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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32. RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. 1,622 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

cartmanbeck wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Could this feat in conjunction with a Divine SLA qualify anyone to take Divine Protection?
Since Divine Protection specifically requires the "blessings, domains, or mystery class feature", I would say no, as it's not giving you the full class feature. If it said "access to domain, mystery, or blessing powers" then sure.

i'm not sure about that... boon companion uses similar language ("animal companion class feature") but afaik you're allowed to take it with nature soul/animal ally. of course, believer's boon doesn't grant the whole domain, so maybe i'm comparing apples and pears...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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i think a lot of the swashbuckler's mobility has to come from the player... most of us fall into this 'end combat as fast as possible' mindset, and that obviously favors standing firm and trading full attacks, but that's not always the best approach. a swashbuckler with a creative player could spring attack an opponent and move away to an unchargable spot. when the enemy moves and single attacks he can use OPaR to (potentially) block it and get off a second attack of his own. on his next turn he can single attack and tumble 10' away, repeating steps 2 and 3 until the enemy dies or gives up fighting that way. if an enemy focuses on someone else, then he can stand and full attack until it turns on him again. obviously, that won't really work against casters and people with ranged weapons, but usually those are the ones you want to stay close to anyways.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

warpriests can do a decent pally impression and can be any alignment (depending on their deity). might be worth looking at if you want to have some of the flavor and function of a pally but with a non-LG code...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

yeah- i agree with UaBS. divine hunter has never seemed very good to me (unless you're only dipping pally), although the bonus feat is tempting. and i definitely don't think you should take fey foundling... you can't afford the feat and as an archer you shouldn't be taking enough damage to need that extra healing.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

[off topic]
i know gestalt rules aren't widely used, but since zilfrel mentioned gishes can we take a second to consider a gestalt pally/eldritch scrapper sorc... a pally with martial flexibility and full casting, that's sick.
[/off topic]

i was never a big rogue fan, and can't even imagine playing one now. other than that i think the base classes hold up well. yeah the fighter's pretty straightforward but sometimes a guy who has devoted himself to mastering physical combat is exactly what you want. plus creative players have always (well, since APG, at least) had options for taking the base classes outside of their simplest form- traits let you add new class skills, extra Int (or race) can get you more skills, feats like eldritch heritage open up all kinds of flavorful options, and even without much Cha dangerously curious and skill focus [UMD] give any character some magical abilities.

i don't see anything in ACG that makes any of that obsolete. in fact, with feats that grant inspiration or panache i think the base classes have even more options now. (and did anyone else notice that the 2 new fighter archetypes are clearly stackable?)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Claxon wrote:
Blunt Durable Arrows should do the trick. I'm uncertain if they are PFS legal, but I think so.

thanks- out of curiousity, do you know which source those are from?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

ranged subdual damage is tricky...

the Rules wrote:
You can use a melee weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll. (emphasis added)

at 5th level you can use divine bond to put merciful on a bow (so don't take an archetype that trades that), but for the first 4 levels you don't even have the option to deal non-lethal damage with a ranged weapon (unless you can afford some kind of fancy arrows that probably exist in some supplement that do that).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

what exactly do you mean by 'savage technologist'? are you looking for someone who uses technology savagely or 'a savage' (as in an unusually primitive person) who has embraced technology far beyond their native culture?

if the first (which seems less likely), i'd suggest a half-elf alchemist starting off with gunsmith (and ancestral arms for EWP[firearms]). add amateur gunslinger at 3rd and the explosive missile discovery at 4th.

if the second... that sounds to me like a multiclass character... start off with a level or two of something suitably primitive and then dive into gunslinger. or just make a gunslinger and say he grew up in a primitive tribe, maybe have him dress that way still or take a trait or feat to represent that heritage.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

witch is a pretty good combo with kensai... you've already given up armor use so gaining the benefits of being a full caster come fairly cheap. you also get a lot of mileage out of Int so you can pump it high enough to really take advantage of your hexes. you also get a familiar from it, freeing up your arcana for arcane accuracy. finally, if you play to 6th level you can pick up the broad study arcana to gain magus action economy with your witch spells.

if that doesn't sound fightery enough for you, slayer is another good option. it gets you full BAB, d10 hp, all good saves, 6+ int skill points (with probably all the class skills you're looking for), and some Int/Dex synergy.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Jimbolya wrote:


1. The character must be able to contribute to combat. This has typically been ranged and not melee.
2. The character must be able to find and disable up to magical traps.

1. The character should be able to assist or lead in diplomacy. This comes up at least once scenario and no one is ever prepared for it. The trend seems to be entirely combat related and we actually missed out on full prestige because all we could do was hack away.
2. The character should be able to assist with knowledge based skills. Again, only thing we were able to do was hack away and we missed out on things.
3. The character must have some form of stealth. Again, this doesn't always come up, but I have found it useful as I am typically on point.

