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Paths of Prestige ... some baffling capstone abilities


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Andoran

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Benly wrote:
Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
"Keeps up with a vanilla Druid" is sort of the problem. I mean, they are losing spell levels, abilities, and all the other wildshape options to do just "keep up" with a really specific thing. It is actually surprising how close you can get to the abilities of the Prestige Class with a Storm or Tempest Druid, even for someone splitting 5/10 with another class. Even a Cleric with Air and Water domains is most of the way there. It might see some use with tactics based heavily around Aura of Calm, but in the vast majority of cases is going to be a worse kindler of storms than someone who took a different mechanical approach.

Well, a druid should absolutely never enter this class, to begin with. If it's a choice between the two, the druid's version is close enough given the lost caster levels. On the other hand, the aforementioned air/water cleric isn't going to be getting tornado shape at all without this class - at least, not until Elemental Body IV, and then only once per day and generally worse than the equivalent Storm Kindler, so if you wanted the cleric spell list rather than the druid list this would be a way to go. I still think the ranger build is an interesting idea, too, but I don't have time to sort out the details for it right now.

One thing to note is that the Storm Kindler's whirlwind does exceed a vanilla druid's eventually - it just takes far too long to do so. (Its damage is better starting at character level 12; its size affected is better starting at character level 14.) If you wanted a quick fix for this, you could reduce the Knowledge skill requirements from 6 to 5, which would put its whirlwind progression consistently one level ahead of a druid's - theoretically early access to the ability, but in practice you're giving up enough caster levels for it that who cares.

Edit: Thanks for the explanation of how that got onto the d20pfsrd. I'm going to go forward assuming air elementals are still stuck with the old, size-limited whirlwind; if...

Path of Prestige wrote:


Requirements
To qualify to become a Storm Kindler, a character must
fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: Any neutral.
Deity: Must worship Gozreh.
Feats: Storm-Lashed (The Inner Sea World Guide 289).
Skills: Fly 3 ranks, Knowledge (history) 6 ranks, Knowledge
(nature) 6 ranks, Swim 3 ranks.
Spells: Able to cast 2nd-level spells.

As written you can enter it with any class that can cast 2nd level spells and get a few skills,so comparing it with a class that already get a similar ability is disingenuous.

If I were to enter if as a wizard I would be trading 3 spells level and a few specialist abilities for:
better to hit, better saves, a larger HP die and a bunch of specialist powers
a bard would trade a bunch of specialist powers for a different kind of powers,
a ranger would be decreasing his to hit and hp
So looking it only from the prospective of the druid is a bit restrictive.

Path of Prestige wrote:


Requirements
To qualify to become an Aldori swordlord, a character
must fulfill all of the following criteria.
Feats: Dazzling Display, Exotic Weapon Proficiency
(Aldori dueling sword), Weapon Finesse, Weapon
Focus (Aldori dueling sword).
Skills: Acrobatics 3 ranks, Intimidate 5 ranks,
Knowledge (nobility) 3 ranks, Sense Motive 3 ranks.

Again, no BAB requirement and you can get the 4 needed feats by level 5 if you are an human.

So why you (most people in this thread, not Benly) consider only adding it to the fighter class?
Add it to a rogue, arcane duelist bard, ecc. ecc., and you get very different results.


Very interesting observations on the Storm Kindler, Aldori Swordlord and the Brother of the Seal classes on this thread.

How good would a Magus/Storm Kindler be as a choice? I have a friend who plans to play a Sylph Magus, and the class would thematically fit the character.


Diego Rossi wrote:

As written you can enter it with any class that can cast 2nd level spells and get a few skills,so comparing it with a class that already get a similar ability is disingenuous.

If I were to enter if as a wizard I would be trading 3 spells level and a few specialist abilities for:
better to hit, better saves, a larger HP die and a bunch of specialist powers
a bard would trade a bunch of specialist powers for a different kind of powers,
a ranger would be decreasing his to hit and hp
So looking it only from the prospective of the druid is a bit restrictive.

Well, that's why I said that even though a druid should never enter it, a cleric or ranger might. I did consider it for other classes, but didn't mention what I thought of it because it didn't really strike me as worthwhile for them. That said, for the sake of completeness:

Cleric, Oracle: Probably the most obvious option - they already like to be melee-caster hybrids, so if you want a "druid-ish" feel while running off the cleric spell list this is an acceptable way to go.

