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I guess the thread is semi-derailed, but I don't understand why this Tidepool Dragon, isn't on that list of familiars that can use wands.
It doesn't have UMD as a listed skill, but it is a sorcerer, just like the Faerie Dragon. Maybe it doesn't have hands, but it is hard to tell. It does have a claw attack, and the Faerie Dragon doesn't, but the Pseudodragon doesn't have claws either, so that doesn't seem consistent.
Seems like you are all around better off with the Faerie Dragon for whatever reason they decided to make it mechanically superior to all the other little dragons.
Consider Tattoed Sorcerer. Being able to store the little guy as a tattoo can be really handy.
I still want to find a way to get a flying monkey as a familiar and have the tattoo on my butt.
No way I would allow a tumor to drink a potion. That just seems totally stupid.
I guess my point doesn't matter for a PFS game, but if RAW violates the rule of cool, then RAW has to go.
This might be a case for the fact that evil people might not know they are evil.
Look you don't sit down at a table in the tavern and say "I am Chaotic Neutral myself," as a conversation starter.
My take on things is that while concepts like law and chaos, good and evil, are known to people, and certain gods are known to embody the concept, people don't think of themselves as having an "alignment."
I realize this might be kind of wonky depending on how you use Paladins and detect evil, but it is my view on things.
It is entirely possible to think you are good and doing what you are supposed to, and be viewed as evil by someone else. Robespierre, the King's Torturer who has uncovered a dozen plots to overthrow the King, that kind of thing.
If you are a half elf, can't you take advantage of the elven oracle archetype (think there is some way to do it with a feat), and get true strike on your spell list.
Now this is kind of cumbersome, because you can't use it the same round you cast it, unless you invest additional feats into using that one spell (the usual trait/feat cheese) so you can quicken it.
But it is a pretty good payoff because you can add +20 to any combat maneuver, including trip.
You could also just have a rod of quicken 1-3 level spells. I guess there are a lot of other more powerful things you could do, but true strike is really good for some things. Literally you can grapple a mammoth or bull rush a giant (flavor it as a "chest bump") just like those barbarians can with strength surge.
Eh, just reread that elven archetype. I think you could only get True Strike as a 2nd level spell. I personally might still go that route, since with a metamagic rod you have a really good chance of pulling off spectacular maneuvers. And the rule of cool is enough for me to try it, even if some other combo would be much better (like anything with dazing spell).
Plus I can't tell you the name of the feat that would let a half elf take this, I'm pretty sure I have seen it, and seen it used in builds a few times.
Similar to the unmoveable rod, I have always wanted to get in front of a moving ship and cast resilient sphere on myself.
It used to work differently in 3.5 (Force effects didn't have hardness?), but I still think it would work in Pathfinder.
Depending on how you play things, you can dimension door out and leave the sphere there. I have played with at least one dm that said it poofs when the target is gone though.
Still if you stay in it, hardness 30, and 20 hp's per caster level should see you through, unless it has Adamant armor.
I wouldn't be so quick to just call Ride the Lightning "amusing."
"Ride the Lightning (Sp): At 15th level, as a full-round action you can become a living lightning bolt and move in a straight line up to 10 times your speed. You do not provoke attacks of opportunity while moving in this way. Creatures or objects in your path are affected as by your thunderbolt power. Creatures do not block your movement but solid barriers do unless they are reduced to 0 hit points. You can use this power once per day for a number of rounds equal to your sorcerer level."
Then for damage:
"Thunderbolt (Sp): At 9th level, you can command a stroke of lightning to strike from above in a 5-foot-radius cylinder 60 feet high. The thunderbolt inflicts 1d6 points of damage per sorcerer level; half of this damage is electricity and half is sonic. A Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 your sorcerer level + your Charisma modifier) halves this damage. Creatures failing their saves are deafened for 1 round. At 9th level, you can use this ability once per day, at 17th twice per day, and at 20th three times per day. This power has a range of 120 feet."