1. Aid in out of combat or in combat healing. Everyone carries a healing wand so I'm not entirely concerned about this, but ok.
2. Ability to wide range of wands. This would be a nice perk to offset something or cast invisibility.

ok, having read your list of wants i think you should look at the inquisitor. they are only a 3/4 BAB class, but with judgements, bane, and the ability to buff themselves (and others) they can definitely handle p1. take the trap finder trait i linked above and p2 is covered. if you take the conversion inquisition your social skills are all Wis based which means you can be a face without investing in Cha, so s1 is good. you also get to add Wis to knowledge checks and can make them untrained to id monsters, so you're set for s2. stealth is a class skill, the heretic archetype lets you stack Dex and Wis to it, and Invisibility is on your spell list, so s3 is no problem. cure spells are also on your spell list so t1 is covered, and you're a 6:9 caster so there are a ton of useful wands you can use.

resource management will be a little tougher (judgement and bane are more limited than flurry), so if you're worried about that you could try making a ZA who dips inquisitor... they have good stat synergy and you would get a lot of the bonuses of an inquisitor by dipping 2 levels (even more, with no added BAB loss, if you did 4).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

personally, i think a ZA/rogue is going to end up being lackluster as well... you'd most likely be better off staying straight classed ZA and spending traits (and/or feats) to make him more roguish. its a campaign trait, so you'd have to check with your GM, but trap finder is one trait that might give you everything you're looking for.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

lunar oracle is a good thought- they also get the aasimar/ifrit favored class bonus + animal companion exploit which would be crazy potent in a low power campaign.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

how are you with paperwork?

it looks like one thing that would really benefit your party would be a mystic theurge... there's is the danger there that people would rely on you to do everything, but you could potentially build a very versatile utility caster who can't (or, at least, doesn't/won't) do everything himself but always has the tools to bail the party out in a pinch.

since you're leaning towards a divine caster... you could pick any race with a 2nd level arcane spell-like ability (most Aasimars or Tieflings do, and several have +2 Wis; or a 1/2elf with the drow magic racial alternative, who can also put his +2 into Wis) and build a cleric of Nethys (the god of magic) start with 3 level of cleric, then take one of wizard... from 5th level to 14th take mystic theurge. you lose one cleric level (so you gain new spell levels at the same time as an oracle), but by 14th level you've gained 11 wizard levels! focus on a high Wis and keep your Int just high enough for new spell levels (only need a 16 total); any save based spells you want to use come from the cleric side and wizard spells are all buffs and utility. (you could reverse that, too and make a wiz with 11 cleric levels... you can PM me if you want more details on either build).

that would be a paperwork intensive build though because you'd end up with a lot of spells to keep track of (and choosing spells to prepare could be a bit of a chore).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

yeah- the weapon bond will make you more effective in combat most of the time, but the mount can add more utility... if you're going to have a lot of fights in the open field a good mount plus some mounted combat feats could be pretty useful i suppose, but that is typically not the case.

i like oath of vengeance... it gives you a little more flexibility in your resource management (in that you can trade some swift healing for extra smites if you have a healer, or want to end combat faster and use wands or other OoC heals between fights), and wrath and blessing of fervor are both useful spells they get to add. (a sacred servant of ragathiel with the rage domain's 8th level power and the wrath spell can get a lot of mileage out of a furious/courageous weapon- it makes them dangerous against big bads who aren't evil, and absolutely devastating when they stack it with smite).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

an alchemist could work well... and can be built a lot of ways. a vivisectionist would work well with a ninja (so you both get sneak attack damage when you flank), and mutagen is really useful in low point buys... you could even mix in barb levels- even a 14 base Str will hit 22 when you stack mutagen and rage!

if you're really looking to optimize, summoner is usually the answer. in low point buy/low money that's even more true. the GM is limiting your PC but not really the eidolon at all... and summoner PCs are basically companions for the eidolon anyways. build your summoner how ever you want, buy him what ever you feel like, take whatever feats/skills seem interesting, just make sure he knows the rejuvenate eidolon spells; build your eidolon as a quadruped with arms (centaur shape), the highest Str you can manage and (leg-claws, plus) enough tentacles to keep his natural attacks maxed out- spend a feat on greatsword proficiency and iterate with that in addition to your (now secondary) natural attacks. this kind of eidolon can compete with a fighter for damage output in a regular campaign, so he'll be insane in a low power/wealth game. the downside, of course, is that you have to figure out how to move your extraplanar monster around the city without being arrested or lynched, but at 4th you can pick up the summon eidolon spell and not really have to worry about it anymore.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

