said, I think the best options for an 'accidental' character are the monk, or the rogue. If you want 'accidental spellcasting', then the bard or the sorcerer are the way to go, but for what I want, I think I'd go with one of the first two.

Is it the armor?

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Your crossbow likely has only a 20% (at worst) lower chance of hitting than the halfling's.

Aid Another.

Creative use of non-combat 0th level spells. Like using Prestidigitation to increase the barbarian's intimidate check.

Wiggz wrote:
Johnico wrote:

How I've always run it is that Charm makes the target your best friend, and won't do anything that your best friend wouldn't do. I highly doubt that your best friend will agree to hand over all of his worldly possessions and walk away just because you asked nicely, for example. He might, with some persuasion (the Charisma check in the spell), be convinced that pantsing the mayor would be HILARIOUS though.

Dominate person makes that person your mind slave, they'll do anything for you, even if they don't really want to (applying new saving throws as necessary). You can convince people to murder their own family with this spell, and then urinate on the caskets during the funeral. Assuming they fail their saving throws, of course.

So Charm = helpful and Dominate = obediant?

There's still some grey area there but I think that's a very good way to look at it.

Exactly. That gray area is because mind-control itself is a gray area. Billions of dollars and large amounts of LSD in the MKULTRA program proved how vague and difficult to quantify or reliably manipulate human consciousness really is. It is also meant to slip wiggle-room into when a PC gets mind-warped, because taking control of someone's character away from them, even a DM, can be problematic.

Enchantment is like illusion, the right illusion will have an enemy wet themselves and run, the wrong illusion can actually just make them mad. The right suggestion will have a villain jumping off a cliff, the wrong one will have them breaking the spell and trying to murder you.

But when it comes to a creature's "nature" the general rule is, "does this go against my defining characteristics." An evil mercenary fighter is not, generally speaking, noted for incredible to-the-death loyalty, even to his friends. An incredibly greedy merchant is, however, extremely resistant to giving large amounts of money to poor people.

Unless you can convince him it's tax deductible. Because mind-control is a subtle thing...

Dragonhide description:

"HP/inch 10 (hide of a dragon is typically between 1/2 inch and 1 inch thick).
Hardness 10
Cost Dragonhide armor costs twice as much as masterwork armor of the same type, but it takes no longer to make than ordinary armor of that type (double all Craft results). If the armor or shield is later given the ability to protect the wearer against that energy type, the cost to add such protection is reduced by 25%." It also includes, "If the dragonhide comes from a dragon that had immunity to an energy type, the armor is also immune to that energy type, although this does not confer any protection to the wearer."

So yeah, you want to make the actual PAPER resistant you have to enchant it. Alternative materials for the actual pages were written-up by a third-party group but are on the PFSRD. Maybe your spellbook is made entirely of bronze and weighs so much you need a donkey to carry it.

Enchanting a spellbook with fire resistance for itself would presumably be the same as a ring of fire resistance (I am just assuming this is about fire) less 30-50% (I'd say 50 but DM's call) because it affects your item instead of you and maybe stick a use-activated Quench spell effect once per day that goes off whenever fire touches it.

Finally I made a homebrew magic item a while back (somehwere in the homebrew forum) that was essentially a Blessed Book except its "pages" were a holographic interface projected by a fist-sized magic ball made of adamantine. It cost 15k gold, more if you got the version which could generate Major Image effects on command, and the artifact version could Fly, was filled with every possible spell, but was intelligent and would only share the knowledge if you proved yourself worthy.

"Hey guys, I'm going to play a barbarian that has to be referred to as "duchess" or he goes into an uncontrollable rage! It's funny and cool because villains talk to him wrong and then he snaps and smashes them like (insert other media character here) and explains how a peace-loving soul is also a crazed barbarian! It's your problem if you don't want to talk to "the Duchess" or affect an attitude of deference to her delusional court because this is PFS and that's my character!"

I'm not saying you can't have quirks, but there are other considerations besides JUST what you want because it isn't JUST your story.

Like Lune said, what you have described is a character that NEEDS the PCs and the DM to "play along" and do the "dragging".

Or I guess you could just play a seemingly-insane person who SWEARS they have been "cursed" and are going to die if they don't ride-along with the party. Hell you don't even have to have a legitimate problem, maybe the "curse" was a very convincing lie, or maybe you are just insane.

What Gluttony said. Internet forums have a striking tendency to not read posts in their entirety, or sometimes at all before diving into answers, oftentimes compounding mistakes when the first reply mentions "spellcaster would be better" and the second reply goes, "THIS spellcaster would be better" and the third one just talks about spellcasters.

