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1,209 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Treantmonk wrote:
Can you name a decent Form of the Beast shape (legal for the Lunar Oracle) that could also cast spells without Natural Spell? (As in capable of somatic/verbal components) tings/magical-beasts/lammasu

Here's one. Now this one is kind of special, since it specifically calls out that it doesn't need material components to cast spells.

But apparently it can make somatic gestures.

And what do you know, for most of their spells Oracles don't need material components. Since generally for cleric spells the holy symbol or divine focus serves as this.

And from the oracle entry on the d20pfsrd: "Oracles do not need to provide a divine focus to cast spells that list divine focus (DF) as part of the components."

Now there are some cleric spells that take components, but most say divine focus. You might nitpick, and say they should default to having a component if one is listed for arcane casters, but I don't think this is something that is clearly spelled out.

Now, since you know everything, and have a desperate need to prove it, tell me exactly what Paizo intended with spell casting and shapechange magic.

It's pretty obvious you need natural spell for the form of a leopard or wolf. It's not so obvious for things that can speak and have appendages that can manipulate things. Take a raven or parrot for example.

You might make an argument that the form is alien to you, and you are incapable of duplicating the manner in which some of these things cast spells. Maybe, but I don't think this is addressed in the rules.

Now since you might respond, and you do know everything (and it comes color coded), answer the following questions for me:

1) How do Nagas cast spells? They can speak, but how do they manipulate components and make somatic gestures? Some of them cast divine spells, but most are arcane casters, so you can't get around components.

You might make the argument that they have evolved their own set of somatic gestures for spellcasting involving tail and tongue movements or something, one that would be impossible to duplicate by a dilettante shapechanger. Pretty reasonable, but is it spelled out somewhere?

And there are lots more things like this in the bestiary.

2) Can a pseudodragon familiar use spell trigger items? "They often only vocalize in chirps, hisses, growls, and purrs, but can communicate telepathically with any intelligent creature."

But wait: "Languages Draconic" what does that mean exactly given the blurb? They know a language they can't speak? I guess they understand spoken draconic maybe. Or can they speak it? If not, how did they learn it to begin with? Magically born with the knowledge of a language they are incapable of speaking and not spoken (as nothing is) in their culture? Do dragon tutors appear to teach them this language?

I might note that Faerie Dragons don't have problems with this, and while they don't have hands apparently like their larger brothers the true dragons, they don't have problems using items and such with claws.

3) Can a wizard shapeshifted into the form of a dragon cast spells? I mean his component pouch got melded, but he could have dropped it on the ground before the transformation, then picked it up. Or actually taken eschew materials. But ignoring material components, can a shapeshifted wizard cast spells?

You seem to think that this system is some kind of tautologically complete set of rules or something. I think it is anything but, and in general a lot of things that are possible under the rules aren't covered as to their ramifications.

Shapechange magic is one, just as it was in 3.x.

Now the thing about the inflict wounds is kind of a strawman. You seem to imply that someone has to be in whatever form they shift into all the time. I guess it doesn't cost druids anything to do so, but it isn't exactly a rule.

But even if you do, you can work around that with a metamagic rod.

Assuming your form can't cast spells. Personally I think if the form can speak and plausibly manipulate things it is possible.

But I don't think this whole things is as cut and dried as you seem to put forward.

And to be blunt, I also don't think that not being able to cast spells for a time is as much of a showstopper as you seem to think. If you are casting you aren't meleeing anyway, and then this whole thread is pointless. (Although honestly given the dominance of magic in this system, any kind of melee build, no matter how you do it is suboptimal.)

P.S. "Scion of War: You use your Charisma modifier to adjust Initiative checks instead of your Dexterity modifier." says hi.

That's what really jumps out at me too.

Almost makes you think that just about anything that requires a fort save is a waste of time, unless you can really pump the dc. Heck the base dc of Stunning Fist 10 + 1/2 character level is on a par or better than any spell anyone is likely to cast. Monks may not pump wisdom quite as much as casters do their stat but still this is a competitive dc as they go.

If there were some feat that let you change the kind of saving throw Stunning Fist was, like reflex which is usually a poor one, I'd imagine it would be taken by every monk that actually uses this attack.

Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Well, if a bardiche would qualify for Wood Bond, the Wood mystery just became a lot more appealing. I've never played a reach character, and I love the fact that the bardiche is both reach and has a 19-20 critical threat range. The biggest problem with the Wood mystery is that the only revelations I could really see myself taking are Wood Bond, Wood Armor, and Thorn Burst, and I could have all of those by level 3. If I multi-class, Wood Bond loses some of its usefulness. If I don't multi-class, what do I do after level 4? I could maybe take Wood Weapon at 7 to get a bow for when I can't make it into melee, but it definitely seems like multi-classing into fighter or slayer or even paladin would be better at that point.

Geez, I didn't wake up this morning thinking I am going to defend the Wood Oracle mystery.


"Bend the Grain (Sp): Once per day as a standard action, you can shape or warp wooden objects. This functions as either wood shape or warp wood. At 11th level, you can use this ability to push wood away from you, as repel wood. At 7th level, and again at 14th level, you can use this ability an additional time per day."

Useful a lot more often than you would think, wood shape. It doesn't seem to come up as much as Stone Shape, but it can be useful. Warp Wood is occasionally useful. But Repel Wood? A lot of weapons have wood in them as a rule. Depends on your dm's interpretation I guess. Other than swords and spiked chains I can't think of too many that are all metal.

"Tree Form (Sp): As a standard action, you can assume the form of a Large living or dead tree or shrub, as tree shape. At 9th level, you can assume the form of a Small or Medium plant creature, as plant shape I. At 11th level, you can assume the form of a Large plant creature, as plant shape II. At 13th level, you can assume the form of a Huge plant creature, as plant shape III. You can use this ability once per day, but the duration is 1 hour/level. You must be at least 3rd level to select this revelation."

Plant shapes get dissed on these boards. But this still gives you some useful forms, and the really important size, strength, and natural armor bonuses. What's not intimidating about a huge treant swinging a telephone pole?

But this is another thing that is open to interpretation. How does this shapechange interact with gear? Some of the available forms should be able to use weapons, make gestures, and speak like the mentioned treant. Others probably not.

