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[WIP] CHARACTER SELECT: A guide to class selection


Advice

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Just wanted to jump in and say "OMG, thank you for creating this guide!"

I'm starting up a new campaign for the first time in a *long* time (based on the Shattered Star AP) and several of the players are either new to RPG's or mainly familiar with 3.5E or 5.0E, so was quite happy to stumble across this link while looking for something else entirely. I'm sure it will really help almost all of my players - heck, it helped me understand some things about a few classes I'd never really considered before.

(It also encouraged me to get the Unchained PDF which introduced me to the Background Skills and Skill Unlock options which I'm totally going to use!)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Warpriest added! Thanks again to NotEspi for contributing another class!

Wizard updated! There were a few errors in the Artillery Support build, including taking an illegal feat (Preferred Spell without Hieghten Spell) as well as mislabeling the levels where you're allowed to alter Spell Specialization. The first five levels were slightly remixed to solve this issue.

miscdebris wrote:
Wizard Guide wrote:
Managing limited spells. The Arcanist does not have as many spells per day as a Wizard and a delayed progression too; but he doesn’t have as many spells per day as a Sorcerer either.

Maybe this is a copy and paste error? Arcanist?

...also that.

Matrissa the Enchantress wrote:
Just wanted to jump in and say "OMG, thank you for creating this guide!"

I'm glad it was helpful for you!

Grand Lodge

Rosc wrote:
Warpriest added! Thanks again to NotEspi for contributing another class!

Happy to help out. Did you manage to fix that Sacred Huntsmaster Inquisitor? I had to make a few edits due to a bad interpretation of dirty fighting. The build I sent you originally is not legal, it seems. Sent you a PM with the edits some time ago.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
NotEspi wrote:
Rosc wrote:
Warpriest added! Thanks again to NotEspi for contributing another class!
Happy to help out. Did you manage to fix that Sacred Huntsmaster Inquisitor? I had to make a few edits due to a bad interpretation of dirty fighting. The build I sent you originally is not legal, it seems. Sent you a PM with the edits some time ago.

Whoops! Copy-pasted the new build into the spot for ya.

Grand Lodge

Rosc wrote:


Whoops! Copy-pasted the new build into the spot for ya.

Cheers!


Rosc wrote:

{. . .}

Medium updated!
- Fixed a typo in the Six Mask Dancer build. Meant to write "Dervish Dance" instead of "Slashing Grace" for its 3rd level feat.
{. . .}

Actually, it still has this typo down in the descriptive text.

Scarab Sages

Here's another "Thank you for the guide!" message. I also need to introduce a group of new Pathfinder players (but experienced roleplayers) to the system, and concise guides to the classes will make it much easier.

Grand Lodge

Sigh, me... I went proofreading the Warpriest guide again, and found one typo and one feat I forgot to swap in the alternative whip build.

Typo in Features, Blessings section :

"powers are quite varies", should be "powers are quite variable"

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

As for the unswapped feat, please remove "Greater Weapon Focus (Whip)" in the alternative whip guide and put Lunge in its place (level 9 BCF). Thanks. Without that change, the flavor text is wrong when talking about reach.

I think that should be all the errors and typos. I think! There might be more, since it's early in the morning.


Skill Ranks: Says that 8 per level is exclusive to Rogues, but actually Ninjas get this too.

Main Class Index by Rulebook: Pathfinder Unchained: Calls the Rogue Unchained a "full martial", but even for Unchained Rogue, this is at best debatable. I wouldn't call anything a full martial unless it had full BAB. "Lightweight stealth martial" as the Ninja is described would be more appropriate.

Witch: Challenges: "If the familiar dies, you become a peasant with a good willsave." -- this is partly true, but far from entirely true: Your Hexes (or Hex-substitute abilities for many archetypes) still work without your Familiar (or substitute, in the case of some archetypes), and you can still cast any spells that you already have prepared, as well as still use spell trigger/spell completion items for spells on your list without trouble -- this can tide you over until you are able to replace your Familiar (or substitute). Also, the Ley Line Guardian (not listed as a notable archetype, but should be) is a spontaneous caster (doesn't prepare spells) with no Familiar or substitute, and thus gets off the hook for this problem (yes, you have the cost of not knowing any more spells than a Sorcerer, and you don't get the action economy boost of a Familiar, but you don't have to worry about keeping a Familiar safe, and you are guaranteed to be able to use the limited spells you know as long as you have spells per day remaining and can cast spells at all).


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Sorcerer added! That covers the entirety of the Core Rulebook and their Unchained variants. We're not done yet, but this is a huge milestone. Let's hope I finish this before the Shifter comes out.

I'll lay claim to the Psychic next. Easy transition.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Actually, it still has this typo down in the descriptive text.

