I found this thread while searching for ideas for my own barbarian gnome. I need to ask some questions pertaining to the following passage from Ranroel:
1) Using the Invulnerable Rager with 3 x Increased DR Rage Power and Improved Stalwart I only arrive at DR 17/- at level 12 using Combat Expertise. He arrived at DR 18/- at level 11. Also, at level 11 Combat expertise is only a -3/+3 trade-off and he would only have access to Improved DR twice so the total DR would only be 13. Is my math wrong or is the original post? Or am I way off and he is actually going Total Defense with at least 3 ranks in Acrobatics making it impossible to attack in the end? And if taking Total Defense how would you even attack, or would you just be holding the line?
2) Guarded life makes it sound like once you hit 0 it kicks in, not before. Using that math, with the original stats displayed, I see the following: Original Damage is 49. You subtract your DR 18/- and are left with 31 points of damage and the original 10 HP. Then you take 10 points of damage which drops you to 0 HP at which point Guarded Life kicks in converting the last 21 points of damage into Nonlethal damage which is negated by the DR 36/lethal. In the end you should be left at 0 HP and Disabled, or am I reading that wrong?
3) It seems odd that you can take damage from one hit and, after you hit 0, convert it to Nonlethal and then negate that. Do those stack?
Thanks for any help. If I end up using this character I want to make sure I'm clear on the rules when a GM keeps wailing on my little gnome and he just won't die.
I've got a PC who has made a very flavorful and well-built Necromancer. He plays it well by being creepy but still being cooperative. However, I'm having trouble fighting against him because he is an overall evil character playing in the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path where the only thing to fight evil with is more evil. I can't seem to take out these minions he has. Any thoughts? Are there any mass destroy undead spells?
I mainly run PFS and Adventure Paths. My day/night job doesn't allow much time to create my own adventures. I run into the problem while running these that the game does not present a challenge for a group of optimized individuals (a problem I especially find at PFS with a table of 7 PC's). In a game I ran this last weekend the group did the final encounter for book 2 of Skull & Shackles. They encountered everything. The big-baddies all pulled off their attacks and most landed. However, they didn't ever feel afraid for their characters (I had one player make it near 0, but never really feel threatened). Now, I'm not talking maniacal GM everyone must die playing, but feeling enough anxiety to make a battle exciting and not knowing which way it could go.
Any tips, especially on these pre-written scenarios, on how to make them more threatening? I've tried using the Advanced templates, and I try to fudge rolls as rarely as possible. I just want to ensure that there is excitement in the game.
Dabbler, how would you approach an over-optimized build at your table? It is like one of those third-rail conversations that could end friendships. Pointing out that someone is so powerful that no one else gets to do anything is like saying their idea isn't a good one.
I have just built a Waves Oracle that took the Water Form Revelation. I can now turn into a Water Elemental as per Elemental Body. This is not the Wild Shape ability. It also does not state in the description of the spell Elemental Body that I lose the ability to cast spells as Wild Shape states. There is no mention of losing spell-casting abilities in the description of the revelation. Can I still cast spells in this form or is there a rule out there I am not aware of?
I do enjoy my optimization. It really got me into the game.
I used to just make characters for the heck of it all the time (making a party for fun now). I really started to notice a problem when every time I sat down to build a rogue they all turned out with two-weapon fighting and all their skill sets were the same. I then noticed all of my melee folks (fighters, barbarians, and paladins) all ended up with a falchion in their hands.
I finally broke the battle-optimization (a bard optimized for damage? really?) when I made a Bard-Archivist for the first time. 8 strength, 10 Dex and Con, 18 Int, 12 Wis, 14 Cha (or something close to that). It was a bard that had horrible social skills. I knew everything and won many a fight by just being there to know stuff. No versatile performance. No bonus damage. Just existing. Even the GM was happy I was there and thought the build was incredibly interesting.
I played with a summoner once that had Death from Above and pounce all go off in the first round of battle and he had five attacks, each with acid and electricity damage. A big day-ending fight was over before anyone else got to do anything.
This has to happen a lot. You have a bunch of mooks in the room and the party just slaughters 1/4 of them without taking damage. A PC takes their free action and yells "Drop your weapons and you will be spared!" How you do this? Many enemies in PFS and Adventure Paths say fight until xxx or until dead, or run, or something. But what about everyone else? Is it a skill check? Is it an automatic point. It feel stupid when the AP provides a room of 35 NPC's that are "hostile" but no way to talk them down. Even with an outrageous bard you can only get a group down to Indifferent.
Does anyone else get bothered by the push for optimization of characters? More and more I get tired of sitting down to a table of outrageous damage output where battles end ridiculously fast. Using feats to make a monster characters that immediately win the battle in the first round just is boring. It turns into the one optimized character getting all the fun each and every fight.
