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Dead bird

lemeres's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 4,164 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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TheOddGoblin wrote:

I really really like the idea of a Gnome character who suddenly transforms into a massive brute of a "monster" and starts laying into opponents with a giant weapon and as such I really would like to make a Goliath Druid character but seeing as how I've only ever played a Druid once, and the character didn't last very long, I would love some advice on how best to pull this character off.

I essentially see the concept almost like playing the character like the stereotypical Barbarian type of role, but with spellcasting as an added benefit, and could even consider taking a couple levels of Barbarian to add a little extra flavor to the character.

Our starting level currently is 5th, with attributes scores of 18, 16, 14, 14, 12, 12, before racial adjustments are made and placed wherever we see fit. I'd love any advice on how best to go about making a Goliath Druid and which form(s) to focus one, and whether it would be better to go with a natural weapon based character or utilize the giant's forms to wield a two handed weapon. What feats would be best to go with, and what kind of items/feats I should be focusing one getting.

...isn't this a spriggan?

Not that there isn't anything wrong with that. It is a fine monster, with a decent gimmick.

Anyway, for mechanics, I will refer to the section on transmutation:

Transmutation wrote:
When you cast a polymorph spell that changes you into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin type, all of your gear melds into your body. Items that provide constant bonuses and do not need to be activated continue to function while melded in this way (with the exception of armor and shield bonuses, which cease to function). Items that require activation cannot be used while you maintain that form. While in such a form, you cannot cast any spells that require material components (unless you have the Eschew Materials or Natural Spell feat), and can only cast spells with somatic or verbal components if the form you choose has the capability to make such movements or speak, such as a dragon. Other polymorph spells might be subject to this restriction as well, if they change you into a form that is unlike your original form (subject to GM discretion). If your new form does not cause your equipment to meld into your form, the equipment resizes to match your new size.

Giants are a type of humanoid, and as such they have all the parts for normal spellcasting. Also, unlike most druids, you can get any equipment you want since it doesn't meld but instead scales with you.

For build you want to focus on-

You want to use weapons, since few giants are decked out with more than bite/claw/claw. The fun thing about giants as well is their reach- even the simple large forms means you threaten a circle 30' wide (40' with 5' steps on both sides). That means you can full attack a fairly wide area, and you also threaten a wide area for AoOs (meaning you are hard to run past). So a nice 2 handed weapon is your best bet, since they give nice weighty hits that really take advantage of your boosted strength.

While things like bastard sword seem appealing, they require investment of feats since you lack martial proficiency. But you do have a great choice by default- the scimitar. A +1 impact scimitar hits like a great sword (when you are large) and it has 18-20/x2. So it will do fine.

Until level 12, the actual giant you choose hardly matters much (unless you want natural attacks). It is mostly cosmetic. After level 12, you want something with regeneration (since it means you can't be just killed). Grab the die hard feat, and you suddenly can keep fighting no matter what- you can go way past negative hp and keep on swinging. You could easily become the one thing to stand between the party and TPK.... unless someone gets fire or acid out.

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Ms. Pleiades wrote:
Just don't ruin it with an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent and ice puns.

Ruin it?

Man, all my armors have nipples. I don't know why you trippin'.

Brad, layers, nijna, achlemist.....

Really, there are just so many better versions of the rouge.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
I am totally impressed that nowhere in that fascinating discussion is the class spelled "rouge".
There should be one in there.

Number 57.

...what? Just a ctrl+f to find the rouge, and then copy/paste everything up to that point into a word document. Simple stuff.

....also, I want an archetype that is called rouge. Perhaps some seductress/spy archetype. Heck, maybe a religious archetype for calistrians. Maybe make it a slayer archetype so you can say 'I'll play the rouge'.

knightnday wrote:
Let's see how long it stays civil. I have money on this.

Well, it might end in a few civil suits. Mostly concerning the destruction of property and defamation by carving rude words into people's cars using the skull mounted rusty nails mentioned in the first post.

Kolokotroni wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Ms. Pleiades wrote:
Casting comes online faster than wildshape for a druid
While this is true - you have no wildshape abilities at all for three levels - a druid with maxed out physical stats can make a competent melee fighter (with an animal companion and some utility spells) during this time.
and what kind of casting can a blaster druid do at the low levels anyway?

Snowball (also staggers), flurry of snow balls, thundercloud, flame sphere, flame strike, etc., etc.

But as always, their spell list seems more about control than direct damage. So there are plenty of debilitating spells they get early on.

I was actually thinking about this a bit. Snowball if allowed definately amps up the druids blasting ability. I would almost certainly take magical lineage with it, and just make snowball your go to spell until significantly later in levels. Ofcourse many people arent a fan of snowball, since its better then other low level blasting spells by a significant margin, but then again, I think thats probably ok since blasting is on the weak side of casting anyway.