Plus it is not clear to me what happens to any armor worn (including the Wood Armor).

No one would blink an eyelash if I made a treant wearing armor and wielding weapons. Or a treant spellcaster.

But shapeshift into one and questions come out of the woodwork (ha).

"Lignification (Su): Once per day, you can turn a creature into wood. As a standard action, you may direct your gaze against a single creature within 30 feet. The targeted creature (along with all its carried gear) must make a Fortitude save or turn into a mindless, inert statue made out of wood for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 your oracle level. This ability otherwise functions as a flesh to stone spell, except the target turns to wood instead of stone. This can be reverse by any effect that can reverse flesh to stone. At 15th level, you can use this ability twice per day. You must be at least 11th level to select this revelation."

It's a crowd control spell. Worst thing you can say about it is the fortitude save. Not as useful as some other things, but the dc should still be pretty high when you do use it.

"Wood Sight (Su): As a move action, you can alter your vision to see through underbrush and plant growth that would normally grant concealment, up to a range of 60 feet (though darkness and other obstacles still may block your sight). At 7th level, you can use this ability to see through wood or other plant material as easily as if it were transparent glass, penetrating a number of feet of wood equal to your oracle level. You can use this ability a number of rounds per day equal to your oracle level, but these rounds do not need to be consecutive."

When you can use it, it is useful. You should be able to use this to good effect in a city or wilderness setting. And like all the abilities like this it comes in handier than just reading it implies.

"Speak with Wood (Sp): You can talk to wood and learn what it knows. You must spend 1 minute meditating on and communing with the wood. At the end of this time, you can speak with the wood. This functions as the stone tell spell, except with wood instead of stones. You can use this ability for 1 minute per oracle level. This duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be used in 1-minute increments. You can speak with natural or worked wood. You must be at least 11th level to select this revelation."

There is an awful lot of wood out there that might know something interesting. Walls, doors, picture frames, weapon hafts, tools, trees, panelling, buildings,...

Anyway I get that people don't think it is that cool. But I think it really does have some handy features.

Woodland Stride is the only one that is really meh I think.

Treantmonk wrote:

sunbeam wrote:
But the new kid on the block, the Lunar Oracle is pretty much the best one to use for this now.

This statement is why I'm responding to your post. Would love for you to explain how Lunar Oracle is best for a Combat Oracle build.

If you combine Form of the Beast with Gift of Claw and Horn I could see a Lunar Oracle being in good at combat as a Druid who BAFFLINGLY didn't take the Natural Spell feat, and vastly inferior to a Druid who did.

The spells are not well suited to combat, not that you can cast them if you are using one of your only revelations that give you any combat ability at all.

Am I missing something?

I'm not sure I have every compared a Lunar Oracle built for melee with a druid. Maybe a druid is better at this.

But there are lots of magical beasts, some with lots and lots of attacks and special abilities. Then add the additional two attacks from gift of claw and horn.

Now some of the magical beast forms should be capable of casting spells, though this is always a debate (like the elemental form one). You are right that other than Aspect of the Wolf, there aren't many buffing spells on that list. But the basic cleric buff spells are.

Instead of comparing the Lunar Oracle to a druid, build one, pick some form from the magical beast list, then compare it to a Battle Oracle.

I might add that as nearly as I can tell Touch of the Moon works with the mass inflict spells. There are lots of things immune to confusion, and lots of things that are not. While not a direct combat enhancing thing this is pretty nasty to be able to pull out at times.

Then we get the charisma to AC thing... and then there is the animal companion thing (just as good as a druid's and you can buff him, though not with some of the druid specials).

I used to think Wood made the best battle oracle. I still think it is very good (Wood Bond is huge for a combat character), ahead of both Metal and Battle.

Heck it's been a while, but I remember thinking Ancestor would be as good as the latter two as well, but it has been a long time since I thought about these builds.

But the new kid on the block, the Lunar Oracle is pretty much the best one to use for this now.

Only problem is it locks you into a weird for an Oracle natural weapon build.

You can do some of the same things with Dark Tapestry, another mystery I think contends with Battle and Metal in the pecking order, but Lunar is hands down the best if that style is something you can live with.

Glad to see them finally using divinations. Hope they get some use out of it.

That Daggermark poisoner isn't very powerful but it is pretty neat. I could enjoy playing a character built around that.

Well if the other players didn't show me up all the time.

I've seen things like this before. I know they were done by TSR back in the Gary days, and I know I saw some 2e things that dealt with this, adventures and such.

In some ways they were a lot more adventurous and imaginative in the old days with the scale and ambition of the material they put out.

But like time travel stories in fiction, a satisfying one is rare. They start out with clever ideas, then bog down in plot loopholes and contradictions and just plain mechanics (and in this case I'm not talking about system mechanics per se, just however they choose to deal with time travel).

Just saying it's been done before. I really didn't find the efforts satisfying. That doesn't mean it can't be done, just that it must be pretty hard.

So hard that I think coming up with an adventure and MAYBE having a group or two run it really isn't enough effort to publish a good one. So many exploits, unanswered questions and the like will come out of the woodwork when more eyes see it.

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I don't understand this guide. You might be able to make a case for the Divine Hunter archetype being useful if you had a bunch of archers in your party. But how often do you have more than one in a group?

Also if you have other archers in your group, they are already going to have the feats you can give your companions... because they are archers.

I mean what is the whole idea here? Everyone carries a bow, so they can drop whatever it is they normally do, swing blades, cast spells, etc. so the Divine Hunter can make archers of them?

Only use for it I see is if you are leading a group of mooks or something, and you can make a skilled group of ranged attackers out of peasants or warriors or something.

This archetype seems totally useless to me. I really don't think it makes a better archer than the base Paladin to be honest. Unless you are enhancing your mob of peasants, what makes this a better archer than a base paladin?

Wiggz wrote:

Just a thought, if you want to explore it - we had an Arcane Duelist in our RotRL campaign. He made an Archer whom took the Snapshot line which, along with the free feats he got from his class, made him an absolute terror against opposing spellcasters.

How does that work exactly? I thought a lot of those feats only applied to melee weapons? Then you have to take like four or five archery feats to make it useful (counting qualifying feats), and there would still be ones you really wanted.

