|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
Bite is extremely valuable since it hits three types of damage, as well as the fact that most races with it only have it as their only natural attack. This means that they get 1.5x str and power attack damage, which essentially matches a two handed weapon.
This works very well with reach builds, since it allows you to cover a large area with twohanded-ish goodness, and you can give any sneaky mages that try to 5 foot step next to you a nasty surprise.
Of course, a lot of those points also work for the gore attack, which only costs 1 point.
Still, options are options. They don't necessarily need to be good options under normal circumstances...but hey, can you guarantee that you won't end up in abnormal ones?
If it is a decision between some suicidal act and TPK...well, you might as well take it. What do you have to lose at that point?
Matthew Morris wrote:
..is it really that hard to spend the 3 points on strength? I'm sorry, but I just never got the entire attraction of dumping strength.
Black Feather wrote:
But the bonuses from the sacred tattoo are kind of lost on the archaeologist, since I am fairly sure they don't stack. I mean, it improves your saves going into a fight, sure, but it only matches the bonuses at the beginning.
Well, rounds per day are not that bad as long as you grab lingering performance. Since the luck ability counts for performance related feats and effects, it allows you to essentially triple your rounds per day (...as long as you spend them in multiples of 3). With just a modest CHA of 14, you get 3(4+2)=18. Enough that you can pop one set at the beginning of each fight, and maybe an extra one in round 4 if it is really needed.
Anyway, is the wakizashi really that much better than a rapier? I know that slashing is better than piercing, but are there that many monsters in PFS that make a disctinction?
Personally, I would go for the Elven Curved Blade instead. Two handing while using finesse, and thus getting 1.5x power attack? Yes please.
Or 'easy Jeopardy questions'.
Well, again, I am calling out that they are not 'good' at healing. They only get cure spells, and none of the more complicated healing spells (heal, restoration, raise dead). They just get what is essentially first aid, and upgraded versions of it (which I kind of call into question, since those mostly exist due to the bizarre nature of leveling and hp. Having 12 hp left at level 1 is fantastic...but at level 20 it is near death).
So 'learning' how to tap a bit of positive energy (Which, for the most part, is all there is to a cure spell) is hardly out of the question. Just learning a bit of that would not be too hard in their already blended style (as I said, they already juggle a lot of disciplines). And wizards can't learn how to do it comes from the intense study they need in order to master the typical arcane spells (and taking the time out of that schedule would typically consist of a 'multiclass' into a divine class).
The Bard, while gaining magic from within, is not tied up in bloodline but instead channels it through song, dance, speech, etc. My extremely tortured logic behind their ability to heal is that feeling good can help make you better. It is shown in real life that listening to music you like, being uplifted by a rousing speech, or laughing at some great comedy has actual health benefits. You may say that these things are no replacement for real medicine and can only aid it. You'd be right and this is translated through the game by the Bard's general weakness at healing. The Bard's healing is no replacement for a cleric/oracle or even a paladin but it...
A good explanation is that they learn a bit of everything from everyone. Swordsmanship from a fighter, bows from a ranger, skills from a rogue, a spell or two stolen from a wizard made through just plain raw practice of a few tricks rather than actual theory, and well...why can't he do the same thing with a cleric? They just grab anything that seems like it would be useful out on the road. That is how I have always seen it
Why can't they learn how to connect and commune with the positive energy plane in the crudest manner possible (throwing energy at it and hope it gets better, rather than the more complex magic such as restoration or raise dead).
Well, besides any divine caster (Except druids, I suppose, but I think they can technically wear stoneplate)
Anyway, thinking about it, have you considered arcane armor training? It is not exactly an optimal choice (you can't use quickened spells to double dip the most versatile ability in the game... oh noez!!!111) but it could reduce your arcane spell failure by...a bit. It would work better in mythic play since the mythic version reduces it by more and takes no action.
But I am also going to fall back on the idea that infernal healing (which might not seem like much...but that is the diminishing return of life saving spells due to the weirdness of the hp system) combined with easy access to wands and scrolls as well as the trained professionals called clerics makes it seem like too much trouble for most to bother with.