And there is a certain degree of fun turning yourself into a blizzard, being an air elemental throwing snowballs, grabbing with frigid touches, stabbing with ice spears, and the like.

You can do decent damage and get a lot of conditions in, and all while going with a theme.

Cap. Darling wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Ms. Pleiades wrote:
Casting comes online faster than wildshape for a druid
While this is true - you have no wildshape abilities at all for three levels - a druid with maxed out physical stats can make a competent melee fighter (with an animal companion and some utility spells) during this time.
and what kind of casting can a blaster druid do at the low levels anyway?

Snowball (also staggers), flurry of snow balls, thundercloud, flame sphere, flame strike, etc., etc.

But as always, their spell list seems more about control than direct damage. So there are plenty of debilitating spells they get early on.

I am going to suggest an eldritch guardian fighter focused in dirty tricks (and 2 handed weapon, for simplicity) for at least one of them.

Besides the fact that this gets another body on the field, and it gives you two characters that are crippling the competition with a variety of conditions. By the time the 13th level build comes around, they can double team in order to nauseate an enemy (which means they can't even remove their condition, or do anything that is real offense) for 1d4 rounds. That basically removes 1 enemy per round from effective combat.

It also seems like it could be a crowd favorite. Dirty trick is very much the 'get creative' maneuver. Pantsing, throwing sand in their eyes, boxing ears, gut punches, etc. etc. There is a lot that can amuse a crowd.

My lack of experience with nonmartials stops me from giving much advise beyond that though.

DualJay wrote:
Pummeling Style, Bully, and the icing on the cake, Charge.

Well, charge can be disregarded in a mythic game because of fleet warrior.

While mythic abilities are more valuable than feats, it does allow you to move as you please, rather than just through charges.

Anyway, the 'tons of hits' style has better damage than 2 handing on paper, but it usually falls behind in reality when faced with DR and having to move (and thus not getting a full attack).

With pummeling style and one of the movement options, both of those disadvantages are removed. So it is certainly something to consider.

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chaoseffect wrote:
Covent wrote:
Beast totem superstisious human invulnerable rager barbarian with mythic vital strike and foe biting on a legendary greatsword, perhaps? Go champion or marshall.

Why bother with Beast Totem? Pounce is obsoleted by Mythic Vital Strike.

If you are going Mythic then it's all about Mythic Vital Strike. That essentially lets you deal your full attack's worth of damage with a single standard action. It's even better than a full attack actually as it pools all your attacks into one at your highest to hit, so it will hit and DR only applies to the damage once. If something absolutely, positively must be one round killed, you can also spend the mythic point to take an extra standard action on your turn and do it again.

Well, I would personally grab the first two beast totem feats, just so you can have more natural armor. Dragon seems acceptable too though, since it boosts DR.

There are advantages and disadvantages to vital strike compared to fleet warrior. Sure, it goes through DR, but it also doesn't allow for things like haste or TWF style builds. If you are focused on getting a lot of hits in (or one big hit with pummeling style), then fleet warrior is probably better for you.

On that note- yeah, pummeling style rocks. It has a lot of the advantages of a vital strike build, some better criticals surprisingly, and you can use fleet warrior to get in a lot of hits. Given your level, I think something like this could be fun:

brawler or monk (preferably sohei, for a ton of advantages) with a piece of intelligent mythic equipment that can give out greater magical fangs (lets you skip AoMF). I like brawling armor for this, since it gives you a nice extra +2 to attack/damage.

GM-JZ wrote:

I also like the caster druid as more of a controller with fogs, entangle, wall of thorns, summons, ice spears and so on. With that kind of caster it's worth considering the Caves domain to get pit spells which are some of the best control spells around, especially in conjunction with other spells at your disposal.

Druids tend to be a bit feat starved with natural spell and in most cases wild speech being your 5th and 7th level feats. But Cave domain gives you some nice conjuration spells that synergies well with spell focus: conjuration leading into augment summoning, superior summoning and so on

Well, being feat starved depend on whether you are going for the normal builds.

As I mentioned, turning elemental is a huge defensive buff. And the interesting thing about them is that they have a language, and they can have humanoid forms (as mentioned by their subtype, talking about weapon proficiencies). So by all rights, it appears that you can cast normally without the feats if you stick with elementals.

That sacrifices a lot of the usual versatility of wildshape, of course. So you have to make the decision yourself what forms you are going to stick with and whether the trade off for metamagics is worth it.

Kolokotroni wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
I dont think druids actually make good blasters do they? They have a relatively limited selection of blasting spells, and virtually nothing that adds to it. What options actually help a druid blaster?

Well, domains for one. They could just grab the fire domain and grab all the usual culprits.