KaiserDM I can't disagree with anything you've said.

But these guys are past levels 1-5 now. The characters have enough levels and equipment (there are crafters available) that concepts should be getting fleshed out.

In my experience you see a lot of deaths early on (I've played or at least started similar dungeons like The Night Below). But by the time they get to past 10 like these guys are, death isn't an unknown but it happens a lot less frequently.

We aren't in the campaign, I'm thinking the ratfolk monk's player must have had to miss some games, maybe another one of these guys as well.

But even when he was around, exactly when did he grapple? I'm guessing that was the point of being a Tetori monk.

Well I hope I haven't gotten on your bad side. Like I said I have been reading this a long time, and plan on reading it till you finish.

But as a reader, and as a gamer, I'd like to pass on my take on what I perceive as problems with all the groups you've had so far.

1) As nearly as I can tell no one has ever fully embraced the tank role. Now it is an opinion, but I think it is based on fact, as a perusal of threads on this board can tell you.

There are really only two tank classes, and only certain archetypes of each that can fill the role. They have to do creditable damage in combat, be durable, and perhaps most importantly be able to shrug off damage and make saving throws.

So that leaves you with Paladins, and... Invulnerable Ragers with that cookie cutter list of rage powers and feats.

When it comes to the barbarian, it may get old but Superstition/Beast Totem/Spell Sunder is just plain hard to beat for options in combat and durability.

I think Paladins do it very well too. Great saves, smite for a lot of the enemies you will face, and an incredible amount of hit points with lay on hands (really recommend fey foundling). Some underrated utility with spells and lay on hands removing conditions as well.

Multiclassing is not a definite no-no, but the combo has to make sense. Generally the dip has to fit some kind of theme, like Oracle with lame curse for rage cycling, or something that synergizes with high charisma.

A lot of the caster classes can fill this, but the builds are more complicated. Magus, druid, oracle, cleric, straight wizard (transformation), etc. The builds and concepts are out there.

You can also do something like Barbarian/Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple or Rage Prophet, but you have to have an idea of how you want it to work.

But what makes a tank in this game is enough damage to make opponents take you seriously, durability, and some way to deal with hostile magic.

2) Some caster, and arcane is probably the most versatile, that is willing to do some crowd control. Evocation gets a bum rap, there are lots of ways to amp it up now, but the groups you have had would have had a lot easier go if one or more of the opponents suddenly was taken out of combat.

3) No one seems to use the divination spells on the books. I was thinking divinations didn't work in this dungeon, but a year or two back you said that they did in a post.

If someone would just pull out arcane eye, or clairvoyance from time to time, just to see what's ahead things would go much easier. I know that they have long cast times, but the potential payoff is worth it to my mind.

Heck some of the Oracle mysteries like air and the stone one have limited features that would really help in this regard.

Well anyway, my two cents. I'm going to keep on reading this, and hope I am not making you angry. But if this was a book, well you are way past Game of Thrones lethality at this point.

And I tend to think it is not because you are a killer dm.

I guess my biggest beef is that a melee combatant really needs to be built so that there is almost no way you are taking them out of the fight with a spell or an effect that has a saving throw.

I am not exaggerating that btw, you pretty much have to metagame as a dm to get a Paladin, or Invulnerable Rager Barbarian (Superstition/Eater of Magic/Spell Sunder) out of the game using a spell or the like.

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I guess it is because it makes me think of the Dalelands.

Ed Greenwood got old and wonky, and they put way too much detail into Forgotten Realms. But that old grey box set was really good before the splatbook explosions.

They have a built in enemy in Molthune (like the Zhents when they were cool). They have a big lake (a Great Lake really), a forest seating, unexplored wilderness, ruins, history, places that aren't terribly far off for adventure hooks (Lastwall, Worldwound, Isger, Cheliax, Five Kings mountain territories, Ustalav, even the River Kingdoms aren't implausibly far away).

Just seems like a great place for 1-10 level adventures. Then you could go on road trips if you can't think of anything else to set in the Nirmathas area.

I missed something. Summoning is a full action for Oracles isn't it? They don't qualify for that Sacred Summoning feat as far as I know.

And aren't the Preservationist "pokebottles" a standard action to use?

I could be wrong, but that was my impression and definitely makes the Preservationist competitive with the Oracle.

Kind of a meh thing. Never seen roleplay get in the way of killing before.

Honestly if I was in a group where Radamir pulled this, I'd roleplay putting him out of the party.

Not sure about your players, but I would find this whole thing incredibly frustrating. I've been reading this thread for years, and it is this time after time.

Whether it was one of your earlier groups in the lower 48, or one in Alaska these PC's never outright win anything.

As a reader it is just getting old. You can run it anyway you want, and your players may well enjoy it.

Geez come on, 5 or 6 Fire Giants and some Fire Giant with class levels is a day at the office by this point.

Well anyway best of luck with this, and it's not like I am angry about it or anything. But how long is this party going to be a bunch of punching bags? It's kind of hard to defend min-maxing, but if I played in your game I'd make the most munchkin character I could, because I'd be sick of failure and death after death.

Really if these characters had been optimized this fight should have only taken about two or three rounds. Round One all Fire Giants incapacitated (probably using a daze effect). Round two and three unload on the bags of hitpoints.

I haven't played in a month or two, but while I wouldn't call the guys I usually play with min/maxers, I think we could have put up a more credible effort in this dungeon so far.

Anyway hope I haven't alienated you, but as a reader it is kind of frustrating. Grehennox really needed the smirk wiped off her face, but it looks like it won't happen.

I'm not joking by the way. If you have read the Beastmass threads there are all kinds of builds that could one shot these guys with one character in one round.

Look we don't know one another other than a few posts on this board. But I'll be honest about it as a reader, it's just getting old reading about a bunch of ever changing guys that get manhandled time after time.

Seems like they are actually playing "Zerging the World's Largest Dungeon."

I have seen less campaign stories about this mega dungeon than some others like Rappan Athuk. But I have read campaign stories where a lot of the original members that started Rappan Athuk made it all the way through.

