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moon glum's page

RPG Superstar 2014 Dedicated Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 550 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Because the dragon is smart, a 20th level character would need the following:

1) Good damage with a touch attack that doesn't have spell resistance, or the ability to hit a minimum AC of 43. It would actually be higher due to a +5 ring of protection or potion of shield of faith, amulet of natural armor or potion of barkskin +5 and haste, so assume AC 49-54.

2) True seeing (the dragon has displacement and greater invisibility up, and the spell seeming to mess with you).

3) Protection from fire

4) Ability to see though smoke/blind sight

5) A lot of hit points

6) A good Will save or immunity to fear (or you will run away).

7) Immunity to stunning would really help (due to weird, stunning critical, greater shout).

8) Ability to beat the dragon in melee when it is in an anti-magic field.

If it were not for #8, I would say that an alchemist would be your best bet. That gives you the fire protection, an attack that can hit the dragon, blind sight (via echolocation extract), true seeing (via extract), immunity to critical hits (via elemental body), extra hit points (via greater false life and heal), spell resistance, and all kinds of protection from melee attacks.

If the dragon were in an anti-magic field, then a gunslinger would be a good bet (provided gunpowder is not supernatural), but the gunslinger lacks some of the other points.

Dedicated Voter 2014

Protean Horn
Aura strong transmutation; CL 16th
Slot none; Price 70,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This spiral horn of swirling, motley colors writhes in your grasp. Sounding the instrument normally results only in a cacophonous ululation, however, twice per day, you may blow the horn after speaking its command word to derange reality. This surrounds you with a 20' radius region of chaotic warp that acts as the spell solid fog except that it does not provide concealment or block line of sight, and it is not dispersed by winds of any strength. The region is immobile. In addition, you gain a disharmonic vibration that grants you the benefits of the spells freedom of movement and entropic shield. The disharmonic vibration persists outside of the region of warp. Both the warped region and the disharmonic vibration last 10 minutes.

If you speak the command word and sound the horn while you are within a chaotic warp created by the horn, it has a different effect. You may choose one other creature or object that is within the warped region to be subject to the spell polymorph any object (save DC 22). However, the additional disharmonic vibrations imparted to you affect you with a warpwave, as described in the Bestiary 2 entry for proteans. You can resist the warpwave’s effects with a DC 22 Fortitude save.

Protean horns can only be created with the help of a protean. Typically they are created by a spell caster with a voidworm familiar, but sometimes proteans are called via planar summons or similar magic to assist in such a task.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, entropic shield, freedom of movement, polymorph any object, requires the assistance of a protean who must be present throughout the creation process; Cost 35,000 gp

Dedicated Voter 2014

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SCSi wrote:
Rabbitball wrote:
No, it will max out at 65,535, which is the largest 16-bit unsigned integer ;)
Depends if it starts at 0 or not.. :)

0 to 65,535 if it starts at 0 and is unsigned.

1 to 65,536 it it starts at 1 and is unsigned.
0 to 32,767 it is starts at 0 and is signed.

I don't see how it could start at 1 and be signed, so forget that nonsense.

Damm, I should have made this 4+ posts...

Dedicated Voter 2014

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I find myself voting for the item with the coolest potential most of the time. Most items are fatally flawed in one way or another, but some have a cool idea behind them.

Dedicated Voter 2014

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Erick Wilson wrote:
mamaursula wrote:

I know we discussed this last year and it will come up in the critique threads, but I can't wait that long - Please do not use the phrase (or any similar phrase to this) "The true power of the item is revealed when you..." Your items MUST be in an active voice and it really needs to be dynamic. This phrase is not dynamic. Please take this phrase out of your phrase vocabulary.

Thank you.
Me

I've read the repeated posts to this effect, and I have to say I don't really get it. Maybe it's just me, but passive voice just doesn't bother me. Sounds fine. I typically try to avoid it anyway because I know it bothers people, but I've never really understood the rancor it provokes. I guess I'm just weird...

