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A lot of things on two legs for one.
You can very often look for whether an animal is tall or long by looking at bestiary examples for bigger versions of it. Especially since 'giant' is such an easy template for the designers to use.
The allosaurus, for example, is a huge creature with a space of 15' and a reach of 15'. That means it is 'tall'. You will find similar results for the other two legged dinosaurs. So those are options (allosaurus, t-rex, raptor things with some enlarge spell, etc.)
Triceratops and Anklosaurus, surprisingly have similar stats...so I guess you should go with that. I can't say much on the Diplodocus, since that is a whole other argument about implicit/explicit abilities.
I would switch dex and int, at the very least. Maybe use the 12 for con, and the 16 for dex.
I know you get less hp per level...but having a 5%-15% less chance of getting hit seems worth the trouble. Particularly since you are the only one with healing (unless one of the sorcerers infernal healing exactly half of the noncantrips they know)
I would personally grab power attack...but I am sure there is argument about that on the board.
Arguably, the fact that it shares your alignment, you face negative levels if it dies, and you can make another one a month later all seems to indicate that the shadow is made from a part of you, rather than being some random restless spirit that you co opted. It is your literal shadow made manifest.
Whether Pharasma is happy about you tearing up pieces of your soul to turn into weapons is another question entirely, and one you should discuss with your GM.
Well, with TWF, you can take advantage of the static bonuses like studied target and sneak attack more effectively. So it can seriously improve your DPR during full attacks.
If you use light shields, then you could grab a quickdraw light shield. Swift action to draw/store (free if you have quickdraw feat). That means you can 2 hand if you have to use standard action attacks (such as when you move). (side note- you can take a style with similar advantages if you use double weapons, or even just 1 handed sword+cestus/gauntlet)
And shields+medium armor can be better than heavy armor. Lets ignore the sheer bonus from the shield itself- +2 shield and +2 armor cost less than +3 armor. It is the advantage of using 2 items for enhancement in a system where costs exponentially increase. So sword and board can out AC a heaver level of armor without too much trouble.
And medium armor (particularly mithral, which has no movement penalties by the way) can take even better advantage of your suggested dex build than mithral heavy armor.
Cerberus Seven wrote:
Plus...people tend to vacation in MoMS, not live there.
Not saying it is bad...but rather front loaded, and most do not like the loss of flurry of blows (less serious with unchained, I suppose, due to the increase to full BAB; I still somewhat doubt it will be the main attraction)
Mark Seifter wrote:
Now, though I've tried to be fair in pointing out the badness that could happen on a failed Will save, I will say that the Unchained monk is still probably still less likely to get hit by an enchantment than anything but a paladin or Wisdom-based caster at many levels, due to combining Still Mind with Wisdom as an important stat. Unchained Monk wants Wisdom as a strong second stat for sure (after either Strength or Dex depending on what he uses to hit), which combined with Still Mind buys you a lot of benefit vs. enchantment in particular. At 4, for instance, if the Unchained monk has 16 Wisdom and a witch or wizard has 10 (fairly standard for those classes in point buy characters I've seen), then, cloak being equal, the monk is ahead of those casters by 2 for enchantments, and those casters don't surpass until level 14, and even then only assuming the monk doesn't boost Wisdom (and the monk ties again at 15 for one level). If the monk grabs a +6 Wis headband and the witch or wizard has a +2 Wis ioun stone to go with their +6 Int headband or something like that, the monk stays ahead indefinitely.
Welcome to the wonderful world of curses, or 'enchantment and mind affecting protections eh? How about some necromancy then'
Well...usually, you do it by using either a light shield, or a light weapon in the other hand.
...anyway, onto build advice- if you do use TWF, then improved shield bash is obviously a large plus. For combat style, I personally prefer TWF style (all the nice TWF feats) and then qualifying for other shield feats normally (you can find example ones under the sword and shield style...which is another alternative). I prefer TWF style, since it allows you to skip the tricky stat prerequisites found with those feats, and not with shield feats.
Really...you can just use the ranger guides for most of your build advice. Slayer is mostly the same in that regard.
Don't forget curses, or "so you've protected yourself from mind affecting effects? Well, we will just have to do something about that".
AKA- "That thing you do? You are no longer good at it".
