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Pathfinder Society Member. 503 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 5 Pathfinder Society characters.


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I second the nomination for bard, however, only as a dip (or only dip oracle). The main reason is the second level bard class feature Versatile Performance. He can use Perform: Dance in place of Acrobatics and Fly skill checks. Coupled with the Oracle's Nature mystery, this should do the trick!

Seriously, look at the dagger example. It does SLASHING damage (when I so choose, which is always for the sake of this argument) and is still subject to DR, as it is a small piercing weapon.

@ RMcD

I think that the confusion that others are having is the part about "2nd confirm roll"... In the pathfinder ruleset, there is only the single confirmation roll.

@ Ipslore the Red

DR is an ability.

So, if I throw a dagger that I call out as doing slashing damage for this attack, it still does not bypass the DR. Whereas you are saying that the bullets, which do 100% piercing damage (in addition to the 100% bludgeoning damage), will bypass the DR. Is this accurate? If so, there's some faulty logic at play.

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You all know that the Quilted Cloth armor specifically calls out that it works against daggers right? You know, daggers, the small, piercing, SLASHING weapons commonly wielded by everyone ever.

If it stops a slashing weapon that is also a small piercing weapon, why wouldn't it do the same for a bludgeoning weapon that is also a small piercing weapon?

komoda wrote:
Another example of the same exact mechanic is that of the bright sunny day where you and your friends are hanging out. One stands in a dark shadow. You know where your friend is, but can't see him. He throws a tennis ball at you. Of course you can dodge it. You could have up to 30' to recognize the threat and react.

This doesn't really work. A thrown tennis ball is quite a bit slower than a crossbow bolt fired from a mechanism designed to kill things. At ~20MPH, or an easy lob, you have literally ONE SECOND to dodge the ball. a crossbow bolt travels ~10 times as fast, so you have the proverbial split second to dodge. You don't really know where it's aimed, you have virtually no time to see it in flight, and you may not even be aware of the fact that it was actually fired AT ALL until you've taken damage.

Consider this: in baseball, the pitcher's mound is ~60 feet from home plate. Many of the highest paid people in the world, with some of the best hand-eye coordination, who devote themselves solely to the sport, have trouble seeing the path of a similarly sized ball in bright illumination, coming from a known area, while they are actively searching. And that's not even in sneak attack range.

Also, while the game seeks to emulate reality (as it were) when possible, some things are more ambiguous than others and require concrete rules, that, while potentially arbitrary, are fair and equal for all. Any argument that boils down to "In real life, it works this way..." or "Well, it's fantasy..." or "In the English language..." is inherently flawed, because the game rules, while written in English (amongst other languages, hooray international fan base!), have terms that are defined in context and may not reflect the mundane usage of the word.

If I am not visible to you, then I am INvisible (to you). Cut and dry. You are effectively blind (to me), as provided by DarkPhoenixx via his post from Vision and Light. Any and all attacks that I make against you qualify as sneak attacks.

Also, just to make sure we all know

sneak attack wrote:
The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target.

Sneak attack isn't a special thing that CAN happen, it just DOES, when the requirements are met. One does not "make a sneak attack", they simply attack, and, dependent upon the requirements being met, it IS a sneak attack. The drow in the OP would not "get" sneak attack damage, the PCs would simply "take" it.

Also, to Komoda

You would certainly take sneak attack damage from the rogue behind the curtain (funny how nobody pays attention to him, isn't it?) Denial of line of sight means that you CANNOT SEE HIM. Ergo, invisible....sneak attack is a go.

In reference to the "Oh, but you can still hear him/target his square/whatever" argument, the rogue with greater invisibility can stand adjacent to you shouting "Here I am! Right HERE! No, a little to the left...that's it! You're looking right at me!" and still roll some extra d6 on damage because he meets the requirements for sneak attack.

Well, I don't actually threaten with the whip. At all. I don't even exercise have Imp. Whip Mastery (but I do have the regular one). What I do have is a bite attack and 10' natural reach. Also, unless they were already all up on me (in which case, I didn't really need to enlarge), they've spent a move action to stand, then another move in place of a standard to move towards me, so that I'll just whirlwind trip again on my turn (which I was likely going to do anyway).