In scientific and technical writing people are supposed to use the passive voice. If you read/write a lot of this material, you get used to it.

For magic items and fiction and such, an active voice is probably better. "Uttering the wondrous whatchamagigs command word and flipping it on its head reveals its true power." Its just more dynamic.

Dedicated Voter 2014

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I have seen one item that may well duplicate existing laws of physics. I might even vote for it...


Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
moon glum wrote:
Note that +4 vs. +6 AC only adds a 10% miss chance to non-touch attacks.

This is mostly true, but doesn't tell the whole story. From a narrow viewpoint one can make the argument, but simple examples show it doesn't work.

If you need a 20 to hit me already, and I raise my AC by 2, you still need a 20 to hit me. If you need an 18 to hit me before, and now need a 20, I have cut by 1/3 the chances of your hitting me. Similar discussion can be had on the "to hit" side.

If a fighter will hit on a 6+ (75%), and he gets another +1, he is now hitting on a 4+ (80%), so you have your 5% difference, but he is now missing 20% less.

Yes, 5%, but some 5%s are more important than others, and it turns out it's the last couple ones that might help the most, so don't forget about them.

It is not the your improvement to your chance of hitting relative to your old chance you should look at. When you roll the dice, there is only a %5 chance per +1 that on any given roll that your bonus actually made a difference (provided the +1 even helped-- if you needed a 32 to hit before, and now need a 31, it doesn't help at all). If you normally would need a 19 to hit (10% chance to hit), and with a +1 now need an 18 to hit, you might think that you improved your chance of hitting by 50%! But you need to actually roll on 18 for that +1 to matter. So, 19 out of 20 times you roll the dice, that +1 won't matter at all. Compare that to displacement having a 50% chance per attack of actually helping.


Note that +4 vs. +6 AC only adds a 10% miss chance to non-touch attacks. Displacement, adds a 50% miss chance to most all attacks (tremor sense, blindsight, trueseeing excepted).

I'd spend my time figuring out ways to have access to mirror image, blur, displacement, improved invisibility, etc..

That being said, my 16th level 3.5 wizard casts greater mage armor using his lesser metamagic rod of extend spell every day.


I use common early firearms in my game, because the game world is a 'pirate' early modern world. The gun rules work fine, and add the appropriate flavor to the game. I must say that there are no gunslinger characters, because the campaign started before that class existed (I used to use Monte Cooke's firearms rules before Pathfinder had them). But there are overpowered characters. I think that alchemists are probably a little overpowered at high levels (but they are also very cool).

The thing to keep in mind when DMing is that in a world where guns are about as common as swords, intelligent creatures will do things to mess with them. Mirror image, displacement, invisibility, clouds of mist, smoke fog, rain (doesn't work against advanced firearms). Creatures will be aware of their deadliness at close range. Amulets of bullet shield will be more common. Spells will be created and used that can counter firearms. There are a number of such spells in the Paizo spell lists.


Code is rejected for me as well. What's up?


VargrBoartusk wrote:
moon glum wrote:

One thing about the 'martial maneuvers' ability being the brawler's iconic ability is that it is not really especially appropriate for brawlers-- it would be an interesting ability for any fighter related class. I could see it as an alternate fighter ability. If one is going to create a class called 'the brawler', that class should be able to do really cool stuff in a tavern brawl, like break a chair over someone's head and knock them out (sneak attack + improvised weapon).

How is a class with a parent class of fighter not a fighter related class ?

My point was that martial maneuvers, while an interesting ability for a brawler, is also an appropriate ability for the fighter class. There is nothing about it that says 'brawler'. The best classes have abilities that speak to the class's special flavor. Witches, for example, have hexes, achemists have mutagens and bombs, the magus, which is in a sense a wizard/fighter, has arcana that lets them cast spells and fight.