Maybe the DM pulled punches or something, but it might also be that your guys have a bunch of screwy builds. A barbarian with cleric levels? What exactly is the synergy in that, other than using wands? A grappling monk? Can be done I guess, but a Zen Archer would have been a lot more useful in most situations.

I really would prefer the human bonus spells known over the Aasimar bonus.

That said, the Aasimar's bonus can be really good. I don't think Ancestral Weapon is a good one to use that bonus on though.

If I were playing an Aasimar with this mystery I would apply my racial bonus to Spirit Shield or Storm of Souls.

If your dm lets you use Magic Vestment on the Spirit Shield, it can be really amazing. There is a school of thought that the flavor blurb on some of this fairly common revelation for mysteries disqualifies some from using Magic Vestment. Things like the Bones or Wood revelation clearly refer to a physical thing. Whereas Winds sounds like it is... wind.

Storm of Souls could be interesting. If you somehow made it to 20, and applied the bonus every level you could do 15d8 to non-undead, and 30d8 to undead with that one. Plus you can do it twice more per day. Interesting it is "physical" damage, so other than spell resistance or saving there is no way to reduce it. It is a fort save, and most undead have crappy ones there.

I think it is because most fantasy worlds have a certain way they want to look.

And they handwave away what the implications of magic as they present it in the rules would be on the world and societies.

Personally I think EVERY nation would be some kind of mageocracy or theocracy. How would you get around it?

Eh, not saying anything mechanical about the merits of the spells. But becoming a 4 armed freaky thing just isn't in the cards for most of my characters.

If I built a character around shapeshifting, like an alteration wizard maybe it would fit.

But your average Magus (not sure if he gets Giant Form spells)?

I'm going with a Giant Form. Storm Giant for the win.

Hmmm a lot of people are concerned about Dismissal and Blasphemy.

I was once toying with making a synthesist who used these when he was particularly worried about that tactic: sional-shackles

Not something you want to use all the time, since dimension door and other transport spells are on your list, and you get dimension door as a spell like.

But if you are really worried about this tactic, you can have a set for 28,000 gp, or 14,000 if you take craft wondrous and make them yourself.

I guess it takes up one pair of arms. Not really sure if you could make one that was just a bracer or something, or just wear it on one arm and have it work. Then again most of these synthesists are multi-armed abominations and it wouldn't matter that much.

Plus Dimensional Anchor is only a 3rd level spell for a summoner. You could just cast it on yourself whenever or have a wand or a couple of scrolls if it ever came up.

Nothing stops you from crafting a golem of some sort to go with your eidolon as well.

Just time, feats, money, and caster levels, same as any caster.

Just imagine a golem with the shield guardian template to go with your other summmony goodness. Trying to think of how shield other on the summoner and the eidolon works, plus the golem would have fast healing. Not to mention two gigantic mindless beasts pounding those foolish enough to oppose you.

Thing is all casters are unbalanced to be honest. Too many things you can do if you comb the boards and look for tricks.

P.S. Dazing Spell is utterly broken. Someone mentioned Wall of Fire, but there are a couple of other damaging spells on the summoner list you can use. How much damage it does is irrelevant, you are going for the daze.

If you make him a ranger he might be able to help with some outdoor stuff.

Tracking, survival, that kind of thing. Also would be able to make some skill checks (and perception).

Since he is going to stay out of the way and plink, the lack of heavy armor shouldn't be a problem. He might get evasion and the ranger hide feature eventually too. Plus better reflex saves as opposed to fighter.

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Wiggz wrote:

Community Minded (increases duration of Morale bonuses you give to yourself or others by 2 rounds) is ideal for Barbarians, Heroism Clerics and Orcish Bloodline users, among others.

I'll bite. Does this mean that Barbarian bonuses last two rounds after you end rage? And I guess for whatever morale bonuses Bardic performance gives, though that is a little more complicated.

I don't have many publications so my sampling is limited.

I really liked Her Majesty's Expeditionary from Entombed with the Pharoahs (think that is the adventure; it was a 3.5 pre Pathfinder system).

They were so cool. Particularly the half-orc Fighter that was an alternate Fighter (basically his version traded feats for sneak attack damage). He had a Tower Shield that had a special hand crossbow that opened some kind of door on it when fired. Can't remember if it was repeating, but he got sneak attack damage when he used this.

Not sure if you really did rule-fu on it that it should have worked even then, but the idea of a sneaky Fighter that cheated like that...

Oh yeah, the Tower Shield was made to look like a sarcophagus lid.

There are so many feats and books I don't have now.

I guess I could look up Threatening Illusion on d20PFSRD, but I'm too lazy this morning.

But if that feat works as the name implies, ie you could place a threatening illusion wherever you wanted on the battlefield..

Depending on whether you have a lot of melees in the party, particularly rogues, it just seems like you could imact things a lot more with the gnome.

[QUOTE="Secret Wizard"

sunbeam wrote:
The problem with any kind of mounted combatant is getting a mount that can survive at higher levels.
Even considering that the mount has an effective 32 + 1d20 AC for the first two hits it takes each round?

One word. Magic. Any kind of area effect spell, or similar thing and it is most likely goodbye for the mount considering the hit die.

Now I don't know what mount you have mind, say you somehow eliminate every melee attack that is ever aimed at the mount. But unless you find a way to deal with the mount's lack of hp's and saving throws, you have real problems.

But any kind of save, and you can pretty much count on the mount failing. Frightful presence? A medusa's stare? There are tons of effects you encounter as you level.

I don't know whether you can use Handle Animal to deal with the effects of a fear spell, but if you can't you have combat style that is totally a no go if someone uses that relatively low level spell.

I'm not trying to be a Devil's Advocate or rain on your idea. What I am saying is pretty much the conventional wisdom about mounts. And I haven't seen anything that challenges that thinking.

In short, a normal horse, even with your mad riding skills, isn't going to cut it later on. You might think you could make up the difference with barding and a horse blanket of resistance or something, but that is a bandaid on a wound, and it is going to get expensive.

The problem with any kind of mounted combatant is getting a mount that can survive at higher levels.

Most people if they use this concept got with something that gets an animal companion or some kind of special mount.

If your dm is willing to work with you, you might be able to get a high hit dice creature to be a mount using Handle Animal (you would think Fighters would be able to tame Wyverns or something, but it sure isn't supported by example).