Tanking your score by -6 to -12 is the vanilla option. Permanently making it so you can't do anything 75% of the time is one of the extreme listed option (does that include traveling? do they have to buy a wagon just to cart your rear around now?). Or how about the inability to heal with spells? dropping weapons 50% of the time (which might not affect a monk, depending on your focus)
Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Now, as for your GM's adjustments. There's no reason to deny you armor, the only AC benefit you're getting is +4 Natural Armor (something barbarians can get at level 12 and pass at level 16, alchemists can also pick up some, ditto druids, anyone who casts polymorph spells, the list is pretty long). You get a boost at low levels, that's it. Reducing the fly speed is similarly pointless, Strix have no level adjustment and start with a fly speed of 60 feet.
Well, not necessarily. Besides the fact that barbarians lose half of that natural armor to rage at that level, and alchemists' natural armor bonus stacks with the one from the template (which can be particularly relevant, since there is a fighter archetype that has alchemist mutagens, and it is also rather nice for getting flight at level 7), there is the assumption that those classes are not using heavy armor.
Barbarians and alchemists have to pay a price to use heavy armor (barbarians typically have to use an archetype, and alchemists have to multiclass or waste 2 feats), but fighters can use them from the get go. And With flight like that...you lose a lot of the disadvantages of heavy armor (your speed would be....35? 30? On par with everyone else at least; I am always fuzzy with natural flight and armor).
Natural armor like that puts you above a sword and board player with similar armor for a long time. All the while, you can use 2 handed.
Is it fair for the GM to remove armor as an option? Probably not. But he shouldn't have allowed a template with that much power at such a low level anyway. Bad decisions to cover bad decisions.
Also, using strix as an example about LA just shows that there is no LA in the system. Going off the race builder, their flight alone is worth 10 rp (that is the same as the cost of all the traits put together for any one of the core races). I am fairly sure that the combined total of a strix's rp go into the 'monstrous' range, along with Centaurs and Ogres (or they cheat for a lower score with silly things like xenophobic)
That is the problem. There was already a solution to that problem- pummeling charge. It made those more than even in mobility (and I do not know if flying kick spends ki; if it does, then pummel is much, much better).
It was pretty much tailor made to solve a large, large swath of monk problems. Heck, even enhancement is less of a problem- since you blast through DR, you can use greater magic weapon/fang with impunity while using an amulet of natural armor instead.
And I will stick to my guns on the old monk...mostly because there was such a large mass of archetypes built to deal with the problem. Archetypes that gave options that are not available to the unchained monk.
Sohei would likely be working with a +9 or +11 bonus on hits if, depending on items. Maneuver master could have them blind, deaf, and nauseated with dirty tricks and the like (making them easy pickings, even with 'meh' melee). Tetori could hogtie ghosts before they even had time to ask 'lol wut?'
Anyway onto other issues- the thing that gets people concerned over will saves is not that having a poor will save ruins a class...but it adds new things to worry about during character creation. Just like being MAD means you have to worry about a lot of stats.
I am perfectly fine with patching up a will save on a fighter...and hell, I am rather good at it- half elf or half orc, a trait, a smidge of wisdom, iron will. I can handle it, and even make the caster cleric jealous until mid levels. But still... it is a new concern introduced into a class that already had a ton of concerns (AC without armor, getting past DR when using unarmed strikes, getting full attacks to meet your full potential, being MAD to have good defenses and still do damage, managing ki, etc.)
We came here hyped up because we were told things were going to be shaken up...but this is still the same 'new problems for old' that we always find. And honestly...I somewhat doubt some of these problems were still there to begin with (my pummeling sohei feels that way at least)
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Oh yes, I never said that a sohei tanks with light armor. Just that it is much, much simpler when it comes to AC. Helps them out at early levels to become significantly less MAD (they don't have to turtle up with dex and wis to survive, and they can just get a decent str; stats I usually look for are like an inquisitor's).
Plus, you also have the option of grabbing gloves of dueling as well (you aren't using bracers of armor anymore), since it has weapon training and it is called out to work like weapon training (which is all that is needed, according to FAQs).
So that is a +4 to attack and damage from equipment, alongside the +3 from the class. They can hit as hard as an inquisitor when they aren't doing flurry. And when you pummel...gods help whatever poor fool is getting his head punched in, since you are more than a match for other martials. It is not hard to make those hits hurt (full power attack at full BAB on each 'hit' since there is no off hand, up to x2 str on each 'punch' with Horn of the Criosphynx feat, and other sources of tasty static damage)
Yeah, it kind of sucks that you have to wait until mid level to get a good source of ki....and that source seems PRETTY EVIL (there is room for argument about ki leech...but it can be a bit...much compared to just taking a shot of whiskey). At time same time... with pummeling charge as very much a thing by that level, getting ki from kills and criticals seems like a great deal.
