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When starting a new PFS Character...


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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David Haller wrote:

I can offer an easier solution: build a character you like from the start, but keep an eye on the survivability aspect of the build. Me? all my characters have a minimum constitution of 14, and d6 characters (arcane casters) all take the Toughness feat at 1st level.

This "omg it's so hard to survive first level in PFS" thing going around lately seems really overblown to me - I have 7 characters, and no "level one" deaths yet (granted, I've avoided a few "level one experiences" with GM credit, but it still doesn't strike me as too terrible).

As for the "gaming the system" mentality, it's something I'd prefer not to see, but it will almost always crop up in Organized Play (and often toes the line of cheating, in the case of arranging to play certain scenarios for specific access): at least I haven't seen the full-blown web-hosted spreadsheets showing where to get what that infested LG and LFR.

If it comes down to your Con score to determine your survivability you're doing it wrong. Doubly so for arcane casters geting biffed in melee...

Only death I've had was the one character with a high Con... stupid assassin vine...


Myles Crocker wrote:


I gambled and I lost....a bit low on health and spells, my character with the repose domain from Pharasma, decided to move in on a vampire and attempt to use his gentle repose domain power which if i succeed in a melee touch attack staggers an Undead for a number of rounds equal to your wisdom modifier. That would make it easier for the rest of the party to finish the blood sucker off. Unfortunately I missed.....the vampire didn't........and my character was killed by the vampire's smack.

In retrospect I had no business going up to a vampire like that......

If you've got to go, better to go out like that than many other ways...

Qadira ****

everything is relative, much like Kyle's character buying 3 7's can make some very interesting RP situations and give you some sweet stats :D.

18,16,14,7,7,7 you can make some strong things with this, then again you might also have nothing to do in social situations ;)

then again 16,16,16,8,7,7 doesn't suck either :-p.

Edit; On topic. If you play up 3 times, you're earning ~2100 gold (average for tier 1-2 1 is 500, for tier 3-4 is 1200). It's also extremely risky to play 3-4 as a level 1, even for uberbuilds.

*****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Benrislove wrote:
then again you might also have nothing to do in social situations

Oh I plan to have plenty to do in social situations. Maybe not anything useful, but definitely have plenty to do.

Qadira ****

fair point :D

Qadira ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.

sigh... this thread again?

sets out soap box and climbs on.

Yes, I have characters that start with 20s. They have survived fine. Even with just a 10 in CON. My wife runs a Wizard that is 11th or 12th and had a 20 at 1st level. (she says the extra first level spell is nice. More extra spells as she goes up with stat bumps and headbands). But it's not for everyone. I know this. She knows this.

How about the guy who says "After the 16 in Con, and the 14 in Wis, my Elven Wizard/Rogue hardly has points for his ...." shesh. Reminds me of the guy who commented about his buddies character -
"An AC of 18 and only 10 HP? How do you survive in combat?"
"Ah... I'm a 2nd level wizard?"
"And a dagger and crossbow for weapons? What kind of joke is this?"
Yep, heard that a while back... the funniest part was the critic really couldn't see how his friend could possibily run that kind of character.

Build what you want. It all has advantages. And issues. Every last build has a down side - that's kind of part of having a point buy system of character builds.

I'm not about to turn to Jiggy and say "You're playing this wrong"... though I would say "So, what's this guys gimmick? Why do you have a wizard with a 14 Int and a 16 Str?" And I'd listen closely and maybe even learn some things.

(To judges: Just be sure not to "target" PCs because you don't like the way the player built them. Play the mosters the way they should be played, don't cut any brakes to either side.)

Anyway... putting away Soapbox. Sorry about the rant.

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
nosig wrote:
I'm not about to turn to Jiggy and say "You're playing this wrong"...

I will.

"Hey Jiggy! You're playing your characters wrong."

*****

Jiggy wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
Charisma-based casters, on the other hand, benefit far more since it also affects their social skills and have a much smaller spell list (which requires it to be more potent).

The same math applies. The 7 points required to increase a handful of already-great things by another +1 could instead by spent increasing several other things by +1 or +2 each.