Wizard, Witch, Sorcerer: All three of these classes qualify trivially, but I don't feel like any of them benefit much. None of them is a good starting point for a frontline character (remember, the whirlwind is a strength-based ability so it works best for frontliners), the witch loses hex progression, and the sorcerer and wizard already have access to Elemental Body which raises the same issues as the druid's Wild Shape. I don't think the class is a good match for them.

Ranger: I mentioned this one but didn't go into detail. Basically, I feel like adding Whirlwind to a melee-focused character is much more interesting in terms of expanding the character's options than adding it to a spell-focused character, and she'll have a fairly strong save and damage on it. The downside is that it takes a level longer to qualify, which makes the PrC even more late-blooming than usual - but it's an interesting way to go with a high-level ranger. Paladins would be in the same situation and possibly work even better, but the alignment requirements are incompatible.

Summoner, bard: Either qualifies easily, but it doesn't really work out well due to relying on non-advanced class abilities. You could maybe make the bard work, but it really feels like it's not playing to either the class or the PrC's strengths.

Magus, inquisitor: I'll be honest: I forgot these guys existed. They could probably do well as Storm Kindlers. My main concern would be that a lot of their offense seems to rely on abilities that Storm Kindler doesn't progress - an inquisitor who Banes her unarmed strike and declares a Destruction judgment will have a seriously damaging whirlwind, but she'll only have it a few times per day. Still, they're an interesting way to go.

Edit: The same goes for the magus as for the inquisitor, although the magus seems like she'd be able to stretch a few levels' worth of arcane pool out to a lot more fights per day than the inquisitor. The magus does get elemental body on her spell list, but not until a much higher level than other classes so it's less of a concern. If you're considering a dex magus (as a sylph seems to suggest), do keep in mind that as I said the whirlwind's damage and save DC are both strength-based.


Diego Rossi wrote:

So looking it only from the prospective of the druid is a bit restrictive.

...

So why you (most people in this thread, not Benly) consider only adding it to the fighter class?

Because of the opportunity cost. Regardless of what you start as, you have the option of taking 10 levels of Storm Kindler or 10 levels of Druid. It doesn't matter if you are a Bard, Rogue, or Commoner, you can choose between 10 levels of Aldori Swordlord or 10 levels of Fighter. Or, in either case, you can just keep going with your initial class, or another class, or rework the character's whole progression to go in a different mechanical direction (assuming you haven't started play yet, of course).

The Swordlord is the most obvious. Same skill points, same hit die (though no chance at Favored Class), one good save each, and both have the goal of "being good at fighting." So the comparison between the two is apt.

Looking at the Storm Kindler, I think Benly has gone through fairly exhaustively as to why most classes, while options, aren't a good fit mechanically. The one area I would disagree is the Ranger/Storm Kindler. A Ranger/Storm Druid would, in my opinion, be almost universally better. You can enter at any time, ditching Storm-Lashed for Shaping Focus to keep up your Wild Shape (a good trade, since you will be becoming immune to wind eventually anyway). You end up with better saves, far superior casting, and all the general purpose wild shape forms besides just whirlwind/vortex. Not to mention the fact you can take Shapeshifting Hunter to stack your levels for Favored Enemy. I may well be missing something, though.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Icyshadow wrote:

Very interesting observations on the Storm Kindler, Aldori Swordlord and the Brother of the Seal classes on this thread.

How good would a Magus/Storm Kindler be as a choice? I have a friend who plans to play a Sylph Magus, and the class would thematically fit the character.

Well, in general it's a bad idea to multiclass out of Magus because you lose a lot of progression. Specifically as far as the Storm Kindler, if you use the Whirlwind ability you can't cast spells at all, so Spell Combat is useless during that, and that is really the Magus's main function.

If you want an arcane caster that synergizes with Storm Kindler well, check out the Sorcerer with the Aquatic (Seaborn) wildblooded bloodline. The reason this would work so well is you get several spells that involve firing water at creatures, and then at 15th level you can actually use a super excellent version of control water that essentially lets you make a mini-ocean around yourself, and then you could use the vortex form instead of the whirlwind, which is a little stronger since it also causes the creatures caught inside to hold their breath.

Of course, the Stormborn bloodline would also make a lot of sense too. :-D


cartmanbeck wrote:
If you want an arcane caster that synergizes with Storm Kindler well, check out the Sorcerer with the Aquatic (Seaborn) wildblooded bloodline.