I think I'll just stick with sohei- light armor, perfect saves, enough bonuses and item slots for bonuses that it is on par with other 3/4 BAB classes when it does standard actions/AoOs.
Throw on pummeling style, and the BAB thing is just a theoretical thing for qualifying for feats...most of the time.
master arminas wrote:
I'm not sure, however, that bumping up the hit die to a d10 was needed . . . especially with the Will save being reduced to poor. Now,
This sounds more like a brawler archetype with a will save boosting mechanic more than anything.
I like the regular monk....or, I like some of the chassis that survives the archetypes.
I like having a noncaster that doesn't have to cheat his way to a good will save. I like the idea of a person trained enough to take on any unexpected danger. Why even bother dropping the will save if you give a mechanic right back that undoes the change?
I am sure the will save mechanic runs as long as you have 1 ki, and drops when you run out... but is that the cost for full BAB? Did the monk even need that, with pummeling style covering almost all the problems with unarmed strikes and the flurry/nonflurry difference?
Axiomites and Inevitables- Trying to tame the wild frontiers of the outerplanes. Their city, Axis, is the main hub for it all.
Proteans view them as the borg though (the axiomites are equations/programs, and inevitables are robots...so it might not be an unfair comparison). Thus, the huge war between order vs. chaos. It is kind of similar to the qlippoth situation- proteans were there first, and then the gods and the forces of Axis came steam rolling all over the proteans etch-e-sketch (yeah, that seems like a good metaphor for how they see the world- full of possibilities, but each should be temporary). The people of Axis view the proteans as mere mad barbarians, maybe going on the tone of a plague/natural disaster.
"Mortals are so (boring/same/limited). They need to learn how to (change/live/grow). Going with two arms and two legs all their lives....bleh. Trying being a tree sometime. Or a racoon. My cousin Oliver always sings the praises of being a rock for vacation, but I say being a sunset is better. Let me (help/make/force) you to see things a little differently, boring man. You can go back to being human after a couple decades."
Sorry...I saw the multi-speak thing used for proteans once (doubt it is anything official), and I fell in love with it. I mentally picture it as different voices whispering at the same time. Anyway- no set attitude, besides a dislike for order. They might like mortals, they might hate mortals. Depends on the individual and mood at the time. Heck, they might have been mortals, or their dad was a mortal and laid their egg (little set origin, obviously). Still, even if they are benevolent, they might not be too respectful over mortal concerns.
Azata vs. Archon- Odd couple- "One is a free spirit, and the other is a control freak. But can they get along in order to save the multiverse?"
Or "Artsy elves vs. Stern Dwarves".
Agathion- Forget all these politics, and lets just do the right thing guys. Also, they are the fuzzy animal ones.
Angel- any of the above, really. Maybe a race, and then they side with whichever group speaks to them? To some extent- team good has at least a bit more teamwork across philosophies compared to team evil. At least at a level where you can send each other christmas cards. Or really, mortals respect all the good disciplines, and this is a group born of that unilateral respect.
Aeon- keep the balance. Good? Evil? Order? Chaos? Too much of any of them causes problems. Stop the problem. No matter who you have to kill or help. Or "Team Neutral, kinda nuts flavor".
Psychopomps- in control of keeping the afterlife going. They have a job to do, and being neutral helps them do it. Angels, demons, devils, and daemons all mostly let them do their thing since they keep a good flow of reinforcements going for each side. If they didn't, then people would stop playing ball and souls would be a free for all. Daemons are kind of a pain usually though (preying on souls and eating them, and all). Or "Team Neutral, fair enough flavor".
Difference between oni and kami-
Kami are the guardians of the sacred icecream cone. They do everything in their power to insure it stays perfectly cold, perfectly scooped, and with the just right amount of sprinkles. No, you can't have any of the ice cream, eating it would mess it up.
Oni- I am sick of this. I am eating the damn ice cream. And I am not going to share it with anyone. I've spent too long staring at this damn thing, I deserve it the most. I'll punch anyone that says otherwise.
And it kind of devolves from there. Oni then take on a might makes right attitude- the world is there to be enjoyed by those that are willing to take it. And oni are very good at taking things.
