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The Horned Hunter

mswbear's page

RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 236 posts (240 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 13 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.


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Shadow Lodge **

Avoiding rules bloat is impossible and is going to happen no matter what sort of arbitrary guiding principles are set into place. The argument that scenarios should be kept under a certain tier of complexity so that they aren't nightmares to prepare has its validity but eventually people who GM frequently are going to want some of the new(er) stuff that is available. The problem with any table top RPG is the same that any game by its very nature has.

You have to keep releasing new material in order to keep your player base engaged and active, otherwise your game gets replaced with newer alternatives...or it gets regulated to the nostalgia pile....or becomes that really old game that only a super small but super loyal fan base still even bothers with.

The issue is....

That rules bloat inevitably pushes people away as well. Once a game hits a certain level of options and complexity, it stops being practical on several different levels. This is why newer alternative options draw people towards them. D&D 5th got a number of people back into D&D, not only because it was more of a return to form for Wizards of the Coast but also because the existing top competitors had plenty of time to grow rules bloat and people were getting burnt out.

However, I have heard that several people (at least in my area) have already stopped playing 5th because of a general lack of official options outside of new adventures here and there. (Which kind of highlights that either end of the spectrum comes with negative consequences). Players want new options and GMs want new things to throw at players but at a certain point it all gets to be too much or not enough for just about anyone (super fans excluded). With Pathfinder being an extension of D&D 3.5, there is only so much that can be done before rules bloat is a thing. Even if Paizo only released 2 or 3 pathfinder books a year, that would be 16 or more books since its release in 2009. Things have a natural life cycle.

wither or become a tumor I guess......either way you eventually die

Shadow Lodge

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Mashallah wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
The more I hear about your "biggest dissapointments" the more I get the impression you just wanted Pathfinder in space with it working exactly as Pathfinder works. Which is fine and all, but I for one am glad that's not what we're getting.

Simply not true. I'm a fan of a lot of the changes introduced by the system, such as the removal of 9-casters, the removal of prepared casting, the introduction of resolve points and semi-formalised short rests, the new class structure as was shown so far, the removal of Touch/FF AC, the streamlining of AoO's, the level tiering of gear, and many others, which I praised on multiple occasions.

There are, however, very major drawbacks I see in the system and I'm actively calling them out as it's disappointing to see them after a streak of things that I largely enjoyed.

It seems your biggest complaints has to do with setting. I can understand where you are coming from to a degree. I'm not gonna refute any of those because "to each their own" and all of that jazz.

However, if you aren't going to be playing in organized play then you actually have a lot of wiggle room on what you do and do not want in your game. You can GM just about anything you want setting wise as long as there are rules available for you to use. I'm sure there will be some quality 3rd party stuff before too long as well.

If you aren't going to GM then you are kinda stuck with what the GM decides to do but that's true of any game, in any setting, using any rule set.

Shadow Lodge

More Oni
More Kytons
More Div
More desert creatures
More aberrations
More horror theme creatures
Less Fey

I also think it would be cool to present either more mythic creatures or a section on monsters that is similar to how they have done archdevils, the horsemen, and emperial lords. A sort of (if you want to do a mythic version here are quick and dirty rules on how to do it)

Shadow Lodge

basically people are mad because it actually balanced the class. I have seen a ton of theory crafting arguments that it is now one of the worst class and doesn't hold up to paladin or inquisitor. I assure you that in actual practice it just as powerful. Advanced Class Origins is coming out Oct 22nd. I assume that war priest will be plenty powerful after some of the options in that book for the theory crafting crowd.

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Alex Smith 908 wrote:
Fiend Binder

Black fire adept

Soul Eater

Alex Smith 908 wrote:
Cancer Mage


Alex Smith 908 wrote:

Blight Druid Archetype is similar and actually a little bit more versatile. If you take the decay domain instead of an animal companion it is even more similar. The only down side is that there is no way you can ever get an undead animal companion.