But helping blasting spells directly? No, not really as far as I am aware. They can turn into elementals though, which can be a massive defensive boost. A wind elemental with flight, bonus to dex and natural armor, and DR5/- seems like it would be rather nice for a caster, no?

I mean sure, those buffs are great, but they dont really make you a good blaster. And yes with domains you can pick up a few blast spells, but still, all your class abilities tend in a different direction. You are sort of fighting the tide instead of going with it. Blasting in and of itself isnt particularly effective unless you focus on it, and the druid doesnt really give you any options to do that. Yes you can multiclass to get the damage boost, but just doesnt seem worthwhile to me. If you want to be a blaster, play a class that is good at blasting. That isnt really the druid.

True, a druid should typically focus on spells with more battlefield control aspects and other tricks.

Luckily, the base druid list has plenty of options that do both. Various things that change the terrain after the initial hit, or things like ice spears that hits big things hard and does fairly good trip attempts

BadBird wrote:
lemeres wrote:
I still vaguely question why people are loath to grab power attack/piranha strike. I understand the justification (attack bonus for parrying)... but full BAB, plus a +1-+4 attack boost mechanic, along with weapon focus feats.... Swashbuckler is basically a fighter that can't get gloves of dueling. And in general, fighters are not hurting for attack bonus.
I'd say Power Attack -> Cornugon Smash is well worth it; you're crippling their attack that way anyhow. Actually as far as the gloves of dueling go, I'm pretty sure there was a ruling or at least a post a while ago that said something along the lines of "Oh for god's sake, if a class feature does the same thing and is called almost the same thing, it qualifies..." but I don't feel like trying to track it down, so don't take my word for it.

Well...swashbucklers can intimidate as a swift action while attacking anyway. It is the menacing swordplay ability- it just needs you to have at least 1 panche point. Cornugon smash would only free up their swift action (which admittedly has some value, since swashbucklers have a lot of swift action abilities)

Cap. Darling wrote:
kestral287 wrote:

Without Power Attack, damage lags behind an equivalent two-hander.

With Power Attack, damage eventually (level 5) pulls ahead of everyone but the Daring Champion.

You want Power Attack.

Damage only is behind the two hander on a crit. And this dosent count the parry riposte and double level to dam that a panache point can give. I like power attack but i dont see it in a swash buckler until very high levels.

No, I generally find that the precision damage actually appears to only work to make 1 handed power attacks on par with 2 handed power attacks from a full BAB character with decent strength.

There is a slight a slight growth beyond that at mid to late levels... but as you said, it lags on crits. The extra damage just makes up for the loss compared to a 2 handed crit fisher getting more crits due to iteratives.

The general purpose of precise strike seems to be merely to put 1 handed attacks on par with 2 handed ones mechanically. This also means that their sword and board still keeps up damage without going TWF. That kind of thing seems to be the general trend of the swashbuckler- redeeming mechanically weak styles. They also do well with throwing builds.

Gisher wrote:
Swashbucklers don't qualify for Arcane Strike.

Not anymore at least. The ruling that allowed SLAs to count as casting (in general) has been removed.

I still vaguely question why people are loath to grab power attack/piranha strike. I understand the justification (attack bonus for parrying)... but full BAB, plus a +1-+4 attack boost mechanic, along with weapon focus feats.... Swashbuckler is basically a fighter that can't get gloves of dueling. And in general, fighters are not hurting for attack bonus.

But that is just my opinion.

Kolokotroni wrote:
I dont think druids actually make good blasters do they? They have a relatively limited selection of blasting spells, and virtually nothing that adds to it. What options actually help a druid blaster?

Well, domains for one. They could just grab the fire domain and grab all the usual culprits.

But helping blasting spells directly? No, not really as far as I am aware. They can turn into elementals though, which can be a massive defensive boost. A wind elemental with flight, bonus to dex and natural armor, and DR5/- seems like it would be rather nice for a caster, no?

RedDogMT wrote:

A weapon that does Slashing AND Piercing means that when a hit is made, both Slashing AND Piercing damage is being done simultaneously. For example, the Morningstar does Bludgeon AND Pierce since it is a spiked mace...and it does make sense.

I cannot see a Slashing AND Piercing weapon existing. The piercing characteristic would hinder the weapon's ability to slice at the same time.

Not that hard actually. You just need something nice and choppy that has a spike on the blade. It is a common feature of the tool billhooks and the weapon bills.

Also, when we move out of the abstractions of game mechanics, the exact type of damage a weapon causes can get a lot less clear. It is perfectly possible to make a stabbing motion that is meant to hit with the cutting edge (at least with a leaf shaped blade). Doing as much is actually rather good technique, since it helps to make a wider wound while still keeping the general advantages of a stab.

Weapons with 'and' are rather rare. And they are usually piercing and bludgeoning.