After that, you get your typical civil war- good wants to stop selfishness, selfishness says no and escalates the issue and become worse, shots fired back and forth, and humans are the ones to suffer. The typical stuff that made countries like Rahadoum take up atheism (or the philosophy of 'do they really deserve to be called gods?' and 'do we want literal outsiders to fight to decide who gets control over our fates'?)
Side note- I agree with the Asura and Qlippoth, to some extent- the whole demon fiasco was a debacle for any gods that call themselves 'good'. They basically dumped the CE souls like toxic waste in the abyss (instead of trying that...you know... forgiveness and redemption stuff), and they let the problem pile up until some idiot threw a match on the whole powder keg. Sorry if I let this out a bit too much in discussing the subject...and take the whole setting a bit too seriously and literal for a fictional setting that just needed excuses for arbitrary villains.
A note on the difference between demons and daemons- demons do not want to (intentionally) destroy the world. They enjoy the world- so many nice things to break. Unfortunately...they tend to have a poor sense of boundaries, and as such they might accidentally kill everyone, leaving no one left to torture. Well, there are always other worlds to play with. Basically? Short sightedness of a captain planet villain.
Daemons understand their end game- they believe existence is meaningless, so why not end it all? Of course, ignoring all those meaningless 'morals' and enjoying yourself on the high by drinking souls is just as valid as trying to save kittens, in that case. Both happen because you feel like it. Anyway, the thing with daemons is that they tend to focus on causes of death, and the destruction of personal relationships. They are trying to 'prove a point'. Many depictions of the joker tend to fall into this kind of category (with the obsession with batman since since he is a huge symbol of meaning and trying to salvage this trashpile)
Qlippoth have an end goal as well- before mortals came along, their realm was all nice and mind boggingly and horribly twisted in their favor. Now, there is an infinite horde of demons messing up the place, forcing them into the crevices and shadows. They don't like that. But with new demons born from evil mortals all the time, it is a losing battle. So cut off the source- kill all mortals, and then you can start to whittle the demon horde down. End goal- "Get off me lawn, ye dern kids!"
Asuras hate gods because, compared to the Judea-Christian interpretation of gods....Golarion's are just as short sighted and a-holish as mortals. Steal something from me? Curse you into horrible twisted monster that wrecks havoc on local mortals. Gods mess up, and still feel like they are oh so superior. Which...honestly, I can vaguely understand. There are like...2 evil gods/demigods to every good one. And people think congressmen are out of touch with the plight of the people... Still, most Asura hardly care for mortals either, and either kick them around to annoy gods, or use them as chess pieces.
Rakshasa- They also aren't big on this whole 'god' thing. Not that they go out of their way about it (they have their whole reincarnation thing that avoids that whole outerplanes nonsense). They would much rather just sit in their castle, having a harem feeding them grapes, and then go out out for a little snack by releasing a prisoner into the death maze for a bit of sport. Kind of like devils really (can be good administrators...but still...evil), without the cosmos spanding plans and hierarchy. Their power plays are usually on the midscale of 'taking over the throne' or 'invading the neighboring kingdom to get new source of tax revenue'.
Covert Operator wrote:
I was thinking I could get an extremely-high-dexterity familiar and then equip them with a teeny little scimitar (I have Dervish Dance), or I could take Martial Versatility (which my GM is letting any race take) and do anything in the Heavy Blades group.
You might want to get an air elemental, imp, quasit, or lyrakien then.
The only base familiar with hands that comes to mind is the monkey...and its stats are subpar, even for a dex build.
No feats worth writing home about, and none that would actually work (remember, eldritch guardians only get combat feats onto their familiars)
Maulers can do many things...but they are not very good with weapon builds (so few options with both decent stats and hands). Typically, you want an improved familiar for that. Earth elementals, for example, have decent strength and they can use simple weapons if they have a humanoid-shaped form.
I can imagine that you can send in a load of earth or air elements to steal an object using their special movement speeds (flying and burrowing). Any sort of teleporting outsider has the same potential.
It can be a bit hard to use summons for noncombat uses with the normal spell. Summoners get the luxury to use them for that, since their duration is minutes/level via the SLA. With that, you can easily use summons to scout (the suggested elementals are, again, extremely useful for the same reasons.)
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Dwarf with Goliath Druid archetype could make a pretty impressive tank, especially if he has one preferred wild shape form and has Stone Plate made for it.