@ Pauljathome

Yeah, I remember that one... My first scenario at my local store with my shiny newly-level-3 barbarian/ninja... BBEG One-shotted our GMPC Kyra (with LOTS of overkill...those crits are NASTY!), on "round one", went first and dropped the other melee character... But my luck was in, I got a sneak attack in on a natural 20 with an x3 weapon! Unfortunately, I couldn't confirm, even with a re-roll! Blaze of glory indeed, and my first PFS character was no more....Luckily, I kept my upper lip relatively stiff, and now have a variety of PFS characters ready to roll at any tier.

My high tier PFS character is one of these. I took 1/2 orc for the Toothy and city-raised alt. racials. Also a 1 lv. dip of Druid with the Plant(Growth) subdomain for swift action Enlarge Person 4x/day. With the whip's insane reach, whirlwind attack is FANTASTIC. Everything in a 30ft. radius is on the ground from round 1, and when the move closer, I put them down again, while triggering AoOs for all of my allies.

Also, I thoroughly enjoy tripping crabs, spiders, tigers, hellhounds, and other "don't even try to trip me" creatures. Good times.

Boondock Saints, anyone?

How exactly does one apply a non-proficiency penalty when ACP doesn't exist?

Yeah, I know, I was just giving you a hard time ;)

Honestly, the ranger dip is not a bad way to go...The thing is, 2 levels in it are REALLY nice, since you can choose to take precise shot without needing to take point-blank as a prerequisite. And the Trapper archetype is in UM, so it should be available to you.

Also, ultimate campaign is only like 10 bucks as a pdf. If you have more than a passing interest in playing this character (i.e. you'd really like to see lv.10+), it's a very worthwhile investment.

Still, lingering performance is GOLD for a first level feat. It basically means that you ALWAYS have your luck going in combat EVERY ENCOUNTER.

As far as spells are concerned, there really aren't any that stand out. The best spell (i.e. not as good in wand form) is feather fall, since the casting time is an immediate action. Grease is another very popular choice, but, again, a wand is very nearly as good. Same with CLW, Comprehend Languages, etc. BTW, saving finale really isn't that great, as you'll have to end your bardic performance, which you CAN'T DO when using lingering perform....So, you'd have to keep performing, burning away your 6-7 rounds VERY fast, on the off chance that someone fails a save, REALLY needs a re-roll, and DOESN'T have a shirt or character folio or some such. That's AWFULLY situational.

@ lemeres

The only problem with fighter weapon training is that the "dip" is 5 levels....

Ok, I can see the maneuver training being a thing... but why on earth would he want Raging Vitality? He's only going to rage for a few rounds a day, specifically on those rounds using Flurry of Maneuvers... and when doing so, he certainly won't be casting. Also, unless he's planning on doing LOTS of maneuvers in that flurry (more than 1 maneuver, anyway), he'll already get his monk level in place of BAB for the "bonus" maneuver (likely grapple).

@ Fruian Thistlefoot


The only problem that I see would be that the OP wants the Maneuver Master archetype, which is incompatible with Martial Artist.

Flurry of Maneuvers is NOT Flurry of Blows, and it is not "treated like/as" Flurry of Blows, therefore it is it's own entity entirely. FoM in Full Plate with a Tower Shield if you like.

All maneuvers are penalized by -2 during a maneuver, however, the bonus maneuver(s) (and ONLY the bonus maneuver(s)) use the Monk's level instead of the Monk's BAB.

The Bonus maneuver(s) may be ANY maneuver (this makes for some odd instances, such as Overrun, and I'm not really sure how that works), and you may substitute Trip, Sunder, and Disarm attempts for any of your iterative attacks, as normal.

The first bonus maneuver is at -2, the second at -5, and the third at -9.