I've also run into the problem lately of bringing my characters to games that are not optimized for damage but are fun to play and everyone looking down on them.
-Mounted paladin gnome of erastil (why not be medium sized with a big weapon?)
Society games are the worst. I witnessed one guy a few months ago convince someone not to use archetypes of the bard class until the person played a bunch of games with a base bard and learned how the class worked. Getting to level 5 in PFS is a 60 hour investment. The guy knew what he wanted his character to do and an archetype would have served that better and he didn't want to play every week. This awful advice came from a 5-star GM.
I'm not out to change the world with this, but man...powergaming can be pretty obnoxious. Who cares if that wizard didn't prepare "Create Pit"? If everyone built the same character all the time the game would die.
I'm currently running Skull & Shackles and having a blast! My PC's have stepped into the role of anti-hero very well and have taken to mutiny and piracy like rogues to a pile of gold.
Now, I'm far from completing this AP, but I'm looking ahead thinking about the next one. I am currently watching LotR while doing housework and I read the Silmarillion over Christmas in 2012. What I'm looking for is a defenders of the world type of AP. One that gets the players invested in being heroes.
I ran Curse of the Crimson Throne and that was great! Now I'm looking for one that is written with the Pathfinder ruleset. Wrath of the Righteous looks like it may be the path I'm looking for. Any input from those that have run/played them?
Then why give them a strength score?
Using the answer of "Magic" doesn't mean anything. Does that mean that, because of magic, a skeleton can lift more than it's strength score allows? I'm asking this because it will come up.
I've posted this under rules looking for a clarification. If you can clarify without being condescending, I would appreciate it.
All right, so that answers that. Sweet! I also am recommending that instead of a skeletal whale using a Fast Zombie template. Based on this picture, and going off of the flying rules because without webbing you can't fly, therefore without a tale or other means of swimming, you can't swim, there is just no way it would work.
NOW, another question. A skeleton falls off the side of the boat and goes 1 mile or more below the surface. It is now under approximately 176 atmospheres of pressure. Can it move?
I need a clarification on something. I am running "Skull & Shackles" and many players are taking advantage of an unconventional campaign to run characters they wouldn't usually get to. One of them is running a cleric of undeath, creating undead minions. Fine by me as long as he can handle the rules. His first idea after I asked him what sort of undead he needs for tokens for Maptool, he came back and said he is trying to figure out the cost of a skeletal whale with a battering ram attached. Now, the ram is no problem. You can attach a ram to a boat, no reason you can't pay someone enough to deal with an undead whale and attach one to it's snout.
My concern is skeletons in water. Or zombies for that matter. In the end, is there any sort of undead that can still swim that is a base character that just gains the template?
In the Jade Regent, in order to have someone work on your caravan they had a monthly wage. Skull and Shackles does not appear to have this set for a crew of pirates. In order to sail the Man's Promise, the ship needs a crew of 20. Minus the PC's (6), that is a crew of 14. How much plunder is needed to pay the crew? How often do they get this pay?
But the FAQ negates any discussion on this.
But for now, the decision should be Power Attack before Vital Strike. If I can use both at the same time, Vital Strike will add, on average, 3.5 points of damage to every hit with a small-sized lance. On the flip side, Power Attack will add 12 points of damage to every hit, no rolling, while charging.
So I have a PFS Gnome Shining Knight Mounted Paladin at level 5. I was updating his stuff and found that, after this weekend, I am one game away from level 7. Time to make sure my feat choice will work.
So here is my progression planned:
1- Mounted Combat
However, I just came to find out that Vital Strike can not be used with a charge. Well, shoot. My question then becomes what should my 7th level feat be? I usually get off one REALLY strong hit. Assuming 7th-level, while mounted on a charge with a lance, I do 3d6+9 (3d6+30 on a smite hit). My first instinct is put Power Attack at lvl. 7 so that I can increase my damage which I believe would be 3d6+21 (3d6+42 on a successful smite).
Now, that is obviously the best option. But what should I do a level 9 and 11? Toughness at 11? What else can I add to make my 1 REALLY BIG hit hit harder?
Excellent! This is all extremely helpful.
I'll look into the Red Ioun Stone in the Wayfinder.
Skill points: Yeah, but the "has to be Int-based" does not help the skills I want.
Is there a better Style Feat chain or other feats that might benefit me better for this build? Snake sounded like it would work to me. However, I don't put Vicious Stomp anywhere in the build.
Thalin, thanks for that Agile Amulet recommendation. Didn't know about it. That is a bit of a game changer.