+1 to inquisitor or empyreal/AA...

both have great Wis synergy and both add more tricks to your bag.
-for sorc/AA: spells and unique archery abilities from AA would give good flavor and potentially lots of utility.
-for inq: judgments and bane would make you a true DPR power house, lots of skills with a broad skill list would give you some good out of combat options, and you'd still have a domain and all your spells to improve stuff!

another great option would be a ranger...
between the bonus style feats and the ZA bonus feats you'd be one of the few archers who could afford to spend feats on non-archery things. still get decent Wis synergy. have just as many skills as an inquisitor. some spells for utility (and gravity bow). favored enemy could come in pretty handy if you have some idea what you'll be mostly fighting (or once you get access to Instant Enemy), or you could take Guide for the focused enemy. and an animal companion could be very useful. on top of all that, you get d10 hp, full BAB even when you can't flurry and earlier access to feats with BAB requirements (like improved snap shot).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

both classes can do what you want to do, so one of the big questions you should ask is "do i want to play a pally?" personally i enjoy the roleplaying aspect of having to walk the straight and narrow when its usually a whole lot easier not to, but that's definitely not everyone's cup of tea. if you're intrigued by the challenge go for it, if not build yourself a kickass warpriest (or cleric, or inquisitor, or oracle- they can all be built as solid frontliners) and have fun with it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

if you pick an archetype you must take the whole thing (no mixing and matching). personally, i don't think divine archer is a very good option unless you're just dipping a couple levels of pally with some other main class. i'd probably take a base paladin (probably adding oath of vengeance). archery is soooo feat intensive that the archetype looks appealing but in the long run you give up more than you get.

but i suppose that doesn't really answer the question... if you're just playing a home game i don't see any reason why you couldn't allow him to take a mount- like i said, i think the archetype is inferior to a base pally so opening up the divine bond options back to the base level would probably only help (slightly) at correcting that imbalance.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

lol- i have... poor rogue was already pretty obsolete and then they dropped the slayer and investigator like so much dirt on the coffin. i've never been a rogue fan but when i noticed the wording for gang-up i thought maybe i'd try to do something nice for them.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

we all know rogues usually aren't the greatest in combat. i myself have pointed out on more than one occasion the benefits of instead playing a ninja or vivisectionist, but is it possible that there is at least one decent combat build for rogues?

i have one possible idea, but i'm not sure how well it would really work out. it hinges on the gang-up feat. gang up makes you count as flanking regardless of your positioning (as long as two allies threaten the enemy)... flanking gives you +2 to hit on melee attacks, which is where things start to go down hill for the rogue, but what if you sacrifice that +2? if you attack at range the feat still (RAW, as far as i can tell) makes you count as flanking, so you miss out on the +2 to hit with melee attacks but astronomically increase your chance to be able to full attack with sneak attack damage! archery is (obviously) feat intensive but if you took the swashbuckler archetype you could add longbow proficiency and be able to take 'combat trick' twice (plus weapon training) to help with some of that.

the issue here is that you're still not able to address the rogue's attack bonus problems but if you're in a party where you can get a couple buffs fairly reliably it seems like it might be a pretty functional build, maybe? is there something i'm missing or would this possibly be a decent combat rogue build?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

never be afraid to heal in combat- you're probably not going to match the fighter/barbarian/whatever-combat-monster in damage, so keeping him from dying is more damage output than you attacking and letting him drop... that said, situations where you need to play as (or even more so, build as) a devoted healer are rare. i've been playing with a group where there are several highly-optimized damage dealers and a controller, we regularly fought CRs that were APL+3 or more and we needed an optimized healer (it wasn't uncommon to face things that could drop a party member in 2 rounds, or cause truly crippling status effects with a very difficult DC), but that is an extreme case.

most of the time a cleric can play whatever build/style you prefer and just provide a little triage care when necessary in combat. the last game i played, i made a Wisdom based, negative energy channeling, melee cleric of Gorum (using the guided hand feat)- he had the DCs to use some save-or-suck spells and really good melee ability (drop a couple party buffs-- or just the quickened divine power that he took magic lineage and fate's favored for-- and then jump in stacking channel smite and the domain smites from ferocity and rage); i just memorized a handful of cure spells 'just in case' and made sure i had a cure wand for out of combat healing and he worked great. sometimes healing is necessary and there's no need to shy away from that, but sometimes a well-timed Command or Hold Person can be even more effective (and sometimes wrecking something with your great works out perfectly too, lol).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

i agree with all those who have mentioned the importance of early entry... if your GM will allow alternative racial features from Advanced Race Guide i would definitely suggest something like:

half-elf [drow magic racial alternative]
16+2 Wis (with 5 points left for other stats, probably 12/13 in dex/con)
Wildblooded Sorcerer [empyreal] 2/Divine Strategist Cleric (with Trickery domain) 1 and then into MT

that limits a lot of your option but you end up with only 1 casting stat, a serious will save, and you gain new spell levels in both classes at the same time (2nd @5th, 3rd @7th, etc).