Or maybe their attempts at learning such magic basically translate to 'multiclassing' within the system. That would then lead to becoming a mystic theurge when one truly tries to blend the arts together.... Yeah 'mystic theurge are what they become when they try' seems like a perfectly fine answer for why they don't get cure spells on their own list.
Another explanation could be that there are very big differences to how a wizard and cleric approach their work.
The way I see it is thus: one is a medical professional, the other is a mechanical engineer. Both have to deal with the processes and intricacies of their charges, dealing with pumps and pressure, leverage and joints. Having knowledge of the other profession might even help their technical understanding.
But in the end, the mechanical engineer's approach of 'taking it apart and seeing how it ticks before putting it back together again' might not be practical during a medical operation due to how these things are not made to ever 'turn off' and having a patient's insides exposed to the air for too long causes their condition to decline rapidly (I do not know the medical terms of course...I mostly just watch House).
And maybe that is why wizards can handle undead so much better? Because it involves people that have been turned purely into mechanical systems.
My understanding on such matters is hardly formal, but it mostly seems to be build and GM advice for pathfinders, with a certain focus towards PFS it seems. But I might be somewhat incorrect on that. This is mostly from my experience around here for the last couple of months.
I do know for a fact that there is a section called Compatible Products from Other Publishers that is a subforum for pathfinder RPG. I am not entirely sure whether that is the right place (it is rather hard to navigate this forum when it comes to stuff like that), but it seems a good place to ask when it comes to the specific rules for the Aegis (I at least saw a thread or two with Dreamscarr press in the title).
And heck, again, I am not entire sure whether the advice isn't the right place to ask these questions in the first place. You hardly have to go with my nonexistent authority and knowledge on these matters. I would love confirmation/correction by a more experienced forum goer though.
some people seem to assume that i am a bad player for seeking rules clarifications in order to make optimal decisions about classes and so forth, but with all due respect, you folks don't know me, the GM or my game so i would appreciate keeping the sniping and character assassination to a minimum.
Well, I think you are a bad forum goer to be asking rules questions in the advice board (those are separate).
Of course, that is hardly appropriate either, since again, psionics are a 3rd party thing, so asking for rules clarification might be hard there too, since all this material was not entirely meant to be combined like all this. So damned if you do, damned if you don't, I suppose.
I mean, since this is a home gestalt game, you are more than invited to either just houserule the problems away or switch around flavoring as you please so synthesists are basically aegis. Glossing over such problems is between you, your party, and your GM.
*sweet guitar riff for which I lack the musical knowledge to make into onomatopoeia*
...ah, my point? Well, with the existence of infernal healing for emergencies (it takes most people from dying to right as rain in a minute) as well as the VERY extensive networks of clerics and other holy sorts running about, most wizards find that there is little reason to develop such techniques. So many better things to do with their time than to reinvent the wheel when there is a wheel factory right next door. Bards are willing to do it though, since they are jacks-of-all-trades that like to have a bit of everything to be self-sufficient.
It also might, in part, be a cross guilds issue (not wanting to step on the holymen's toes), it might be because necromancy, which would be the appropriate school for such magic, has such a poor reputation (and the only existing full arcane class with cure spells are witches...and we know their reputation). It might be that positive engergy needs a devotion to some outside power (a god, a 'patron', nature, some cause,....music) in order to work effectively. There are plenty of likely explanations, and if you are that interested, why not explore them in a bit of world building in your own games?
fair enough. good to know your stance. i'm wondering though, because technically the synthesist IS NOT WEARING ARMOR but the aegis is, though it happens to be psionic. so the solution would seem to be go synthesist because the rules are silly.
this would not be a problem at all if you went with the synthesist idea instead of that 3rd party junk like psionics.
I bring this up because synthesists can't even really use armor. Sure there is the few times when you are not fused where it might be an issue... but otherwise you will never have to deal with this.
This is because eidolons cannot wear armor (and by extension, neither can synthesists, since "In all other cases, this ability functions as the summoner’s normal eidolon ability" and the armor they were wearing beforehand doesn't work while it is fused into the body). That is why they get all those abilities that grant natural armor and give scaling bonuses to that NA. Admittedly, all those bonuses could be split between armor and natural armor as you please, in case you just want to make the eidolon a metal encased behemoth, but that would be more of a part of their body than a separate item as far as the rules are concerned. So essentially, it would not be a problem since it would be just about the same as NA.