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@ BigDTBone

...Kind of. Basically, you have to shift alignments, and one way is more restrictive than the other. Going from Monk to Barbarian means going from Lawful to Neutral or Chaotic. The consequences are that you can no longer gain levels in monk, and.... That's really it. HOWEVER, going from Barbarian to Monk means shifting from Chaotic or Neutral to Lawful, which is indeed (L)AWFUL, because you lose the ability to rage and cannot gain more levels in barbarian.

The biggest hurdle really is the RP reason for the alignment shift. However, in this case, it's one of the easiest things to do. Once that level of sorcerer hits, the change starts to happen...reality starts to unhinge for the monastic character, and primal urges and powers start to manifest. Hidden depths of the bloodlines, kept dormant for years suddenly rise to the surface.... It's especially thematic as the OP states that he's going crossblooded Abyssal/Draconic. I know that if I started having Demonic/Dragon blood surge through my veins, I might start to get a bit freaked...

One of my favorite dips is a single level of Crusader Cleric of Erastil. Take the Plant(Growth) subdomain. Swift action Enlarge person 3+wis times per day, free weapon focus(longbow), channel energy, +2 fort and will save, and a couple of really decent spells per day (enlarge person being one of them!) are really quite handy.

Also, for ninjas, I REALLY like dipping Oracle with the waves mystery so that I can get water sight. A wand of Obscuring Mist means that my flurry of shuriken will ALWAYS be sneak attacks.

Also, consider picking up the Dragon Style feat (you'll automatically qualify at lv.3). You can charge in every time and start with a trip, Then you'll either have a juicy AoO, or they'll be ripe for the grapple+full attack combo.

I'm not really sure what that 3rd level of monk gets you... fast movement?
I might look into scrapping the monk at that point and start taking a level or two of barbarian. That rage will really help you land your combat maneuvers, as well as any regular attacks (claw, claw, bite, right?), and you lose nothing on the deal. If you dip 2 levels, you'll get uncanny dodge, which is great AND a rage power (I recommend fiend totem for an extra gore attack with the biggest damage die you'll have!)

Also, definitely consider Altus Lucrim's advice in dropping the charisma... you won't even get 2nd level spells until lv.8 anyway. Going with a 13 in charisma will be effectively the same for you, until you can bump it at lv.8, and you can grab a 12 int or wis while you're at it.

When dipping fighter for 2 levels, I am a big fan of using the Lore Warden archetype; 3 bonus feats and extra class skills (and skill points) are pretty sweet.

the "D" in rangeD touch attack seems to be missing in a lot of the posts here.... a "touch spell" is a spell with a "range" of "touch". A "ranged touch spell" is a spell with a range of (anything except touch or personal) that relies on a ranged touch attack as a method of delivery.

For any who are confused, just take a look at the magus. (and continue to be confused, more than likely, but they have numerous threads and clarifications about how they interact with "touch spells")

This seems like a fun build.

Just a thought: are you dead set on having 20 wis at lv.1? just dropping it a measly single point would really open some doors for you. 2 would be even better. If you went:

str 15
dex 12
con 14
int 10
wis 16+2
cha 7+2

I think that you'd get a LOT more mileage out of your char.

Your save DCs will drop by one, but you're not really casting too many save-reliant spells, as they appear to be mostly utility spells. Your AC is the exact same, but your HP is much better, and that's fairly important for a melee combatant.... You also gain the bonus strength at 4th level, rather than 8th, so that's pretty decent, too.

Remy Blaster said wrote:
Roll attack. Hit or miss. If miss by 5 or less, destroy image. Roll concealment. If hit, roll to see which image/caster is hit. If image is hit, destroy image. End.


@ SiuoL

It doesn't matter that the race is Celestial in nature, precedence arcane, then divine. If the spell is on an arcane list, it's arcane. If it's NOT on an arcane list, but IS on a divine list, then it's divine. If it's on both an arcane list AND a divine list, the arcane list takes precedence.

@ Blackstorm

So, which PrC CAN be gained through early entry, then? As far as I know, Dragon Disciple is one of the ones that specifically CANNOT be gotten before lv.6, as it requires 5 ranks in a skill. Many of the others have requirements that you can cast lv.X spells, but this is one where you have to put in the levels.