Again, polymorph rules make it so that anyone turning into things like giants (which are humanoids) can just use their regular equipment without any extra muss or fuss. it is practically the same as enlarge person with extra benefits. Unless you keep a set or two around for the somewhat restricted animal selections (allosaurus for pouncing, pterosaur for flying).
I like half orcs personally though. Besides the mechanical advantages (die hard, weapon proficiencies that give just a slight edge over the base one, and maybe the bonus to saves?), it is easy to write off the thematic elements. It is not hard to play a half orc raised in an orc tribe that decided he wanted to be the biggest, meanest, greenest mofo in the room.
Heck, the combo is practically built into that giant slaying AP.
That, that is just because you are focused on a pounce monster with terrible armor options (usually that would end up with wild armor...which spends +4 armor bonus to just get the thing working). There are plenty of more tanky options that still do decent damage.
The most obvious choice would be an elemental shape. Particularly earth elemental (good natural armor, good strength, some extra con, earth glide if things get hairy). At level 12, elemental body gives DR 5/-, as well as immunity to sneak attacks, critical hits, and bleed. So that is fairly good defensively.
Elementals also present an interesting advantage- they can have humanoid like shapes, use weapons in those shapes, and they have a language. Basically, you can fight and cast spells like you were in a humanoid body. Sure, you would perhaps have to buy a large weapon (scimitars are a rather nice option; spears also hit like great swords when large), but since this form has few downsides...there is little reason not to go around like that all day. Make it your default form. With the advantages of large sized reach and a large sized 2 handed weapon... you can compete.
Another option would be to go with the goliath druid archetype. It trades away plant and elemental forms...and in return it gets to turn into giants. At level 12, it works like the giant body spell...which has an option for regeneration if you turn into a troll. Throw on a resist energy spell (you can get up to 30 resist at that level), and it is hard for you to die. Throw in die hard, and it is even harder to keep you down (you won't pass out, even at -100 hp)
Obviously, turning into giants also has the same melee advantages as humanoid shaped elementals- you can use normal weapons and armor, and cast spells. Heck, it is even easier for goliath druids- the spell they rely on for wildshape allows your regular equipment to size up with you.
So yes, it is more than possible to get '2 out of 3' with druids.
Earth elemental seems key for taking damage.
Besides giving decent strength, it also has great con and natural armor boosts. At level 12, Elemental body (which that part of wildshape is based off of) gives you DR 5/- and immunity to sneak attacks, critical hits, or bleed. That makes you fairly sturdy overall. The ability to earth glide also helps you get out of bad situations (you might have to take the cave terrain domain to get tremor sense though)
There are also other advantages- since elementals can have humanoid shapes, and they can use simple weapon proficiency when in such a shape, you could just grab weapons and armor for that body (a nice scimitar can do wonders). Hell, since they also have a language, you might even be able to skip some of the usual druid feats since you can cast spells normally
Another option is the goliath druid. This takes away elemental and plant options, and gives you giants instead. When it acts as Giant Shape I at level 12.... well, you can turn into a troll and grab regeneration. Throw some resist energy (which does 30 pts at that level) to protect yourself from fire/acid... and you are fairly well protected. Throw on die hard and you are annoyingly sturdy since you do not even pass out when brought down to 0 hp.
With this option, equipment is an even easier choice- polymorph into things like giants does not absorb your equipment, but scales it up with you. Just grab whatever armor and weapon you want, and just go wild. Obviously, there are not problems with spell casting.
Actually, with the juggler bard, the need for a ton of extra feats to do both archery and TWF might be a bit too much. Maybe just dip 2 levels so you can juggle, and then go with fighter so you can get a ton of bonus feats.
Slayer and ranger also suffice...but if we are talking about the sheer number and scope of bonus feats....
An archery build that uses a halfling, basically? I mean, here are a set of example (post racial) stats for your standard fighter/ ranger/ slayer/ whatever martial archer
STR: 14 DEX: 17 CON: 14 INT: 10 WIS: 12 CHA: 9
With warslinger, the reload is a free action, which basically just turns the sling into a short bow with ever so slightly lower damage dice and range. You also do not have to worry about composite bows and strength ratings and the like. I keep the strength up for that reason- extra bit of damage. Anyway, despite the slight downgrade...you are still an archery build, basically- you are going to do fine for damage.
If we wanted to get very, very tricky with all this though, I suppose we could go juggler bard.