Cool idea! Very thematic. However, I don't think it works out mechanically. Storm Kindler levels aren't going to add to your bloodline powers, so you will never get super-control water. Extra water spells, while somewhat thematic, aren't in any way improved by the Prestige Class. Making creatures hold their breath is of little value in combat, as you are looking at at least 10 rounds, minimum, to defeat them (and that is assuming 10 CON and taking standard actions). Add in the extra round setting up the combination and the fact Aura of Calm won't protect your party, and I don't see it actually working out in-game.


So a Sylph Magus would get next to nothing out of the Storm Kindler, then?


Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Looking at the Storm Kindler, I think Benly has gone through fairly exhaustively as to why most classes, while options, aren't a good fit mechanically. The one area I would disagree is the Ranger/Storm Kindler. A Ranger/Storm Druid would, in my opinion, be almost universally better. You can enter at any time, ditching Storm-Lashed for Shaping Focus to keep up your Wild Shape (a good trade, since you will be becoming immune to wind eventually anyway). You end up with better saves, far superior casting, and all the general purpose wild shape forms besides just whirlwind/vortex. Not to mention the fact you can take Shapeshifting Hunter to stack your levels for Favored Enemy. I may well be missing something, though.

What you're missing is that when I say the storm kindler keeps up with (and in fact is slightly superior to) the vanilla druid in terms of whirlwind, that's a comparison of total character level between a storm kindler with the earliest entry and a single-classed vanilla druid. Saying "you have the choice between ten levels of druid and ten levels of storm kindler" is misleading because a level 10 druid whirlwinds like a level 4 storm kindler. You do get the added versatility of broader spellcasting and wildshaping, but it's at several levels below what's appropriate for your character level.

What's appealing about ranger/storm kindler is that it lets you add a level-appropriate version of the ability on to a mostly-ranger progression for a character who wants to primarily be a melee ranger but also have the interesting whirlwind ability to work with.

Regarding the magus/storm kindler: it's slightly sub-optimal, but I don't think it's awful. You can't combine spell combat with whirlwind, but you can combine arcana with whirlwind, and you'll still be using spell combat against enemies too large to whirlwind at any given level. It won't be as strictly powerful as a straight magus, most likely, but it won't be all that far behind and it'll have an added combat option that most magi don't have access to. Probably the biggest problem you're looking at is that a storm kindler magus would want to be Strength-based and sylph ability adjustments don't play to that.

edit: Mort, remember that sylphs can trade out electricity resistance for alternate racial features, so that specific one isn't too huge an issue. The only direct overlap between storm kindler abilities and sylph feats is Cloud Gazer/Sea Sight.


Icyshadow wrote:
So a Sylph Magus would get next to nothing out of the Storm Kindler, then?

It is tempting to say "you get next to nothing" or a class is "useless," and I do it myself quite often (though I do try to avoid it). The thing is, you do get thing, it is just stuff that doesn't synergize well and probably isn't worth the investment of levels. You can't do Magus stuff (spellcombat and such) while in the whirlwind form, and you can't do Storm Kindler stuff (being a whirlwind) while you are fighting as a Magus. You aren't advancing a lot of important Magus abilities while taking Storm Kindler, and Storm Kindler abilities can be replicated with spells or other features. Sylph is actually especially bad, as they already have electricity resistance and can buy several of the other abilities with Sylph-only feats.

If you want a similar flavor, a Fighter/Wizard/Eldritch Knight can get a lot of it. You will get to the Elemental Body spells faster than a Magus, and can easily go a more martial or magical approach with it (using whirlwinds as your main combat option and casting for out-of-combat stuff, or using Elemental Body/Whirlwind when a fight isn't important enough to waste multiple spells on). Remember, just because a class calls itself "Storm Kindler" doesn't mean you need to take it to call yourself a "Kindler of Storms." You also get the options of Natural Spell and Shapeshifting Hunter, which would work very well for the build.

Benly wrote:
Saying "you have the choice between ten levels of druid and ten levels of storm kindler" is misleading because a level 10 druid whirlwinds like a level 4 storm kindler. You do get the added versatility of broader spellcasting and wildshaping, but it's at several levels below what's appropriate for your character level.

