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Disintegrate does 2d6 per level with a max of 40d6 (needs the spellblending and close range arcana), is a level 6 spell and at level 18 is acceptable as the goto spellstrike spell replacing shocking grasp.
bards, alkies and inquisitors are also good, but some of the necessary builds don't really come into their own until level 3-5 while droods are perfectly functional from creation. Not sure if the ACG has a class that might also work, skalds?
the summon eidolon spell (wand or 5/day ring or other magic item is best) works for the quick change synthesist.
The fighting fan is, but mostly it seems to be because they are close weapons. slashing weapons rely on a swing to do damage, and the close weapon group weapons are mostly designed for jabbing motions instead of swings. As is commonly known by those who have studied the physics of stick-and-ball sports, the longer the distance from the pivot point (usually shoulder) and the point of contact, the more powerful the swing.
Quick experiment, stand with your face 4" from a wall and try to make a horizontal slashing attack at the wall, and now a vertical one. Now try to punch the wall. You should notice it is much easier to make a back-to-front piston type motion suitable for piercing or bludgeoning than a slashing one, and far more force can be applied with that motion.
archadin: full BAB, great saves, decent switch-hitter, self-buffing healer with a massive boost to DPR on tap when needed, what's not to like. The biggest drawbacks to the archadin are the alignment hassle and the slow feat progression, but the feat progression isn't as bad for the archadin as it is for other paladin builds because archers don't pay a the feat tax so many other builds do. Will an archedin top the DPR charts when not smiting - nope, but when you need to pull out the big gun, well, the smiting archadin is that big gun.
Table 12-3: High CR Equivalencies
The table is intended to simplify the math when designing large encounter
To combine these in the zombie example, 2 x CR 1/2 zombies = CR 1 encounter, 4 x CR 1/2 zombies (treating 2 x zombies as a single CR creature) = CR 3 encounter (or APL +2). Note that a party of 4 clones would also be a CR 3 encounter because NPCs with class levels have a CR = Level - 1 (below level 1 reduce one step to CR 1/2). Personally I think the clones would be harder than the zombies, but both would likely be hard but not epic battles.
That said, encounter design is an art which cannot be reduced to a mathematical formula. Party A might find an encounter easy while party B is wiped out by the same encounter, given every possible permutation of parties CR might be an accurate representation of the challenge of encounters but that is meaningless if you aren't running all the possible parties against the encounter. Treat the CR & APL rules as guidelines and not hard and fast rules.
As for a solution, what the people I play with have developed is that the GM gets copies of the character sheets at the end of each session and endeavors to tailor the encounters for the next session to be just within the capability of the party. If the party has a color spray happy gnome which would put the melees in the shade then give the goblins a skeleton butler. If the party has somehow not acquired a means of dealing with swarms, replace any swarms with encounters they can handle. You want encounters which challenge the party without being too tough, but only experience can tell you where that point is.
And yes, this means extra work for the GM.
You could just go biped and save the 2 evolution point, I went aquatic for the creepiness factor, if you want practical then biped works better (how often are you going to use gills and the swim evolution?). The problem is the max natural attacks wall of the eidolon, it is hard to fit 4 x claws, 1 x bite, and 1 x rake (all of them) attack into the limit and then throw on tentacles - the extra arms give the option of wielding weapons in addition to natural attacks which is not to be sneered at (especially if you need silver or something to get past DR). Swallow whole is also a fairly hefty chunk of evolution points, but since it is only possible at level 9+ that isn't too bad.
I think using the one claw with reach and grab (claws) mechanically works pretty well, but I'm not in your mind so I don't know if it works with the image you have.
Note that the sorc bloodline isn't set in stone as long as the bloodline has a knowledge skill, protean would also be nice, just change the skill focus to knowledge planes.
The easiest way to handle a 20 WIS is to get your GM to allow you do meta-gaming, not all the time but enough to represent the intuitive ability of the character and the excellent common sense & awareness.
from a practical standpoint the most power optimized version would use the combination of grab & rake evolutions, a combat routine of claw, free grapple from grab, rake, rake, free action release grapple for each attack. Reach is an evolution which is applied to a single attack (over-sized 'hand') and can be used effectively for AoOs at a minimum, and if combined with the grab evolution and the reposition combat manuver fits well with your concept. Swallow whole is a problem without increasing size, but if you take the large evolution at level 8 and the swallow whole evolution at level 9 it is possible, just really expensive in evolution points.