For saves, it really depends. I have 10 PFS characters, and only 1 has a 20 because it's so expensive and basically for the reasons you've stated. But for her, it's worth it. Why? Because her save DC is already so ridiculous that another +1 might halve the enemy's chances of succeeding (if they now need a natural 20 instead of a 19 in order to save). When you're throwing Oppressive Boredom, where they get a save every round, DC 25 (as an example DC) really is a big increase over DC 24. Sure, it doesn't help you at all if the enemy has a +4 or lower bonus to saves, but in those cases, you're already pretty set. But for the enemies with +5 or +6, you've increased your expected number of rounds of the spell by double or 150%. If your DC was, say 16 (12 + 4 for 18 Charisma), then against a +5 to Will enemy, increasing your Charisma to 20 only increases your expected value by about 10% (they go from a 50/50 chance to 45%). In this case, you're better off with the Dex and Con.

Silver Crusade ****

nosig wrote:

sigh... this thread again?

sets out soap box and climbs on.

Yes, I have characters that start with 20s.

I think (hope) that we're all pretty much in violent agreement. Buying a stat of 20 has significant drawbacks as well as significant advantages. And those drawbacks are likely to be accentuated with inexperienced players.

Experienced players know what they`re doing and understand the tradeoffs. When they build a character with a Cha of 20 and a Con of 10 they're aware
of the weak points. Weak points that will be mitigated by good and cautious play. They know that the character might well die because of the decisions that they made and are comfortable with that.

What I really cringe to see is the sorcerer created by a new player. The one with a Cha of 20, Con of 10, who does NOT stay in the back where it is (comparatively) safe. I've seen first level sorcerers engage in melee combat.

Qadira ****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

IF YOU PLAY DIFFERENTLY THAN I DO, YOU'RE BAD AND SHOULD FEEL BAD!

Also I enjoy saying untrue things in all caps.

Osirion **

pauljathome wrote:
nosig wrote:

sigh... this thread again?

sets out soap box and climbs on.

Yes, I have characters that start with 20s.

I think (hope) that we're all pretty much in violent agreement. Buying a stat of 20 has significant drawbacks as well as significant advantages. And those drawbacks are likely to be accentuated with inexperienced players.

Experienced players know what they`re doing and understand the tradeoffs. When they build a character with a Cha of 20 and a Con of 10 they're aware
of the weak points. Weak points that will be mitigated by good and cautious play. They know that the character might well die because of the decisions that they made and are comfortable with that.

What I really cringe to see is the sorcerer created by a new player. The one with a Cha of 20, Con of 10, who does NOT stay in the back where it is (comparatively) safe. I've seen first level sorcerers engage in melee combat.

I resemble this remark. Fortunately, I had a strength of 18 and enlarge person active, as well as a number of buff spells. Why, did I ever tell you about the time I slew a wight with two swift swings of my blade?

Lantern Lodge ***

Myles Crocker wrote:

I have a Mystic Theurge in PFS. talk about a slow power build. I initially purchased a 14 for int. a 16 for wis and a 14 for Cha. He was human, I used my +2 to wisdom. The rest of his physical stats were 10s.

Over a 2 1/2 year climb to level 12 my character only died once.

I gambled and I lost....a bit low on health and spells, my character with the repose domain from Pharasma, decided to move in on a vampire and attempt to use his gentle repose domain power which if i succeed in a melee touch attack staggers an Undead for a number of rounds equal to your wisdom modifier. That would make it easier for the rest of the party to finish the blood sucker off. Unfortunately I missed.....the vampire didn't........and my character was killed by the vampire's smack.

In retrospect I had no business going up to a vampire like that......

Other then that, my character survived 12 levels. I played through The eyes of the ten arch which was brutal and now after playing in Race for the rune carved key, I have a 14 level Mystic Theurge.

So having a "slow Power build" is possible in PFS.

Whaaat? I thought I was the only person crazy enough to have a high-level Mystic Theurge in PFS. Hats off to you, good sir. The route of the Mystic Theurge is a ridiculous one, bordering on masochistic.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My current level 1 PFS is a human heal monkey without Heal Domain. Not efficient, but as a Luck/Travel-Exploration PC, I intend to have fun. His current favorite quote about himself: Not in the face! Not in the face!

I have found that I enjoy games more where efficiency is not the goal. You can do all the linear regression models you want to find Pareto optimalization, but what the heck. I play for theraputic social reasons, not to demonstrate that math works.

Just sayin'.

Grand Lodge **

nosig wrote:
I'm not about to turn to Jiggy and say "You're playing this wrong"... though I would say "So, what's this guys gimmick? Why do you have a wizard with a 14 Int and a 16 Str?"