I found two items: the hurlbat, which is a throwing weapon which has rules for using it as a melee weapon (but it doesn't define handedness, and it you take penalties for using it in melee and run the risk of cutting your hand) and the chain spear (and that is only because it is a double weapon).

Rynjin wrote:
Scythia wrote:

I don't use bonuses from items (except tomes) as qualifying for feats and so on, so it's not really much of an issue in my games.

I also don't have them adjust physical appearance, so again not an issue.

Two weapon fighters must weep in your games.

Eh, it is not that bad. I can easily work a strength build that gets enough dex to qualify for the good TWF feats (who needs greater TWF? It is a BAB-12 attack).

At least on a 20 pt buy.

Third Mind wrote:
Lastly, I've heard of people using an orc or catfolk and building off of their racial feats that give natural attacks, picking various classes that work for it. Can't say though as I don't recall the specifics.

One trick with catfolk is the use of monk and feral combat training to get TWF style attacks with the claws. That means you can use claw pounce with a flurry of blows.

I prefer sohei for something like that, since they get a ton more attack and damage than normal monks from weapon training, gloves of dueling, and brawling armor.

Admittedly, I am fairly sure that you can do that far more easily just by grabbing claw blades. The item description for those goes out of its way to keep the attacks labeled as 'claw' attacks rather than just serving as their own weapons- hard to imagine any real reason for that other than to use claw pounce. But that turns your claws into light slashing weapons, which does not entirely go with the spirit of this thread.

Kazi Rose wrote:
claudekennilol wrote:
666bender wrote:

1) armor spikes = threat around you.

2) reflexes and lunge are nice but not needed. you need power attack.
3) are you going Oradin build?
Combat Reflexes is necessary. Lunge is about as close to necessary as you can get in a pure "reach" build.

I'm thinking -

1: Combat Reflexes
3: Power Attack
5: Selective Channeling
7: Greater Mercy
9: Ultimate Mercy
11: Lunge
13: Pushing Assault

I want to do as much as I can with reach, but I do need to keep the level 5-9 feats. So it's not a "pure reach" build. Is it going to be too hindering to not get Lunge until 11? We will have a couple of other melees to make trouble as well.

Possibly not. You are a 2 handed paladin, so your damage will be fine for early to mid levels. Introducing lunge at that level lets you further improve your damage as the 'linear warrior/quadratic caster' trope begins to come into effect.

It is more immediately important for classes like fighter whose main gimmick is getting hits in and using tricks. You have lay on hands and such as tricks to make yourself a tank, so you have enough going on to make up for the delay.

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Combat reflexes, lunge, pushing assault.

Combat reflexes is obvious, but the other two are involved in keeping enemies in a 'sweet spot' 15' away from you.

You see, when you normally attack with reach, the enemy ends up 10' away. That means that the enemy only need a 5' step to reach you- you get no AoO, and they get their full attack. If you attack first, you will not get an AoO against that enemy.

With lunge, you attack and the enemy is 15' away. That means the enemy will most likely have to move 10' to reach you, which means they draw an AoO and they lose their full attack. That is offense and defense in one. You can attack first and still get an AoO.

Pushing assault has similar advantages. When an enemy gets right next to you, you can take a 5' step back, full attack, and use pushing assault. That pushes the enemy back 5', and that leaves them at the 15' mark. You are thus set up for more AoOs.

Another advantage of lunge though is that you can full attack anything in a 45' wide circle. Nice for full attacks.

For weapon enhancements- get a fortuitous weapon. This is the perfect item for a reach build. 1/turn, this +1 enhancement lets you get in an extra AoO for the same action, except it is at BAB-5. That basically lets you get in a small full attack through AoOs, all for a single action from the enemy. That makes crossing your threatened area a very serious matter for any enemy. You are thus a true 25' wide circle of pain that serves as a living obstacle. It also makes those keep away tactics above all the sweeter (in a 1 on 1, in the best conditions, you can get 6 attacks to the enemy's 1 as you play with reach).

LazarX wrote:
Zippomcfry wrote:

Hi all,

Customs and Tradition and Character-bound expressions of nobility

The following may serve as examples.

1. Amongst the nobility it is common practice that young gentlemen who wishes to court a young lady must steal the first kiss while the lady is asleep. This leads to several window climbing accidents, but also to the practice of fathers leaving ladders outside windows of especially homebound ladies.

I would expect such a custom to quickly disappear after the fathers come to the belated realization that leaving such ladders and open windows makes a burglar's job rather too easy.

While customs may sometimes be quaint and quirky, they should still make sense in context.

Or that their daughters had to 'go to a nunnery' during the next 9 months because a dashing young rogue didn't realize what the ladder was for, and decided 'hey, might as well make the best of the situation'.