One thing about the 'martial maneuvers' ability being the brawler's iconic ability is that it is not really especially appropriate for brawlers-- it would be an interesting ability for any fighter related class. I could see it as an alternate fighter ability. If one is going to create a class called 'the brawler', that class should be able to do really cool stuff in a tavern brawl, like break a chair over someone's head and knock them out (sneak attack + improvised weapon).


Mystically Inclined wrote:
I could see sneak attack as an archetype. The dirty fighter who throws sand in your face and then hits you in the soft bits while you're distracted.

If a brawler is just a fighter who specializes in unarmed combat and close weapons, we already have that-- a fighter using the brawler archetype.

I was thinking that a class called a 'brawler' could be one that really can do everything that you would want to do in a tavern brawl. They could be someone that can fight at least as well as a warrior (the NPC class) with the ordinary weapons all sell swords and fighting adventurers wield, but who is especially good at fighting when normal weapons are not available. Hence the improvised weapon and throw anything feats, and the sneak attack (which works well with the improvised weapon feat).

It might also be cool if there was a fighter/monk class that was not called 'the brawler', but was instead more like a Sohei or Martial Artist. A 'monastic warrior' that was a fighter that had some additional ki powers. Kind of like a medieval jedi knight. That would be a completely different class, however.

As it stands, I am not sure that the brawler is unique enough for a class onto itself.


Late thoughts. I created a 1st level monk for a new campaign that is starting in our group, and thought about making the character a brawler instead. There is nothing to recommend the brawler. In fact, the martial maneuvers ability is a minus, because it would require me to become familiar with a vast number of feats, which is too much for my overtaxed biological neuro-net. Its much more attractive to me to learn the ins and outs of a few feats, and then get all those cool monk abilities, like evasion, immunity to poison, ki, etc..

This is what I would want in a brawler:

1. Something that is kind of a combo between the fighter's brawler archetype, and the fighter's cad archetype.

2. Add in improvised weapons (including throw anything) and some sneak attack damage.

3. Let them be proficient in all martial weapons.

4. More bonus feats, no martial maneuvers. It was an interesting idea, but I don't relish it as a player. I would rather just get a few more feats.

5. Give them their progressed unarmed damage as the base damage that they do with any close weapon, or improvised weapon.

6. Lower their progressed damage and add in sneak attack damage.


A swashbuckler archetype specializing in whips would be cool. The Zorro!


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I think this class would be cool if they lowered the level access to talents. Give them a talent at every level that an alchemist gets a discovery: 1st, 2nd, 4th, etc..

Also, it would be nice if the studied combat/strike ability as a bit different, and was available at 1st level. I like the flavor, but the mechanics need tweaking. One suggestion: it takes a swift action, and then gives a +Int bonus to hit and +1d6/2 levels damage for one attack. You can repeat this. There are feats that let you apply other effects on a successful studied strike. Note this is not as good as sneak attack at totally wiping out a foe (because you can only get the bonus for 1 attack/round), but is more certain (because of the Int bonus to hit).


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I still really, really don't like the 'light or one handed piercing weapon' definition of a 'swashbuckling weapon'. It is really dumb for low level swashbucklers to be running around chucking tridents at things. The default swashbuckling weapon should be a light weapon, or a weapon with the finesse special quality (i.e. a weapon that benefits from the weapon finesse feat). Having feats that add additional weapons (all one handed weapons, say) to the swashbuckler weapons is OK.

By default, swashbucklers should look to rapiers, daggers, and such.

I do like that the you can now throw your swashbuckler weapon and get the precise strike damage bonus.


If one is going to go the knowledge skill route, I would suggest that the something like the following:

Modus Operandi (available at 1st level): As a swift action you make suss out the modus operandi of a single opponent. Make a 10 + CR of the opponent knowledge check, appropriate to the type (Local vs. Humanoids, Nature vs. Animals, etc.). If you are successful, you get +2 to hit and damage vs. that individual opponent for the next minute. In additional you receive +2 AC, and +2 CMD vs. that opponent, and get a +2 save vs. all of that individual opponents special attacks, spells and the like. This bonus increases to +4 at level 5, +6 at level 10, +8 at level 15, and +10 at level 20.