Shadow Lodge

Ur-Priest would be good

Honestly, I want the Blood Magus to come back. It wasn't the best but it certainly wasn't terrible. It had a ton of flavor and some really cool abilities. I think with all of the bloodline stuff that Pathfinder has going on it could totally be reworked and made amazing while keeping some of the cool abilities and flavor.

Shadow Lodge

I assume when you said race you meant like a real life race? and not one of the races in the game?

If my assumption is right I would become a hispanic women and I would a druid

If my assumption is not correct and I had to become a race in the game but then live in the real world, I would an a generic Aasimar and be a Sorcerer.

Honestly if you lived in the real world and were an 8th level anything you would be pretty insane powerful.

I wouldn't live in an AP, too much chance to die and that would suck

Shadow Lodge

I've considered doing a homebrew set in Galt where the PCs are followers of Dammerich who are set by their Empyreal cult to stop the revolution once and for all because it over utilizes execution and does so unjustly. They would go up against the Grey Gardeners and various political leaders who have used the revolution to commit murder on their political enemies regardless of their enemies actual guilt or evil deeds. I

Dammerich is all about some executing those who deserve it so they would have to determine if those being scheduled for execution should be allows to go to the gallows or well as serving out justice to those who use execution unjustly.

Shadow Lodge **

The idea that a paladin can't lie is a fallacy. Telling a lie is not an evil act, being dishonest is not an evil act. Even then, there are ways of telling half truths in a way which offers no false information.

There are a lot of scenarios where you are supposed to conceal the fact that you are a pathfinder.

If telling an NPC "No, I am not a pathfinder" is really deemed as evil in your game the issue is not with being a paladin or LG it is with the GM and other player’s idea of what being LG or a paladin means.

Several example conversations follow for those uncomfortable with straight up lying:

example #1
NPC: “What brings you to town?"
Paladin PC: "I am a traveling follower of (Insert deity here), my travels brought my path to your town"
NPC: "word to your mother, thanks for the explanation"

example #2
NPC: What are you a pathfinder?"
Paladin PC: “I have heard of the pathfinder society before and while I think they do some good works they are certainly no order of paladins. I know that the Pathfinders’ have been mixed up in some shady business in the past and I can assure you that I carry no wayfinder"
NPC: (assumes response means they are not a pathfinder but then realizes that the PC has dodged the question) "You have a voided my question, are you a pathfinder?"
Paladin PC: "Is not the wayfinder the sign of a pathfinder?"
NPC: "Yes but not every pathfinder has a wayfinder"
Paladin PC: "Then there is no way to prove that this town is not already heavily infiltrated with pathfinder agents, and yet you waste your time with me..."
NPC: “You have a gain avoided my question, are you a pathfinder?”
Paladin PC: “You seek a yes or no response even though by your own logic such a response is meaningless because of the dishonest nature of so many pathfinder agents. I beg you answer one more question for me good sir, (insert rest of conversation here)”

If the GM is gonna make an issue of it and demand a yes or no answer from you just so they can start a fight or make your paladin fall (which lying to say no would not do) then the GM is a douche and I would report it to the VC or VL.

(this only works if the Paladin doesn't have a wayfinder but then really, why would you have one because they are junk)

Also for all of the arguments that a paladin has to follow a code of honor....well the paladins codes are outlined in Inner Sea Gods and none of them mention telling the truth as a condition so get off it...Honor is subjective for the most part

Shadow Lodge **

keerawa wrote:
Flutter wrote:
Animals Act on their own initiative If the animal wins initiative it will delay and await instructions. Personally I would always delay to act in synch with my animal companion, just so that your orders make sense when the animal gets to perform them.
In 13 levels with a very active animal companion, I NEVER had a GM in PFS run combat that way. I would check, just in case, and be told that they'd rather I just use my own initiative.