Just for the sake of argument do this at level 20. Once per day you can become a Lightning Bolt that does 20d6 damage, with as good a save dc as it gets (I think all your focus feats will apply to this).
You can affect everything in a 300' line.
And you can do this for 20 rounds.
Reading the text, I'm not altogether sure whether you can be affected by physical attacks or what kind of spells, when you are in this form. Even at that, with that kind of move speed, depending on terrain you ought to be able to strafe things from safe points.
Thunderbolt really isn't bad either. It would be just as good as Delayed Blast Fireball if the radius was better.
Granted at level 20, there are all kinds of things to do, some that are much better at taking out single targets. But if you are an orc storming Helm's Deep, trust me the last thing you want to see (well besides a fireball crazed mage) is this guy cackling and zipping all over your horde for 2 minutes.
I was once toying with the idea of a dark, evil dominated world. You know one that is on the verge of evil winning a total permanent victory.
Then I was going to have the remaining forces of good summon something... alien.
The hook was going to be that good and evil were totally irrelevant to it, but it was summoned to do a job, so it was going to be done. Really it wouldn't even care if evil won.
So basically the thing starts murdering every member of the evil forces it can, and it is very good at it. It takes no pleasure in doing it, it is basically a walking meatgrinder that lays waste to individuals and whole cities as it goes.
I was going to have it be intelligent enough to avoid any dangerous evil opponents, like overlords and whatnot. But it would decimate any easy targets it finds. It doesn't get scared, doesn't sleep, and never tires. It just kills and kills.
When you call it, it won't stop because you changed your mind. It will complete what it was summoned to do. And it is going to kill all the evil people, or at least forces in the world, the easiest first.
It won't attack your side unless you get in the way, but if you do it will deal with you like the others. It doesn't fear demons, undead, liches, anything like that. Those are simply tactical problems, and it is very capable. If it took 10,000 years to get them all it won't mind.
In short it would be a berserker (from the Saberhagen books), or perhaps like "Good? Bad? I'm the guy with the gun."
Hmmm assuming you did take wings as a mutation warrior, is it any kind of action to activate them?
Does it take a standard action like most spell like abilities, or you just can only fly a minute per day per level because flying makes you really tired?
If I understand this Mutation Warrior correctly he can take one hour to brew a dose of mutagen, he can have one at a time, and the effects last for 10 minutes per level.
So he has one shot a day with this thing. I really don't see any way for him to get another dose without taking a full hour to brew one.
Dunno seems underwhelming. Maybe as a lead in to Master Chymist, that might have some possibilities. But one shot a day is pretty limited, there is no guarantee all your encounters will occur during that timeframe.
Edit: Just checked, need 3rd level extracts to qualify for Master Chymist.
My thinking is now, that this is a trap option (much beloved by Monte Cook disciples to mock the rubes), no matter how good you are for that time frame.
I guess it is worth a few feats to be awesome in one encounter or so, but there are a lot of other ways to get flying with those feats.
Can't say I am a fan of this development but:
'the sea hag insisted that their “swooning over her” would wear off before they met the dragon but memories of the way her goiter and distended breasts flapped against her wrinkled flesh like soiled wet stockings in a light breeze were still fresh in their minds when they reached the edge of the foggy marsh.'
That is some quality writing and is what keeps me coming back for more.
Still as some feedback for your guys, more often than not it is some kind of saving throw that kills them, either directly or by incapacitating them as in this case.
I still think this party needs some front liners who are essentially going to make every saving throw. I have no idea what is in the later Pathfinder books, but based on my knowledge of the game a Superstitious Barbarian and/or Paladin would be great additions.
Although I understand their is a feat in the new book that lets you add charisma to saves (boggle).
Anyway... I can't wait to see what characters they come up with next.
Somewhere though, Lord Antagonis is watching. And I think he is chortling away to no end. If the PC's ever give up, he is going to be a sad, sad man. Kind of like Breaking Bad ending.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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:
Here is an interesting link to some comments by Paul Dini.
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.
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.