How I would do this is take a half -elf,
level 1 feats extra evolution, adaptability skill focus (knowledge engineering)
eidolon: base form aquatic - far creepier and can evolve the legs and arms use FCB for extra evolutions
level 1: limbs (arms) x 2, limbs (legs), claws (arms) - this gives 2 claw attacks and a bite as well as an extra pair of arms for swords and such.
level 2: limbs (arms) x 2, limbs (legs), claws (arms), reach (claw)
level 3 limbs (arms) x 2, limbs (legs), claws (arms), grab (claws)
level 4 limbs (arms) x 2, limbs (legs), claws (arms), grab (claws), rake, reach (claw)
level 5: limbs (arms) x 2, limbs (legs), claws (arms), grab (claws), rake, reach (claw), 1 evolution point
level 6 & 7: add whatever feels right, more STR, more armor, acid attacks
level 8: limbs (arms) x 2, limbs (legs), claws (arms), grab (claws), rake, large, reach (claw)
level 9: limbs (arms) x 2, limbs (legs), claws (arms) x 2, grab (claws), grab (bite) rake, large, reach (claw)
level 10: limbs (arms) x 2, limbs (legs), claws (arms) x 2, grab (claws), rake, large, swallow whole, reach (claw)
level 20: limbs (arms) x 2, limbs (legs), claws (arms) x 2, grab (claws), grab (tentacle), rake, large, huge, energy attack (acid), swallow whole, tentacle, reach (claw) = 28 evolution points.
Food, fuel and raw materials. A functioning economy needs those, either producing it's own or importing them.
To flesh out economy I just go by what is needed for what I want. If the city has a significant glassblowing industry it needs a source of sand, either a quarry or imports. If the city has a significant metal working industry it needs a source of metal or ore, either imports or mines and smelters as well as a source of fuel, either, imports, coal mines or charcoal burners. If the city has a major alchemical industry it needs raw materials like sulphur, naptha and such - a snake oil drilling village, improts or something.
The weakness of swarms is AOE attacks, a smart party prefers to save precious spells slots on swarms and use alchemical weapons instead. Add incorporeal to that and only AOE spells are effective against them and those spells only do 3/4ths damage (+50% AOE versus swarm = 150%, halved because of incorporeal = 75%).
Incorporeal swarm creatures? That is a sick and disgustingly overpowered encounter. I salute you sir.
2) have throw away 1st level magic types for no XP and treasure enter the dungeon behind the party and use a scroll (lightning is good) at long distance on the party any time they remain a room for more than two minutes.
3) no doors, they just let the party control the battlespace.
Opening scene - a 400'x400' battle field to the entrance guarded by a horde of level 6 ranged skirmishers with mixed traps on the field - charge and fall into a pit, get too close and the one you are attacking retreats while his companions turn you into a pin-cushion.
Swarms and incorporeal creatures - even though the players should have the resources to deal with them, those can run out fast causing the players to search for creative solutions.
make the battle grounds larger and use techniques to surround the party, when the sorc finds herself attacked by 3 ninjas with greater invisibility and the closest support is 50' away, she is in a good position.
heavy melee is currently last taken, but for a while it was ranged DPS - two (or three even) controllers with one ranged DPS makes for some interesting battles. There is usually a druid, some variant druid who is based around some trick (i.e. bad touch natural attack ifrit dragon shaman druid who sets opponents on fire), so healer is usually not an issue but has been occasion when there was a choice between paladin or ranger for heavy melee able to heal.
A few more that I thought of, serious although I like the image of such a character warning the party to beware of wolves' breath attacks:
The frog people who steal little children (bogards).
Sirens who lure sailors to their deaths.
Naga who guard ancient treasures.
Drieder who infest the underearth.
Basilisks who can found among such realistic statues.
The quote sounds more like something from the Necromongers in the The Chronicles of Riddick than something a paladin would say. Regardless,
Trolls, giants, wolves (who huff and puff and blow houses down), evil sorcerers (may cause problems if the character doesn't accept that there are non-evil sorcerers) and all of the undead spring to mind as common villains.
toothy half-orc with 2 levels of beastmorph alchemist?
toothy half orc paladin could take the eldritch heritage feat (draconic or abysmal, wait an abysmal heritage pally) and get claws on top of the half-orc bite.
"Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons."
"Wisdom describes a character's willpower, common sense, awareness, and intuition."
I am hesitant about comparing IQ directly to intelligence scores, part of what many IQ tests measure is better thought of as wisdom. In RL there are people who can be thought of as having high wisdom scores who are well spoken and function quite well but because of things like dyslexia have difficulty in learning which can be represented by low intelligence scores.