Shaping Focus. You take it instead of Storm-Lashed, as you will get abilities that make Storm-Lashed of little use anyway. This means you will be keeping up with the Storm Kindler. Your spellcasting may not be totally level appropriate, but it will still be better in many regards than a Ranger/Kindler (Ranger CL 3/Druid CL 10 as opposed to Ranger CL 10)

EDIT: You can trade out the Electricity Resistance for Sonic Resistance (same problem) or +5 base speed. +5 speed is actually pretty sweet for a whirlwind, but not exactly something to make me recommend the combination. They can also get access to Wings of Air (a fly speed and bonuses against certain spells) and Inner Breath (like being amphibious, but better), which mimic Storm Kindler abilities.


Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Shaping Focus.

Oh, right. Truth be told, I forgot that druids get feats to progress every damn one of their class abilities when multiclassed, and forgot that this one specifically exists. It works without much downside other than needing ironwood armor, yeah. I kind of wish those feats didn't exist, or that every class got such feats, but there you go.

I still think magus/storm kindler is a fairly reasonable plan, though - it is suboptimal but not by a big enough margin to be a major problem. The problem with saying "just play EK instead" is that an EK doesn't start playing like a hybrid until fairly late into the game, so it's not a satisfactory solution for a character who's going to be played from 1. You're right that sylph isn't the best way to go for this, but in my opinion that's more an issue of sylph stats recommending dex magus strongly (bonus to dex, plus lower con means you need to play more defensively); +5 movement may not be a huge recommendation, but it's good enough that I don't see the resistance overlap as a specific mark against the combo either.


Benly wrote:
I kind of wish those feats didn't exist, or that every class got such feats, but there you go.

You and me both. Boon Companion is okay, as its main use seems to be making a Ranger's companion level appropriate. But Shaping Focus and Shapeshifting Hunter seem to really encourage dipping to an extent I do not enjoy (at least when other classes can't do the same).

Benly wrote:
The problem with saying "just play EK instead" is that an EK doesn't start playing like a hybrid until fairly late into the game, so it's not a satisfactory solution for a character who's going to be played from 1.

True indeed. Once you are a Martial 1/Caster 1 it is at least passable, but Level 1 is annoying, as are levels 5-7 where you aren't a particularly good caster or combatant. But then, Magus/Storm Kindler isn't going to be that interesting until you can mess with Medium creatures at level 9, by which point the EK is starting to come into its own as an option. Playing from level 1 up, I'd personally go EK, but one isn't distinctly better than the other. For a campaign I know is going to mid-high levels (like an AP), I'd go EK every time.


Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
True indeed. Once you are a Martial 1/Caster 1 it is at least passable, but Level 1 is annoying, as are levels 5-7 where you aren't a particularly good caster or combatant. But then, Magus/Storm Kindler isn't going to be that interesting until you can mess with Medium creatures at level 9, by which point the EK is starting to come into its own as an option. Playing from level 1 up, I'd personally go EK, but one isn't distinctly better than the other. For a campaign I know is going to mid-high levels (like an AP), I'd go EK every time.

Magus/Storm Kindler won't be very stormy until the mid-high levels, but it will at least play as a magic/melee hybrid until then, just as any other magus would. That's sort of the big merit of the magus: you get the core "sword in one hand, sorcery in the other" playstyle right from the start. The Storm Kindler levels are when the magus starts adding more options on to that, and come at about the same time the EK starts playing as a hybrid.

If I am starting from 1 and want to play a hybrid, I would rather go magus almost every time, even if it means that the upper levels will be objectively less potent than an EK would, because if I want to play a hybrid then I want to play a hybrid and Eldritch Knight doesn't even start doing that until the upper levels. If I want to play a caster hybrid who's also The Human Tornado, that means I'd be inclined more towards magus/SK if I'm starting from low levels.

Regarding those feats, strictly speaking they don't play with dips because they require having Wild Shape in the first place, so you need six druid levels first - but I'm still not thrilled that druid and only druid can advance basically all its abilities while going other classes.

Edit: Incidentally, while we're talking about caster/melee hybrids, honorable mention should go to Hellknight Signifer: lower HD and BAB than Eldritch Knight, but it's full casting, you qualify without losing any caster levels, and being able to cast in (mithral) full plate has got to count for something. :)


Benly wrote:
Regarding those feats, strictly speaking they don't play with dips because they require having Wild Shape in the first place, so you need six druid levels first - but I'm still not thrilled that druid and only druid can advance basically all its abilities while going other classes.