Why push towards magic? Because magic is better. Magic = power and is the difference between an awesome fantasy world where heroes of legend beat villains of also-legend instead of being a medieval-dwelling baseline human who is going to die by 35 because life is terrible and a case of the sniffles is 50% fatal. On a macro scale magic = technology, and life without either is pretty sucky.

Why the push towards magic in your particular thread? Because this is also The Internet, where if people disagree with anything, (like your stated reasoning for not playing a caster) they are going to argue with that reasoning, which several of us did. Not that it matters since from THIS thread it seems your real reasoning is, "I hate PF-style spellcasters." Hell even 4th ed. had a problem of "per-encounter" powers, and that was for *every* class.

Also, magic for your particular character works BETTER in a lot of ways, the mysterious and sudden acts of competence from a seemingly-innocent nobody are that much more understandable if they are "mutant powers" or weird magic, because magic is, you know, MAGICAL. It's weird and unexplained and nobody really understands it or why or how you're doing it, including you. It's like the origin story of nearly every super-hero ever who fell into powers accidentally.

Maybe I am misremembering, but I don't think Bilbo, Luke, or even Frodo were exactly press-ganged into it. They were manipulated and pressured some but they still made the choice.

But that's irrelevant, the question and the problem are the sense of utterly incompetent luck and implied lack of growth. The character has to seem like they're no darned good at all at doing whatever it is they do while still managing to do it, and while there are more examples than just Arthur Dent, they're kind of hard to do in a game where you can lose. If the whole point of the character is tripping and falling backwards into success every. single. time. you have to be the one writing the plot, which isn't how a role-playing game really works.

It's how a railroad works.

It has the same problem with balancing that Monk has. If your stats are super-high with a heroic game you can clock in super-AC, if they aren't then while you are struggling to get one more point of AC while a tin-can fighter can just strap on a few more layers of leather and steel.

Honestly if I was going that route I would dig up the old "toughened hide" feat/trait/perk (the last printed version I remember was in Hackmaster of all things) as a class ability that just grants a slowly-scaling boost to your AC because your barbarian character toughens up his hide. For scaling the Eye of Gruumsh PrC is probably a good start and while it's still easy to outclass other players, it is static and easier to account for.

But I admit I haven't run the numbers, perhaps I'm off-base.

Also, fundamentally the party can't IGNORE NPC conversations if they grab them by the nose. When the wild-eyed man talking to himself and licking his pennies suddenly grabs the wizard and says, "YOU! You're the only one that can stop the Underdweller horde!" they are going to have to do something, and if that something ends in an arrest and a jailbreak, hey, that's still an adventure.

More city hooks, arranged by sub-category though there is always bleed-over depending on how the party tries to solve things.

Hunt and kill the evil:

-Drunk party members get rolled, have to track down their stolen stuff through the underworld.
-Sex cult of Malcanthet (queen of succubi) is operating in the wharf district, passion and murder and keeping the barbarian from being distracted by boobs.
-Were-rats have established a warren and are killing/converting folk, gotta put a stop to 'em.
-Slaver squad is nabbing vagabonds, street-people, and the like for sale outside the city.
-A mad prophet is preaching a strange new religion (that secretly worships monsters, like the Illithid) is gaining converts, annoying the local churches, and just barely legal. Party has to investigate and kill the monsters (or illegally kill the prophet)
-Mysterious Job posted, upon entering the spacious mansion to discuss getting hired they are trapped in a labyrinth of the evil Noble's design, possibly live on pay-per-scry.
-Murder most foul and no one knows whodunnit! Find the killer maybe?
-Doppelgangers, doppelgangers everywhere.

Politics and moral ambiguity:

-Were-rats again, but they are wiping out the thieves' guild with the implicit blessing of the city guard. Does the party choose a side, possibly making enemies they cannot afford?
-A mad prophet is preaching a strange new religion and the local churches want him gone, do you protect him and his ambiguous faith or assassinate him for a reward?
-Drow (or Duergar) are entwining themselves politically and economically with a noble house, but not actually breaking the law or committing acts of evil.
-Local lord/rich merchant is engaged in debt-slavery to enslave people for work in the mines and/or the brothels, or even legally empowered to take a girl to his bed/be wed despite her opinion on the matter. Just killing him isn't an easy answer since what he's doing is legal.
-The Capulet and Montague Expies are hiring mercs, like the party, to fight their sometimes legal, sometimes not feud.
-Murder Most Foul, but to cover up the crime or their incompetent investigation the city guard is already railroading a scapegoat.
-Refugees from war-torn land are filling the slums of the city, locals hate them and crime is on the rise, aside from being a perfect backdrop for predators like those listed above there are politics afoot to legally "solve" the refugee problem, maybe it's a "final solution" or maybe they'll just be packed even more tightly into walled-off ghettos.
-Local lord is doppelganger/demon-posessed/just plain evil. How to prove it without getting in trouble?
-Assassination attempt on the ambassador drags the city to the brink of war! Whodunnit and how do you avert a war that may already be inevitable?!