You might be able to find a pretty durable construct mount too, using one of those figurine things.

There are a number of things I don't like about Pathfinder. One is while they have all these fiddly rules, and archetypes out the wazoo, they don't seem to want higher level melee guys to have level appropriate mounts, particularly flying ones. They reach their arm around their back to make sure classes and archetypes with a mount feature can't get a flying one.

Compare this with previous editions. One of Robilar's calling cards was his flying mount (Griffin? Hippogriff?), though in 3.x the gave him a stupid construct horse.

It didn't used to be a big deal to see a character sheet for a 10th or so level fighter and see Pegasus, Giant Eagle, or something listed as an available mount. Even some of the younger dragons.

You mentioned Wood, Metal, Ancestors, and Battle as good mysteries for combat oracle.

There is a newer one called Lunar that is really good as well. You can look it up in the PRD. I've seen a few builds on the boards.

Only problem is you probably want to build around natural attacks with this one. But you get a full level animal companion, and you also get access to a revelation that lets you add confusion as a rider effect to inflict spells (great with mass inflicts). Oh yeah, and charisma to ac and reflex saves.

And I'm surprised I forgot about it, a two level dip into paladin is well worth it. You get a number of features, the proficiencies are the equivalent of skill at arms, and you get divine grace.

That save bonus is a big deal if you have a good charisma score.

How would the brawling armor property interact with this? I read that, and I'm not sure it would apply to bites and claw attacks and such.

If you used unarmed strike or a cestus or something I think it would work.

Thanks a lot, I never would have thought to look up squeezing.

Basically I need a 5' passage to go through if I take the large evolution.

I may be able to go through something smaller (guess "head size" is just something that will have to be debated. 2.5' diameter for example seems too big even for large size), but since I intend to have arms (and shoulders) it will be more complicated.

I am also kind of assuming that a serpentine body can at least "compress" and extend, so to match head size, for a time at least. I really imagine the bulk of the body being wider than my head, except at the very tail end.

Thanks that is probably as good as I'm going to get. Still really doesn't tell me much about what size space you can fit through, tunnel wise and such.

I'm asking this because I am thinking about making a synthesist summoner character who will as closely as possible emulate being or becoming a noble salamander.

But what puzzles me are the exact dimensions of one.

Okay, assuming you started at level 1 as a medium size serpentine form, you get reach with the bite attack. So what does this mean? Your body is roughly 10 feet long? I really intend to see if I can mod this thing such to have a form like the salamander or a Yuan-Ti Abomination, with no bite attack.

But what would the actual physical length be?

Then you get to the point where you can take the large evolution which reads:

"An eidolon grows in size, becoming Large. The eidolon gains a +8 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, and a +2 bonus to its natural armor. It takes a –2 penalty to its Dexterity. This size change also gives the creature a –1 size penalty to its AC and on attack rolls, a +1 bonus to its CMB and CMD, a –2 penalty on Fly skill checks, and a –4 penalty on Stealth skill checks. If the eidolon has the biped base form, it also gains 10-foot reach. Any reach evolutions the eidolon possesses are added to this total. The eidolon must be Medium to take this evolution. The summoner must be at least 8th level before selecting this evolution.

If 6 additional evolution points are spent, the eidolon instead becomes Huge. The eidolon gains a +16 bonus to Strength, a +8 bonus to Constitution, and a +5 bonus to its natural armor. It takes a –4 penalty to its Dexterity. This size change also give the creature a –2 size penalty to its AC and attack rolls, a +2 bonus to its CMB and CMD, 10-foot reach, a –4 penalty on Fly skill checks, and a –8 penalty on Stealth skill checks. If the eidolon has the biped base form, its reach increases to 15 feet (10 feet for all other base forms). Any reach evolutions the eidolon possesses are added to this total. These bonuses and penalties replace, and do not stack with, those gained from becoming Large. The summoner must be at least 13th level before selecting this option.

The ability increase evolution costs twice as much (4 evolution points) when adding to the Strength or Constitution scores of a Large or Huge eidolon."

This is kind of wonky. You get some of the benefits of being large, but you don't get reach unless you have a bipedal form.

So .... what would be the physical dimensions of a large, serpentine eidolon? And more specifically, what kind of spaces could it fit into, like passages and such?

Really I would be better off taking the bipedal form, adding a tail, and pretending I didn't have legs. But by RAW, I would never have a constrict attack, because you need to have a serpentine form for that.

But can anyone tell me the dimensions of this thing? What is a large serpentine eidolon? Something roughly human size in width, and 15 feet long? What are we talking about here?

Oh yeah, unless you take skill at arms you won't have martial weapon proficiency, so the orc greataxe wouldn't be a proficiency for you.

I'm not sure I understand why you are taking two weapon fighting.

If you use that style, it sucks a lot of feats, which you have not many available, and will require you to have certain dex values to take the later in the chain.

If you aren't going to go all out on it, it is kind of a waste, since two handed weapons will do about the same damage and take less feats.

If you dip fighter for a few levels it might work differently. In your shoes I'd use a falchion, and nix the two weapon fighting.

I'd also take dance of blades as your other mystery.

All the Metal revelations seem at least decent except for steel scarf and riddle of steel. Riddle of steel seems to fit your concept, but a +5 bonus on one check once a day is pretty lame.

Tirisfal wrote:
Captain Wacky wrote:

Masculine = more valuable than feminine, is true, in "boy culture" when you are speaking about another boy. Feminine = more valuable than masculine, when you're talking about a girl.
I don't want to seem combative, but I'm curious: as a "feminine boy", where does my social value fall into your paradigm?

Not sure what to say about this one. I can tell you from personal experience that most women (every woman I personally have encountered actually) prefer men to be taller than they are.

It's also pretty widely known that height gives you an advantage in social relations, quite unrelated to sex. Taller people tend to earn more, get their way in relations with other people, that sort of thing.

And no, I'm not googling this for you. It is common knowledge. Established fact. If you disagree with this statement, it is an extraordinary claim. If you think otherwise, the burden of proof is on you, because otherwise I have to think you weren't paying attention.

Height isn't the only feature of course. There is also the widely observed phenomena of the the "bad boy," and the kinds of guys women are attracted to. Though I might add that class plays a large role in this as well, you just don't see it happening to women that attend Yale for the most part.