With juggler bard, you are considered to have a free hand as long as you are juggling less than 3 items (there are later increases to this, but this suffices for our purposes). That means that you can have 2 slings, and still be considered as having a free hand to load ammo. Thus, you can TWF with your slings using this archetype.
I know you can do similar things with alchemist...but I chose the bard archetype because it allows for nice beefy bonuses to attack and damage from inspire courage, and then some more from arcane strike. That should be enough for you to enjoy a nice bit of damage.
Oh, example bard stats:
That is why the use of a fox for this is significant, since they primarily hunt alone (although I suppose there is some precedence for them hunting together when they are not competitors).
But even if we restricted ourselves purely to known pack animals, that still raises the question of lions in the feline family.
But back to topic- I propose a program where we finally, once and for all, attempt to take on the monumental task of domesticating babies. The now feral population is a plague upon our society.
Interesting experiments go on in that field. Russian researcher attempted to create a 'domesticated silver fox' (use that as your search term) in order to improve the fur industry.
They worked from the idea of how dogs were domesticated from wolves. The general idea was to selectively breed based on the same criteria ancient man might have originally used- which cubs seemed the most docile (or the 'which of these little..... ers bit me, because he is going into the stew' principle).
The interesting result was this- he succeeded in making foxes that were fairly dog like in their tameness...and it resulted in their going dog like as well. Instead of the beatiful silver fur they were looking for, they got the kind of patching fur appropriate for a pet named 'spot', or something similar to a husky. They also acquired a few other dog like behaviors.
Basically, dogs today are pretty much a direct result of how we treated them early on. Whether you would get quite the same reaction from noncanines is questionable... but yeah, you could literally make predictions based off of house cats given this kind of trend.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Of with a strength build TWF - I like double-weapons. They let you get 1.5x strength damage when you move.
I wanted to suggest that too...
But the problem with this archetype is that a lot of the traditional advise eventually goes out the window. At level 9, he can hit with both weapons as a standard action, removing the majority of a double weapon's advantages.
Although, if it still tickles your fancy, they did release the weighted spear recently. It is a simple weapon, and it is just as it sounds: a spear with a nice heavy bashy bit at the other end. So options.
Well, the alternate choices do include examples that originate from bestiaries 2, 3, and 4.
But yes, the bread and butter comes from B1. Because, honestly, that book included a lot of the bread an butter any way of basic enemy types.
And if you listened to the optimizers, it wouldn't matter anyway, since you would only summon lantern and hound archons anyway.
-Plague breaking out due to overabundance of zombies (okay, that's more of a plotline than a villain)
No, that just means you are just not being creative enough. Who says it can't be the villain.
A good old legion. A necromancer who decided being a lich was too passe with obvious weaknesses, and they decided to try something new.
It gives an excellent excuse for metagaming- the enemies all know how you fought before, and yes, they are tailoring themselves to stop you.
Of course, from a gameplay perspective, there needs to be an actual weakness. I suggest using the original bodies used by the necromancer as the 'brain stem' of sorts- they are the ones with the greatest connection, and they are the ones acting as nodes, holding the whole thing together (have the collective break down into small, oddly cunning groups after that- an occasional callback seeking revenge). You still have to track nodes down one by one though.
A giant, snake like construct built entirely out of right arms.
It kind of looks like a mix of a skeletal structure and just a hand reaching for whatever poor fool it targets (treat as a bite attack with grab, followed by 6 claw attacks while grappled).
The general implication is that it is part of a larger entity that is trying to build its form in the material plane.
Does getting a spell cast on you count? Crafter's fortune gives you a +5 on your next craft check. That can help things along a small bit.
It doesn't even require you to be able to cast magic. Hell, since it is a level 1 spell, just about any place should be able to get their hands on it.
Getting that 1 extra hit in when they attack first.
And you can get 2 hits in for the same action if you have a weapon with the new fortuitous weapon property (1/round, you get a second aoo in at BAB-5).
Also, you could always use lunge and pushing assault. They perfect the use of positioning to get your AoOs. Lunge lets you attack an enemy 15' away during your turn. That means the enemy have to move 10' to attack you, which draw an AoO. Pushing assault solve the little 5' step dance when they get in close, since it lets you trade in the power attack on one of your attacks in return for pushing the enemy back 5' (which puts them in the same position they were in with lunge).
There are ways to take advantage of reach. But mostly- it stops enemies from getting past you to gnaw on the squishy wizard.