depending on how high a level you think you'll reach, Bard might be a good option too... like a witch they can cover some of the important parts of both arcane and divine casting and at low levels their access to new spells is similar to MT (2nd @4th, 3rd @7th... MT passes them with 4th @9th instead of 10th...). MT will obviously have more spells at their disposal though (sorc known plus cleric list vs. just bard known).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

i really like hexcrafter just for the resource management... one of the downsides to the magus is that they can nova hard but burn through resources quickly if they have a long adventuring day... hexes completely alleviate that issue.

there are builds that can nova harder (and depending on your party/campaign resource management might not be a big issue) but hexcrafters are more versatile and always have something they can contribute. throw in the pragmatic activator trait and UMD (which is a class skill) and you'll really have a trick for every occasion (even more so if you built as a samsaran- you could take mystic past life to add 4-5 wiz/sorc spells to your list).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

if you want to buff and debuff i'd suggest the witch... you can get pretty decent buffs with your spells and probably the best debuffs in the game from a resource management perspective in hexes (since they can be used 1+/target), plus both class features work off Int so you're pretty SAD.

if you're okay with focusing on just buffing i'd suggest a bard- you could add some helpful ranged damage if you build as an archer, the bonuses from bardic performance and your buff spells will go a long way with 2 melee guys (and an archer), you'll bring a lot of skill support (including knowledges and UMD which both appear to be lacking), and you can even provide backup healing... the only real downside is that in a 15 point buy you won't be able to afford the Cha you need for debuffing.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

strictly speaking the synthesist is inferior to other summoners because they lose the class' outrageous action economy (and all the extra skills/feats)- they could make for a great npc/villain though.

it seems like you want to build a melee sythesist. fighter is probably not the best option since you lose armor use and rely on the eidolon's physical stats (meaning a lot of the actual person's base stats will be redundant, or he'll be completely ill suited as a fighter without the eidolon). you could build a Wis based monk with 14 (to maybe 16 tops) Cha, and be alright in combat even without E but have crazy good AC and deal much more damage with it. d8 is not the best hit dice, but you'll get a ton of bonus hp from E, have all good saves from the monk, and where a fighter would have his BAB reduced to E's the monk can still use flurry of blows to effectively have a full BAB.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

i don't have the animal archive, so i'm not sure about those feats but i know that Nature Soul and Animal Ally (both from Faiths and Philosophies, and both on the Archives of Nethys website) will get you an animal companion at level -3 (which Boon Companion will fix), but it does have to be off a greatly shortened list (wolf is definitely on that list, dog might be too...).

hope that helps. (and personally i really like the idea of combining the animal speaker archetype mentioned above with these feats)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

some people like tiefling for the racial favored class bonus.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

KenderKin wrote:

It is hard to beat the witch as party buffer/BBEG de-buffer via the hexes.

On the other hand going from witch into MT is usually a bad idea because the saves versus hexes does not continue to develop.

yeah- witch has kind of a theurgy feel already with some traditionally divine spells on its list (especially for some of the patrons), but they're probably the worst option for MT... their hexes are one of or maybe even the best class features and you give up getting new ones and destroy the DCs of the ones you have.

you'd be much better off (IMO) just staying a witch and investing in scrolls/pearls of power/etc to cast a larger number of spells/day (and just use the witch's limited but fairly diverse spell list).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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i wouldn't say there's a lot of hype... i guess it depends on where you look- some people believe it is completely inferior to a straight class caster, others are convinced its overpowered. personally, i think its interesting and can be built well if its something you want to do.

there are 2 basic approaches to building an effective MT, and they kind of depend on the level range of the campaign- you can build a balanced arcane/divine caster (which, i think, works best in campaigns that probably won't go past 13th level), or you can build an arcane or divine caster who also has some ability with the other style (which is more effective if you going to get into the upper levels).

for a balanced caster the whole build relies on using SLAs to qualify for MT... you pick a race with a 2nd level arcane SLA (most aasimars and tieflings work) and either make a cleric with the trickery domain (or fate inquisition) or a wood oracle with the Bend the Grain revelation (all of which grant a 2nd level divine SLA)- now the only requirement you need to meet is 3 ranks in knowledges, so you can pick arcane 2/divine 1 or divine 2/arcane 1 and level as MT from 4-13. this works pretty well at lower levels because you do have a ton of flexibility with spells and enough spells that you may not miss being a little behind on getting new spell levels. the biggest downside is that you lose a ton of flexibility in this build regarding choosing your race/domain/etc, and unless you go sorc/oracle (which will really hurt on when you gain new spell levels) or empyreal sorc/cleric (which is only marginally better) you'll have issues trying to keep both casting stats high enough; you also run into a problem after 13th because then you either have to split levels again or abandon one side of your casting progression.