I also like the dirty trick maneuver. I keep forgetting those exist.
I checked out that Lore Warden and, while neat, it lacks the skill points, saving throws, and other interesting aspects that keep pulling me to the monk. That bonus to ALL combat maneuvers is huge, but not what I am looking for. I was trying to create a kind of Judo build which would benefit from the Trip, Grapple, and Stunning Fist parts as well as increased mobility and acrobatics. Really, the Lore Warden would be better for straight Combat Maneuvers, but there is so much more I would like to do with my character.
On a side note, if I pin an NPC, can I still inflict Damage to them? Also, can they attack while pinned or can they only attempt to break the pin?
Also, with a Dex-based buid, if I grappled the target successfully on the previous turn, then they failed their escape attempt, I get a +5 to maintain. But, being grappled I take a -4 to Dexterity. Does this penalty apply to my grapple check still?
Lastly, as a Maneuver Master you can make multiple Maneuvers in a round. If I can make two maneuvers in a round, can I choose both of them to be grapple to cause damage? Do they both have to succeed to cause damage? And, if I do not maintain the grapple, is the grapple broken?
Personally, I would pick one maneuver and master it instead of using multiple different ones.
I thought about one maneuver, but I wanted flexibility. I picked tripping over grappling to start because I can use that, with flurry of maneuvers, on a group of weak enemies to knock them down and then they provoke every time they stand up, or they can stay down there and take a -4 to hit and an effective -4 to AC, which is a brutal debuff. This seemed like a good ability to have with a party. The grappling then comes in very handy with weak CMD/CMB classes (spellcasters mainly) to knock them out for the fight.
Again, it comes back to what will a party of strangers appreciate. Yes, I could win at grappling, but knock out the BBEG and allowing no one else to join in seems a little mean.
On my side, this build also buffs up acrobatics, which will be useful for a flank-buddy and battlefield controller. It also allows a point spread that is less MAD as strength is not an issue allowing more boosting of Wisdom and Constitution.
Thanks for the feedback, though. I have been...grappling with this problem for over a day now. If it was a homegame I would just do it and let the character pass on to the afterlife if they weren't working. But, since it is PFS, I can't scrap the character and start over so, with the time already put into it, I want it to be something that will be useful and playable over the course of 27 gaming sessions.
I'm trying to select my new character for a PFS game on Saturday. He will start at Level 3 because I am using GM credit for the first two level-ups.
I have a concern. I want this monk to be a helpful member of any party but I want him to be exceptional and not just a fighter without big weapons. My solution was a dex-based Maneuver Master as detailed here.
Dex-Based Maneuver Master Monk:
Monk, Maneuver Master - Dex
Male Human (Tian-Shu) Monk (Maneuver Master) 3
LN Medium Humanoid (human)
Init +6; Senses Perception +9
AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 13 (+4 Dex)
hp 27 (3d8+9)
Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +7
Defensive Abilities evasion
Speed 40 ft.
Melee Masterwork Kama +7 (1d6/x2) and
Masterwork Shortsword +7 (1d6/19-20/x2) and
Unarmed strike +6 (1d6/x2)
Str 11, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 16, Cha 7
Base Atk +2; CMB +7 (+9 Grappling, +9 Tripping); CMD 19 (21 vs. Grapple, 21 vs. Trip)
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Combat Reflexes (5 AoO/round), Improved Grapple, Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist (3/day) (DC 14), Weapon Finesse
Traits Reactionary, Suspicious
Skills Acrobatics +10 (+14 jump), Climb +6, Perception +9, Sense Motive +10
Languages Common, Tien
SQ ac bonus +3, fast movement (+10'), flurry of maneuvers (1 maneuver, -2), maneuver defense, maneuver training, stunning fist (stun), unarmed strike (1d6)
1 - Agile Maneuvers
1H - Weapon Finesse
1M - Improved Trip
2M - Improved Grapple
3 - Combat Reflexes
5 - Ki Throw
6M - Greater Trip
7 - Snake Style
9 - Snake Sidewind
10M - Greater Grapple
11 - Snake Fang
My long-term goal is that he will be a monster tripper and grappler. The Snake Style is purely to take advantage of a high Dex and use combat reflexes and to get piercing damage option.
As you can see, though, this character never will get much in the line of damage bonuses. My question for the community is, if you showed up to a PFS game, and this character was there knocking everyone down or taking out an NPC by grappling them, would you appreciate them being there or just consider them a table nuisance because they didn't deal any damage?
My wife has expressed interest in playing Pathfinder. I don't want her first experience to be with a group, especially because groups tend to start quoting rules and "helping" the person enjoy their first game, which usually just adds to their confusion. Having started a number of players, and managed to get them hooked, I feel that the best way would be just one-on-one for her first game.