I understand crafting taking a long time for reasons of verisimilitude, because even in fantasy stories swords are not forged overnight, and armor is not quickly made, but for the sake of the game I would at least like a way, to craft more quickly if the player is willing to put resources into it.
You mean besides the use of a scroll of fabricate?
Worms that Walk are not quite undead, but they are certainly well suited thematically for an easy path to unlife.
Compared to liches, they are much more accidental- they are what happens when a tainted caster's soul clings to our world, forcing itself upon the very vermin that consume their flesh. While you can certainly try to become one...they are much more along the lines of flukes born of the moment (which might be a sorcerer bleeding out in a back alley, VERY willing to make some deals)
Due to the sudden 'miracle' involved in their creation, they seem much more prone towards chasing big plans that have...questionable ends. Worms that walk may easily be the type that have a bloated ego about their power because....really, the world tried stopping once, and see how far that went. So they are the ones that are more likely to go for explosions and think that things will go well after making deals to let otherworldly powers into the world.
I think they are more appropriate than liches for this kind of setting since liches are in it for the long game- they picked that form because they did not see themselves as having the skill to obtain proper immortality in their lifetime. They are conservative, highly defensive with their key weakness, and more than willing to play the waiting game (since waiting 100 years means most interloping heroes will be long dead). And since this setting is all about a new, exciting fast track to power.... yeah... not a great combo.
Not to say that you can't have aspiring liches (because it sounds cool, and that is the logic of our aspiring necromancers). Particularly if things go....a little wrong (how about accidentally making the phylactery into the wrong kind of object because they miscarried the 2 in the coordinates? How about having the lich stepping out from a burning oven?)
Not much on that low level list. Or at least, not anything that could benefit from being summoned alone.
Since a lot of the 'optimizer's choice' options get this benefit either way... yeah, maybe go with ferocious.
If you want to save a feat, you could get a familiar with an archetype. Mauler familiars take the regular base familiars, and give them strength boosts instead of int boosts, and gives them the ability to scale up to medium at level 3 (with some nice str boosts along with it).
That could easily serve as a flank buddy.
Hmmmm....nope, close, but no cigar.
Most of the animals on SM IV, however, do have around 5HD. That becomes an option at level 7, which just so happens to be a level where you can take another feat.
Just saying- if you pick a lot of the stuff like superior summons and sacred summons, and you just happened to be CN, N, or LN....well...good things might come about. That looks like a good set up for a cleric of Abadar (who equally uses archons and devils).
EDIT- oh, this is an NPC. Missed that bit. Yeah, leveling might not be an option for him (depending on how the campaign goes). (personal side note- your summon feats don't affect wands and scrolls, right? I'd rather not get into this train of thought if it doesn't go anywhere)
Well, Superior summoning gets more bodies on the field, so it has a very high place.
Evolved summoned monster is kind of useless though. Besides the restriction to 1 pt evos, it only applies to one of the creatures you summon. Rarely very helpful.
But lets look at the alignment ones: I think summon neutral monster looks interesting. Mostly because it turns the 'bleh' animal options into something nice and beefy with DR/adamantine (and their low CR for their hit dice works in their favor. The good version is a lot less useful (since you are often fighting creatures that can get through DR/evil anyway).
And depending on the AP, the restriction to smite only CE, LE, LG, CG might not be too bad. If the campaign is focused on killing demons and the like, it will get just as much use out of the smite as a 'summon good monster', and its DR still applies.
Imagine a Rok flying in with smite on those fools with its new DR/10 adamantine and +16 to damage on every hit. Imagine throwing out 1d4+2 creatures like that out.
Well, it is due to the whole 'extra penalties for dual 1 handed'. A lot of people are wary of TWF early on even when the penalties are just -2.
That stops problem at level 11 due to your archetype (where you only take -2 with 1 dual one handed weapons, and -1 when the offhand is light)...but again, that is a long time off.
There is also probably some optimization reason like a focus on criticals, since you get a ton of hits (which means a lot of chances to crit). But that can be a bit of a personal preference.
I mean....hammers have an advantage with bludgeoning damage. When skeletons and liches show up, you won't have to abandon them and grab some cheap golf-bagged items that you do not have weapon focus/etc. in. So meh. It is the classic large crit vs. wide crit range debate.
Fighters can now get TWF feats without pumping dex by using Artful Dodge. This also shores up their bad skill points, tho admittedly you have exchanged your DEX dependency for a different one.
That...actually might be worse.