Derp. Fixed, again. Hopefully for good this time.

KarlBob wrote:
Here's another "Thank you for the guide!" message. I also need to introduce a group of new Pathfinder players (but experienced roleplayers) to the system, and concise guides to the classes will make it much easier.

Thanks! Once this is all done the Pathfinder community at large will have one more tool to help new players get started out. And with this many classes, the system needs that more than ever.

NotEspi wrote:
Sigh, me... I went proofreading the Warpriest guide again, and found one typo and one feat I forgot to swap in the alternative whip build.

Done and done. If there's anything else you need, feel free to put in a request for edit privileges.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
(Rogue stuff)

I feel you on the Full Martial thing, kind of. I see 'martial' as meaning 'nonmagical' but I understand that some people may associate it with full BAB. Secret Wizard owns the Rogue document, but I put in a request to edit. I'll get to it when I can.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
(Witch stuff)

Eh. The 'Commoner' bit is an exaggeration, but I feel like it serves the point to drive home just how important it is to keep your pet safe. As for the Ley Line thing? I'm not too worried about having a single unlisted, unused archetype (for the sample builds at least) dictate the guide's structure.

I'm fine on the Witch guide as is. If the Author wants to make changes, then something can be arranged.


The rogue is still a full martial, even if it's one with low base accuracy. If you want to change it, go nuts, but I will take no part in this madness.


By the way "lightweight stealth" as a rogue descriptor is the type of fantasy speak my initial approach scorned.

I set forth a typology of classes to separate fact from fiction.

Silver Crusade

Is there a reason that Core Rule Book Barbarian, Rogue, and Monk are not included?


If you journey into the actual character pages, you may find out.

Grand Lodge

First of all, thanks for the critique. To your points on witch:

UnArcaneElection wrote:

Challenges: "If the familiar dies, you become a peasant with a good willsave." -- this is partly true, but far from entirely true: Your Hexes (or Hex-substitute abilities for many archetypes) still work without your Familiar (or substitute, in the case of some archetypes), and you can still cast any spells that you already have prepared, as well as still use spell trigger/spell completion items for spells on your list without trouble -- this can tide you over until you are able to replace your Familiar (or substitute).

While the "peasant with a good willsave" is a hyperbole, I'd rather not give an impression that the familiaar is not important. It is. A prepared full caster that can't prepare spells loses a LOT of function. That said, hexes still work fine, yes. And I suppose that in case of the Aide build, this is somewhat workable. The Disabler one probably won't however, since in this case hexes are mere setup for a save or suck/die effect. I have been considering adding at least one other build, and probably will do so in the next few weeks when I manage to flesh both my ideas out and pick one. While at it, I might change the wording of the challenges section a bit. At least make that "hex is still an option" note.

UnArcaneElection wrote:

Also, the Ley Line Guardian (not listed as a notable archetype, but should be) is a spontaneous caster (doesn't prepare spells) with no Familiar or substitute, and thus gets off the hook for this problem (yes, you have the cost of not knowing any more spells than a Sorcerer, and you don't get the action economy boost of a Familiar, but you don't have to worry about keeping a Familiar safe, and you are guaranteed to be able to use the limited spells you know as long as you have spells per day remaining and can cast spells at all).

I suppose I can blame not putting in Ley Line Guardian on my personal bias ( prepared caster preference ), but it might be a nice "beginner player witch" build. Having the same spells available at all times gimps the class a bit, but for a new player, it might work well. I'll put this in the guide with one other "no familiar" build, once I fleshed it out and picked from the two variants I have in my head.


I love LLG Witch. I just prefer spontaneous spellcasting overall.


I didn't mean to give the impression that a Witch's Familiar is not important, just that you aren't totally dead in the water like a Wizard that has lost their only spellbook. On the other hand, since the Familiar is a squishy Familiar and (for most Witch archetypes) not an object that you can stow safely away when you are not preparing your spells, AND serves as your spellbook, you have to worry more about losing it.

Checking out the Sorcerer section:

Under Dexterity, a typo: Need to change "later" to "latter".

In the Feats section, change "Extra Traits" to "Additional Traits".

Also inn the Feats section, if you can get access to it (it is PFS faction-specific), Versatile Spontaneity could be really useful (also add this for other spontaneous casters).

Wildblooded archetype has a typo: Change "per say" to "per se". Also within this, add that the Sage Bloodline is notable for making you Intelligence-based.

Charmer build: If you're going to go to the trouble to get Spell Focus (Necromancy), Threnodic Spell becomes worthy of consideration if you can get access to it (it is Osiriani).

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Right on! Added 2 new builds to the witch guide.

Link here.