If I have a race (or class, or whatever) that grants me SLA that mimics a 1st level arcane spell (let's say it's Vanish), I should qualify for (the 1st level spellcasting portion of) Dragon Disciple.

I second the notion of miss chance buffs, instead of AC buffs of healing. Blink, blur, displacement, mirror image, etc. are all great options.

As for getting damage out there, have the sorcerer look into some decent touch spells. Scorching ray is just fine at this level (3 rays for 4d6 each), as is burning arc (reflex save, multiple targets). I'm sure that the rogue would appreciate some greater invisibility.

I seem to interpret spellstrike as a modifier to the way the Magus delivers touch spells.

When you cast a touch spell, you get a free chance to deliver it normally. After an unsuccessful delivery one is considered to "hold the charge.

The spell strike wording just changes what normal delivery is for the Magus, essentially just skipping ahead to the "holding the charge" phase. Also, it works with any melee weapon.

The point is, spellstrike doesn't modify the spell; it modifies the Magus.

@ Shimesen

I don't think that it matters where the attack is granted from.

Let's say that you cast shocking grasp. You get your free attack, but oh, no, you happen to roll a 1. Sucks, but it happens from time to time. Now then, on your next turn (or perhaps on an AoO, whatever), you choose to make a bite attack because you're a Tiefling with the Maw part of the Maw or Claw alternate trait. You roll a 20! Great! Now what happens? Why, the very same thing that happens when a Magus casts a touch spell and successfully delivers it with spellstrike, and also happens to roll a natural 20. The only difference is which type of damage (B/S/P) the Magus' weapon deals, and the size of the die.

Also, spellstrike does NOT modify a spell. It allows a different delivery mechanic, which seems like it modifies the spell, but, in fact, modifies the Magus, not the spell.

Also, if I have Wish as a spell-like ability, usable at least 2x per day, I've got better things to do with it than attach TWO uses to a single physical attack.

Darksol the Painbringer said wrote:
You make a Touch Attack with it, but it's not a Touch Attack in and of itself.

Of course it's not a touch attack itself...nothing is. A touch attack is a delivery method, nothing more. A ray is not a touch attack. You make a touch attack with it, but it's not a touch attack. Shocking grasp is not a touch attack, but you can make a touch attack with it.

I don't understand how a bomb being a weapon invalidates it's use for the conductive property.

A ray is a weapon that takes just as long to unleash (standard action), yet no one bats an eye. A bomb that takes a standard action (and can in fact be less, as per rapid bombs discovery) causes everyone to lose their minds!

Even the fact that it requires drawing pre-existing material components is fairly null and void. Just look at the Natural Spell feat. Sure, that's just for druids, but it sets a mechanical precedence.

I've seen lots of things in this thread and the previous that indicate strongly that bombs work with the conductive property as per RAW.

I've seen a bit of evidence that they might not work RAI, but no more than the evidence that the DO work within RAI.

Maybe I phrased this in an unclear manner...Well, see, it's not that saurian shamans get something special, but my wildshape form allows a trip attempt on a successful hit. I hit them, it triggers a trip as a free action. I succeed. The trip triggers an attack. The successful attack triggers a trip, which triggers an attack, which triggers a hit....

Now does my question make more sense?

It's why that is relevant that I don't understand. Does it become ineligible if it's a weapon, or something?

@ Durngrun Stonebreaker

From what I can tell, bombs are weapons (much like rays, etc.) and they deal energy (fire) damage.

I just want to know how many attacks my wildshaped saurian shaman/lore warden can make. He has combat reflexes (18 dex, after mods, so 5 possible AoOs), greater trip, and is in the shape of a Stegosaurus (1 Tail attack for 4d6+12 plus trip) So, if I hit (likely, after all party buffs + charge), I attempt to trip (with a modifier in the high 20's before buffs, so again, likely). Say that I succeed. Now, I get to attack again, and if successful, that allows another trip attempt. How long can this go on? If I am successful in all my attempts (my buddy, the cleric with the law domain makes this automatic, usually), can I get 6 total attacks on the guy (1 for charging, 5 for AoOs...and maybe 2 for flinching after being hit 6 times for 4d6+12 ~150-160 damage)?