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Shrimp and vitamin C mixed together gives you toxic arsenic, apparently.

Of course it is not enough to kill you. You would literally have to binge on shrimp and oranges to do any damage. Still, the principle is there.

FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:
Magic typically is a big pain in the butt, so try to get him into an anti-magic field during his speech. Then, use the trap-door stage method with someone readying an action to quickly get him out in the event of a physical attack. Having him give a speech behind glass, or a force wall would help.

ooo...that gives me idea for my where's waldo thing.

Put the dozens of silent images out, and put the real one on stage...but have poorly done illusion magic do the speech. That makes the real one look like a fake. That way, when they see through the voice, they think they have read your game, and the fact that they can't see through the 'image' itself is just a botched willsave.

Primal Companion hunter works if your GM finds the taste of synthesist to be too much.

Primal companion hunters can give eidolon evos to their animal companions for minutes/level... but they can keep all those evos for themselves if their animal companion has....'an unfortunate accident'.

Anyway, with just the strength increases, natural armor increase, and the bare minimum natural attacks (bite/claw/claw/maybe foot claws/maybe a stinger?) you can get enough damage out there to keep up.

Another interesting thing- the divine hunter archetype stacks and...well.. you were not going to use those teamwork feats as much anyway, now were you? So yeah, a domain is nice.

Tacticslion wrote:
Start with the lich template, and strip it of its offensive properties (touch attack, fear aura, paralyzing touch) and a few of the weirder defensive properties (the DR makes no sense, nor does the channel resistance or hit dice alteration - the cold and electricity immunity may or may not make sense, depending on the nature of the world). Instead of being an undead, it's a half construct (despite the rules, I'd say just put it in "humanoid" and ignore any subtypes, but that's up to you). Add the change shape racial ability, and the monstrous "spell-like ability, at will" ability (found below it, at the very bottom, near Movement abilities) and choose shadow weapon.

While the liches are the closest actual approximations, I think you can work with something a lot more....not OP.

Just have their bodies turn into the gem when they die, and require a ritual to bring back out (normal spells like raise dead). Since the one time we have seen a gem get knocked out (without some other excuse being there) involved her being gone for weeks... yeah, it is not too hard to justify the need for a spell to make a new physical form.

Do that, grab one of the elemental native outsides (for that bit of power and the excuse to have colored skin)... yeah, you can do fine.

If I had to pick a class, magus with a black blade might be good, to simulate general power and the cool weapon.

How about giving the guy a scroll of ventriloquism and have the guy on stage be a double in disguise (or a silent image that he also cast with a scroll)?

That has somewhat reduced risk since you do not have to pretend to be the target for the whole speech through your own major image (I can see a poor rendition of the target's speech style would be an easy way for a GM to veto a major image.) Using cheap level 1 spells means it can be easily be made into scrolls

You can layer this of course. Have the double miming the speech, and have a major image behind the curtain pretending to be saying the speech. Then you can have the actual target sit in a lead box (or whatever) underneath the stage. Make this complicated enough that the enemies will go after at least one wrong lead. That gets them out into the open and into arrow range for your zen archer.

Hell, put a few silent images about via scrolls. Have some of them look like the target in poorly made disguises. Turn this whole thing into a game of Where's Waldo?

How about Flayleaf?

Immunity to pain, but you take a -5 to saves against mind affecting effects. It is just the kind of thing that a warrior would see immediate use for, but they might not see the problems until much later.

Well, first of all, most close weapons are simple weapons.

What does that have to do with anything? Well, it results in a somewhat small balance thing that most likely was grandfathered in from older D&D versions.

Basically, notice this: There are no simple slashing weapons that can be 2 handed (the standard for melee damage). You only see a few light slashing weapons. Why? Well, this lack makes simple weapons ever so vaguely worse.

First, lets compare damage types. Bludgeoning, honestly, is the most powerful type, since it is the one most often used for DR (cause skeletons). But it is too powerful to remove without completely gimping simple weapon users (cause skeletons). Slashing and piercing also come up occasionally, but slashing is more common (and when piercing does show up, it is comboed with slashing). So if you were going to get rid of a damage type as a nerf, slashing is the easiest to do without completely crippling the class.

Lets look at piercing weapons. They include bows (which are one of the most powerful weapons), longspears (and deritiatives- only simple reach weapon- one of the most powerful melee styles), and rapiers (the only 18-20 weapon rogues get). If you haven't noticed- all of those need could do with a nerf if you want to make classes with full marital weapons just 'better'. Basically, piercing is a 'punishment'.

The other major thing with slashing weapons is that they are also the ones that tend to get high crit ranges. Besides the rapier, all the other common 18-20 weapons are slashing. And overall, a lot of slashing weapons are also 19-20 (including the greatsword). This goes back to the idea that martial weapons are supposed to be 'better'.