Just read the Witch section -- 3 points:

Hexes: "There is no limit to their use per day." -- this is not entirely accurate. Most Hexes have no limit on your uses per day, but do have a limit on uses per target. A few Hexes do have a limit on uses per day, in some cases in the form of limited time per day -- an example that gets mentioned a lot is the Flight Hex (as far as I can tell no limit on the Feather Fall function, but does have a limited time of actual flight).

Favored Class Bonus: For most Witches, the Human Favored Class Bonus of adding a spell to your Familiar is a semi-trap, because in many cases you can get more spells just by spending gold (the obvious exception being Ley Line Guardian, for which this Favored Class Bonus is always good). If you live and work in a dump where you can't get spells for gold, then the Human Favored Class Bonus could be worthwhile for a more conventional Witch, but otherwise choose something else.

If want to deliver Shocking Grasp or similar spells at range without risking your Familiar's life and you are not a Cartomancer (and not another archetype that has a replacement way to deliver Touch spells at range), you might want to see if you can squeeze in Reach Spell.

Grand Lodge

Quote:
Hexes

This is specified in the challenges section. Listing mechanics of the special cases of flight, water lung, hidden home and similar hexes would require a few pages. I expect a player who is interested in the class to read the individual hex entries themselves, or at least those they are interested in.

Quote:
Favored Class Bonuses

For the first few levels, yes. Otherwise, I disagree. Once you get into mid-levels, price of level-appropriate scrolls goes into thousands.

For example, 10 extra HP on level 10 or 2d10+10 temporary HP from Greater False Life for 10 hours is a no-brainer decision for me, personally. And that 700 gold can be better spent elsewhere. As an extreme example, if I had to pick between having 10 extra hit points and a Deadman's Conteingency to teleport my dead body into an area where I would be raised as based on a previous agreement, I'd go for the latter. Saving on merely these two relatively mid level spells can get you a Resistance Cloak (used by a hireling, for example) and some extra gold to boot. Once you get to 7th+ level spells, it gets pretty ridiculous if you want to expand your library. And if you fail that spellcraft check, oh boy...

Quote:
Reach Metamagic

The ranged-touch build is now in the guide (cartomancer). Other builds do not focus on touch spells, really. At least not in the long term. In this case, I feel the feats are better used elsewhere.

In any case, I did make some edits to the general class description. But my neatly set up page spacing got neutered. WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME?!


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NotEspi wrote:
For example, 10 extra HP on level 10 or 2d10+10 temporary HP from Greater False Life for 10 hours is a no-brainer decision for me, personally.

That's not really what you're choosing between. Taking the +1HP doesn't prevent you from casting Greater False Life, it saves you 700gp. If there was an item that gave +10 HP for 700gp, that would be a "no-brainer". At 20th level you've saved yourself 25,725 gp, in scroll costs, which assumes you took the highest level you could at each level, 12,000 of that is from levels 16 on, so from levels 1-15 you've saved 13,725gp, at the cost of 15 HP. Is the Toughness feat worth 13,725? I'd say it is. Especially when you consider that an Ioun Stone that grats you +5 HP is worth 20k.

Grand Lodge

I suppose you make a point. Especially since PFS ends at 12. But another thing comes to mind. I'm honestly not well versed in retraining costs in society play. How much is the PP and GP cost to retrain to max HP in society?


Just noticed that the main guide document still links to an outdated version of the Witch sub-guide (that is, NOT the one that you linked a few posts above).


Super cool guide.
Many thanks to all contributors
:-)

Grand Lodge

UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just noticed that the main guide document still links to an outdated version of the Witch sub-guide (that is, NOT the one that you linked a few posts above).

I can't edit the main doc, so Rosc needs to get in on that one. Or Secret Wizard.

Here you go, folks!

After the discussion on favoured class bonuses, I changed those to suggest getting hit points instead. With the exception of LLG, of course.


got it

Grand Lodge

Secret Wizard wrote:
got it

Cheers!


I was just browsing the guide (which was a wonderful read), and noticed that the Alchemist Blaster Summoner runs both Mindchemist and Preservationist archetypes together, but both appear to replace Poison Use. Do they still stack / am I missing something rly obvious :/


Rosc wrote:

.

miscdebris wrote:
Rosc wrote:
Will update Thrower build later once I can remember the magic item that allows it to not need to buy a dozen +1 Daggers.
Blinkback Belt or Sharding
Turns out I was thinking of the Doubling Dagger. I'll head back and give the Swashbuckler guide a micro update.

The blinkback belt is better at higher levels when you can afford and need +2/+3 weapons

Grand Lodge

Viviana Masters wrote:
I was just browsing the guide (which was a wonderful read), and noticed that the Alchemist Blaster Summoner runs both Mindchemist and Preservationist archetypes together, but both appear to replace Poison Use. Do they still stack / am I missing something rly obvious :/

You're not missing anything. Both archetypes outright replace Poison Use.