Any thing that they get to help their combat abilities should be available at level 1. There is no reason to make the life of a 1st level character any more limited and difficult.

I actually like sneak attack better then the 'inspired strike' 'studied strike' idea, because:

1. Sneak attack is fun. Its tactically interesting to try to get the drop on people, and to set up flanks.

2. There are already a host of rogue talents that modify and augment sneak attack. Investigators get access to those if they have sneak attack.

3. It is something an investigator can always try to do, even when there other resources are spent.

4. It fits in with the concept of investigators as rogue/alchemist hybrids.


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Hunter: Falconer (has a flying animal companion, good at working with it to fight flying things), Packmaster (trades their animal aspect ability for additional animal companions, gets one extra at 4th at -2 levels, 6th at -4 levels, 8th at -6 levels, etc. They must select an wolf, dog, or other predatory, pack forming animal), Mounted Hunter (uses their animal companion as a mount, gains mounted combat feats in addition to teamwork feats), Lord of the Apes (gains leadership feat but must take apes, including advanced apes, in place of NPC followers)

Slayer: Mageslayer (can take the disruptive, spell breaker, etc. feat chain, can impose a penalty to concentration checks for a few rounds by sacrificing a few sneak attack dice)

Swashbuckler: many of the fighter archetypes should have swashbuckling versions, including the two weapon fighter, the cad, the mobile fighter, the brawler. There should also missile weapon using versions (crossbow, gun, bow).


Brew Potion, as a bonus feat, should be an investigator talent. They have the option of selecting the alchemical discoveries related to potions after all. And technically, without this, there is not a way for them to brew potions (it is my understanding that, officially, the item creation feats don't work with alchemical elixirs).


I think that the rogue might be a full BAB class what with their reliance of martial prowess, their single good save, and the fact that they have other limitations that make less good at going toe to toe than a fighter (weapon limitations, armor limitations, no weapon specialization). It actually fits the image of the rogue in fantasy literature fairly well too.


moon glum wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
moon glum wrote:

Your idea is good. I would develop it further by allowing a 1st level use of inspiration 'attack weakpoints', that cost 2 inspiration points, and gave you +1d6 per 2 levels precision damage against a single opponent. It would last for a limited time. There could be an investigator talent that lowered the cost to 1 inspiration point.

That would give an investigator cool combat abilities at 1st level, and would be different from sneak attack.

Well, I still would prefer giving the investigator some sneak attack ability that is not locked behind inspiration costs since that will give them some combat ability when their potions and inspiration have run out.

And I thought the first d6 should be at level 2 to keep them one level behind the rogue even with the inspiration payment (to help throw rogue a bone sort of). It also makes a one level dip in investigator not as good as this alternate version (which is actually sort of like the first version of this idea that I proposed a couple days ago).

I think the level 1 investigator is doing pretty okay combat-wise. They are not as good as the rogue for stabbing guys, but they have potions and inspiration to offset that. Like: they are sort of lvl 1 wizard-esque (or level 1 cleric-esque for that matter). They have some combat ability in the form of their stabby rapier but most of their usefulness will come from other resources.

Keeping them so weak in combat until level 4 is a bit much, though.

The cool thing about sneak attack is that it requires a bit of tactics to use. As a player, it is fun to try to figure out a way to sneak attack an opponent. So, adding an inspiration based bonus to damage at level 1 (that is 1d6 per 4 levels) and sneak attack at level 1 (and then incrementing 1d per 4 levels (2d6 at 5th, 3d6 at 10th, etc.) would be cool too.

I don't see any reason to delay the sneak attack die till level 2 though. I think that there might be one character in a hundred...

Nah, I take it back. It would be better just to give them the 1/4/7/10/13/16/19 sneak attack progression, and forget the inspiration based damage bonus, at least as a talent available at 1st level.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
moon glum wrote:

Your idea is good. I would develop it further by allowing a 1st level use of inspiration 'attack weakpoints', that cost 2 inspiration points, and gave you +1d6 per 2 levels precision damage against a single opponent. It would last for a limited time. There could be an investigator talent that lowered the cost to 1 inspiration point.