Our GMs always run it this way

Shadow Lodge **

I'm not sure how a warpriest is a "casual follower". I'm pretty sure if you are a warpriest you are by definition a hardcore follower and are there for evil

Shadow Lodge is not a loop is an obvious extension of the feat

Shadow Lodge

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Dark Tapestry


Sargava/Mwangi Expanse/Shory horrors from the past with resurrected floating city being book 6


Shadow Lodge

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Kildaere wrote:

Zen Farmer (Monk/Commoner)

Their flurry of vegetables class ability is way OP though.

salad toss?

Shadow Lodge

Kylar Stern from the Night Angel Triolgy is a "wetboy". A magically enhanced assassin and killer. I'm thinking with the new slayer class being out I have a good foundation for him to work but I know I'm gonna need to multi-class.

What I need help with is figuring out is build ideas for this character by the time...hmmm they reach lvl 10

Shadow Lodge

Ssalarn wrote:
I prefer your option 1, because while it makes the Hunter a little strong at 1st level, it still has the various limitations discussed (requires checks, competes with necessary commands, increased limitations on an already limited list), and it's the interpretation that actually keeps the Hunter competitive as he goes up in levels. I'd...

I agree and honestly I think it is what makes the most sense but I still think that it should be further clarified so there is no confusion. In a home game I would run it as my option 1 but in PFS (which is what I play most often because of time constraints and other factors) it is murky and I don't want it shifting from one table to the next.

Shadow Lodge

Jinjifra wrote:
The other odd thing is it isn't really clear whether there is any limit on their use. The Skirmisher gets 1/2 level + wisdom modifier, the hunter looks like its unlimited. So if it's the AnC that gets the tricks, (which is how I'm reading it) you can take the 4 free actions that modify an attack and use them for every attack the AnC makes.

Remember that a ranger, a hunter, and a druid can direct their animal companion as a free action (other classes unless otherwise stated in their description have to use a standard action).

An AnC doesn't just do stuff because you want them to. They have to have access to the trick and have it learned. In other words if for some reason you haven't taught your AnC "attack" it is a standard action to push the AnC to "attack" as per the normal rules for Handle Animal. Otherwise it is a free action Handle Animal Check with a DC 10.

If your animal companion goes before you in the initiative order, that means telling it to do something on the following round with it wasting an action (unless attacked) during its initial round. Of course you can always hold your action to better coordinate with the animal companion by going directly before it but it is still slightly cumbersome if you are trying to pull off some flanking crazy goodness. (Though this usually means that the player is going to hold actions on a semi regular basis to sync with their companion here and there).

To the best that I can figure out is that it works one of two ways...

1) The Hunter's animal companion acts as the "ranger" in the Hunter's Tricks options. This means that they can only use the tricks that grant them a bonus or ability and not the tricks that allow them to influence their they don't have one. The Hunter will still have to Handle Animal DC 10 Check to tell their AnC to "Chameleon Step", etc. but in general it is a "trick" their AnC knows and can be easily directed to do. The AnC can do these tricks as many times as it is directed to do so.

2) As above except that the animal companion uses its racial hit dice as "1/2 it's level" and then adds its wisdom modifier as appropriate giving it limited uses to the "hunter's tricks" but still only useable as directed.

Option one is very clearly amazballs where as option 2 is very clearly terrible

I can't imagine teaching an AnC a trick like Sic' em as the Anc doesn't have its own AnC and the Hunter themselves doesn't have the "Hunter's Trick" ability.

Shadow Lodge

It is a question that needs to be further clarified. It was poor wording by Paizo and eventually will see a clarification. I imagine that an errata is not too far off for the ACG as there are a few hiccups such as this. It wouldn't surprise me if the Hunter gets that "hunter's trick" ability in a reprinting of the ACG after an errata is released. For now it should definitely be answered in the forums as it is a pretty hot topic and definitely impacts the power and abilities of the class.

Shadow Lodge

Vosveldon wrote:
Curative Arrows maybe?