Well, it makes Druid 4 into Druid 8, which is pretty much where you want to be if you are combining martial+wild shape. The animal forms have more attacks, adequate stat bonuses, and the all important pounce, plus you don't have to lose an extra point of BaB at Druid 5. Shapeshifting Hunter is far worse... one level of Ranger+one feat=same favored enemy progression as a straight Ranger. For a Wildshape Druid, that is a pretty extreme bonus.

EDIT: Oh goodness, don't even mention the Hellknight Signifier. Talk about a Class+. Even if you spend three feats, how is that an appropriate cost for a Wizard to get better BaB, swift action True Seeing/seeing through walls, and -30% arcane spell failure? Also telepathy, DR, and immunity to poison because, you know, it might not be worth it otherwise.


Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Well, it makes Druid 4 into Druid 8, which is pretty much where you want to be if you are combining martial+wild shape. The animal forms have more attacks, adequate stat bonuses, and the all important pounce, plus you don't have to lose an extra point of BaB at Druid 5. Shapeshifting Hunter is far worse... one level of Ranger+one feat=same favored enemy progression as a straight Ranger. For a Wildshape Druid, that is a pretty extreme bonus.

Bluh, I need to get more sleep. I've been arguing the Storm Caller thing so long that I forgot you get Wild Shape at 4, because 6 is when you get the elemental form. :) And yeah, Shapeshifting Hunter is crazy - there were similar feats in 3.5 but the important difference is that the classes they were for weren't already among the strongest in the game.

edit: Don't forget a martial weapon proficiency and a +4 bonus to your Planar Binding charisma checks! Do you need to solo the devil or can your party soften it up for you? Because that honestly seems like the biggest limiting factor - well, that and having to take orders from the Hellknights' super-Lawful hierarchy.

edit 2: Lazar, the whirlwind ability is much more inclined towards melee characters than blasters. It's not super synergistic with magus, but it's not awful, either - any arcana that can increase your unarmed strike damage, including the basic arcane pool, increases your whirlwind damage since it's keyed to your unarmed strike damage, for one thing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Icyshadow wrote:

Very interesting observations on the Storm Kindler, Aldori Swordlord and the Brother of the Seal classes on this thread.

How good would a Magus/Storm Kindler be as a choice? I have a friend who plans to play a Sylph Magus, and the class would thematically fit the character.

Here's the think, what part of the Storm Kindler advances or works particularly well with the Magus package. If you think the answer is nothing, you're pretty much correct. There's nothing in the Kindler package that synergises with the Magus' particular mix of magic and melee. You loose progression in the Magus arcana pool, as well as the Magus class abilities. The Kindler is really a package for a ranged blaster which the Magus at best does only part time.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
d20pfsrd.com wrote:
Benly wrote:
Edit: This is what I get for relying on d20pfsrd. Checking the PRD, PF Whirlwind does indeed have a size category restriction on creatures affected by it. The Storm Kindler therefore does keep up with a vanilla (non-archetype) druid in terms of whirlwind effectiveness and exceeds the druid's maximum whirlwind effectiveness starting at PrC level 8 (character level 14, assuming earliest entry).

As it happens, d20pfsrd.com has a policy of replacing older rules with newer versions of the same rules, whereas Paizo keeps several different versions and you get to pick the one you like. In this particular case the whirlwind ability did in fact have the size category restriction in Bestiary 1, but if you check Bestiary 3 (or at least the version of it in the PRD right now) you will note that the text of whirlwind does not include the size category restriction and that is the version we have as well.

Bestiary 3 in PRD: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/bestiary3/universalMonsterRules.html#whi rlwind

(screenshot)

Bestiary 1 in PRD: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/monsters/universalMonsterRules.html

So, the problem here lies in the fact that we assumed the latest rule is the correct rule. Note also that I checked all bestiary errata update PDFs and this was not included, or at least not that I could locate.

Edit: So my question to Paizo would be, which is correct?

James reply:

Diego Rossi wrote:

Bestiary 1

Whirlwind (Su)
....
Creatures one or more size categories smaller than the whirlwind might take damage when caught in the whirlwind (generally damage equal to the monster's slam attack for a creature of its size) and may be lifted into the air.
...