Because he's headed for Eldritch Knight, of course! ;)

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
Charisma-based casters, on the other hand, benefit far more since it also affects their social skills and have a much smaller spell list (which requires it to be more potent).

The same math applies. The 7 points required to increase a handful of already-great things by another +1 could instead by spent increasing several other things by +1 or +2 each.

For saves, it really depends. I have 10 PFS characters, and only 1 has a 20 because it's so expensive and basically for the reasons you've stated. But for her, it's worth it.

Didn't say it'd never be worth it. Just described how the math works.

And the only reason I bring it up at all is because of the guys the OP overheard:
They feel like they have a shortage of points ("By the time you have 20 INT, there's not enough left for XYZ that you need") and feel the need to game the system to compensate for what they seem to think is a shortcoming of playing a wizard.
Those aren't the musings of someone who decided 20 INT was right for the PC they were after, those are the musings of someone who would really rather have a more well-rounded set of stats but has gotten it into their head that they need a 20 in their casting stat.

In short, it's okay to have a PC with a 20 or with all 10s to 16s. But I'm speculating that the folks overheard by the OP think a 20 is a requirement when it's not and would be helped by having someone snap them out of that mindset.

Silver Crusade

I will admit that 1st level of some builds is harder to survive.

And PFS might have a bit more risk than 'normal' since you don't have any idea what the group is bringing to the the table. They may not be very capable of protecting the squishies. Or they may not be willing to protect the squishies (though I think that is more rare).

The first table I watched (before I started playing) didn't really have any melee person.

There was:
caster focus cleric in light armor with a staff
rogue that wanted to be skill monkey sneak with a bow and a dagger
sorcerer going for charm/enchantments
and 2 mad bomber alchemists

In the scenario, 2 of the 4 combats were almost TPK's with 3 or 4 people going unconscious. Oddly enough no one actually died, but it was a close thing.

------------------------

Even so, I just will play my sorc concentrating a little bit more on being careful. I'm not going to play a character I don't like just to later have a bit more cash and hp's when I finally do get around to playing a character I like. That would just not an enjoyable use of my time.

**

Smart play beats smart builds. If you play correctly and do not have a horrible team there are chances you may not even get hurt. I have seen players not get hurt until level 5. Grant this is the mod too, but still. Watch your positioning. Do not be in the other, but do not be jaw first in every room.

Once you play enough D&D you will begin to recognize patterns of danger.

Qadira ****

smart builds often give more tools to emphasize smart play!

I believe in optimizing characters, generally I try to make them as versatile as possible, sometimes, like my newest wizard, I want to make things burn a lot and have almost no versatility at all but it's FUN!

**

I say specialize. Be the best at what you can. You have a team for the other things you do not effect as much.

Yes a smart build does give more options. But I have seen the pregens played brilliantly as well.

Qadira ****

I should note that build goes beyond class/stats/skills and includes items and such. Potion of Gaseous form or fly :D

I love summoning things, simply because of how awesome it is to summon things, and the versatility it provides. I'm pretty sure the character I want at level 18.1 is going to be a conjurer. I just love summoning, and wizards, especially being a wizard and summoning things :D

Silver Crusade *****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber
Funky Badger wrote:
Myles Crocker wrote:


I gambled and I lost....a bit low on health and spells, my character with the repose domain from Pharasma, decided to move in on a vampire and attempt to use his gentle repose domain power which if i succeed in a melee touch attack staggers an Undead for a number of rounds equal to your wisdom modifier. That would make it easier for the rest of the party to finish the blood sucker off. Unfortunately I missed.....the vampire didn't........and my character was killed by the vampire's smack.

In retrospect I had no business going up to a vampire like that......

If you've got to go, better to go out like that than many other ways...

Funky Badger, Thank you. I guess so....a priest of Pharasma battling the undead. Well luckily back then, a raise dead cost 16 pp or 5420 gp, and didn't cause level loss.......much simpler times....fewer PPS to spend......

But thank you, that was a memorable fight.

Silver Crusade *****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber
Josh Spies wrote:
Myles Crocker wrote:

I have a Mystic Theurge in PFS. talk about a slow power build. I initially purchased a 14 for int. a 16 for wis and a 14 for Cha. He was human, I used my +2 to wisdom. The rest of his physical stats were 10s.

Over a 2 1/2 year climb to level 12 my character only died once.