So unless you just have an itch to deal with all those points and such found with psionics, is there a particular reason to not go with the synthesist?
Still, it is a swift action that is not some complicated spell (heck as I've said before, it is rather much the opposite), so it would be fairly easy to argue that it does not need 'concentration' or whatever is the restrictive term here.
If you are willing you can be a Half-Elf and pull it off. They're a good race, can get free exotic weapon proficiency for a cool weapon, and there's a trait that gives you a 0th level spell-like ability with caster level based on your character level. Full arcane strike progression. As a human, you don't really have any decent options in that regard.
I should mention: neither of the alternate racial traits seem PFS legal. One is being a half-drow and gaining some appropriate light related SLAs, the other is from a subrace of mountainous elves mentioned in Bastards of Golarian, and you get some bookworm SLAs.
Although half-elves do have access to a racial feat, elven spirit, which lets you basically grab an elven racial trait that replaces elven magic (all of which have stat requirements to get SLAs). It must be taken at level 1, and as such you can't just go and grab either power attack OR arcane strike...which sucks. Good news for fighters though, I suppose, since they can take advantage of all the goodies with their bonus feats by level 2.
Oh, and thinking about it, elves have access to PFS legal SLA's that qualify. I mean, I understand if you don't want to, since they have a penalty to CON, so it takes some serious min maxing to be up to par. I can make it work, but it has stats that look like it was for a 15 pt buy human (16, 14, 14, 10x3, on the least painful version of a 20 point buy). Still, it is enough to qualify for lightbringer, which only needs an INT of 10 to get light at will. The slight decrease in strength would be mostly made up for by level 5 in terms of damage, if not attack rolls. Still, it can be nice to play against type once in a while.
Also, in regards to the argument about 'you can't arcane strike while raging': Arcane strike is the act of taking the magical power inately within your being, and then taking it in your hand, causing it to burst out in a dangerous manner, and beating some poor fool's face in with it with narry a word, silly hand gesture, or bat guano involved (Well, other than on the poor fool's part maybe). If there was anything more apt for a barbarian than that (well, other than boozing, wenching, and slashing), then please tell me. I really want to know your expectations.
Also, the value of the natural attacks depends on how much natural attacks you can stack together on your character. If you only have two claws? Yeah, they're not maintaining a lot of value at level 6. If you have 5? That's the number of attack a 20th level two handed attacking character gets with haste. And you wont have iterative penalties.
As a general rule of thumb, you are doing great if you have more natural attacks than you have iteratives. When they are equal....well, it is about on par, and depends a lot on the kind of build you are using.
If you are a class that relies a lot on static bonuses to damage, then the natural attacks are great because, even with power attack, they are still likely going to hit and get that damage in.
Rogues in particular can get by with bite/claw/claw their entire career since it is a similar number of attacks they could expect to hit if they used TWF (as in, the 13/13/8/8 attacks, with the rest forgotten because...seriously? they never really do much), and it does not deal with TWF penalties and they all hit with full BAB, meaning that they are hedging their bets on a more reliable set of attacks.
....I kind of noticed something with the suggestions: people are forgetting that only the aquatic and quadraped forms are possible for this build.
This is because the other base forms come with 'extras' that take away from the bite (due to the fact that it doesn't have 'only one' natural attack, removing the 1.5x strength and power attack bonus). Admittedly, the biped form could take the slam evo instead of its claws, and thus due a 'one bit bash' build...but we have already established a large interest in the poison evo.
Anyway, unless I am forgetting any other examples of how the base forms can be altered, this is how things stand.
What do you define as "Early levels?" Because remember, this is for PFS, which never gets beyond mid levels. So the majority of the career will be at early levels.
Hmmm...energy attacks and poisons. That should give a bit more bite to....your bite. The save DC for the poison is 10+1/2 their HD+CON, so it won't be too bad at causing STR damage (or con, if you pump in another 2 points).
Also remember: the multiattack ability at level 9 has a clause that gives you a single iterative with your bite since you have less than 3 natural attacks. And since it will hit like a 2 handed weapon anyway (single natural attacks get 1.5x str and power attack damage), you will be fairly close to par with an eidolon that just grabbed a greatsword at that point.