for the mostly 1 class style the first thing to do is pick your primary caster class (wizard or cleric are the best options, just for gaining new spell levels asap)- take 3 (or 4 if necessary) levels of whatever version of that class you like, then 1 level of your secondary caster class; use the tricks listed above to qualify your secondary class with only one level and then level as MT from 5 (or 6) to 14 (or 15). in this build you'll only ever lose one caster level off your primary class (so a wiz or cl still gains new spell levels at the same time as a sorc or oracle would), but in exchange you gain up to 11 levels of casting in the second class. this approach gives you more flexibility in choosing race/domains/etc and also makes your 2nd casting stat less important (focus on the stat for your primary class and only use DC based spells from that class- use your secondary class for utility/buffs/heals/whatever). the only big drawback here is just that you miss out on class abilities from your base classes that scale with level.

hope that helps. if you have specific build questions feel free to post them or PM me.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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angelkin aasimar.
sacred servant of Ragathiel/oath of vengeance.

take destruction[rage] for your domain. pretty decent domain spells, a 'smite' ability that he can stack with smite evil or use against neutral foes, and (eventually) the ability to rage!

definitely not a vanilla pally :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

i think paladins can worship LN gods can't they?

if so, you could build your leader as an empyreal sorcerer/warpriest...
with fervor to mimic Lay Hands and good combat skills he could present himself as a paladin of Abadar- that way as he slides into tyranny he can continually point to the fact that he hasn't lost his abilities as evidence that he must be right/good... you could even have one of the party members be a real pally who he eventually has to have murdered to avoid a public betrayal.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Remember that channel smite and arcane strike both take a swift to activate

thanks- its been a while since i played the character and i had forgotten that channel smite took a swift action... arcane strike could still be usefully for rounds you can't use it, but with quicken spell too there are probably better options (like extra channel or improved channel).

and actually... inner sea gods wasn't out when i played but deific obedience would be pretty sweet. its a decent feat on its own (at 12th you'd have the SLA boon), but if you have the patience to delay PA it could be great for an evangelist build (the PrC, not the archetype)... if you stuck with a base aasimar you could go:

1- channel smite
3- deific obedience
5- guided hand
7- quicken spell
9- power attack
11- furious focus
13- vital strike

that way you can go cleric 3/evangelist 10... you end up 1 level behind on spells/channel/domain powers but you get a handful of bonuses, all 3 boon abilities, and spiritual form (which gives +4 to one stat and wings)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

yeah... there are great spells at pretty much every level, i just wanted to get quickened divine favor as early as reasonably possible. the way i justified it to myself was that i prepared those instead of divine powers because even though the bonuses weren't quite as good the action economy more than made up for it... if i had a round to buff before attacking i'd generally opt for righteous might instead of divine power anyways, so if i had a surprise round or combat started with the enemies more that a single move/charge away or something i would cast quick divine favor, cast righteous might, and move into position- then round 2 i could move to enemy and vital strike/smite/smite/smite with arcane strike on.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

there are pretty good combos for all of those...

- base tieflings make great dervish dancing magi.
- IMO divine hunter is worse than a base pally, but a musetouched aasimar would be a great race for it.
- plumekith aasimar are great archery rangers; hungerseed tieflings are great melee rangers. rangers don't get a companion until 4th, need Boon Companion for it to be viable in combat, and have a limited list of choices... if you're looking for a primary combatant with an animal companion you might be better off considering a Mad Dog barbarian?
- there are so many different ways to build a druid that i can't really offer any specific advise on such a general question.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

but it has a long duration, so that should only be an issue when you get surprised...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

{note- i edited the combat numbers, i had forgotten about furious focus}

i don't remember the exact order that i took the feats in but it was very similar to this:

1- channel smite
3- guided hand
5- power attack
7- quicken spell
9- furious focus
11- vital strike
13- arcane strike

traits: fate's favored and magical lineage[divine favor]

i know this leaves out the wings you really want so you'll have to make some adjustments but it worked really well (for me at least) to be able to open combat with quickened divine favor (for +3/+3) at 7th level, and you qualify for arcane strike with the racial SLA which always has a CL equal to your character level so that's some nice free damage in rounds you're not casting quickened spells.