Interestingly enough, athletic ability can open a lot of doors for you as well. Timmy Geithner's main qualification for being named president of the New York Fed, and later Treasury Secretary was that he was a helluva softball player for an Ivy Leaguer and networked really well. Well I guess it didn't hurt that he just loved to tote water for Investment Bankers.

In short... I guess things like this are kind of like that story they tell about picking stocks and judging beauty contests. You don't pick the girl(stock) you think is prettiest. You pick the one you think everyone else will think it prettiest.

You might be a really worthwhile talented person by any objective standard. But in the end we are all stuck in a world with hairless apes driven by superstition, instinct, hormones, genes, whatever with rational thought being kind of an awkward stick-on at the very end.

Just the cards we all are dealt.

Personally I gave up on the whole thing. My attitude is kind of like the guy at the end of Cat's Cradle, the one who was going to climb to the top of a mountain, flip a bird at the heavens, and then touch a crystal of Ice-9 to his tongue.

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Tirisfal wrote:

sunbeam wrote:
Once again: "If you reduce the sex appeal of your art, of the female characters depicted, you will sell less to women."
Citation needed. I'm going to need some serious marketing data on this one.

Hmmm here is one, from a middlebrow magazine. Not any statistics of course, and studies. I'd have to do a lot more googling to find that kind of thing. The signal to noise is kind of high on this issue.

You Can Give a Boy a Doll, but You Can't Make Him Play With It.

It's probably still fashionable to rail against wikipedia, but this link has an intro to the topic, and some references, though they seem to be mostly links to UK newspaper articles: /wiki/Girls%27_games_and_toys

Here is an interesting link to some comments by Paul Dini. 8317

I think he is missing the forest for the trees though. The people in question would be quite happy to sell advertisements for entire lines of girl's toys all dressed in militaristic blue uniforms, and sporting giant size rocket launchers.

If that is what would pay for all the grown up toys and lifestyle they want.

After all people not much different from them make tons off of selling salt, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup mislabeled as food, and they don't lose a wink of sleep over the obesity epidemic.

I will say I found all kinds of impassioned articles railing against forcing gender on to impressionable toddlers using "what kind of toys do little girls like marketing" as a search phrase.

Tirisfal wrote:

This is dismissive at best, disingenuous at worst, and totally entitled and rude in general. You're attempting to pass the burden of proof off onto someone else when you should be the one attempting to support your argument.

My argument is none of those things. Rather I'm saying "Water is wet," and you are choosing to argue the point because your worldview says it's wet only because we tell it that it is wet in water pre-school, and we buy water appropriate toys to stereotype it as wet.

Actually I'd say your comments are far more appropriate to yourself.

avr wrote:

The Ice Armor revelation is just a free chain shirt until 7th level - I wouldn't waste a revelation on it. Just buy a real chain shirt.

Depends on whether the dm will allow magic vestment to work on it. This was discussed in the Channeling the Cosmos guide thread on these boards.

The more or less consensus opinion was that if an Oracle gets an Armor revelation, if the description of that seems to refer to a physical thing, as opposed to air or shadow or something then magic vestment will work on it.

Gives good ac then, no kinds of movement or check penalties. Plus they usually have another minor bonus.

Captain Wacky wrote:

The same way a lot of girls think drag queens are cool.

I tell you what is really weird, most buyers of Yaoi manga are women, and from what I have read this holds true even in the states.

I can't even begin to come up with a theory for this. I sense that the answer wouldn't be terribly interesting to me anyway, so I'm not going to research it or think about it.

Still if someone has a theory on it, it would be interesting to read at least.

Jessica Price wrote:

Girls are sold princess culture and similar forms of entertainment, which teaches them that being pretty is the most valuable thing they can do. It's pretty innocent-looking when you're 4 or 5, but the older you get, the more our culture tells you that pretty = sexy. And that starts really young.

No they aren't. They are being sold what they WANT to buy.

It isn't a conspiracy to mold the minds of young females into "acceptable" forms. This is actually what they want.

There have been attempts to make "action girl" toylines in the past. They don't sell terribly well, or stick around too long.

Jessica Price wrote:

That's not a problem with it being sexy, though -- it's a problem with it being "girly." And why is it so terrible to like girly things if you're a boy? Because our culture tells us that masculine = more valuable than feminine. Tomboys (girls that are boyish) are cool, sissy boys (boys that are girlish) are not cool.

I thought "Tomboys (girls that are boyish) are cool" was your whole point.

Once again: "If you reduce the sex appeal of your art, of the female characters depicted, you will sell less to women."

It is not a wild idea. I would have thought any educated person would be aware of certain facts.

Namely that from day one practically you can observe behavioral differences between individuals of different gender. This continues and exacerbates the older the individuals in question become.

Geez, don't take my word for it, there is a plethora of things on developmental psychology, genetics, anthropology out there for you to read, all at typing of a search phrase.

And a lot of marketing data.

But I'll leave you with this: a lot of human behavior is as deterministic as a dog's pointing reflex, and due to the same reasons.

Jessica Price wrote:
Why on earth, if you're asserting something you know people will disagree with, is it their responsibility to prove you wrong? You want to convince people of anything, it's your responsibility to prove there's data to support the idea. Anyone can just throw out crazy ideas -- don't...

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Hmmmm makes me think of Mystara. They had a spaceship that had crashed on the planet as well.

I was never sure whether the ship came from our Earth in the future (It was called HMS Beagle or something). Of course that whole thing was kind of "adopted" from Blackmoor, the Arneson setting.

I really miss the Gonzo age.

Jessica Price wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

Someone gave my daughter a "Bratz" doll. The thing was dressed like a hooker. The suggested age on the package was 6 and up.

Just saying'; This is not an RPG thing.

Other industries' objectification of women doesn't excuse games'.

See this is something I just don't understand at all.

Is there some dark, secretive world of boys and grown men that collect Bratz dolls?

My impression was that this is marketed to small girls, and that is who winds up with the things.

No self respecting 7 year old boy would touch one for fear of cooties that Lysol couldn't take off.

I'd like you to explain to me why little girls are interested in Bratz dolls at all. Instead of demurely dressed ones.