So over all, slashing is removed from close weapons because of grandfathered balance principles. Are they particularly relevant today? Probably not. But it still stands. Paizo largely let the practice with simple weapons stand because it wasn't a major issue, and rocking the boat would be a problem with the whole 'backwards compatibility' thing they had as a selling point. I could argue aesthetic reasons against adding a close slashing weapon now...but it largely boils down to the "what is this junk" reaction when they release new weapon types nowadays (looking at you 'kumade' and 'elven branched spear').

DKFever wrote:
Captain Netz wrote:
Well considering that claw blades make your attacks light manufactured weapons and amulet of mighty fist doesn't enhance manufactured weapons no.
I believe that it changes the weapon type, not the attack type? It's still natural attacks, just changing the wording on the weapon. "change the weapon type from a natural weapon to a light slashing weapon" Not "Change the attack type from natural to weapon attack"

That makes them objectively worse.

You want your claws to not be natural weapons. There are a variety of reasons why you do not want that

1. Claw pounce. They are claws, but they get iteratives. This seems like the big one

2. People playing monks/unarmed builds have wanted to make brassknuckles do exactly this for years. An item that allows fro easy enhancement but still counts as (X). They want to AVOID AoMF, since it eats up your neck slot and has a high ceiling for upgrading (since a lot of TWF builds can just go about upgrading 1 of their weapons at a time, instead of having to wait until they can afford both).

How about instead of an animal companion, you go with a familiar? With the new eldritch guardian archetype, you can have a familiar that gets all of your combat feats- it can wrestle right alongside you.

The mauler archetype for familiars also helps to keep it competitive. That archetype switches the boosts to INT as you level into boosts to STR, and your animal companion can take on a battle form that is medium sized and gets another +2 str. With your full BAB backing it up, it can get a mean CMB.

So you and piggy friend can tag team enemies and bring the PAIN down on all casters.

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Akari Sayuri "Tiger Lily" wrote:
Synthesist Summoners could work. You have enough spellcasting to cover most of the bases, everyone is pretty rugged, and you should be taking primarily temp HP damage that you can heal with your eidolon specific heal spells. You could also have a ton of skills, since you can tank physical stats and pump Int, plus the various Eidolon skill boosts.

Primal companion hunters are a watered down version of that. You just have to kill you animal companion to hoard all those sweet evos for yourself (sure, minutes/level, but that is enough for every fight in a day once you get to mid levels)

Not quite as dominating, but they have things like cure spells and reincarnation on their spell list. 6 skills points per level means that the party can cover all its bases.

You can also mix in feral hunters in order to get pseudo druids for versatility.

Physically Unfeasible wrote:

But this is turning into a ramble against a clarification rather than advise. Might be a better picture if we subsequently get told improved familiars are actually acceptable, but that then means every eldritch guardian is towing a Nycar. Which would be a bit stale.

Hard to say. Nycars have slightly more strength than imps and pookas, as well as regeneration, but they lack any weapon proficiencies (meaning you have to grab an EWP) and they have little else besides that. Imps and pookas can fly, detect magic, and turn invisible at will as well as suggestion 1/day.

I think they all would be valid options.

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

Mauler level 1-10, then switch to a Decoy level 11+

Decoy can use whatever your fighter uses, be it punches, longswords or siege weapons. It's a perfect copy of your fighter. A twin warrior that pops out of nowhere. It's terrifying.

Mauler is fine but limited to combat feats that are only useable in its form.

That is still a drop in 10 strength (or is it 6? I am terrible with polymorph). And most people who have played 10 levels with the familiar would have made their build around something other than direct attaks. The switch, while allowing you to put your feats on it, would mean a drop in 5 CMB (3?). That is as bad as getting hit with a curse or taking a maxed out hit from a shadow (unless those things can crit....don't give me nightmares)

This is like how a lot of people advise you to build your animal companions around playing some interference (trip, grapple, stun, etc.), rather than for damage.

Physically Unfeasible wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
So what's the name of this Feat that Maulers can get that everyone keeps mentioning?

Sorry. Been trying to find it since I mentioned it - not on PRD or SRD yet to link AFAIK. It's called Mauler's Endurance. Page 19 of the familiar folio.


Prerequisites: Must have a familiar with the mauler archetype.

Benefit: Your familiar gains 2 hit points per level you possess.

One does feel it might be a bit of a feat tax for the familiar archetype (even if you are playing a Barbarian, that half your HP means you have to pull stops to catch your familiar up).

And that makes it as sturdy as most d8 classes. With the natural armor boosts, some actual armor (light with 0 ACP to remove penalties), and maybe some other defensive option from spirit's gift... yeah, this little bugger is hard to smash.