ZA can also take Arcane Strike to occasionally add +x to damage, an archer's bread and butter.
...rangers and inquisitors can do that too... it just takes a bit of round about work since they would need a trait that gives an SLA that uses 'highest CL attained'. Since they are both spellcasters in their own right, it would not be too much of a problem.
David knott 242 wrote:
You are forgetting that the animal ally feat gives you an effective druid level of -3. That would mean the 6 HD one could only grab a 3 HD animal companion. And since the prerequisites prevent the feat earlier that 5th level, the 3 HD could not continue the chain and the 6 HD could not find room after qualifying for boon companion to raise the last companion.
So the upper number of animal companions with this would 6, if I got things right (16 HD, 13 HD, 11 HD, 8 HD, 6 HD, 3 HD). That is, if any of this was legal in the first place. I think that even with the whole 'any feat they are physically able to perform' thing might be enough justification to say 'no' to all this on the grounds that I wouldn't let them take handle animal either (I mean, is there a 'handle person' skill? ...ignoring diplomacy)
...except for all the places where they also get wis or half their class levels for those skill things (well, except for skill points). They also get wis to initiative.
And it is not like it is too hard to make a decent inquisitor for either melee or ranged combat without dump stats (assuming 20 point buy; any gish-ish character hurts a lot in 15 pt)
Anyway, inquisitors have an excuse to have bows since they have that whole 'holy hunter' kind of image going on. I am more surprised that bard (a class that fills a niche similar to the inquisitor for arcane casters) get shortbows. Their only excuse is that they have a bit of everything.
But back to the main point: should the two handed fighters and barbarians feel guilty for not using all the ranged weaponry they get? In the end, it is an open set of options that you can keep in your back pocket in case the need arises. Admittedly, the large static bonuses to damage you can get from your judgments encourage the many hit style of ranged build in a style similar to the ranger....but by that logic, you could go for TWF. And quite honestly: I've never really seen anyone honestly suggest that kind of build for an inquisitor (sure, they lack bonus feats...but so do rogues for the most part, and TWF is a standard for them when it comes to melee; you at least get bonuses to hit)
Franko a wrote:
Usually neutral sleepy, until I mess up, and then I become neutral angry.
.....great, now I am thinking of the sins as -y adjectives. So Neutral Envy, neutral ho..... um, wait, let's move over onto pride. Ah, thank you thesaurus: Neutral Vanity.
In all seriousness, I lean lawful neutral. With interesting takes on the definition of 'lawful'.
I'm considering, if I ever get a game where I can play a kid, playing a kid summoner who believes his eidolon is his dead tiefling best friend who came back to go help him out after dying and realizing his "true" form. Whether or not that's the truth or not, though...
.....make the tiefling friend into someone who was much older than the kid. That way, when the kids starts to get older, the fixed image of his dead friend as a 'bigger person' would translate into an natural growth in proportions (as in the large evolution).
Sorry, but I just got that image in my head, and needed to share it (I think I might of gotten the idea from the Venture Bros). It does work well with the idea that the eidolon's form is based off of the summoner's mental image, perception, and imagination.
Anyway, back on topic: even if you do use something akin to the setting's definition of eidolons, do not feel like you need to constraint your character to the nation of Nex or something. I'd imagine that the rift in Balazar's story was simply a manmade version of some natural occurrence. And heck, even that 'shocked white hair' thing could simply be noted as an effect similar to gnome bleaching, and it would not apply to other races (some similar marking of age or unusual nature would be cool though).
Well, I am going to post this link to the iconic summoner's backstory
I feel it is relevant to post this since I hear that the release of this was handled poorly (after the release of the class, it took over a year for the backstory and explaination of WHAT an eidolon is and how one becomes a summoner, which left things... flavorless). And truth be told, I still find it hard to navigate my way to the above link.
So officially, eidolons seem to be some sort of disembodied entity that seek out mortals with similar minds in order to have them make an image that can be made into a form.