Here is my problem, which I have often thought about but never come up with an answer: What is the APL of a party with one PC? I know the rule that 4-5 players is average level, 6-7 is APL+1, and 3 or less is APL-1. However, a CR 4 encounter for one level 5 character seems pretty challenging. Any thoughts?
I have heard a number of ideas.
What advice could everyone give me for long-term goals for my gnome mounted paladin (wolf mount)? Any specific magic weapons that could make me better at what I do?
I already have in plans:
I added another character idea. In addition to my original 8 ideas, I add this one.
Dwarf Cleric of Gorum:
Two other clerical builds may be made. One focusing on buffing and the other focusing on being a Neutral bad tough cleric.
@7heprofessor, I think that the inquisitor will be different enough that it would make that class fun, though. Going from Lawful Good, family and community protection to scourge of those that oppose civilization and law and a love of money and commerce is big enough to make it worthwhile.
Heck, even my approach to combat will be drastically different.
At the end of the month I am expecting my current society character to be level 5, which has me preparing a second character if I need it. My current character is as follows:
Elhorn Foechuckle, Gnome Shining Knight Paladin of Erastil:
What I am looking for now are some other builds that have some background and depth, such as Elhorn, but are also extremely effective in combat and fill that niche.
Here are some ideas I currently have.
Half-Orc Beastmorph Alchemist:
Human Brutal Pugilist, Hurler Barbarian:
Half-Orc Inquisitor of Abadar:
Human Maneuver Master Monk:
Human Brawler Fighter:
Half-Elf Archer Fighter:
Human Polearm Master:
Half-Elf Two-Handed Fighter:
This is what I have come up with. But I feel like there are some builds that would also be a blast to play that I haven't thought of. Any input anyone has is greatly appreciated!
The rules for Paladin Smite Evil against Undead, Evil Outsiders, etc., says:
"the bonus to damage on the first successful attack increases to 2 points of damage per level the paladin possesses."
I've always heard it referred to that it is always double damage, even after the first hit. Clarification is needed.
So, I built a Maneuver Master Monk. At level 8, the Monk has a +15 to grapple CMB and a Grapple CMD of 36 (while fighting defensively). That is great! So I grapple a fighter with a Flaming Greatsword. While grappled, I'm under the impression that the fighter can't use that sword. Anyways, first he has to break the grapple. Now, my base CMD is 34 (fighting defensively). Here are my questions:
1) Can I fight defensively and still use combat maneuvers?
Here are my stats:
Dwarf Monk (Maneuver Master) 8
LN Medium Humanoid (dwarf)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +15
AC 22, touch 20, flat-footed 18 (+2 Dex, +2 natural, +1 deflection, +2 dodge)
hp 75 (8d8+32)
Fort +11, Ref +10, Will +11; +2 vs. poison, spells, and spell-like abilities
Defensive Abilities defensive training, evasion
Speed 40 ft.
Melee +1 Temple sword +12/+7 (1d8+6/19-20/x2) and
Cold Iron Temple sword +11/+6 (1d8+5/19-20/x2) and
Silver Temple sword +11/+6 (1d8+4/19-20/x2) and
Unarmed strike +11/+6 (1d10+5/x2)
Special Attacks hatred, ki strike, cold iron/silver, ki strike, magic, relentless +2
Str 21, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 6
Base Atk +6; CMB +13 (+15 Bull Rushing, +15 Grappling, +17 Tripping); CMD 31 (33 vs. Bull Rush, 33 vs. Grapple, 33 vs. Trip)
Feats Crane Style, Crane Wing, Dodge, Greater Trip, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Grapple, Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist (8/day) (DC 17)
Traits Friend of the Family (Koya) (Ex), Reactionary
Skills Acrobatics +13 (+17 jump, +21 to jump), Appraise +0 (+2 to determine the price of nonmagic items with precious metals or gemstones), Climb +12, Perception +15 (+17 to notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors in stone walls or floors), Stealth +13, Swim +12
Languages Common, Dwarven
SQ ac bonus +5, fast movement (+20'), flurry of maneuvers (2 maneuvers, -2/-5), greed, hardy, high jump, ki defense, ki pool, maneuver defense, maneuver training, meditative maneuver +3 (-choose-), reliable maneuver, slow and steady, stonecunning +2, stunning fist (stun, fatigue, sicken), unarmed strike (1d10), wholeness of body
Other Gear +1 Temple sword, Cold Iron Temple sword, Silver Temple sword, Amulet of natural armor +2, Belt of physical might (Str & Con +2), Cloak of resistance +2, Headband of inspired wisdom +2, Ring of protection +1, 3490 GP