A 7 intelligence character I would play as not having broad base of knowledge, (they might know all about making swords but very little about making houses) with a preference for relying on feelings over reason in making decisions (this can cause problems if the character also has a low wisdom and thus bad intuition). I would also play the level 7 intelligence character as getting confused with anything which takes more than 7 steps (same as INT) from start to finish, Rube Goldberg would have nothing to fear from the character.
Now a low wisdom character can be fun - impulsive, trusting, forgetting the monster in the next room, always instinctively choosing the wrong answer - but that is not same as a low intelligence character.
No real good ways with pure paladin, natural attack builds all require a fair number of feats to make work, and the one thing a paladin is sorely lacking is feats.
A single level of monk (any archetype which has FoB and IUS) or maybe brawler is worth 3 feats (IUS and FoB gives the effect of double slice and two weapon fighting*).
* this might cause problems. the effects of ITWF and GTWF are tied to monk/brawler level now instead of BAB. according to the last time I read the FAQs on feat pre-reqs it was possible to take ITWF and GTWF with FoB standing in for the two weapon fighting pre-req, but I haven't checked the FAQ about feats for 2 years so the FAQ now might be different or it might change part-way through the character's career, or your GM might houserule that FoB doesn't fill the TWF pre-req for ITWF & GTWF.
1. ditch arcane entirely - arcane magic just doesn't exist.
3 levels horizon walker prestige class using terrain dominance (astral) can be tacked on to a full BAB class to get dimension door, and dimensional agility at level 9.
abusing the samsaran mythic past life and dimension door being a level 3 summoner spell,if your GM doesn't quash this, a character can get Dimension Door at level 5 as a wizard/witch (6 sorc), then switch to a full BAB class and have Dimensional Dervish at level 9.
Maker's Jump (Sp): At 6th level, whenever the synthesist is fused with his eidolon, the synthesist can cast dimension door as a spell-like ability using his caster level. This ability only affects the fused synthesist and eidolon. The synthesist can use this ability once per day at 6th level, plus one additional time per day for every six levels beyond 6th. This ability replaces maker's call and transposition.
The small-hold Framers/Ranchers which surround the city are extremely (and violently) clannish, the city is a sort of neutral ground where their feuds are conducted through the courts instead of through the battlefield. The city would be at the mercy of the farmers/ranchers if they would band together, so it goes to great lengths to prevent this from happening. The major functions of the city WRT to farmers/ranchers (R/F) is to find a way to legally secure title to a farming cave one holder stole from another 200 years ago, and provide legal excuses to attack other holders to steal ranching caves from them. The city also participates in a balancing act WRT arming the R/F, providing enough arms at a cheap enough a price to keep the R/F from making their own arms, while preventing any of the R/F acquiring enough of an armory to become a large-holder.
I think a look at a bloodrager is worthwhile and would work better than sorc. The bloodlines power up at different levels and the draconic bloodrager gets the important bloodline powers (breath weapon, wings) faster. Admittedly spells are much less for the bloodrager but if spells are a backup then the bloodrager should work better. This is theory on my part though, as I haven't seen a bloodrager in action.
Sear N. Rivers wrote:
barbarians and make sure you are all named Bruce, except for one named Michael Baldwin. If going all Bruce and barbarians is too obvious then go with variant names like Robert, Bob, Rob, Bobbie, Robbie or Margret, Meg, Peggy, Maggie.
ooops, was reading the wrong column in the cheat sheets. right it is the AoMF which bypasses DR, arcane strike is just a bonus to damage on each attack.
Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
yes/no. the synthesist uses arcane strike (due to change in SLAs non-synth eidolons cannot) to in the long run bypass most DR, but it is true that arcane strike doesn't ignore cold iron & silver until level 10 and adamantine until level 15 (alignment ceases to be a serious issue at level 10 with a 1 point evolution). Blood-ragers get the same option albeit 3 levels retarded and are well served by taking eldritch claws at level 6 or 7 (full BAB class, the 3/4th BAB synth could take eldritch claws at level 9 to bypass silver but gets silver from arcane strike at level 10 instead of level 13 of the bloodrager). But that is in the long run and in actual play not starting at level 15 DR can be a problem.
no pounce, and both have a maximum of 3 natural attacks at level 3. Also at level 4 doesn't get to take the evolutions of claws, grab (claws), rake = each claw attack potentially is attack + grapple +2 rake attacks (grapple can be released as a free action...).
it is also required for feral combat training, which can become pretty useful when combined with other feats like snake style.