Yeah, the wording of the Enforcer feat is what has me kind of hung-up. It says " non-lethal damage with a melee weapon..." rather than " non-lethal weapon damage..."

As written, you are

1) dealing non-lethal damage
2) using a melee weapon

so, I guess that RAW, it works.

However, if the interpretation is "non-lethal weapon damage", I would argue a strong "NO!", as you are dealing lethal weapon damage and non lethal (cold) energy damage.

The distinction is fairly fine, but it exists.

It would seem to me that, as several posters have suggested, each individual item should be reparable (within reason). Of course, as others have said, that leaves the specific piece intact, but does nothing to make it workable in it's intended position. EX: the steering wheel is in 3 pieces, and it gets mended, but it's not mounted...

Realistically speaking, the PCs could repair the ship, making the (several) appropriate craft checks, some of which may be negated by the casting of mending (sails, oars, ropes, etc.), and some of which should be granted a circumstance bonus on the check (likely equal to the mender's CL). Of course the mending will speed the repair of the vessel, perhaps even make some impossible repairs a little more realistic (e.g. setting a keel or mast), but will by no means will the mending spell be all that is required.

Also, please note that an untrained craft check is commonly referred to as an INT check, and multiple (if not all) PCs should be able to assist (or at least try to).

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Tell me if this sounds too unbalanced:
3/4 BAB, good will, poor fort/reflex, 3/4 spellcasting (as Dragon Disciple), but with Divine AND Arcane spell lists. Every 4th level, something else cool. Possibly:
BAB+,F,R,W, special, spells/day
1.) +0 0,0,2 --- +1 CL ------- 0/0
2.) +1 0,0,3 --- +1 CL ------- 1/1
3.) +2 1,1,3 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2
4.) +3 1,1,4 Arcane Strike --- 2/2
5.) +3 1,1,4 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2 0/0
6.) +4 2,2,5 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2 1/1
7.) +5 2,2,5 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2 1/1 0/0
8.) +6 2,2,6 Divine Bond ----- 2/2 1/1 0/0
9.) +6 3,3,6 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2 2/2 1/1
10) +7 3,3,7 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2 2/2 1/1 0/0
11) +8 3,3,7 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2 2/2 2/2 1/1
12) +9 4,4,8 Armored Arcana -- 2/2 2/2 2/2 1/1
13) +9 4,4,8 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2 2/2 2/2 1/1 0/0
14) 10 4,4,9 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 1/1
15) 11 5,5,9 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 1/1 0/0
16) 12 5,5,10 Divine Resilience 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 1/1 0/0
17) 12 5,5,10 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 1/1
18) 13 6,6,11 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 1/1 0/0
19) 14 6,6,11 --- +1 CL ------- 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 1/1
20) 15 6,6,12 Divine Arcana --- 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 1/1


Red mages are proficient with all simple and martial weapons as well as light armor and shields (but not tower shields). A red mage can cast arcane spells while wearing light armor and using a shield without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a red mage wearing medium or heavy armor incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass red mage still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.


A red mage casts arcane spells drawn from the witch spell list. A red mage casts divine spells drawn from the druid spell list. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a red mage must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a red mage's spell is 10 + the spell level + the red mage's Charisma modifier. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score.

A red mage's selection of spells is extremely limited. A red mage begins play knowing two 0-level divine spells and two 0-level arcane spells, as well as one 1st-level spell of each divine and arcane. At each new red mage spellcasting level level, she gains one additional divine and arcane spell of any level she is capable of casting.

Arcane Strike

At 4th level, a red mage gains Arcane Strike as a bonus feat

Divine Bond

At 8th level, a red mage gains a Divine Bond, as the paladin class feature. Her effective paladin (or druid, if she selects a mount) level is equal to her red mage level -3.