regarding channel- if you take positive channel it'll really only be useful for cleaning up damage in between fights (otherwise you need selective channel, which you can't afford, and you're wasting actions that could be attacks or control spells). between fight healing is what items are for, get the party to pitch in for some wands/scrolls/potions. i went vanilla aasimar and had a pretty decent Cha, so that helped with the save DC (and gave more uses), plus its a Will save so most of the things you really want to hit with it will have a poor save. on top of that, i just figured that even if they make the save its better to do half the normal bonus damage than to channel a heal in combat and have it patch up an enemy...

edit: i'm even hazier on this but i think his starting stats were Str 14; Dex 10; Con 12; Int 8; Wis 16+2race; Cha 14+2race. not your typical melee guy, lol. his AC was never very good, and his HP were nothing to write home about, but he dealt enough damage that most things that came after him could be burned down before he was in really danger and he always had some control spells ready in case he got overwhelmed.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Phntm888 wrote:
Toughness isn't retroactive, so you would only get 1 hit point per level after you take it. I'd swap it out for Furious Focus.

Toughness is retroactive. that said, (IMHO) you should still really try to make room in this build for furious focus (especially if you're going the vital strike route).

edit: it would require a major feat overhaul, but you could get a mount if you took the nature soul/animal ally/boon companion tree... of course, no guided hand on the lance...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

yeah, Master Chymist has the Mutate power which is literally just turning into the Hulk (or whatever your chosen form is) without having to drink anything. as luverscastle said, they start with it 2/day (and gain more as they level), and they can still prepare mutagens on top of that (the effects don't stack, it does give you more uses per day though).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

i'm a big fan of the Wis based melee cleric!

i played one (who worshiped Gorum) at 6th and 11th and he was awesome at both. i went base aasimar (for the stats) and channeled negative energy; took strength[ferocity] and destruction[rage] for domains.

at 6th level he had like +4 BAB, +5 Wis, +1 weapon, and usually +3 divine favor (with fate's favored)... -2 from power attack that put him at a respectable +11 to hit for 2d6 +3 Str, +6 PA, +1 weapon, +3 divine favor, +3 destruction smite, +3 ferocity smite, +3d6 channel smite (save for 1/2 of the 3d6), or 5d6+19. plus high enough DCs to still use spells like hold person.

by 11th there were too many different buffs available to accurately do a 'typical' going into combat block, but even just updating the ones from above: +8 BAB, +7 Wis, +3 weapon, +4 divine favor, -0 PA (furious focus) = +20 to hit for 10d6+32 (4d6 vital strike, +6 Str, +9 PA, +3 weapon, +4 divine favor, +5 destruction smite, +5 ferocity smite, +6d6 channel smite). and the one time i had to fight something in an antimagic field rage came in awfully handy. not bad for a full caster, lol.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

+1 to alchemist...
if you really want to do the Hulk you want a Ragechemist alchemist with 2 levels of Wild Rager barbarian (heading for Master Chymist). personally i'd bite the bullet and start with 18+ Str though. with those classes you'll have monster strength and a real danger of losing control (which is dangerous, but does allow you to rage longer each day).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

i'd avoid a paladin if you're planning on having an evil-ish feel to the first party... maybe something like this?

religious party:
Leader- LN (or LE) cleric/empyreal sorc (empyreal covers angel motif and makes casting Wis based)
Enforcer- barbarian/inquisitor (2hand build, intimidation expert)
Scout/Assassin- gunslinger/inquisitor (bane+judgment+touch attacks? yes please)
Adviser- bard/lore oracle (party face, all the knows)

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Paladins are great for gestalt (as long as you don't mind the alignment restriction) because they add HUGE survivability to any class and the bonuses from smite are great when they come into play. pair it with any Cha based class and you'll be in good shape. Pally/Sorc plays like a sorc but much much tougher and great BAB for spells that require attack rolls. Pally/Oracle has all the customization of an oracle but is better in combat and tougher. And, Pally/Bard does all the things (and does them pretty well).

IMHO- Pally/Bard might be your best bet... the bard buffs will help you and your teammate out with combat, you have a lot of skills to fill in what he lacks, with swift action self heals you can 'tank' very effectively (even with the 11 or 12 in Con), you've got status removal covered (which is important), UMD is a class skill (and you're Cha based) so you can cover utility magic with wands/scrolls (and, you know, bard spells), and you'd have all good base saves (with no stat penalties) plus divine grace! the only real drawback to the combo is that its pretty MAD but you've got the stats to pull it off for sure. (a pally/inquisitor could fill a lot of that too- individually you'd probably be a better combatant but bard is probably better overall for the party... i do like the flavor of an inquisadin though)