The difference between the active and the passive audience. A passive audience presented with a "gun" has no control over what happens with that gun, while an active audience can control whether the "gun" becomes important or not. Throwing nonessential things at the passive audience just results in confusing and irritating them, throwing nonessential things at an active audience results in their having options and more chances to control their environment. Spend 20 seconds describing 14 rooms in a dungeon and then spends 5 minutes detailing the contents of room number 15 then the audience know there is something important about the room, while this cues the passive audience to pay more attention to what is going on, the active audience knows to ignore the contents of the first 14 rooms and then spend 3 hours ransacking room #15 until they they figure out why it needed such a detailed list of it's contents.
a point of permanent ability score is 27,500gp base (the price of having a wish spell cast) in terms of cash. In terms of utility a point of permanent ability score should be considered to be worth much more because of the limiting factor. example, +2 to melee damage is nice, but there are so many potential ways to stack damage bonuses that a total of +50 is easily attainable at level 20; +1 to ability score is nice, but an ability score can be increased a maximum of +6 by items (enhancement bonuses the lot), +10 by class abilities (untyped rage or untyped alchemist mutagen), +8 by spells (increase size two steps) or a maximum of +24 (outside of a potential +10 permanent increase from leveling and wishes). Since it is so hard to get massive bonuses to ability scores, the level up points are more valuable just due to scarcity.
b or c can work. the problem with the sword and pistol build comes down to one thing, reloading. if you can get reloading to work while wielding a sword in one hand and a pistol in the other then things are open for amateur swashbuckler but you have to be able to lock down reloading first.
I find that completely at odds with Chekov's reality - he was a professional writer who was paid by the article and used to write daily pieces and his first play ( I know Chekov more as a play-write than a short story author) took him all of two weeks to write. While there were (and still are) authors who get paid by the word, the more common arrangement used with authors such as Dickens and Chekov was pay by the piece. The reason some of the Dickens works are so long is because they written as serials with monthly episodes and reading multiple monthly installments of, for example, Bleak House as a novel is like watching a season of 24 as a movie, it is too long.
The great GM can make you lose the sense that you are playing with a game but instead get lost in your character and the story (when not lost in the character I play the rules instead of the game). The most important thing a great GM does to get the players into the game and character is to hide the nuts and bolts when the game is happening. A GM who is always looking things up, dithers over rulings, or otherwise breaks the narrative flow is never going to be great for me.
Mind you I'm by no means a great GM, and have only played with one great GM for a campaign and a bit by joining an established group before I was kicked out. I was told it was because the GM found 6 players too much to deal with, but I suspect it was because I was arguing rules interpretation after/before sessions, which was too much at variance with the group dynamic. My theory is that players who are into rules lawyering don't work out with great GMs because what distinguishes a great GM requires having the rules facilitate instead of dictate the game play.
That last sounds like I am saying there a type of wrong bad fun, but I'm not trying to, I find game sessions with 5 minute arguments about whether or not a spell has a LOE more fun than sessions where the rules are an afterthought. The fact that I have more fun with one style of gaming just doesn't blind me to the fact that it is the only one style of play and is not what I consider the best gaming.
79. The Dragons' Graveyard On a windswept plain in the far north, away from any other landmark and days if not weeks away from any source of water, there is rumored to be a field littered with the bones of thousands of dragons. This sage has never seen the Dragons' Graveyard or even heard of anyone who has claimed to have seen it, but there are scattered mentions of it in records going back as far as there are records. Some speculate that it is the site of some battle among dragon kind in the early says of the world, some theorize that dragons which live long enough to expire from old age are drawn there when they feel death approaching, yet still others envision that crossing the waste is part of a draconic ritual of fitness and the bones are those dragons which failed the test. All temples of Nethys (and many other organizations and individuals) are on the look-out for any information about the Dragons' Graveyard and anyone able to provide directions to locate the Dragons' Graveyard will amply rewarded
Way back in the mists of time when Vancian wizardry was still being worked out there was semi-official supplement to the rules of Chainmail which included the alchemist as a bomb throwing semi-mage stand (Chainmail was a sandtable miniatures wargame). Once D&D came out, the 2nd issue of The Dragon had an alchemist class, which if I recall correctly, featured bomb throwing in place of spells. This pretty much cemented the alchemist as having bombs, coming from it's role as a type of artillery.
The rest is, as chbgraphicarts notes, renaissance/Victorian mad scientist grafted on to the class.