Armored Arcana

At 12th level, a red mage gains proficiency with medium armor, and may cast arcane spells in medium armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. A red mage wearing heavy armor counts as having the Arcane Armor Mastery feat.

Divine Resilience

At 16th level, whenever the red mage succeeds on a saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, she instead avoids the effect entirely, or takes no damage.

Divine Arcana

At 20th level, a red mage gains the ability to cast a single 8th level spell. This spell may be from either the druid spell list or the witch spell list, and may be cast using spell slots that total 8. (e.g. you could spend two 4th level slots to cast this spell once, or two 3rd level slots and one 2nd level slot)
Every day when the red mage regains her spell slots, she may exchange her single 8th level spell for any other valid choice for that day. She may cast this spell up to 3 times per day.


The Inquisitor is one of the few classes that Paizo did an amazing job matching a race to in their example characters. Half-orc is seriously awesome for this class.

Don't want to give up skill ranks? it's cool; give up Darkvision for Skilled (the same as the humans get!)

Want to use a reach weapon, but still threaten adjacent and have it mean something (armor spikes are light)? Give up Orc ferocity for a bite attack! sure, 1d4 is piddly dice, but it's a primary natural, so that means str*1.5!

Think that you want a different weapon? Try out city raised; it gives you proficiency in longsword and whip, along with a tasty +2 racial bonus on knowledge(local) checks.

Don't plan on intimidating? Grab endurance as a racial bonus feat!, Heck, you're halfway to deathless initiate!

Any way you slice it, I most likely wouldn't take Shake it Off as my teamwork feat, unless the casters like to summon monsters. You'll likely only be fighting alongside the bard, so you'll only get minor benefit from it. If, OTOH, you take precise strike, especially when using a reach weapon, not only do you set up a better position offensively, you get extra damage. It's like the best part of being a rogue, except you're competent. Of course, if the casters DO summon things, Shake it off is FANTASTIC! you'll be adjacent to at least 2 allies almost constantly.

@ Sarrah

Whose logic are you referring to? Also, the 6th level character you referenced would need to be a good bit of the way towards 7th level (using the WBL chart 16,000 for level 6, +900 from rich parents) just to have the total gold necessary to purchase said item (18,000 gp, correct?), not to mention the fact that there are usually limits as to how much of that can be spent on any one item (a top-end of 50% is the highest I've seen), so it's really more like a level 8-9 character.

In regards to the question of it being overpowered, the 10-25 (avg. 17.5) damage done per round does not seem to be way too excessive. At least not to the power-attacking greatsword-wielding barbarian, or the deadly-aim enhanced flurry of arrows put out by the zen archer, or the stinking cloud conjured by the wizard....But the no-save, no-attack-roll force damage IS nice and reliable.

As far as the 3x/day gravity bow item, it really doesn't seem all that ridiculous. I mean, a wand of it costs 750 gp, and it has 50 charges. by the time all of the charges are used, 750 is a miniscule price.
Not that it's necessarily typical of all games being played, but in PFS that 3x/day usage equates to about half of a character's life.

The continuous effect stuff, OTOH, is a bit OP when used for low-level spells.

@ XMorsX

Right, I'm not saying that wis is unimportant, just that the only thing it has over dex is ki (which is very important, so he should still put points into it). While wis CAN affect your attack rolls, dex already does, and will continue to do so, so no harm, no foul there...As for the Stunning Fist, doesn't the Zen Archer give that up for Perfect Strike?

@ Hzardus

Actually, the requirements for rage prophet are:
1) BAB +5
2) Oracle's Curse class feature
3) Moment of Clarity rage power
4) Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks
5) Ability to cast 1st level divine spells

They also gain a 3/4 caster progression with ANY divine spellcasting class they possess (prior to gaining the PrC), but only that one class. Thus you could have an Oracle/Barbarian/Cleric/Druid go into this PrC (why they would, I don't know, but it is a legal combo), and they could choose to increase their Druid casting OR their Cleric casting OR their Oracle casting...but only 1 casting class gets the increase.