Bestiary 2

Whirlwind (Su)
...
A creature that comes in contact with the whirlwind must succeed on a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the monster’s HD + the monster’s Strength modifier) or take damage as if it were hit by the whirlwind creature’s slam attack. It must also succeed on a second Reflex save or be picked up bodily and held suspended in the powerful winds, automatically taking the indicated damage each round. A creature that can fly is allowed a Ref lex save each round on its turn to escape the whirlwind. The creature still takes damage that round but can leave if the save is successful.
...

So apparently the size limit has been removed. It is an official change?
The PRD is still using the Bestiary 1 version, so I am a bit unsure, and the idea of a horse (to use a large creature with few HD) being "picked up bodily and held suspended in the powerful winds" of a small sized air elemental seem a bit weird.

James Jacobs wrote:
As far as I know the size limit wasn't removed. That should be sent to the Bestiary errata thread. Because a Small air elemental shouldn't be able to pick up that horse.


Diego Rossi wrote:


James reply:

That's good to hear. Given that it's a Reflex save, you would've had a decent chance of small to medium elementals locking down giants with that. :)

...incidentally, this thread was about prestige class capstones at one point, wasn't it? So here's the thing about PrC capstones: when you finish a PrC, you're level 15 or thereabouts. Single-classed characters get their capstones at 20. Giving PrCs capstones on par with single-class capstones means an inherent power boost to PrC'd characters relative to single-class characters, which is opposed to PF design philosophy.

Of course, you could move single-class capstones down to level 15 to compensate - I personally wouldn't complain about seeing that - but it's a pretty significant houserule.


Patrick Renie wrote:
voska66 wrote:
A little off topic but related to the Aldori Swordlord. They get the Aldori Dueling Master feat as bonus feat but that feat requires the Quick Draw feat but the Prestige Class doesn't require that. So what happens if you don't have Quick Draw?
Good eye! Thanks to Aldori Dueling Mastery, you gain the Aldori Dueling Master feat as a bonus feat, even if you do not meet the prerequisites.

Why do I have to use a dueling sword instead of a classic rapier when playing a swordlord?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kasper angel wrote:
Patrick Renie wrote:
voska66 wrote:
A little off topic but related to the Aldori Swordlord. They get the Aldori Dueling Master feat as bonus feat but that feat requires the Quick Draw feat but the Prestige Class doesn't require that. So what happens if you don't have Quick Draw?
Good eye! Thanks to Aldori Dueling Mastery, you gain the Aldori Dueling Master feat as a bonus feat, even if you do not meet the prerequisites.
Why do I have to use a dueling sword instead of a classic rapier when playing a swordlord?

Because the organisation that the prestige class represents uses (actually, invented) the Aldori Duelling Sword.


Benly wrote:

...incidentally, this thread was about prestige class capstones at one point, wasn't it? So here's the thing about PrC capstones: when you finish a PrC, you're level 15 or thereabouts. Single-classed characters get their capstones at 20. Giving PrCs capstones on par with single-class capstones means an inherent power boost to PrC'd characters relative to single-class characters, which is opposed to PF design philosophy.

Of course, you could move single-class capstones down to level 15 to compensate - I personally wouldn't complain about seeing that - but it's a pretty significant houserule.

Many capstones have their real capstones at level 15 or 16 and all the prepared full casters and the barbarian and arguably cavaliers and rangers get their real capstones at level 17. Many classes have level 12 abilities that were designed as capstones as well because when PF was first introduced Paizo was planning an attempt to switch to 12 level APs and PFS has a level 12 cap.

Alchemists get the level 16 prereq discoveries. Stuff like grand mutagen or cognatogen and elixir of life.

Barbarian has at level 12 the level 12 rage powers. Come and Get Me is better than most PrC capstones.

Inquisitors get their third judgement at level 16.

Monk gets Quivering Palm at 15. A bit limited, but since the monk's level 20 "capstone" makes him immune to some popular melee buffs I'd say it or the level 12 Abundant Step is the real capstone.

The Paladin gets Aura of Faith at level 14, which is again better than many PrC capstones.

Rangers get improved evasion at 16.

Sorcerers get their level 15 bloodline power at, well, level 15. These are things like +2 DC to a school of magic of their choice or the ability to reroll SR checks at will or wings with no rounds/day limit.

Summoners get Merge Forms at 16.

The Eldritch Knight gets to cast a spell if he crits and didn't already use his swift action on arcane strike or a quickened spell and if he's using armor he can't use arcane armor training to mitigate his ASF.

One of these things is not like the others. One of these things is barely worth having.

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