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i support the GM...
i definitely don't think you should purposefully design anything to be insurmountable due to the PCs shortcomings (or continually exploit weaknesses), but i definitely don't think you should sugar coat an adventure/campaign/world just because the players made sub-optimal (or even just bad) choices. part of the fun of the game is that it's challenging; and a world that caters to your characters might but more upbeat (it is kind of good for your ego to always succeed and be the best at stuff), but (IMHO) it loses some of the immersion or suspension of disbelief (maybe that's just me, but personally i have en easier time accepting a world where magic is prevalent than i do one where i always just happen to have the right tool for every job).

i say run your campaign the way you want to- if the PCs want to play a group that is gonna struggle with certain things let them struggle (if those are really the characters they want to play then that struggle can/should be part of the RP fun). the way i see it, its kind of like playing the original final fantasy and choosing a party of all fighters, thieves, and martial artists... the game doesn't get any easier, so its gonna be tough to be successful, but if you can pull it off the sense of accomplishment is that much greater.

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i agree with revaar and trogdar... if you want to be a melee character with some magic EK isn't a great option (you give up a lot of BAB/hp to get enough casting), and if you want balance you're probably better off with a magus- the EK comes into its own when you keep your caster level as high as possible.

as is your race would probably do well as a magus. if you're planning to have at least one level in a class with all martial weapons (and focus largely on ranged combat) there's probably no real benefit to weapon familiarity (the only thing it lets you do is use the curve blade... though maybe that's your plan for switch hitting with free finesse). if you do want to make an EK you would (as they said) be better off trading something out for a 3rd level SLA (pugwampi's grace, suggestion, or displacement would all be decent options) so you can start EK at 3rd (1 level of martial class for proficiencies, 1 level of spellcaster you want to advance, and then EK using SLA to qualify- you only ever lose 2 caster levels or 1 spell level).

if you really want to focus on archery and magic I'd suggest dropping weapon familiarity and object of desire to upgrade SLA[entangle] to SLA[displacement] and switch out nimble attacks for static bonus feat[point blank shot]. then you could go fighter 1 (for the feat) or trapper ranger 1 (for the skills and trapfinding), sorc 1 (since that seems to be the casting you want), right into EK; after 7th (rng 1/sorc 1/EK 5) you could dip 4 levels of Arcane Archer too... that will cost you one more caster level (which will hurt) but it gets you a couple of cool/useful things for your arrows and gives you more options for full BAB caster levels.

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to add to what i said earlier (and reiterate what others had said)- this really is all about the x4 crit weapon.

a magus really might be an insane option... they get a free EWP so you can take Tetsubo, their reduced BAB will cut into Power Attack damage but the previously mentioned ability to spend 2 arcana to increase to a x5 crit should more that make up for that. you can't use spell combat with a tetsubo but you can use spellstrike, so whenever you get a free crit you can do x2 spell damage and x4-5 weapon crit!

other than that, all the advice i gave before is sound (when combined with a x4 crit weapon, which I assumed you would use but didn't state).

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the simplest option would be a fighter with the two-hander archetype. they do crazy damage with overhand chop and power attack. take an aasimar or tiefling with +2 Str and you can grab arcane strike (using racial SLA to qualify) to squeeze out some extra damage.

the nice thing about being the big hitter is that you only really need to land 1 hit per round... that gives you a lot of freedom to fool around with 3/4 BAB classes if you want (since you should still be pretty solid with the attack bonus on your first attack). a magus could be fun and add utility; a bard would bring a lot of skills and buffs besides big damage (the bonuses from inspire courage will be nice for both of you, and an aasimar could put FCB into upping that); an inquisitor would be fairly similar to a bard (except that bane damage won't multiply on a crit). a cleric of gorum would be a full 9:9 caster and with the strength[frenzy] and destruction[rage] domains can stack both level 1 smites on a crit for really big damage (on top of divine favor and the like), plus at 8th level you can rage for bonus Str.

those are all pretty simple builds... if you want to shamelessly min/max look at some route to getting at least: 3 levels of 2hand fighter, 1 level of barb, and 1 level of alchemist- stacking rage plus mutagen plus overhand chop will be insane; from 6th level on you could level as any of these (or some combo of barb/alch to keep enough rounds of rage and duration of mutagen).