A lot of fighters usually have at least a moderate dex since it is for reflex and AC (which works for even heavy armor builds, due to armor training- not relevant here, but still a general concern). But they might only have a bit of int since they are not going to get too far out of the skill hole. At the very least, they would only get 14 at best (and that is them really trying).
It takes less to bet a moderate dex to a somewhat high dex. Taking a 'meh' int to a somewhat high int takes a lot more.
You would need to follow something like duelist (which adds int to AC) to make that 'good'.
Artful dodge seems more for like...wizards maybe?
Really, the feat would only be worth it if it was the other way around- using dex for int prerequisites. That would make things like combat expertise and the maneuver feats much more accessible.
Do not worry- many times, the problems of local politics, traditions, actual ability to get your hands on particular resources, natural landscape, etc. can make plenty of reasons why the thing is the way it is.
Having to make concessions to a drunken inbred noble can give you a lot of excuses.
Maybe they realize it is a poor system, but they can't get the money or support needed to start up the new one.
Have to go the long way around? The short way may piss off the neighboring nation, due to border issues. Also, the usual only-slightly-out-of-the-way path met with a landslide last week (could be a plot point- enemies are trying to delay your quest and make you more vulnerable).
Maybe it is a tradition that is an arbitrary ritual. Maybe the god of intelligence is obsessive compulsive, and he is basing the ritual off of the circumstances from something 10,000 years ago, and he doesn't want to change it (we think he has been going a bit senile ever since the fight with the goddess of poison; he has never been the same)
Need a weird ingredient that doesn't make sense? When we made this magical artifact, we had to skimp on some things since we couldn't get dragon heart before our witch's brain rotted. So we substituted it with wyvern, and well....the wyvern is moody about the whole affair. He makes weird requests just to piss us off before he lets us use the artifact. Many artifacts may have these kinds of problems.
Having to live in the 'real world' makes the use of perfect logic...shaky... at best. Being with power like throwing their weight around. And you sometimes have to make compromises with the circumstances because actually practicing the logical path is too costly right now. So the best answer is to have the cleric of intelligence cringe, suck air through his teeth, and give out a long sigh.
Why is pumping both str and dex the worst way? He doesn't need to waste feats and investments on DEX junk. Saving that feat and trouble is worth bit in early point buy, from my perspective. And really, he is not taking from his other defenses so much as lowering his strength from 18-19 down to a 16.
I congratulate him for realizing that you only need a 17 in dex to get all the good TWF feats. The only one that I can remember off the top of my head that needs 19 was greater TWF (and really...a feat for an attack at BAB-12?)
I will say you over invested though. You only need a starting 16 in dex for everything to work out. You just need to put your 4th level ability score adjustment to raise it to the sweet spot of 17. Then you can just forget it.
But I do think you have one serious misconception- are you using 2 one handed weapons from the get go? And you only have the extra penalties on the offhand? No...sorry, not how it works. If your offhand isn't light, you get a -4 to all the attacks. At least, that is until your archetype changes that at level 11 (which is kind of a long way away- most games do not even reach that unless they start at a high level from the get go; you might also have to go through the trouble of retraining and getting new equipment for 'rule of cool' with 2 one handed weapons, since you likely invest in light early on)
Switching weapons, remember- damage dice are usually not that big a deal (until you make the jump from 1d8 to 2d6 at least), so that is not the problem. The problem is having different weapons, which is a problem as a fighter (since fighters tend to focus on weapon focus and weapon specialization a lot). Having 2 different weapons means you need to spend more feats to get to par. So always try to match things up.
Craft is about making the finest pinnacle of your craft with the best skills and materials.
Profession is realizing that almost no one is going to pay 1,251 gp for a mithral pot, and using the money and time to craft a 1,251 pots out of regular iron instead, creating a successful and renowned smithing business that provides for all the major restaurants in the kingdom.
Meanwhile, the guy that spent a fortune on the fancy pot had to sell it for 100 gp just to avoid getting his legs broken by creditors. He now lives under the bridge.
Profession is about making something that is 'good enough' to get basic customers and profits. Oh, sure, having craft and making 'very good' items is alright too. It builds a reputation so that your average stuff is seen as better than the other guy's average stuff. And sometimes, some whacky noble or adventurerer comes in asking for a 1,251 gp pot, and you have the skills to capitalize on the opportunity.
But as adventurers, you should just worry about craft, since you are usually your own customer, and you do not have to worry about your actual money. At least not on the scale that NPCs have to.