That would give an investigator cool combat abilities at 1st level, and would be different from sneak attack.

Well, I still would prefer giving the investigator some sneak attack ability that is not locked behind inspiration costs since that will give them some combat ability when their potions and inspiration have run out.

And I thought the first d6 should be at level 2 to keep them one level behind the rogue even with the inspiration payment (to help throw rogue a bone sort of). It also makes a one level dip in investigator not as good as this alternate version (which is actually sort of like the first version of this idea that I proposed a couple days ago).

I think the level 1 investigator is doing pretty okay combat-wise. They are not as good as the rogue for stabbing guys, but they have potions and inspiration to offset that. Like: they are sort of lvl 1 wizard-esque (or level 1 cleric-esque for that matter). They have some combat ability in the form of their stabby rapier but most of their usefulness will come from other resources.

Keeping them so weak in combat until level 4 is a bit much, though.

The cool thing about sneak attack is that it requires a bit of tactics to use. As a player, it is fun to try to figure out a way to sneak attack an opponent. So, adding an inspiration based bonus to damage at level 1 (that is 1d6 per 4 levels) and sneak attack at level 1 (and then incrementing 1d per 4 levels (2d6 at 5th, 3d6 at 10th, etc.) would be cool too.

I don't see any reason to delay the sneak attack die till level 2 though. I think that there might be one character in a hundred that dips a level in investigator to get a sneak attack die.


Your idea is good. I would develop it further by allowing a 1st level use of inspiration 'attack weakpoints', that cost 2 inspiration points, and gave you +1d6 per 2 levels precision damage against a single opponent. It would last for a limited time. There could be an investigator talent that lowered the cost to 1 inspiration point.

That would give an investigator cool combat abilities at 1st level, and would be different from sneak attack.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
moon glum wrote:

In writing up a 1st level rat-folk investigator, I note that one is not really able to do much in combat. It would be better, and perhaps more balanced when compared with the rogue, to instead give them their sneak attack dice at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th. That's 7d6 vs the rogue's 10d6, and it lets them have a combat schtick at 1st level (flank and sneak attack).

Okay. Two things about this:

1: I don't think the investigator needs fewer sneak attack dice over 20 levels. Doing and extra (on average) 3.5-7 points of damage less per hit compared to the rogue is fine. In a full attack, that can be a fairly decent difference in damage.

2: I really like the current structure of investigators not getting sneak attack until level 4. That way people who want 1d6 of sneak attack from a level dip will still have to go to rogue rather than the investigator. Not giving the bonus until 4 seems like a fairly savy design decision to me.

Making the class more interesting and fun for the first 3 levels is *way* more important than trying to discourage 1 level dips in investigator. I play 4 different pathfinder campaigns, and I have not yet seen any sort of level dipping to be a problem. I think that making a class that is fun to run during each and every game (including the 9-12 one plays at levels 1-3) is more important.

In fact, the real way to discourage level dipping is to create a lot of higher level, cool powers. If you level dip, it will take longer to get the high level cool powers. Also, because of favored classes, level dipping always costs you a hit point or skill point. Not horrible, but still.

Lowering the investigator's sneak attack dice is a way to balance them with rogue. Investigators at high levels have other advantages in combat-- better to hit via inspiration, concentrated poison, enhanced potions, elixers (displacement, improved invisibility, haste, shield, enlarge, liquid body...), a mutagen (+4 dex, +2 AC). They don't really need the rogues attack dice.

Also note with my proposed sneak attack dice progression the investigator will usually have only 1-2 dice fewer than the rogue, which is the same as with the current progression. At very high levels, the investigators dice will start to fall behind by an extra die. By this time, they will have a plethora of other abilities that will make up for that.