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how brutal are you looking to be?

an enchanter evangelist would be pretty rough- buffs for the pally/archer, some summons, some healing (especially with quick channel), and the SoS spells that could make the fight very unpleasant for some PCs...

an oradin (life oralce 4/pally 6) would be tough too- gives up the monster SoSs but makes it pretty damn tough to kill anyone (life link everyone plus shield other on blaster; swift self heals with LoH, move action AoE heals with quick channel, and a standard action each round to drop bigger heals, or buff/debuff/whatever)...

another straight pally would also be pretty tough- give this one a reach weapon and combat reflexes, use AoOs as control (with smite he should do really solid damage and remember that the bonus to hit applies to CMB as well if you want to use trip/disarm/whatever), he'll be really hard to kill because, you know, paladin.

this one might be less brutal... maybe... probably the most interesting though- angelkin aasimar[scion of humanity] (with the Racial Heritage[kobold] feat); paladin[oath of vengeance] 4/nature oracle 1/Dragon Disciple 5! there's a feat (Scaled Disciple) that lets you qualify for DD with divine magic instead of arcane (its a kobold feat, thus Racial Heritage)- so he'd have a monster Str (+2 racial and +4 for PrC, plus leveling/items/etc), lots of smiting, LoH, and he'd be stacking armor (no ASF%, proficient with all armor) plus natural armor plus Cha instead of Dex (without the Max Dex limit that applies to sidestep secret but not nature's whispers) for great AC, and have great saves; give him any old 2 hander and let him go to town, if anyone disarms him (or he gets bored) have him pop claw/claw/bite and see how that works out, lol

edit: another interesting option (since OP loves the barbarians) would be to build a rage-adin... the best way to do that is a Sacred Servant with the destruction[rage] domain (Ragathiel is the best deity ever for this) but that doesn't bring rage online until 11th... you could still pull it off though if you take the anger inquisition instead (though you miss out on the domain spells you'd otherwise get). or you could also just make an inquisitor with anger or destruction[rage]- easily mistaken for 'just another barbarian' until he starts tossing around spells or some such.

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the best combos for gestalt are ones that synergize nicely and ones that improve action economy.

a sorc/pally is great because you get to add swift self-heals to your full casting (and have crazy saves and smite), but it sounds like that's not really what you're going for...

a witch/mindchemist (alchemist archetype) isn't quite a full double caster but it has great synergy with Int boosting mutagens, bombs for AoE damage (and some control), extracts for heals/buffs, hexes for control/debuff, and 9:9 casting on one side. you could do this with wizard or sage sorc too but the hexes really are a nice addition (and you said no wiz).

a kensai magus/sage sorcerer doesn't quite come together until 6th level but once you gain the broad study arcana its pretty great. having spell combat as an option for all of your spells is handy (and good for your action economy); you can take staple spells (like shocking grasp) as sorc spells (so you have tons of them per day) and use magus spells for utility (since sage doesn't have the spells known to keep up with a wiz); you get to add Int to AC (on top of defensive magic); and, even though you'd only have 3/4 BAB there are some nice arcana to help your attacks if/when you find combat unavoidable. you could also do this as a witch- the hexes would be a nice addition but i'm not sure the spell list synergizes quite as well as wiz/sorc (though gaining some cure spells would be handy).

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i just finished playing a gestalt campaign in which one of the other players made a summoner/sylvan sorcerer... he switched characters after 2 sessions. it sounds like an awesome combo in theory but it wasn't that fun or effective at the table.

speaking of effective... there is a reason why most of the advice on the forums for gestalt casters has to do with building a gish... its just more effective. a double caster has poor survivability- a sorc/sum can't wear armor because of sorc spell failure, only has d8 hp, only has one good save (and its tied to a stat you wouldn't otherwise invest points in), and has no way to heal himself (ok, yes, infernal healing but that's for after combat not during an emergency). double casters also gain some casting versatility but no other versatility- if something has spell resist you're stuck just casting till you get lucky. the extra spells do provide some extra tricks but your action economy still limits you to one spell per round, and (honestly) how often do you ever expend all of your spells even just with one casting class. the combo does start to get better around 10th level when having extra higher level spells allows more use of quicken spells (though that's more true for double 9:9 casters).

if you decided to go with, for example, a ranger instead for one class, you'd have d10 hp, all good saves, full BAB, 6+Int skills/level, and bonus combat feats. you'd still be restricted from wearing armor and action economy would stop you from using physical attacks and a spell in one round but you'd be more durable, have more options (can melee, can do ranged combat, can cast spells), and could get some cool extra little bonuses (like adding favored enemy bonuses to hit and damage with shocking grasp or scorching ray). you'd also gain the ability to use some cure wands.

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you need Cha for fervor (determines uses per day, and fervor is pretty awesome).

for a 2wf warpriest i'd highly recommend kukris over shortswords... your damage will be based of the sacred weapon progression instead of base damage, so the 18-20 crit range makes them in every way superior. although i don't have society experience, so it might be tougher to find good magical kukris than shortswords (i honestly have no idea on that).

warpriests can use fervor to self-heal as a swift action (like a paladin), so i wouldn't worry too much about the extra AC from a shield. plus, if you're already investing in 2 magical weapons trying to afford a decent shield may be tricky.

for 1st level feats i'd probably go with wf[kukri], 2wf, and finesse.

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