It already exists. It's called savior's arrow and you have to be a follower of Erastal in order to take the feat.

as far as a magical arrow that ofers curing that can be used by anyone???? yeah that would be cool

Shadow Lodge

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I really, really, really need this book to expand the Shaman's spell list. I also need the feat section to offer up some feats that actually bloister the new classes and cover obvious gaps in the new ACG, instead of thematic things that are super situational.....extra fervor would be a good start, extra blessings, improved fervor, improved hex, like doubling the teamwork feats offered in the ACG....yeah...

Shadow Lodge

I'm not gonna lie. Over all I am happy with this book. I think the feat section is weak and hope that it gets a major boost in Advanced Class Origins. My only other major complaint is that all of the casters in the book have decent or excellent spell lists except for the shaman. There are so many books out with spells and the shaman's spell selection is just pitifully small. If it doesn't get expanded by at least half in the splat book I'm gonna be very unmotivated to ever play one which is a shame since it was the class I was most excited about originally. *sad face*

Shadow Lodge

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I honestly thing with the right feats the hunter will be more powerful then people think and its spell selection is fine. It has decent self buff and party/companion biff to do the job it was designed to do. I think once people see it in action they will be surprised.

The shaman was the class I was most excited about the shaman class but after seeing its spell list it's. The class I'm most disappointed with. Unless the ADVANCED CLASS OPTIONS doubles the spell list and actually offers me archetypes worth something I can't see myself playing this class. *Major heartbreak*Major sadface*

Shadow Lodge

TechnoJedi wrote:
A hunter is proficient in light or medium armor. Do they still suffer from the spell failure chance for wearing armor?

no because it is divine and spell failure is arcane

Shadow Lodge

Jinete wrote:
So far, I'm totally underwhelmed by the feats section of the book. I'm creating a Swashbuckler character, and there isn't a single feat in this book I find useful.

I am also disappointed in the feat section...the rest of the book is fine in my opinion even with al the "this is OP and this is weak and blah blah blah" talk that is going to be spamming the forums in the next few days....I think we can all agree that the feat section is the weakest part of the book (even though it does offer some good options).

I am truly hoping that the Advanced Class Options book offers a nice feat section to kind of make up for the lack of new options being offered in this book. Especially in team work feats department

Shadow Lodge

Soluzar wrote:

I like the ACG but it may have accelerated the problems of bloat and "mudflation" this game already suffers from.

We had a conversation about this with my gaming group last night.

Bloat is fairly inevitable for any role playing game, especially one that works from a "player options" paradigm.

AD&D 2nd E had more books then you could count after a point.
D&D 3.5 E eventually suffered from the same problem.
One could argue that 4th E suffered from the same thing before 5th was just released.

Savage worlds has a ton of options but protects itself with "pick and choose". Realistically, that could be used for any system though....although other systems don't reference the "pick and choose" aspect quite as heavily as savage worlds does so I can understand why people are willing to cry "bloat" more readily.

I'm sure there are other systems I am forgetting but my exposure to other options is limited to a few gaming sessions here and there....although Heroes Unlimited has a ton of books to the point that options are stupid and worthless because all of the quality ones are already covered.

But even then war games (Warhammer, War Machine, etc.) and such aren't immune to this either.

Any tabletop game has to grow in order to continue to be relevant. If it stops growing people become discontent, either from a "lack of company support" or from a "lack of new options"...hell even "bored now" plays a factor if you are only given a limited amount of content.

Video games are even catching on to this, which is why expansion packs and DLC are increasingly more popular. People will even pick up old games they are "played out on" or "tired of it now" in order to play a new expansion or DLC pack.

A new edition will eventually happen but what will be the primary determining factor is when Paizo is seeing record low sales with other systems regularly out selling them. This sales data will be several quarters of sales and hasty decisions are unlikely to be made.

TL;DR If a game is old enough bloat happens. If it doesn’t happen the game probably wasn't a top contender to begin with or didn't stay relevant for very long (excluding small cult followings and niche groups).

Shadow Lodge

Samy wrote:


Shadow Lodge

It would depend on the game setting.