After Wednesday nights game where the first level swashbuckler was armed with a trident, I think that the class would be better served if it focused on light blades, and weapons that benefit from the weapon finesse feat. This would also save folks the headache of having to deal with a version of the weapon finesse feat that is not actually weapon finesse.

Another suggestion: model it a little more closely on the gunslinger. Do not have the class get weapon finesse as a feat at all (gunslinger's don't get rapid reload or point blank attack, after all, they just all take those feats). At 2nd level, they could get an ability ('nimble blade') that gave them +4 CMD vs. sunder and disarm attacks against a weapon that they wield, but not weapon finesse.

Along the lines of modeling the swashbuckler more along the lines of the gunslinger, if swashbucklers just got their dexterity bonus to damage at 3rd level, and then an ability that gives them some bonus precision damage if they spend a panache point (this is more like the pistolero gunslinger archetype), then they would all take weapon finesse at first level anyway. And, since they got their dex bonus to damage anyway, then not every swashbuckler would take dervish dance and wield a scimitar. Their could be an archetype that let you finesse a scimitar.


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Hard Boiled: a tough investigator that gains a knockout greater rogue talent, a bonus to hit points and fortitude saves, and can use firearms, but loses the alchemy ability of elixers.

Panopticon: an investigator that uses divination magic to solve cases. They would gain access to additional divination spells as extracts but would probably lose a few sneak attack dice.

Gadfly: a small swashbuckler that gets access to close fighting abilities that allow it to literally walk all over larger foe, pocking it apart.


N N 959 wrote:
moon glum wrote:

In writing up a 1st level rat-folk investigator, I note that one is not really able to do much in combat. It would be better, and perhaps more balanced when compared with the rogue, to instead give them their sneak attack dice at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th. That's 7d6 vs the rogue's 10d6, and it lets them have a combat schtick at 1st level (flank and sneak attack).

What would you be willing to give up on the skills side for increased combat?

I don't think its necessary. The sneak attack dice progression I suggested gives investigators fewer dice than they are currently have, and they already have fewer skill points per level than a rogue (base, not counting Int bonuses-- but note that having a high Int comes at a combat effectiveness cost as you will have a lower Dex, Str, and Con). All the change does is to make the class more fun to play at 1st through 3rd level.


With regards to the alchemical discovery talent, there are a number of discoveries that would be thematically appropriate, and would allow for some interesting, dramatic scenarios:

* The various simulacrum discoveries, so that the investigator could make a copy of themselves so as to appear to be in two places at once, or so that they can make a fake murder victim as part of a sting.

* Cognatogen, which seems much more thematically appropriate than mutagen. One might consider removing mutagen, useful as it is, and replacing it with the complete series of Cognatogen discoveries (Greater, etc.)

* Nauseating Flesh, because it just seems that a jack of all trades investigator would be able get things set up so that the monster spits
them out. It's kind of like have bat-purple-worm-repelent in one's utility belt. It also follows from their knowledge of poisons.


In writing up a 1st level rat-folk investigator, I note that one is not really able to do much in combat. It would be better, and perhaps more balanced when compared with the rogue, to instead give them their sneak attack dice at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th. That's 7d6 vs the rogue's 10d6, and it lets them have a combat schtick at 1st level (flank and sneak attack).


A rogue is close to what we old school 1st edition gamers used to think of as the fighter/thief. I think that, to really capture the quintessential fighter/thief, a character like the gray mouser, or moonglum, that the rogue should just get a full BAB. Then you would have a fighter/thief.


It looks as though swift feint has need of a re-write:

Swift Feint (Ex): At 7th level, a swashbuckler with at least
1 panache point can spend a standard action to purposely
miss a creature that she could normally hit with a light
or one-handed weapon melee attack. When she does, that
creature is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC until the
start of her next turn.

My guess is that the intent was that if a swashbuckler hits an opponent, then as a swift action they can instead miss that opponent and cause them to be denied their dexterity bonus to AC until the start of their next turn.

An alternative would be that they can spend a panache point to use the improved feint combat maneuver.