Now here is a statement for you to disagree with, or say I'm wrong. But if you do, explain why you think it is wrong.

If you reduce the sex appeal of your art, of the female characters depicted, you will sell less to women.

I think there is a corollary I hadn't thought about too much, until someone pointed it out kinda in an earlier post. If you "tanked" up the men, you will sell less to males.

Now you aren't going to make me mad. If you have an argument that shoots holes in it, fine. But explain why it is wrong.

MagusJanus wrote:

Well, the PC part gets interesting...

One of the problems with going PC on the issue is that attractive half-naked male characters in a fantasy setting are still, thanks to Conan, considered largely a male fantasy. This creates the problem that, from a PC perspective, increasing the amount of half-dressed attractive males only makes the setting more male oriented (and, by some, inherently misogynistic) instead of less.

Then again, the PC part is also okay with women being in their underwear on the cover of a magazine. A lot of the comments I've heard from non-gamers is that the female art style of Paizo is extremely male-oriented... but at the same time, those people praised depictions of women in things like Cosmo; the articles cited were typically ones where the women often wore less than the cover model of a porn magazine.

So, as far as I can tell, the PC position outside of the gamer community is that the men need to wear more and the women less if Paizo wants to attract more women customers. Which is the exact opposite of what I see in the gamer community.

I have no idea. It's just an interesting disconnect between the PC crowds.

I kind of alluded to it in an earlier post, but here is a theory:

This is an escapist genre. When it comes to art, I think a big part of the appeal is to see idealizations, to see the form they'd like to have instead of whatever the personal reality is.

I think the same is true for women. And the non-PC opinion I hold it that being forceful and dominant is all well and good. But in the end, it's not as much of a draw as being smoking hot, nine out of ten times.

Someone might want the world and people to conform to whatever belief system they might hold. But in the end, we all have vast portions of ourselves that are based on instinct, and hard-wired, not a part of conscious abstract thought.

I guess that argument puts a shot through the petard I hoisted about the art and realism. I do have an out though. I guess due to age I have different fantasies about what an ideal is. Mine isn't the current crop of steroided up actors (yeah I think most of them are using HGH at the very least, the action guys), or modern cartoons and comics.

Actually this quote I just typed in from Astro City #1 (the current Vertigo series) expresses my thoughts on the matter.

"She's called American Chibi. I'm not sure about her.

I mean where does she come from? Robot? Cartoon come to life? 13-year-old anime fan who got her heart's desire and this was it?

Or worse, 35-year-old anime fan who got his heart's desire?"

BTW I googled Charles Voss. He would do a great job in this genre.

He's even more perfect for Oz, Barsoom, and Tarzan though to my eye.

Couldn't find Janet Ausilio mentioned on Google though.

Hitdice wrote:

To be fair Sunbeam, in that black and white interior Red Sonya illustration you spoke in praise of, the dude on the right has his kneecap and calf at the wrong attitude, given the position of his thigh and foot.

But yeah, commercial art has gotten so figurative that it doesn't look like anything you see in the real world anymore.

I won't dispute that this is not all time art.

But come on. 1930's, published on acid paper. A medium aimed at kids and ... odd adults. I'm quite sure the artist didn't get the going rate they paid at Harper's or something for sure.

It's pretty hard to compare things across eras. I'd imagine that the pulp magazines were on a shoe string compared to what Paizo is running. And I'm also pretty sure the artist had a lot less time to come up with this than the artists Paizo uses does.

Another thing that gets me about this thread is that the people who don't like the way it is now, are awful sparse on details of what they would like to see.

BTW, the dude is actually "Conan." He doesn't look right to me though, Frank Frazetta eternally shaped my opinion of what Conan should like like. So improbably if a Cimmerian from a wintry land doesn't have Latin features, he doesn't look right.

Oh yeah, I still don't know what your argument is.

Sissyl wrote:
Considering this thread and the "hypersexualization" thread running concurrently, with other such threads in the near past, it's not an accident, nor did anyone forget.

I saw that thread. I didn't read it, because the title sounded boring, and I kind of figured it would have a certain tone.

As to why I clicked on this one? Eh, not sure now. I will say I think Merisiel and Seoni are the only two that have a good "look" for what that is worth. I would definitely have done them a little differently if I was the artist.

Just not keen on any of the other female characters, at least the way they are drawn. As for the males, only one I can say I am a fan of is Eben.

If I were the art director I'd revamp all of them to some extent or other.

And the first commandment I would give my art team is "Thou shall not swaddle thy characters in crap. I care not how busy other other artists in other venues maketh their illustrations."

To tell you the truth, I think I would either use someone on staff, or hire a model, to pose for a bunch of reference photos for each character too.

It's not just specific to Paizo, something odd has happened in the past 20 or 30 years. Artists seem like they have forgotten (or never learned) how human bodies move, and how to put that into a medium. In the past you could get a teenager doing his first art gig, and he would seem to have more of a clue about how to go about it.

Now it's like artists reference cartoons or something, instead of people. Another degree of separation. And you see it in some of the god awful art major companies publish. (Looking at you DC and Marvel. Especially you Marvel.)

Sissyl wrote:
It isn't a question of memories growing dim. =)

Would you mind just saying exactly what you have in mind?

RJGrady wrote:

Red Sonja is an interesting case. On the one hand, her comic books often show her in a very sexualized way.

She's actually interesting for more than one reason. She was created in the 1970's Conan comic by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith.

According to wikipedia she was based on a character called "Red Sonya of Rogatino," in a non-Hyborian age Howard short story called "The Shadow of the Vulture."

This surprised me because I would have sworn that Red Sonya was in Red Nails, a Conan story by Howard. Turns out it was another Howard heroine named Valeria, who I think is more the inspiration than the other. Well my opinion, I have never seen that short story.

Anyway this came up on these very boards, in a very similar argument a year or two ago:

Rereading that, I'm surprised at how similar the things I have to say are. Guess my opinion hasn't changed. Be interesting to see if the same people are in that thread as this one. Then again I don't care that much. ikinis

And just for the heck of it, here are a couple of links, one to the cover of Weird Tales, where Red Nails was first published:

And to an illustration from the story within:

Incidentally the second piece is a better piece of art than I have seen by Paizo. Maybe they could learn something? Think outside the box? Dump manga elements? Have their artists study human anatomy and posture? Use reference models? Heck Greg Land would be an improvement.