I can name the 8 I'd be less stressed to run a game for and wouldn't mind at all

Inquisitor, ranger, magus, ninja, druid, shaman, sorcerer, witch

Shadow Lodge

It hasn't actually been released yet. Subscription owners have their copy because they get their stuff a bit early. The general release isn't until the 14th of this month. I suspect that it will take them another month or so to have it up on the PRD. It seems that the turn around for that in the past has ranged from a week or so to a month or so in the past if I am remembering right.

Shadow Lodge

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It makes me a little sad faced that Paizo has been having so many problems with editing lately.

Shadow Lodge

Yay another tiers thread. I thought we put that dead horse in the ground a long time ago. I never agreed with the "established" tiers from 3.5 anyways. They definitely had a few classes in the wrong place.

As far as pathfinder goes. Well there is a power disparity between classes but I would honestly say that it has to do with system mastery, player ability, critical thinking, and team work of the party. If I was hard pressed to pit classes into tiers I would say that there are only three tiers. Maybe four if you want to be not picky.

A wizard is a powerful class. Probably one of the most powerful classes but with archetypes it is harder to throw things on the tier system because some archetypes obviously increase the power of a class. The real issue is that the "measure" is for the most part subjective. Os rogue the worst class? Probably but they can still function. Other classes can fill their role more powerfully in combat and with more versatility but that doesn't make the rogue a gimp. Some people determine power by DPR while others use versatility and capability, and some use a combination of both. The wizard is strong and the rogue is weak. Most things fall in there somewhere in the middle.

The argument that putting things on a tier helps GMs figure the capability of the players is a fallacy. Knowing what each class can do is what is actually important.

Shadow Lodge

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A "human?" "Female?" Sin eater archetype inquisitor/ evangelist of Zon-Kuthon. Character is always in some state ever increasing altered state do to the self mutilation. Make thenmLN. They attempt to "convince" people to self mutilate along with him/her as part of a path to enlightenment. They spread the glory, truth, and honesty of pain. They go around attempting to explain things using gory every day things.

When they kill people they eat a small piece of their victims flesh along with their "sins" in order to move the person's soul along to the midnight lord.

Not overtly evil character but definitely questionable

Shadow Lodge

Quark Blast wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Edit: also, this thread ended the moment someone suggested that haste was underpowered.
Underpowered compared to Expeditious Retreat (a 1st level spell).

It does more then just grant movement bonus though. Also haste impacts all movement rates where as expeditious retreat only increases overland movement speed.

Shadow Lodge

Mark Seifter wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
What's your top 5 books and/or series'?

When I was younger, I was pretty into the Wheel of Time, and I still look back fondly on those books. I enjoyed the thoroughness, the foreshadowing, and the many connections.

More recently, my little brother convinced me to read the Dresden Files. It wasn't an easy sell because I'm not really a fan of most urban fantasy, but Butcher won me over with his sense of humor and his fun take on the fey.

I guess that isn't five series, but each of those series is massive and full of many books.

If you liked Dresden you might like "the iron Druid chronicles". They are fantastic

Shadow Lodge

Ok I have a few specific design questions.

It seems that at paizo you have different "departments" that develop different lines of products. Is this so? Do you have an AP "department, player companion "department"' campaign setting "department", etc?

If so, how are things approved to go into print and determined to fit well in the setting?

Shadow Lodge **

in PFS there isn't anything you can do about role playing mental stats except for strongly encouraging players to do so. (however, remember that PCs are in all ways better than NPCS. My few characters with 8 or 9 intelligence are average intelligence and not intellectually disabled.)

In a home game you can have people make an intelligence check if they want to do something too complex. That way you aren't directly stealing the thunder of a player.

Shadow Lodge

hmmm you might want to look at the hunter class from the ACG their animal companions advanced at the same rate as a druids and the animal companions get all of the hunter's teamwork feats for free. If you are stuck on druid for the wild shape ability I would focus on a wild shape build and use a scythe as your back up weapon.