Rynjin wrote:

I've never actually played a character with a Familiar before. So far I haven't seen much of anything that an Animal Companion probably couldn't do just as well without Improved Familiar and those SLAs in play. My limited experience involves an Inevitable who existed solely to Commune and use CLW wands.

Well actually scratch that. I've been planning to go for an Intimidate build (Cornugon Smash and Hurtful I guess isn't much of a "build", now I think of it) so that could be fun. Maybe snag the Dazling Display and Shatter Defenses Feats and have the Familiar do the full round to Intimidate groups.

Hm. That has potential.

Disheartening display is a feat that builds off of dazzling display. It basically removes the limit on how far you can ramp up the feat with it. So you can go Shaken->Frightened->panicked-> cowering.

In just 1 turn, you can at least get them running away frightened with a 1-2 RAWR combo.

It is another on of the exciting things that eldritch guardian brings.

Oh, another useful thing that familiars can do- even without going all buffed out with mauler/improved familiar, they can do feint builds easily enough. It just relies on your bluff skill, and familiars take that from you.

Lord Fyre wrote:
lemeres wrote:

Erastil and Shelyn also seem like good diety choices from the core pantheon.

Anyway, you can make this work mechanically. Especially if you are an archer paladin. But even as a melee paladin, it just ends up with 12 less con than 'normal' on a 20 pt buy.

On a 15 pt buy....a bit more painful, but I can end up with something workable. And all paladins are painful on a 15 pt buy, admittedly.

Actually, we will be using a 25 point buy ... and there is a Half-Orc barbarian in the party.

OH, well, then, who cares about race. Unless you are going Kobold, it is hard to mess things up (outside of other weird abilities- the dhampir's positive/negative energy reversal for example would suck for a paladin).

Gwen Smith wrote:
I wouldn't let you use "fetch" on any animate object or animal.

This does bring up some problems. When does a moving object stop counting for fetch? What if it was rolling down a hill?

I would generally use fetch against anything that was not acting intelligently enough to 'run' or 'evade' (think ioun stone). If it was just spinning in a circle going at a rate that was too fast/high for me to catch it, but not my hawk, then I think fetch might work.

But even if it is actively dodging, I think pushing it to do a maneuver (grapple) would suffice. Tackling it to the ground for long enough for me to grab it seems like it should work.

zanbato13 wrote:

Bird was an example of a bought animal. Here's the basics.

Zanbato13 brought his animal companion stegosaurus into a room. Both player and stegosaurus recognized the particularly strange oddity even among the unusual surrounds (which would only seem unusual if you knew what was in the room and its purpose. Cough cough peracountess' bedchambers cough.) Player said seek. GM had the stegosaurus act like it had a Wisdom of 2 (the common sense stat). Stegosaurus seeked teammates instead of the less obvious. not right at all. Did he really say that?

Any companion with 2 wis would be horrible. Anything could dominate it to hell and back. Animals have around 10-13 wisdom most of the time (stegosaurus certainly does). It is certainly high enough that it would get the general gist if you said 'find the thing'.

It would not have any idea what the thing is, but it was kind of blaringly obvious. Now, if there were three things, and you wanted one in particular, and they were being too sneaky to point them out... yeah, 2 INT would be a problem. That is when you need to raise its int to 3, have it take linguistics so it know what 'red' means when you say 'get the red one'.

The familiar gets most of your base stats other than HP. So BAB, base saves, skills, etc.

This is how all familiars work. It would be the same even if the fighter just took a dip into wizard- her would use his whole BAB (not continuing wizard would just limit things like natural armor scaling)

Erastil and Shelyn also seem like good diety choices from the core pantheon.

Anyway, you can make this work mechanically. Especially if you are an archer paladin. But even as a melee paladin, it just ends up with 12 less con than 'normal' on a 20 pt buy.

On a 15 pt buy....a bit more painful, but I can end up with something workable. And all paladins are painful on a 15 pt buy, admittedly.

What if no one has the create water cantrip?

While this would normally imply a lack of divine casting, a plausible scenario would be a party that relies on a paladin. They a lot of the usual non-hp healing spells, and they can use a lot of stuff through UMD. But create water is a level 1 spell for them, and they do not have enough of those to throw around at your crab.

Not much has trickled to me yet, but looking at some of the new weapons, I am intrigued by the weighted spear.

This is a double weapon available to just about everyone (since it is a simple weapon) and it does not have any of the problems found with quarterstaves (which can be tricky when dr/cold iron shows up).

Basically, this is a double weapon that will be loved by TWF fighters that can balance out their strength and dex. 2 handed standard action attacks, and they only need the one weapon focus and such. And no need for EWP.

If improved familiars with maulers are on the table, than the Pooka is one of our best options (imps too, but lets avoid evil for the moment). 10 base str, goes to 14 with medium and 16 due to battle form. That is a 17 at the level they get battleform too, due to scaling strength bonuses.