Anyway other than that, this thread is same as it ever was. And I'm sure the thread will be reborn in days to come, when memories grow dim.

Think I'll skip the next one.

Jessica Price wrote:
Seelah, no. She's got some boobplate going,

I think the "boobplate" does look stupid, but I'm not sure how many of your readers share the same opinion.

But they are your company's artists, not mine.

Jessica Price wrote:
Seoni, yes. Aside from the outfit, her chest is thrust out, lips are parted (compare Amiri's bared teeth).

Now this is an eye of the beholder thing. You apparently see a suggestive pose, and I see a look of minor irritation, "Alright, I've had enough of this $%*#."

Now as for some feedback, which I doubt you'll even consider. Her leggings are useless. I'm not sure what you call her "train," other than fabric. It is too long.

She doesn't look like she could actually run too well, and I'd think that is important in her business.

Think plain old sandals would be a better look. Plus the dagger and pouch are in crazy spots. She can't reach the pouch too easily, nor the dagger. Having them at waist level would make a lot more sense.

The staff is being carried awkwardly, and I have no idea what that... crosspiece is behind her back.

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Appeals to realism are all fine and good. But why stop at "sensible?"

None of this armor, none of these weapons are right. No one in the real world wore armor like we see depicted.

No one has ever used a sword like the iconic Barbarian uses. Double bitted greataxes are something that never really existed, at least as a weapon actually used in combat either. No one would ever use a dire flail.

And as has been pointed out many, many times, the weight of the weapons are all wrong.

The weapons themselves make no sense. As an example quarterstaffs are definitely tripping weapons. Daggers and spears are definitely monk weapons, as much as shuriken and nunchaku.

Slings are utterly lethal weapons, on a par with longbows. Only to get this level of performance out of them, you need something beyond weapon training to represent it.

Okay, I get chainmail bikinis are ridiculous to look at. But it seems that if you are going to invoke a realism argument, there are a whole lot of other tings you can give a once over as well.

And being a cynic in some ways, let's say some of the posters got their wish, and all the female characters dressed realistically, instead of being idealized physical specimens, and showing it proudly.

Are you quite positive sales would improve? Stay the same? Drop?

And I'm not talking about strictly to the younger male buyer, I'm talking about to female buyers as well.

People have been selling this stuff for a long time, and it is lurid for a reason.

I'm not quite so sure that some in this thread understand the reptilian center of the brain, and why people actually do what they do as well as they might think.

Rationality and evaluating things on the basis of some kind of ideology you have... well that is weak sauce when you see what you get by pushing people's hidden buttons.

I've been seeing arguments like this my whole life. In that time, it has had no effect whatsoever. The clothes get skimpier, the fashions more risque every year it seems. When people get acclimated you have to go a little further each time to get the reaction you are after.

Then there are things like Game of Thrones. Or any of a number of other movies and television shows.

Like I said, I've seen it my whole life. Some of the voices I heard in my younger days saying things like this... well they are dead now.

And nothing has changed.

I used to get bummed by people preaching this message. Why do you feel the need to impose your own mores on everyone else? Then I realized something.

It isn't a rejoinder, but a statement of fact.

"Inherit the Wind." And by that I mean you are tilting at a windmill.

thejeff wrote:
Bellona wrote:
Page 3 of the Inner Sea Primer (Player Companion series) deals briefly with the extent of educated knowledge of the past. It adds: "What follows is a basic timeline of the Inner Sea, featuring relatively well-known events that a reputable sage might be expected to know."
I find it amusing that the one actually canon source quoted is largely ignored.

Is that a free download? I don't have that book.

HarbinNick wrote:

Well PC self-loathing quote of the week award goes to...
...put seriously the collapse of Islamic intellectualism and the end of the golden age of Islam is a sad sad thing. The west would have likely lost Aristotle as we know it, if not for Islamic scribes. Why modern day Muslim countries continue to shun their intellectual traditions is a topic for another day. for Africa. come on...they didn't have steel in the 19th century...something that the Japanese had figured out a thousand years earlier.

Yeah, I wrote up a really long piece to respond to him last night, the kind where you google for half remembered things and learn new ones while you do it.

I decided to not hit the post button, because I didn't want to get into an idiotic thread fight.

Just have a couple things to say.

1) The Caliphate most people seem to think is established in 622 AD, with the founding of the first Islamic state. Whether it ends with the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258, or the completion of the Reconquest in Spain in 1492 is up for debate. I tend to think the Mongol conquest, because my impression is that the intellectual stagnation of the Islamic world began before 1492.

Regardless the Caliphate was a remarkable period.

I'd also wager that if you were a common person, most of the Islamic world would have better to live in than Europe for a long time (till 1800's maybe?). The Koran specifically details requirements for charity. It's a long discussion, but my take is most of Europe is a pretty nasty place to live during this period, particularly in Eastern Europe and farther east among the Rus, if you were a peasant (serf/slav).

2) The Arabs (using this in place of 'Islamic World') didn't know too much more than the Europeans about the world. They had trading contacts down the East coast of Africa, and the island of Madagascar, but they knew pretty much nothing about Inland Africa.

I'd also wager they knew there was a "China," and it was on the other end of the Silk Road. Somewhere.

What is really interesting is that Islam dates back to about 1100 in Indonesia. I wonder if any scholars in Baghdad knew there were Muslims in Indonesia, that there was an "Indonesia," let alone had a map of the place. There couldn't have been many people making the Hajj given the distance back then.

You could also substitute Bangladesh, or whatever it was called then for Indonesia.

My take is you could draw a map about the Middle East, it goes way out to places accessible by ship, and it is much closer and hazier with places that have to be traveled to via land routes.

And that is what they knew.

3) It takes the introduction of Quinine to make anything other than novelty treks into the heart of Africa possible. I've seen some statements here and there, that Malaria is the most vicious pathogen the human race has ever faced, and I see no reason to question that.

Basically if you don't have genetic resistance to it, any area that it is endemic to, is almost totally a no go.

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