On the details of what they are beyond that...well, it can be very much up to you, particularly in a homebrew setting. For instance, you could make this mysterious dimension filled with disembodied entities into something like the Rift of Repose. As in, you could make it the place where outsiders go when they 'die'. Thus, their attempts to contract with mortal summoners would be a method by which they can claw their way back into existence.
I wonder whether the exact mechanics of how the thing caught on fire matters?
I mean, if you just applied enough heat that it caught fire on its own, then we would have an invisible torch situation (pinpoint is automatic, but you still can't actually see anything)
But if you doused it in oil and lit it on fire...well, the oil itself would not be too different from chalk powder, right? As in the burning oil itself is still visible, and outlines the target's shape enough so it loses concealment.
So, if we assume that is the case, an alchemist's fire would help for the 2 rounds it takes to burn up (and it is generally a good idea to use on invisible targets anyway).
Particularly since it sounds like most of your opponents are going to be humanoids. That makes such maneuvers much more useful when the standard enemies are not gargantuan, dozen-legged, flying, natural attacking demons with a CMD of "lol no".
Natural attack builds are based off of the same logic as TWF builds: lots of attacks to get a lot of static damage. Also, the amulet is used to enhance unarmed strikes, which are usually used in a TWF manner (flurry counts for this purpose).
So, since everything that uses it goes around like TWF, why not put the price of the only thing enhancing all of the attacks like it was a pair of TWF weapons?
This does actually bring up another advantage of slam though: you could go with the bodywraps of mighty strikes instead. With a price that is only 1.5x normal enhancement costs, this item can only enhance a number of attacks per round equal to your iteratives (so 1 attack for BAB +1-5, 2 attacks for BAB 6-10, 3 attacks for 11-15, and 4 attacks for BAB 16-20). This item would normally be rather useless, since most natural attack and unarmed strike builds rely on way more attacks per round that this weapon could enhance.
But if you are going with a one big hit build like with the slams, then you will be able ...well not fine, but adequately with the number of enhancements per round.
5) Minor Magic is probably better than yellow now that SLAs give you a caster level. You can, in turn, use that to qualify for Arcane Strike. From level 5 it's as good as weapon specialization and it keeps improving.
...darn it, I was just finished editing that into my comment above... well, I'm not going to waste a good explaination:
And for more damage, I'd actually advise you to grab the minor magic talent. This is because of a FAQ on Spell-Like Abilities, Casting, and Prerequisites. Essentially, spell like abilities qualify your for feats that call for spellcasting, such as Arcane Strike. With a caster level equal to your character level provided by the minor magic SLA, you can easily grab arcane strike to give you an extra 1-5 damage on each hit at the cost of your swift action. That seems fairly appealing to a TWF or archery build, which rely upon making a ton of attacks with static bonuses like that.
At the very least, it is something to consider if you ever find yourself in a lull between the early level scramble and the advanced talent juiciness.
Some thoughts based on tricks I've found: The light armor proficiency might not be as bad as it seems. I say this because it is relatively easy to get access to medium armor with a trait and special materials alone. This comes from the fact that the penalty for nonproficient armor use is having the armor check penalty applied to your attack rolls...so if ACP is 0, the penalty is 0.
Mithral reduces ACP by 3, and the armor expert trait reduces it by another 1. That means that you could easily grab a mithral breast plate. And since that counts as light for purposes other than proficiency, that means any class other than full arcane casters and most monks can use this trick.
Another interesting thought: with a feat light build like the striker, you could try grabbing the animal ally feat. It admittedly takes 3 feats to work well (nature's soul, animal ally, and boon companion to cover up the effective druid level gap), but gaining what is essentialy a more troublesome version of the ranger's animal companion (troublesome since you can't take it until level 5, and thus, you can't get boon companion until 7) is nothing to sneeze at. It might help to close the gap around the levels where it becomes much more apparent. And by the point you can grab it, you could easily have grabbed
Hmm... maybe with the 'no unusual or powerful items in the shop itself' idea could be expanded further by adding in a magic crafters' guild with a good network.
Basically, anything higher than your standard +1 stuff should be kept in a vault in a separate location. And because most shops would not even need much of a stock of things like that, maybe the vault would serve as the storage house for the whole guild comprised of a few dozen shops across the entire kingdom.