They have hands for wands (yay getting UMD as a class skill) and they are proficient in simple weapons. They can also use a variety of SLAs like at will invisibility and detect magic. Not to mention the large scaling bonuses to strength and natural armor.... improved pooka would very quickly outshine your fighter..... On the plus side, you get to play as an insane blood thirsty bunny girl.

Oh, on a side note, an interesting advantage of the eldrith guardian is that, even though the base will save you give your familiar sucks... even if it gets dominated, you can just turn it off instantly by not giving it instructions for combat feats. The liability of this feature working off of verbal components (and thus risking deaf/silence) is also a weird advantage as well.

It is an 18-20 version of the Aldori dueling sword. Nice, and possibly worth a feat if you feel it works with your build.

Not entirely ground breaking, but who said it needed to be.

The real interesting thing is the weighted spear. Now, there is a decent double weapon that doesn't have to deal with being made from only wood. That means a lot for TWF builds (particularly with slayers and rangers, who can be strength based)

While hunt might be a bit..meh... seek and fetch seem to be fairly in line with RAW, since seek includes things that are obviously 'animate'.

I suppose this is definitely something to talk out with your GM. And hey....maybe using another character with good charisma and no handle animal ranks and then just buying a little pet might be a good test run for your GM. So you know what you are getting into before you try to go with something like a hunter that relies heavily on animal companions.

And those would be stuff like fetch, detect, seek, track, and entertain for some of the obvious tricks that do some of those roles. In that regard, where the hawk is not being relied upon for actual fighting, it does fine.

If that is all worth 18 gp and some skill points in handle animal, then that is great.

Just look at the handle animal skill

The main differences between a bought animal and an animal companion are thus:
-need a move action to use handle animal instead of a free action
-only 6 trick max (if its int is 2)
-does not advance at all.

Mostly...yeah, possibly a waste of money, although it might be...vaguely useful at low levels and pocket change at higher levels.

You might find use out of it if you have some kind of Speak with animals ability. Feral Speech from the witch or wizard gives you the ability to speak with it at will (witch can be done with a 1 level dip) ...although both those classes have the option to get familiars....

Still, you could use it as a scout if you can talk to it.

Pits seem like they would be 'earthy'. Maybe have a swarm fill into the pit after someone falls in.

You do not aim for a familiar that is good with weapons (although you could, since you could take improved familiar and take something like an earth elemental, which can wield weapons if it is human shaped, as their subtype tells up, and has 16 base strength- that is what you are looking for- they have simple weapons and any exotic weapon feats you take). You typically want them for maneuvers.

You do not look for ones with hands for weapons, but good strength for maneuvers. The fox is a nice choice, since it has 9 str, gets +4 when it goes medium, +2 for battle form, and at level 3 it gets another +1. That is a 16- better off than a similarly leveled wolf. You will have a decent CMB.

Now, lets pick a maneuver that can go well with it. I like the idea of dirty tricks. Throwing feats on there, you now have 2 characters ganging up on opponents and getting a ton of different conditions due to dirty tricks. That means that opponent can be crippled for several turns as it tries to get rid of the conditions (and with dirty trick master, you can ramp them up to nauseated in 1 turn, and they literally cannot make the action to remove conditions- they are turned off for 1d4 rounds). Your familiar making actual attacks can be the least important part of the character.

Also, there are plenty of team work feats that are also combat feats. One of the most radically appealing would be coordinated charge. Now, when your familiar charges an enemy, you can do a charge as an immediate action. That is a charge outside of your turn. You start your turn next to the enemy ready to full attack. This trick has been dubbed 'ghetto pounce'.

Side note- you can easily make them fairly sturdy too. There is a feat, Spirits' Gift, which allows your familiar to get the same bonuses a shaman's familiar gets. That includes options like DR 5/adamantine and a constant blur effect (as in 20% miss chance to all incoming attacks). Throw in the feat for maulers which gives them an extra +2 hp per level, as well as scaling natural armor and light armor... yeah, they are little tanks for melee.

Sheppard Book wrote:
That is what I thought, I am not sure if he would be happy being stuck with a small weapon sizes. And that is a permanent buff where as to be honest the next two modules the Aasimar has the permanent advantage with that +2 to AC vs humans.

Offer him two changes, and give him the one that lets him use weapons a size larger than normal at no penalty.

Basically, small character, but the only penalty is some maneuver stuff. So mostly a +1 to AC and attack, as well as stealth.

Really, offer him to pick any other ability on the table. Heck, maybe bribe him with 1 major ability (like DR, or see in darkness) and one minor RP ability (like surviving purely on dust and sand instead of food and water). He basically won on the dice rolls, you have to pay up if you want to change that.

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