Good Clean Fun:

-Fighting tourneys, festivals, religious ceremonies, charity drives, or just a trench that needs digging and the wizard has Move Earth in his spellbook.
-Magic stuff the party wants will take a few days to craft, make them LOOK for their fun.
-Ale and whores.
-All of the above having a sinister dark-side that connects directly to the OTHER plot hooks of evil cults and doppelgangers and such.
-Mysterious plague of childish pranks descend upon the city.
-Enormously inconvenient: A mistake with the magic shop auto-brewer leaves the entire party (plus shopkeeper) 6 inches tall.
-A strange metal cube plunges from the night sky, within which the heroes find a horde of autognomes in need of parts to repair their "ship."
-Old Man Katan and the Incredible Edible Dancing Mushroom Band have come to town, Katan is plagued by campestris and a giant crocodile nemesis.
-A really big (too big for the party or the city to fight without losses) intelligent monster has come to town and desires to sample the finest and most famous delicacies of local cuisine.
-A monster summoning spell gone terribly awry has left the party with an accidentally kidnapped princess, who is 4 years old.
-While drunk, the party injured/frightened off several actors from a traveling troupe that has been ordered to give a command performance by the King. The director desperately needs new actors and the party is just the right size for the costumes.

Yes. You can add just about any by-the-book enchantment to it, unless the GM says otherwise.

Though you still can't use it to kick up the spell you "retrieve" from it.

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"Crouching Moron, hidden badass" is pretty easy for any class, but for the specifically cowardly, completely self-aware, and yet still hyper competent by (apparent) blind luck character only comes in two flavors: Fighter or Sorceror.

Now "fighter" can be Barbarian, Paladin, or whatnot but their spells and abilities have to be unplanned and explainable as random chance or subconscious instinct, like casting a spell because for you the verbal components are stammering, "c-c-can't we talk about this?" and the somatics are "holding up your hands in a surrender-ish pose" and the general pattern has to be swinging a sword or throwing a punch or whatnot.

Sorceror, as explained, is just, "oh god I screamed 'keep away' and saved my arms in a sissy-slap motion and now he's on fire! Oh god how did this happen I am not good with computer, I mean magic?!"

A broader version of the trope is the character who lacks this self-awareness, and is actually QUITE competent in numerous areas, but doesn't THINK so. Example:
"I don't know why you keep calling me skilled, I'm just a scullery maid!"
"You just picked 7 locks."
"Sometimes the mistress forgets to unlock the supply cabinet."
"...and the dangerous poisoned traps you disabled?"
"I thought the pressure pad was dusty, I didn't expect it to shoot darts when I poked it with my feather duster."
"What about the eagle-eyed guard you slipped past?"
"The mistress is a very light sleeper so we have to be very quiet."
"and when you disabled him?!"
"I thought he saw me so I panicked and hit him, I didn't know it would knock him out!"
"And your expertise in untying us and tying him up?"

A character who thinks anyone can do what they do, who always wants to run away but runs the wrong way, who disappears at every town but ends up rejoining the party as they're leaving because of "legal trouble" or amorous advances is doable, the challenge is not in the rules, it is in the role-play.

Well okay, it is also in the plot. The man who knew too little stumbled through his successes precisely because the villains never figured out he was just an actor who thought it was all a show.

Melee only means melee only, it doesn't work on ranged weapons. If you throw your sword (with this enchantment) as an improvised ranged weapon the enchantment has no effect.

Core rulebook says: "A weapon with a special ability* must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus. Weapons cannot possess the same special ability more than once."

*special abilities being enchantments like Guided weapon or shocking or whatnot.

Fighting with the biting wit of sarcasm, his name is Sarcastro?

I didn't realize that was a question.

Wow, I hadn't realized that out of over 30 archetypes not one rogue abandons sneak attack.

That's terrible.

Yeah, Shadowdancer is the best bet, and Archaeologist bard gets you there without all that performance-based nonsense or unnecessary combat abilities. And you can stack in some weak healing.

I still like the idea of making him an awakened golem.

hogarth wrote:
Tandriniel wrote:

A crafty player wants the following:

A gargantuan Balista (the Gate Breaker), 6D8, 19/20 + Shrink item

It sounds too big for Shrink Item. At caster level 20, Shrink Item can affect an item up to 40 cubic feet; that's an object about 3.5' x 3.5' x 3.5'.

That was the other thing. Picking a particularly dense Oak and assuming the ballista weighs 2000 pounds (I think it's actually double that) the internet still tells me it's about 50 cubic feet.

But I've always been hazy on sizes when you start getting into exact dimensions.

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