This would allow them to more easily fortify the stock against thieves (hey, it is the place where ALL of the kingdom's most powerful magical equipment passes through between creation and sale; I doubt anyone would mind a bit of 'testing' on idiots trying to break in). A bit of teleportation and the like would allow shopkeeps to get the goods back to clients in a timely manner (and for the kinds of prices we are talking about, it would represent very little of the overhead to do so).
This also represents an excellent adventure hook. I mean, just about any rogue general planning a coup d'tat would be very, very interested in getting that vault in its entirety for his small army, and the king would be very interested in paying some 'specialists' to protect against such threats.
....you get 1 feat at first level, and then another at every odd level.
Humans receive a racial bonus feat of their choice at first level as well. You class might also provide you with bonus feats...well, not YOUR class, since you are a bard, but many classes do so.
More on character advancement on :this link
Yea but a biped eidolon cant get pounce? Also how is a eidolon supposed to bypass DR/silver and stuff like that? The evolutions only allow you to bypass magic and alignment.
There is also the eldritch claws feat, which makes you count as magic and silver.
And I think there is the frost fist amulet, which turns your hands into solid lumps of cold iron with the frost property. Useful for a claw heavy eidolon, although be careful, since obviously the disadvantage of this item is that it turns your hands into lumps of iron (it literally says that they can manipulate things as well as you could by poking it with a stick). Overall, it is much cheaper than a +3 amulet of mighty fists, but its doesn't add to your attack rolls, and the cold damage can be resisted.
Diego Rossi wrote:
Depends, really. It would be cheaper and more efficient to hire a low level cleric or wizard to just cast magic weapon on a dozen guys weapons when something like that occurs. And it is generally a good idea to keep such people on retainer since, as you said, a lot of things can't be beat without the use of magic.
And scrolls and potions are also options that are cheap, and they can be kept in a bottom pocket until such an unlikely situation occurs. Is it going to be more expensive in the longrun to keep on using consumable items like that? Possibly. But not as expensive as replacing that +1 longsword when it gets looted off a soldier's corpse after they get ambushed by a band of brigands twice their number.
Oh, also, you asked what is the point o replacing the claws with a slam? Simple enough: it means you only have a single natural attack. And that is an advantage in fact.
When you have only a single natural attack, there are special rules that kick in. The attack is always primary (assuming you don't mix it with a manufactured weapon of course), and it deals 1.5x STR and power attack damage. This means that, while it does not have as much potential damage as a set of claws, it has a higher average damage over a fight since you get your full force with just a standard action attack instead of a full attack. And with the eidolon's scaling strength bonuses and evos...that can get very painful. It is also more likely to just blow through DR
Now, this strategy still seems inferior to having multiple natural attacks after a while since eventually, you will only have a single attack while the party barbarian gets 2 or 3 with his two handed weapon. But eidolons and animal companions actually have a special ability that helps with that.
The multiattack ability at level 9 has a special clause for creatures with 1 or 2 natural attacks. Essentially, it grants them a single iterative (as in, an attack at BAB-5) with one of their natural attacks. So, for all intents and purposes, your single attack eidolon would be hitting much like a two handed weapon user. Sure, you never get iteratives past that....but those are the ones that aren't very likely to hit anyway. Admittedly, you aren't going to hit as hard as the 6 armed monstrosity a lot of people turn eidolons into...but you are keeping up pace with most martial characters, which is enough. This path is more for that that have better evos to go to that just the raw attack ones.
Another interesting advantage for a single natural attack is seen in a myth campaign. With mythic vital strike (assuming that eidolons can take mythic feats at all; I am not very familiar with the rules), you can completely remove the disadvantage of your lack of iteratives by basically simulating a fulls set of iteratives in a single standard action attack. So your one, powerful hit can be much better in that scenario.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
...yeah, the economy is a bit weird. By all right, almost no one would ever be able to buy magical items, and the whole 'supply kindom B with +1 weapons' thing would fall to the wayside since it would be better to simply take the same money for one weapon and hire like....500 guys with free clubs and slings for a month. Even if you equip them better then that... strength in numbers beat out the tiny bonuses of low level magic items.