I gambled and I lost....a bit low on health and spells, my character with the repose domain from Pharasma, decided to move in on a vampire and attempt to use his gentle repose domain power which if i succeed in a melee touch attack staggers an Undead for a number of rounds equal to your wisdom modifier. That would make it easier for the rest of the party to finish the blood sucker off. Unfortunately I missed.....the vampire didn't........and my character was killed by the vampire's smack.

In retrospect I had no business going up to a vampire like that......

Other then that, my character survived 12 levels. I played through The eyes of the ten arch which was brutal and now after playing in Race for the rune carved key, I have a 14 level Mystic Theurge.

So having a "slow Power build" is possible in PFS.

Whaaat? I thought I was the only person crazy enough to have a high-level Mystic Theurge in PFS. Hats off to you, good sir. The route of the Mystic Theurge is a ridiculous one, bordering on masochistic.

Well thank you Josh Spies. I am fond of my character Fatum Aedituus Venificus

Initially I only expected to get this character to 4th level or so. I only expected to get to play him at our local convention in Vermont called "carnage on the Mountain". He was the second character I made using the Pathfinder rules and I made some mistakes making him.

Initially I was tickled pink that I had figured out a way to have a single character be able to both turn and command the undead.. This was two years before the versatile channeler feat.
I picked Transmutation and Conjuration as my "forbidden" schools....Something I would not recommend.

As I am sure you know, a mystic theurge excels at casting spells like bulls str... prayer haste, spells to "buff the party. Another area that a mystic theurge can help in is the "utility" area. Keeping a Darkvision a See Invisibility handy, an invisibility purge....a daylight spell....gust of wind etc.....

A mystic theurge excells in a party with a full caster wizard and a full caster cleric...then you can fill in all the areas they miss.

But I am sure you know all of this. Good luck with your mystic theurge.

Silver Crusade

Just a quick update.

I happened to see the 2 players whose conversation led me to start this thread. They were playing 1st level characters. They were not clerics of Desna but they were very survivable characters. As far as I could tell they were also reasonably playable long term characters.

A max hp and AC dwarf fighter
A high dex archer fighter
I have no way to know if they plan to completely rebuild the characters at 2nd level.
They did not try to talk anyone into playing up. I was at another table, but as best I could hear they were playing intelligently and more than pulling their own weight in the group.

So maybe some of what I overheard was just a thought exercise and they were just blowing hot air.

Taldor ***

Good to hear. Would be rather sad if people such as they kept on their tactics which ruined the rebuild rule for those of us who use it to fine-tune their characters before playing lvl 2. I did this at least once (sometimes two or three times) between each scenario as I learned more about how PFS scenarios functioned. I tuned my other characters less. But it's nice to have that option. Hate it when people take advantage of it.

***

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I use to try to optimize a lot, but found I ended up with a really strong combat character that had no soul.

Now when starting a new PFS Character I like to:

1) Come up with a concept that is fun to play
2) Make a build that is fun, works with the concept, yet is still useful to the party.
3) Write a background, doesn't have to be long, but it is nice to have something to say when someone asks you.
4) Write a journal from my character's perspective on thoughts of religion, different factions, why they joined PFS, etc.
5) Not worry about what table I'm sitting at, only worry about making the most of it.

Silver Crusade **** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Omaha aka Belarias

So at a local con this past year, I sat down to play a GM credit baby that hadn't ever seen the light outside the Lodge. I'm smiling and this GM whom I respect asks what I'm playing, biggest cheesey grin on my face, I say Sorcerer with the Crossblooded Archetype.

I watched him visibly slump. Almost as if he was saying, "Nate you're a cool guy why cheese yourself and just do boom spells?"

Then I explained Etiel is Crossblooded with Celestial and Fey. He seemed interested again saying that he hadn't heard of that combination before, most of the Crossblooded he had seen were elemental dragon.

I only had the one damaging spell and Etiel is so much more fun to play with his only damaging spells being Magic Missile and Summon Monster 2 than if I had cheesed him out to be super elemental damage man.

So I agree, play a concept maybe have a little optimization in it, but the most important is have fun with what you're gonna play.

Besides it doesn't matter how optimized you are if you have a player along side you that rushes forward and agro's combats when the party Is still in the middle of another tough one.

(oooo look at my fancy new title)

***** RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka Sir_Wulf

Hmm. I figure that if they're that scared, they ought to buy a dog. The two folks discussing how to survive 1st level ought to worry more about how to survive 7th level, because surviving 1st is EASY.

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