Shadow Lodge **

Chris Mortika wrote:

4. We're all friends, and every meet-up is a reunion. Nevertheless, don't take over the table with tangents and out-of-character tales of previous sessions.

a million times this

Shadow Lodge

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Honestly I think they should release a book that addresses on how to run a challenging level 14 to 20 campaign. They should also include how to run a challenging adventure for advanced players so we get less threads on the forums about "this is too strong, I have to ban this, all my players are OP optimizers, etc."

A book about above 20 play really isn’t that necessary in my opinion but unless you have a lot of experience high level play and advanced veteran players are a bigger concern to address.

Shadow Lodge

I don't really ban anything. I tend to trust my players and when they create something that’s really powerful I take it as a personal challenge to create an adventure that challenges them. If I am running an AP or module I tend to just max hit points and bump AC by 3,4, or 5....and then I use tactics that are challenging instead of any recommended tactics.

Of course when I run a PFS scenario I run as written and just let the characters steam roll things when they need to.

Shadow Lodge

looks good except that most Kyton have regeneration (good/silver, or good and silver). In other words any damage done to them that is not good or silver regenerates.

Kyton, Eremite wrote:

hp 310 (20d10+200); regeneration 15 (good weapons and spells, silver weapons)

I would give her Regeneration 20

I would also give her the grab ability so she gets a free grapple attempt on a successful claw attack as well as improved grapple and other feats that boost her grapple CMB score

Edit: other good feats to consider - chokehold, neckbreaker, bonebreaker, jawbreaker, improved grapple, greater grapple, (improved unarmed strike, stunning fist for pre-reqs or wave them because you are the GM and can do that, although I would drop iron will and lightening reflexes since her saves already pretty high).

I would also give her the ability to use black tenticles as a spell like ability (mythic in her own realm)

second edit: sorry I thought it said "of the final grasp" and not "final gasp" so you could ignore my advice on the whole grappling thing although a Kyton who chokes the breath from your lungs sounds interesting.

Shadow Lodge

nosig wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
You can always volunteer to get hit, otherwise Clerics would have to roll a d20 to cure you in combat.

not sure about this... is it in writing someplace?

Some examples...
1) I have an alchemist with Poisoners Gloves. Judges always require me to hit allies to inject them and have sometimes required me to hit myself to inject with them. Most of the time, I get to not count my Dex bonus.

2) My tiefling is getting swarmed by bats - I told the other players to hit him with Alchemist Fires (my touch AC was only 13, and 3 of that was DEX). These were ranged touch attacks...

Does it have to be in writing? Do your judges require the same check for a cure light wounds because it is a melee touch attack?

I think it has to do with realism. If I want someone to touch me I'm going to let them....

Shadow Lodge

Artemis Moonstar wrote:

I want my REAL Shadowcasting darn it!

I don't remember shadow casting all that well in 3.5 but I can say that one of the most powerful caster I have seen in my experiences with Pathfinder has been a shadowcaster....actually in my PFS chapter he is a bit of a legend

Shadow Lodge

*Cast protection from energy (fire) to protect against the intense heat and flame war that is about to occur*

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two words: Robin Hood

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Kuthites kidnap Sissyl.....Sissyl doesn't survive "The Eternal Kiss"

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Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
mswbear wrote:


As far as real life hands on, I play with a guy in my local PFS chapter who regular takes something that people say is inferior and proves people wrong. He has the only effect blaster type wizard I have seen, he can drop a ridiculous amount of damage in a round and nearly always goes first. This same guy has a Mystic Theurge who works on a similar principle but also has some nice things in his back pocket that aren't fireballs. He can also make stuff do half holy damage which is a nice trick to have when monsters have some good resistances.
I'd be curious to see that build if you have it available.

I'll see if he will email me a copy of his stat block. I hang out with him outside of PFS but I know that his Mystic Theurge has the Theurgy Feat from Ultimate Magic....if he sends me his stat block I'll PM it to you

Shadow Lodge

If you play an Aasimar (Emberkin) you will have access to the spell like ability pyrotechnics which as a SLA (arcane).