The +1 weapons would only go to nobles as a status symbol and a symbol of station (And even then it would likely be out of pocket). Heck, even most of those would probably be hand-me-down....I mean heirlooms passed down the Armstrong line for generations. (I also got away from myself there too).
I always though it might be better to assume upper middleclass people might have the funds of a 3rd level adventurer (obviously not the training, since they need you). That would be enough to explain why potions are so available when the actual, wonky economy would normally only allow one per household in case of an emergency (so maybe...20 in the whole village normally).
Survival to track a beast to its nest/ lair steal one of its young with stealth and escape. Domesticate young with handle animal. Bingo, any mount you want for free.
Note: you will lack the link ability, which allows free action handle animal checks for the things you have as tricks (also, no bonus tricks).
Anyway, how about the animal ally feat? By taking it, you get what essentially amounts to the ranger animal companion class feature (so your effective level is level-3, and you have the same small choice list). There are of course problems with that- you need to take nature's soul as a prerequisite, and you need to be over level 4 to take it (so it must be taken at level 5). So you will have to wait until level 7 to get full AC progression with boon companion.
Still, it allows any class to get an animal companion. It is perfect for fighters, who tend to have the feats to spare. And by the time you get full progression, you could get a large sized wolf, which means you could easily ride it.
Well...I suppose that might be a problem...but more of an RP thing. Heck, I'd encourage it to do so when we are raiding the citadel of the mega-lich or the temple of the mad half-fiend orcs.
Plus, I'd imagine that combat training would house training (unless paizo wants to release more tricks that makes us buy more of the things we were doing already using that rather scarce resource).
...generally, the concept of a small sized cavalier is to have a mount that is just the right size to fit into the world of medium sized races. It means they can always stay mounted.
Isn't there also the option to not upsize a wolf at 7th lvl? How would the dog and wolf compare if they both remain medium?
Yep, There is an option to keep the wolf at the same size, increasing DEX and CON by +2 instead. It still has some advantage over dogs though, since it has the trip ability on its bite.
Another note: if you compare it to the power level of 'most martials', rather than 'other eidolons', you could do perfectly fine damage-wise with three natural attacks (bite/claw/claw being the simplest and cheapest option from either humanoid or quadrupedal forms) until around level 10. As a general rule, natural attack builds are fine as long as you have more than a full BAB class has iteratives.
That leaves plenty of room for both defense and skill based evos. Sure, you aren't doing as much damage as you could...but by giving them more use with skills and the grappling idea...well, you should be ok.
None, the Eidolon starts with a severe Int penalty and only has a 2+int skill base for skill points. You're going to have to shove points just to bring it's Int up to par. Your best bet is to choose a couple of skills and work those up.
.....no? They are outsiders with the 6+int per hit dice. That means they have 4 skill points with the standard stats. With the skilled evolution and various other neat tricks (scent to boost survival used to track, for example) to fill in the gaps coming from the fact that they will not progress in hitdice as fast as the rest of the party, eidolons make fine skill monkeys.
Anyway, I am going to suggest the humanoid form, if only because it comes with an pair of arms from the get go. Some will suggest the serpentine form since it has 4 more DEX...but that is a mere +2 to a few skills. You are better off with more skilled evolution, as well as other tricks.
With grappling... the grab evo (instant +4 to all grapple checks, and you can start a grapple as a free action when you hit with that attack!) and your sheer strength bonuses might go a very, very long way towards being very successful as a grappler. And the fact that you can go large and huge makes it even better. The only problem I see with that path, at least on the outset, is that it takes a lot of feats with BAB prerequisites to be 'great' at grappling. For the basics, you need (besides dropping a point into dex): improved unarmed strike, improved grapple, greater grapple, and rapid grapple. You will not be able to take all of those until level 11. And you will only have room for one spare feat (power attack, typically). Still, Out of anything that lacks the insane abilities of a tetori monk, I'd say that an eidolon would be the best at it.
....rapid reload (light crossbow or hand crossbow) seems rather obvious for a start, since that is what you need in order to reload as a free action.
After that, you mostly just need ranged feats. A good place to find the important ones all collected in one spot would be to look at the archery combat style bonus feats for rangers.
As a completely random note due to some weird facts I know: Medieval beekeepers were licensed to carry around crossbows because they often had to fight off bears... for obvious reasons. I hope that helps make up for the fact that my advice goes little beyond the obvious.