@ xMorsx

Really the only thing that wisdom has over dex is ki points....Don't get me wrong, those are great to have, but a dex build should still be very effective.

@ OP

For the ranger, what high-dex-requirement archery feats are you refering to? Once you start talking about precise shot (no dex req), you may as well just go straight archer. I'm not sure when he's talking about going sword and board...???

Barbarian can just take extra rage and extra rage power as feats, so that can be fairly bare-bones.

Vanilla is one of the tastiest flavors available to druids.

At least the Sorc and Monk are fairly easy to build ;)

The monk's best friend is the APG's zen archer archetype. Don't worry about having no racial wisdom bonus, get a +2 or so and call it a day. The Dex bonus is where it's at. Str is also a small consideration. Get a point or two of bonus, and it's all gravy. Just keep firing arrows in a hail of death. The only thing to remember here is to NOT take bonus feats that wouldn't do any good (rapid shot, I'm looking at you!) This is a class that is incredibly solid. I just hope that they start with enough gold for a bow!

The druid makes things a bit tougher, though. The lack of a wisdom bonus hurts, so their spell DCs will suffer. They may want to focus on summoning to start, as that has no DC.

The thing that bugs me about the "shaman" archetypes is the fact that it delays wild shape. The supposed benefit is that when it becomes available, it functions at lv.+2 for that particular flavor of shaman....however, almost all of the shapes that one would want are available in the first two phases of wild shape. There is no more benefit to an 8th level druid wild shaping into a large creature than there is for a lv. 6 druid. Ok, Ok, MAYBE a couple of special monster abilites (that none of the shapes you actually WANT have) and/or some movement types. Yippee.

The totem transformation is kinda cool, and the totemic summoning is very nice. However, the only time I would consider playing a totem shaman druid is the saurian shaman, and that's only for the vast array of dinosaurs out there.

For the gnome sorcerer, that seems fairly straightforward. reduce person is great for stealthing it up, silent image is golden, and the show stopper color spray is simply amazing. Simply take an evocation spell here, a conjuration there, and dispel magic when it becomes available. This one is hard to mess up too badly. Don't let your player forget that they can swap out spells every few levels.

For your rage prophet friend, the lame curse is fairly ideal, since they'll eventually get immunity to fatigue and the barbarian's speed increase offsets the lame curse's speed penalty...

Of course, another handy combo that does something similar is barbarian/cleric w/Erastil as patron diety. The alignment restriction is not too bad (must be NG) and you get access to 1) channel (with 2 more uses than a life oracle) 2) 2 domains (Animal (feather) for perception bonuses and an Animal Companion, Plant (Growth) for Enlarge Person as both a spell and a swift action 3+wis times per day, and especially Community, for calming touch, standard action that removes fatigue, shaken, and sickened conditions and heals 1d6+level nonlethal) 3) No pesky curse 4) access to ALL of the cleric spells, not just a few and 4) earlier access to higher level spells (if you decide to take more than just a pinch of cleric).

There's really a few ways to play this: a barbarian who dips divine caster, or a caster who dips barbarian, or an even-ish mix, and any of these can be made in cleric or oracle variety, but only with the Oracle's Curse can one become a Rage Prophet (which really is a hard class to use, with the lack of new revelations or rage powers and the entry requirement of the moment of clarity rage power).

Working backwards, the Human ranger needs a TON of feats... PBS, precise, rapid shot, TWF, Imp. shield bash, EWP, etc... Human is a good racial choice for the bonus feat... But by lv.3 he's only got 4 of the 6+ feats that he really needs... By lv.6 he can pull it off, but just barely. The real problem is that to use his ranger combat style feats as effectively as he can, he'll need to use the "weapon and shield" combat style. There's nothing wrong with this, but the real reason that on should take that particular style is for early entry to shield slam and shield master. If he decides to really focus on switch hitting, he can forgo precise shot, and that would free him up to take those very tasty feats.

However, he's also got another do you use a shield and a bow at the same time? Maybe he can quickdraw a light shield... This will still take a move action, and thus negate the whole TWF aspect for at least 1 full round... but it is a possibility.

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