I can't access the errata PDF right now (at work), but maybe one of them was changed?


And on the hunter and occultist will guide, or the guide is already abandoned?


PhD. Okkam wrote:

And on the hunter and occultist will guide, or the guide is already abandoned?

I don't think it's abandoned, this guide was largely outsourced, and no one has stepped up to write those sections.

Grand Lodge

Just gave UM a read. Both archetypes replace poison use from the get to. Secret Wizard - you tease, you!

PhD. Okkam wrote:
And on the hunter and occultist will guide, or the guide is already abandoned?

It's not abandoned, but it's a slow process. A lot of people are contributing. I'm not sure what classes are not being worked on, though. I'd probably help out otherwise. Favourite a post and check in once in a while. If you want to help, ask Wizard or Rosc for what's free. I assume at least one of them would know.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
PhD. Okkam wrote:

And on the hunter and occultist will guide, or the guide is already abandoned?

That's on me. I'll admit that I've got some burnout going, but I am chipping away at this beast. Right now I've got the Psychic writeup about halfway done and I want to double check to make sure I have the mechanics right before I make sample builds. I also have a friend who's been working on the Hunter guide, which was about 80% done last time I checked. I'll get in contact with him sometime this week.

The other classes that still need work are Samurai, Occultist, Shaman and Slayer. If anyone wants to contribute with one of these, it would be greatly appreciated.

Grand Lodge

I might give occultist a go, then.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I have a question about the Temple Charletan build in the sorcerer guide. How do you handle the roll to emulate an ability score (wisdom in this case)? Admittedly only level 1 but need to make a dc26 UMD check to fake having 11 wisdom before making a DC 21 UMD to cast say Bless from a scroll. Is it just a case of don't look to cast those for a few levels?


Temple Charletan's Improved Familiar is invalid, it can't have the Valet archetype, as Improved Familiars don't get Speak with Animals of Its Kind.


NotEspi wrote:
Viviana Masters wrote:
I was just browsing the guide (which was a wonderful read), and noticed that the Alchemist Blaster Summoner runs both Mindchemist and Preservationist archetypes together, but both appear to replace Poison Use. Do they still stack / am I missing something rly obvious :/

You're not missing anything. Both archetypes outright replace Poison Use.

I can't access the errata PDF right now (at work), but maybe one of them was changed?

I was working from the pre-edited prototype PDF of APG. Mistakes happen.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Oh hey, it's a thing!

Psychic added! Five to go.

Swashbuckler updated! Turns out the Throwing Build was defunct because its core item, the Doubling Dagger, is illegal for Pathfinder Society play. After wiping the salt off of my keyboard, I rewrote the feats to use Ricochet Toss to solve the magic item problem. I came -this- close to rewriting it as a vanilla archery build, though. It's surprisingly effective.

Next on the list is Shaman.

Grand Lodge

Awesome, keep up with the excellent work

In fact I always share this guide to new guys on our table


In Swashbuckler, Knife Tosser could use a link on the left.

Also, how does it qualify for Ricochet Toss?

Swashbuckler@ArchiveofNethys wrote:
Swashbuckler Weapon Training (Ex): At 5th level, a swashbuckler gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with one-handed or light piercing melee weapons. While wielding such a weapon, she gains the benefit of the Improved Critical feat. These attack and damage bonuses increase by 1 for every 4 levels beyond 5th level (to a maximum of +4 at 17th level).
Ricochet Toss@ArchiveofNethys wrote:
Prerequisites: Quick Draw, base attack bonus +6, weapon training class feature with a ranged weapon.

I emphasized the possible problems.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
miscdebris wrote:

In Swashbuckler, Knife Tosser could use a link on the left.

Also, how does it qualify for Ricochet Toss?

As for the link on the left side, I assume you mean the bookmark icon? It seems to reappear whenever I click near the build's name. Strangest thing.

As for Ricochet toss? At 5 level it gets Martial Focus.

Weapon Master's Handbook pg. 20 wrote:

You have honed your skills with a group of related weapons.

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +5.

Benefit: Choose one fighter weapon group. While wielding a weapon from this group with which you are proficient, you gain a +1 bonus on damage rolls.

Special: The Martial Focus feat counts as the weapon training class feature with the chosen fighter weapon group for the purpose of weapon mastery feat prerequisites and what weapons you can use with weapon mastery feats.


Bugger. I knew about Martial Focus and didn't look for it. Thanks.

And yes, on the left.

Grand Lodge

Finally found some spare time to start working on the occultist guide. Class breakdown and first build are both finished. I'll submit once I have 3 or 4.


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Rise to the top, awesome guide! May the good people on the forum complete you!

Joke aside, best guide for Pathfinder I ever have to pass on new players!

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