There doesn't seem to be any straight forward way that a swashbuckler could both hit an opponent, *and* then spend a standard action to instead miss that opponent...


It doesn't actually say, but I'd guess that it it is like a small keel boat with a deck that is about 20'x 40'(4 squares by 8 squares) in size, based on the fact that it can hold 8 large creatures (8x2x2) or 32 medium creatures (32x1x1).


Even as a teleportation specialist, d-door is nice because it lets you take other people with you, and you can travel a long distance.

Note that it is likely that you will have 4 slots at 8th level, and most likely you'll have a couple of summon monster IV spells, and 2 other spells like black tentacles and, say, wall of fire. You want d-door in your spell book not because you will take it every day, but because it can provide a solution to a problem that can be solved after resting and regaining your spells.

D-door can get your whole part onto a tower, back into a dungeon that you had to fight your way out of, or, taken twice, into and out of a secret treasure chamber (whose precise location as been determined by a stolen map/seduced guard/tortured minion).

So I vote for d-door, and either wall of fire, or wall of ice.


Heavy armor is good if you are in a medieval style battle, such as being mounted on a warhorse and charging a bunch of giants.

Heavy armor and shield start becoming truly obsolete as touch attacks become more common. If there are alchemists, firearms, and creatures with touch attacks, then any small advantage that heavy armor had is negated. And many of the touch attacks turn out to be things, like disintegration beams, incorporeal life energy drains, or harm spells, that you really want to avoid.

The skill penalties are not such a big deal, because most characters are no good at stealth or acrobatics anyway.

On the ocean, heavy armor is just dumb.


I loved the gugs miniatures from shattered star. But now I am wondering when there will be a gargantuan shoggoth. That would be so cool. Tekili-li!


I have been following the play test packets. Sadly for DnD Next, it is not more compelling to me than pathfinder. But they do have a few great innovations that are lacking in pathfinder, and that would be, if the rest of the system was excellent, cool enough to get me to switch my campaign over to DnD Next. Here they are:

1. reletavily flat powering up across levels. A CR 1 monster has a chance to hit a CR 20 fighter. A horde of orcs could kill a high level fighter just because that fighter's AC will proabably not be obscene.
This is great! It lets a 10th level fighter battling through a horde of skeletons be a meaningful battle.

2. The new spell system, where mages get 1 spell per spell level, and then multiple slots, but only 1 slot at 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th. This makes high level spells quite special, and feels Vancian in the original sense.

3. Magic item rarity is awesome.

4. Crafting is made more time consuming and difficult, though a mage can maintain 1 pre-completed magic item that, due to its unfinished nature, is only available to the creator.


There is a pure rogue halfling in my current campaign that does great. Part of the awesomeness of being a halfling rogue is that you do not usually end up being the primary target for enemy attacks. If you can hide and/or turn invisible, so much the better. Keep mobile, find an opportunity, and then let loose a full attack dual wield 'Sneak Attack!!!' You will kick some boot-ey.

The disadvantage is that you are quite vulnerable to grappling/swallowing/snatching and being flown high aloft with before being dropped. Escape artist (or eventually a ring of free action) are good countermeasures.


For feats I would take improved initiative. As a skill monkey, be sure to optimize escape artist and acrobatics, in addition to the obvious skills. As a skill monkey, use magic device can give you a lot of useful combat options such as wands of magic missile, wands of scorching ray and/or acid arrow (both of which you can sneak attack with), and various utility wands like cure light wounds, expeditious retreat, shield, disguise self (each utility wand costs 750 gp and is quite useful).


There are a number of monsters that have a saving throw DC listed next to their ability drain. How is this save handled? Is it a save to recover the lost point(s) after resting, or is it a save to negate the initial drain?

Here is an example (the dread wraith):

Melee incorporeal touch +20 (3d6 negative energy plus 1d8 Con drain [Fort DC 23])

Do victims get a DC 23 save to negate the con drain?


