1st question is about favored enemies. I picked Undead to start, and I've seen some in every scenario so far, so I'd say that was a "no-brainer"... heh heh. But what about the subsequent picks? I doubt I'll be seeing any Dragons, but among the others...
I guess this is a Golarion/Inner Sea campaign flavor question. Do we see a lot of Orc? Or would I know they're uncommon. Aberations? Magical Beasts? I heard this is a low-magic campaign, but I'm not sure if that applies to beasts. The only other thing I'm sure I'll see a lot of is human (but it feels icky to pick my own race as a favored enemy...)
So, just wondering about that.
2nd, are all archetypes allowed in PFS play? Might not be 100% rules legal to do this with my lvl 2 character, but as lvl 3 is coming up soon I know I'll need to pick a favored terrain, and I hate to think about having another ability which is only sometimes useful. I'd probably go with urban and underground. Or, I'd say I have the Infiltrator archetype and give up favored terrains altogether. 30 mins/day (at level 3) of natural armor +2? Or darkvision? Or Iron Will? Heck yeah, that'll come in handy every adventure.
But if I go Infiltrator, this'll tie in to my 1st q about favored enemies. Skill focus (Diplomacy) from the human list could be tasty for an Andoran with a -2 Cha modifier (though I already took the trait making Diplomacy a class skill and bought the cracked something pentacle ioun stone for a further +1 so I'm at +5 at lvl 2, not bad...) Or amphibious from Aberrations, or climb/swim 15 ft from animals/vermin.
Favored Enemy: There just happens to be a thread on common enemies of the Pathfinder Society over on their forums. Handy if you want to meta game.
Archetypes: Check the additional resources page to find out if a specific archetype is allowed. But it sounds like you're at level 2 already, and I think you can only take on an archetype at level 1.
As for what abilities and archetypes are best, I haven't made it out of tier 3-4 yet and don't play a ranger, so I don't really know.
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Nope, you can choose an archetype anytime before you take the first level in which it modifies abilities. For most, that modify skills/feats and such, that is first level. but the infiltrator only modifies favored terrain ... so you can choose to take it at 3 since before then it has not changed anything else about the class.
thanks, good thread there... sounds like human at lvl 1 is the thing to do, then undead at 5, I'll just reverse that. And perhaps aberration at 10 if I should live so long.
And thanks, that was my thinking, too, about Infiltrator. No gameplay effects so far, so...
still curious to know if anybody has much experience using their favored terrain types if they kept them. I just can't see them being very helpful for me.
If it's an option (I don't play PFS), favored enemy human is always useful - sometimes for combat, but also for tracking, sense motive, etc. You'll run into a lot of humans in nearly any setting.
I thought long and hard about the infiltrator archetype for my ranger, who's about to hit 6th level. I ended up sticking with favored terrain, and I constantly regret it. Especially with undead as your FE, you get some very cool options - darkvision, +2 natural armor - and at higher levels the ability to use favored terrain-based skills, like Hide in Plain Sight - whenever you feel like turning on an infiltrator ability. I especially like the idea of being an undead hunter and having darkvision - so you don't always walk around with a nice bright light telling them you're coming.
Edit - forgot to answer your last question - I have so far used my favored terrain bonus once, for about an hour of game time. It's not a very useful ability unless you're always in the same terrain, and the infiltrator skills are so much more portable, since you can turn them on when you want. And by the time you take the undead skills at 8th level, you'll have them for 80 minutes a day, which is a lot of useful time.
I second human as a afavored enemy. You fight tons of them in PFS. Undead and humans are the big two. Infact I would say humans over undead.
Only a few archetypes are banned. I do not believe any on the ranger. the grave walker witch, the vivisections alchemist, and almost all the summoner archetypes are the ones I know.
Favoured terrain is best if you're stacking the bonus and then taking levels in Horizon Walker for the express purpose of using your Favoured Terrain bonus in place of your Favoured Enemy bonus.
Not sure if its worth going that route in PFS as the whole point is to abuse the terrain bonus at high levels when the attack & damage modifier can be +20 or whatever.
Because PFS caps around 12th level I'm always reluctant to take prestige classes as it takes longer for the character to mature in some cases.
I'll have to re-read Infiltrator - what you've posted here sounds pretty good.
If I had to choose three (well, I have, actually, as my PFS Ranger is 10th level), I'd take human as the primary FE, and then undead and evil outsiders.
Bear in mind too that when you can cast 3rd level ranger spells, you'll be able to cast Instant Enemy and treat a foe as your FE - so it's worth pumping the primary FE up and just staying at +2 with subsequent FEs.
As for favored terrain - I seem to get a lot of use out of it. Mine are Urban (+4) and Underground (+2). It's good fun to go through cities with a net +43 perception check versus humans :)
It's worth noting, too, that Aspis agents are *always* human!