You take your first level in cleric for more hit points and worship a deity with the Fate inquisition for the augury SLA (divine) and then you can take MT at 4th level since you need to take a 3rd level in one of the requirement classes to get the skill point requirement.

That is the most effective way to gain MT quickly. Some people consider it taxes to get to MT quicker but then if you want to hit MT as fast as possible a tax is to be expected. This is also the only way to the best of my knowledge for your MT to get access to 9th level spells by lvl 20. (and then I'm almost positive you need to choice which class is going to get 9th level spells and which is going to miss that mark but a few levels at most ( unless you do the suggested build I talk about later in this post)

if you take the Theurgy feat from Ultimate Magic you can sacrifice an arcane spell to cast divine spells at +1 caster level, alternatively you can sacrifice a divine spell to make the arcane spell do half its damage as holy damage

Note: the sacrificed spell has to be equivalent or higher level regardless of which path you choose.

Also if you play a wizard and choose the admixture school you can change elemental damage on the fly giving you further versatility to get around resistances and such.

A Cleric2/ Wizard 8/ Mystic Theurge 10 (6th level Cleric Spells and 9th level wizard spells) which chooses admixture school can do all of that and also give themselves a crazy high energy resistance of their choosing and then emit a 30-foot aura that transforms magical energy to the chosen energy form of their type. So you can give yourself a really high fire resistance and then any energy damage that comes your way turns to fire damage within 30 feet of you making the saving throw a lot less important to make. (A way of telling high level rocket tag players that you don’t care about the power of their rockets)

Note: this admixture ability only effects supernatural, spell-like abilities, and spells. Extraordinary abilities that do energy damage are not subject to this change.

Combine all of this with spell focus, greater spell focus, spell pen, greater spell pen, and ability score boosting magical items and a penetrating metamagic rod for some bring the pain blaster style play that is difficult for enemies to deal with. Supplement with quicken spell and traits that reduce metamagic slot cost for most frequently used higher level spells as desired.

TL,DR: Mystic Theurge is never going to be the power hitter that a straight single class caster is going to be but I wouldn't worry too much because you are going to hit hard enough and have a lot of options that another caster isn't going to have.

Shadow Lodge

You’re asking for a lot to be given to you so that you can understand other people's game choices.

Is it worth the hype?

It depends on why you want to go Theurge, they get a butt ton of spells. Some people like having a butt ton of spells. Some people don't mind having lower level spells when they have a butt ton of spells.

What are the benefits?

A butt ton of spells and unprecedented flexibility and versatility. If a character is taking spells off of both a divine caster list and arcane caster list they have access to a great number of spells and hence get more options.

Draw Back?
slower spell progression, really having to know the rules in order to get the most out of the class, and possibly(depending on what the player is looking for) some jankie stuff involving aasimars and having to take certain domains in order to mitigate loss in spell level.

Mechanically solid builds?
Really??? Like for real? Because there must be half a dozen or more threads on the forums that specifically offer up a number of solid and powerful builds. All you must do to discover these threads is use the search function.

As far as real life hands on, I play with a guy in my local PFS chapter who regular takes something that people say is inferior and proves people wrong. He has the only effect blaster type wizard I have seen, he can drop a ridiculous amount of damage in a round and nearly always goes first. This same guy has a Mystic Theurge who works on a similar principle but also has some nice things in his back pocket that aren't fireballs. He can also make stuff do half holy damage which is a nice trick to have when monsters have some good resistances.

Shadow Lodge

I always play a divine character of a rogue-ish didn't occur to me until the other day. I play Human characters....I have a teifling and an aasimar as well.....with the changes in PFS come August, I already have a Kitsune in the works

I'm working on my first character outside of those norms now (Alchemist)

Shadow Lodge

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I think it is funny that people are complaining that the Brawler seems OP but then a lot of those same people are the ones who complain that Martial characters don't have anything nice and are weaker then casters in general. As far as the brawler being able to select feats it wants in any given situation it really isn't too far different from a caster selecting a spell when you think about it.

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