If you do the math, two attack rolls is a lot better than +2 to hit. It's almost equal to +6 to hit, not to mention the multiple chances to critical and poison, and the possibility of getting two hits in.


I like the suggestion of Arioch, obviously (given my username), but I am not sure that it is super appropriate for a deity of death and/or magic. Arioch would probably have a porfolio of something like: swords, destruction, dooms, and chaos.

Whatever you choose, my experience in playing clerics is that its a lot more fun if you really grok what your diety is about.

Here are a few other suggestions:

Death, of the endless from the Sandman comics

Hecate, from Greek mythology definitely a deity with the domains of death and magic, she is also associated with witchcraft, poisons, hell hounds, the moon, and spheres of annihilation (as per 1st edition deities and demigods).

Vecna (everyone knows Vecna) is a god of secrets and magic, and being a lich as a death aspect to him, or at least a necromancy aspect.


I.like this character idea a lot. Selective channeling is a good feat at first level. It lets you heal when there are living enemies around. To take it, swap con or dex for char. I would do dex, bexause it more fun to be a charismatic cleric than a dexterous one, even if you are very slightly less effective at combat. Besides, this cleric is about being able to carouse, gamble, and drink. You don't need dex for those things.


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Frankly I think androids are overpowered for a player race, and wouldn't allow them without, say, making them cost a feat.


Having a lot of wands can be very useful. Craft wands therefore can be good. Wand of haste, wand of empowered magic missile at 9th level, wand of empowered scorching ray is a great weapon at 11th level (72.points of fire damage if all 3 rays hit), wand of detect secret doors, wand of invisibility, wand of shield, etc.


I once created a race o fierce reptilian humanoids called lizard mongers. Which would be silly enough, implying that they sold lizards, but then the players started calling the, lizard bongers. I was trying for a name that implied barbaric Mongol types along with hybrid mongrels.


Stick with Mage armor. You can put it on a scroll, cast it on friends, etc. burning hands is not as good as grease. Get rid of resistance, in favor of something like Mage hand, ( you don't have to take an abjuration cantrip)


Dabbler wrote:

Here it is!

Well the physics is simple enough for longbow vs crossbow, and these numbers were crunched using recreated medieval weapons:

Longbow, 68lbs draw, arrow weight 2.5 Oz (0.070875 kg). The speed of the arrow was measured at 133.7 fps (40.75176 m/s) for a total energy of 117.7 J.

This is a light-weight longbow. Some of the medieval bows retrieved from the wreck of the Mary Rose had an estimated draw of 200lbs when they were in use.

Crossbow 740lbs draw, bolt weight 1.25 oz (0.0354375 kg). Speed of the bolt measured at 138.7 fps (42.27576 m/s) for a total energy of 63.3 J

The problem is that while the crossbow stores way more energy, the transmission of that energy to the bolt is very inefficient. Just like with a gun a longer barrels always give you a higher-velocity projectile, with bows the longer the distance of the acceleration (the draw distance of the bow or crossbow) the more efficient the transfer of energy. The clothyard arrow has about three times the draw distance to propel it than the foot-long bolt, and hence three times the efficiency.

Cool stats. None the less one could still have mighty crossbows.


Dabbler wrote:

You can. In fact, I think heavy crossbows are assumed to have such. The problem with crossbows is that although the draw is strong, the application distance is small, so a crossbow gets less time to transfer that energy to the bolt. Net result is a crossbow IRL sends a bolt with not much more energy than an arrow. Worse, the bolt is less aerodynamic and actually has a shorter range than a longbow.

I did do some work on crossbows once...lemme dig it out...

I don't have data on the medieval stuff, but for modern crossbows vs. modern compound bows, crossbows have more kinetic energy.

Here's the reference..

There is a lot of debate as to the longbow (not a mighty compound bow, but still) vs. the cross bow. One interesting argument is that the kinetic energy can't be greater than the stroke that pulled the bow (NSTAAFL). The arguments would certainly make for a good mythbusters/deadliest warrior episode...

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