Seraph Stormborn wrote:
[If you're wielding a double weapon in one hand (as a Titan Mauler would), you cannot use it as a double weapon. You treat it as a single weapon and can only make an attack with one end. Where does it say that in the rules? I get that wen using a double weapon in your OFFHAND you only get one attack, as per the rules of TWF. But where does it say anything about using one in your MAN HAND??
Because the TWF rules allow extra attacks with the offhand, not the mainhand. Nothing does quite what you are asking for in the rules. And as a general principle, the rules give you permission to do things, and otherwise you are restricted to how things are 'normally' done.
Oh, and I found the lesser version of Baba Yaga's hut. It is a bit on the small size for our purposes, and it must be made of wood...which can be troubling. So look at the Sentinel Hut from the Irrisen campaign setting.
I am still liking the idea of an animated object though, since it gains a number of construction points for all sorts of interesting things. Of note for the original concept: metal and augmented movement (flying). For he base colossal construct, that is only half of its construction points. Throwing the rest into faster for an extra +30 to both its land and air movements would allow it to easily outrun most pursuers, especially since it never tires.
The easiest solution to me would simply to make an animated object. According to the examples provided for each size category, a Colossal one should suffice for general scale (it is listed as 'ship', which is about what I'd call the castle in the movie). That means you need to be caster level 13, have the animate objects and permanency spells, take the craft construct feat, and spend 9,500 gp to turn it into an animated object...which is admittedly not that bad.
Except that you also have to account for the separate cost of the 'castle' itself, which pretty much should be a constant in anything we are going to do here, even if you decide to use some other crafting method. So how much would that cost....well, unfortunately, the game usually assumes we are murderhobos, so it is not a common figure. But Ultimate Campaign does in fact provide numbers for us in its kingdom making section.
The prices of buildings there are listed in BP, which is about 4,000 gp. So....pick what kind of building you would call our 'castle'. I personally would not use the actual castle, both due to its 54 BP
Ah, a note about all this discussion with defense bonus variant rules we have talked about.
Since they typically add to touch AC (at least, if we are all talking about similar systems), it might help when it comes to dealing with how guns can change the system. Essentially, it makes sure that not every battle is a war of attrition where everything just about auto hits with all its attacks and you do not need to drop dozens of wands of cure light wounds for the party to get through the day.
Of course, it also kind of dampens the advantages of guns...but hey, with guns everywhere is is not so bad.
Commonplace guns has early guns and ammunition as 25% of the listed price (advanced ones like revolvers are full price still though). Guns everywhere makes everything 10%...so just drop a 0 from all the prices (and for ammo that doesn't divide by 10 into whole gold, just think of that as the price for a pack of 10, like how arrows are price for 20). Mathwise, guns everywhere is easier to run since it has such a simple adjustment rule.
Although, I question whether you need to make this into an entirely gun based campaign. It is not that hard to translate the mythical nature of the wild west into more medieval styles due to the fact that the romantic idea of the 'cowboy' in America actually mirrors Ronin in Japanese culture and the Knight-errant in European cultures.
Since this game is largely based upon adventurers, who draw heavily from the concept of the knight errant, it would not be hard to simply move motifs of the 'Old West' into a sword and sorcery style.
Admittedly, the heavy armor encouraged by the game does put a hamper into making the typical paladin build into a lone ranger, at least in terms of style. One system I liked when I read it for this type of situation was the defense bonus variant rules from D&D. This idea basically gives you scaling bonuses to AC that reflect your original armor proficiencies (so fighters get a very fast scaling bonus, while rogues do not)
Anyway...about how to run it.... Since this is something new, you might want to keep it on rails (At least at first). A cool thing you could do would be to play up how on rails and cliche you can make it. Turn the game into a living penny dreadful or old radio show. Use a corny narrator voice and say things like "Will our heroes get to the valley before the train passes through, or will poor Penelope become victim to the vile. land grabbing Baron? See the heart pumping conclusion next week!". Playing with familiar and dear tropes is a good way to liven things up. Although...depending on the table and the sense of humor, you might not get past the first 5 minutes before your players 'tar and feather your hide'.