Magic which distorts the world balance too far could be forbidden by a neutral deity, not just good spells or chaotic spells but also spells like wish which can distort the balance too far. As the god of secrets various divination spells might also be forbidden, not because they threaten the balance but because they attack the deity's position as the protector of secrets and threaten the source of his godhood, although since you only mention "secrets" as his portfolio it might be the other way if he is a discoverer of secrets and then spells which conceal secrets could be among the forbidden spells.
edit: also mind control type spells can be forbidden as they subvert the balance of law/chaos/good/evil.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
If combat cannot hurt you then it isn't as fun as it can be and is rarely challenging. If something can hurt you and you don't fear it then there is something seriously wrong with you. There is a dstinction between fear and terror which I think you are referring to indirectly, the players should fear the ability of the GM to hurt their characters but should not be terrorized same ability.
mating instinct like with bower birds. the male dragon accumulates a horde of shinnies to attract a female dragon to mate with them. after mating the female dragon keeps the horde and lays their eggs there while the male dragon leaves and begins to accumulate a new horde to attract another female dragon for mating. because dragons are intelligent the female dragon keeps the hordes after the eggs are hatched as a keepsake of their mates.
With Sacred Weapon, bonus feats, and Focus Weapon, Warpriests also make excellent whip wielders.
hmm, a warpriest of any race could have the 5 essential feats for dexterity at level 3 & doesn't have to worry about the crappy damage of the whip - if only they had more skill points.
Better question: Why should the players fear the almighty GM?
Winning when you could have lost is exciting, winning when you should have lost is exhilarating. A GM is shortchanging their players if the GM denies the players the pleasure of having their characters overcome real challenges.
if the agile weapon enchant is used in your game think about going with a dexterity build, basically a dervish dance (feat not archetype) build with whip mastery replacing dervish dance. a halfling or gnome isn't a bad choice since the whip does so little M size damage that the change to S is barely even noticeable, halfling can get good milage out of risky striker. bard isn't a bad choice for a CHR class so you don't need to waste a feat learning to use the whip (exotic weapon). if agile weapon enchant is not in play (and you want to focus on DEX) then slashing grace is the way to go, but it is a somewhat feat heavy path that takes a few levels to come into it's own.
If doing a dexterity build without the agile weapon enchant you want a class/race combination which allows you to have the feats of weapon proficiency (whip), weapon focus (whip), weapon finesse, slashing grace, whip mastery as soon as possible. Fighter can get this in by level 3 if they are 1) human and use the bonus racial feat to get whip profiency 2)half-elven and can get whip proficiency through ancestral arms 2) hobgoblin and take pit boss which gives whip proficiency and +1 to CMB when using the whip to trip or disarm. A human kensai magnus can have all 5 feats at level 3 as well, 5 if non human. A human bard or swashbuckler with the mysterious avenger archetype gets whip proficiency from their class and can have these at level 5, any other race at level 7.
Or you could go with a more traditional STR build. Then you can do anything, but it isn't as fun as a dexterity build.
that is correct, I botched the linking (too many nested HTML tags) and thought I canceled the post in frustration. I intended to point out the semi-colons and how they separate sections.
type of enchantment ;
maybe not 3 feat easy - level 5 master craftsman (weapons) - level 7 create magic arms/armor - level 9 master craftsman (armor) - level 11 master craftsman (bowyer) - level 13 master craftsman (tailor) - level 15 craft wondrous items - level 17 master craftsman (jeweler). mind you I might have read the feat wrong, but I'm pretty sure that master craftsman only allows you to create magic items which you can create with the skill which you are a master craftsman in, and cannot envision how skill at crafting bows can be used to create a magic cloak.
---- also if master craftsman (rules lawyer) works for all wondrous items as well as arms and armor, there is no need for the headband of intellect, the rules for using master craftsman for magic items state that the chosen skill is used for the checks.
It depends on what type of character background you are talking about: character has a weakness for goat's milk, then the GM is unlikely to have a reasonable reason to ban it; character comes from a Brevoy noble family AND the campaign has scheduled as a major plot device a magical plague which no-save kills all members of the Brevoy noble families, then the GM had better veto that background. The GM is creating a world, if you don't like the world the GM creates then don't play in that world. If you cannot play in a world where dwarves cannot be wizards then don't,
It gets blurrier when talking about established campaign worlds like Golarion. There the GM isn't creating a world, but is instead creating their own variation on a world. The GM should as much as possible stick to the established rules of the world, and on Golarion dwarves can become wizards so a ban would be unreasonable (unless the GM and players agree to play in an irregular version of Golarion), but even on Golarion the GM is reasonable in banning gunslingers in a River Kingdoms campaign if the GM's version of Golarion doesn't encompass firearms so far from Alkenstar.