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Hope you've all enjoyed Christmas holidays. sorry I never checked back in. I've been in hospital so haven't been too well.
I'm being discharged later today yippeee so should post soon!
I sincerely apologise for not being that involved so far. I'm normally much better I promise.
I look forward to beginning to play with you all over 2018.
Hi Inara! Take care of yourself, I'm sure we're all looking forward to gaming with you lots in the coming year. :)
Serena, re: teamwork feats!
I might be able to fit some in at later levels, but my character plan is pretty packed early on with grappling and metamagic feats. We might be able to enchant my scarf with the training magic weapon ability though, something like Outflank or Paired Opportunist.
Eliza and her animal companion might be taking teamwork feats? That's often a great strategy anyway, and with Serena and a phantom in the mix they could quadruple their effectiveness.
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Bonded Mind is pretty dang awesome, especially with the follow-up feats like Take The Hit and Special Delivery. Very coven-like!
|GM Nikolaus 'the Grimm'|
So that's something we may want to consider. Selective spell might be a very good idea if damaging or hindering AoE spells are gonna be in play often.
Unfortunately it'll be a while because of the prereq.
That's the rough thing about entangle, It's great if you're all ranged and magic and going to carpet bomb the enemy. Not so much when there's melee party members.
Live and learn I suppose.
Rods of selective spell aren’t too bad. I think Eliza was hoping to keep the bandits and horses from fleeing. Alas!
Happy January New Year everyone!
|GM Nikolaus 'the Grimm'|
Hey all, congrats on making it past the first encounter - I've seen groups where it didn't happen!
Passing on Eliza's apologies as well since she's not been able to post, she's still not well but we didn't want to leave you guys on the back-burner either, so here's plot and hopefully she'll rejoin shortly.
Yay! Thanks for running, hope you are finding it enjoyable as well.
|GM Nikolaus 'the Grimm'|
Have been looking at the coven rules - they're mighty powerful if I let you guys just start using them straight away, too powerful I think. So instead I have a proposition for you.
At certain times I will give out a 'Coven Level'. When you gain a coven level each of you chooses either a spell-like ability from the list that a coven can normally cast (control weather for example) or a teamwork bonus feat.
If you choose a spell-like ability then whenever you are part of the coven (i.e. within 10 ft of at least 2 other members and working together) then the coven can cast/use that spell-like ability. You are the primary caster and make any necessary decisions. The coven can only use abilities that at least one of the casting members has.
For example: Serana and Olyenna take the Bonded Mind teamwork feat. Evelynda chooses the 'bestow curse' spell-like ability and Eliza chooses 'control weather'. When Evelynda and Eliza form a spellcasting group with Olyenna they can cast either Bestow Curse (with Evelynda making the choices in the spell) or Control Weather (with Eliza making decisions). If the coven was Evelynda, Serena and Olyenna then you'd still have bestow curse but you couldn't cast Control Weather, unless Eliza joined in too.
Caster Level will rise as your coven level does. Having all four of you involved will increase the save DC's of any spell by 2 and give a +2 bonus to overcoming spell resistance.
People think that's fair? Let me know if you have ideas/suggestions etc.
Normal coven rules can be found HERE
Sounds good to me! That's a very clever solution to the problem of the power level.
And getting Teamwork Feats is really excellent! Here are some more good ones we might consider:
Hope everything's okay!
I'm imagining Inara/Eliza is really, really sick. Hope she gets better!
Oh dear, please wish Eliza well from all of us. We're really looking forward to playing with her.
Olyenna, that is really, really cool! Dare I say, WICKED!
I've been looking at the coven rules our esteemed GM has presented, trying to get an idea of what would be a good idea for us to take when we get our various "coven levels." I have some suggestions for everyone's consideration, which I'll present with my reasoning.
Firstly, spell-like abilities. These are really powerful! I think it might be smart for us to take these as soon as possible, so we can start using them. Here's my thoughts on each.
- animate dead (*---): This is incredibly powerful, permanent evil undead servants! Thematically, however, it may not be the sort of thing that we want to do with our kingdom. It will make us evil-aligned, and it will fill the realm with monsters. I'd suggest we skip it.
- baleful polymorph (**--): Super-good combat spell, but to use it, at least three of us have to spend a full-round action and be in close range. Probably removes the opponent from the combat, though. Is that worth it? Could be, but I think there are better ones we could take.
- bestow curse (*---): I don't recommend we take this one, since Evelynda will be able to cast it herself at 5th level.
- blight (**--): This spell probably kills a plant, though the controller has to touch it. It has all the same problems as baleful polymorph, and I don't know how often we'll face plant enemies.
- charm monster (**--): I love this spell, but I don't love us having to spend three full-round actions to cast it. I mean, like baleful polymorph, it will remove the creature from combat, and it might help us in other ways, so I'd rank this slightly higher. Also has only one Will-based save.
- clairaudience/clairvoyance (**--): I'm not knocking this as a good spell, and it's nice that we could do it out of combat whenever we wanted, but Olyenna and Evelynda will be able to cast it at 5th level, and I'm not sure there's that much we would want to scry on.
- commune (****): This is excellent. We could do it out of combat, and the only limitation is probably that we don't want to annoy our patrons by bothering them too much. But as long as we can think of good yes-no questions, we can get good answers. Definite take.
- control weather (***-): Another really powerful spell that we can use out of combat. It's kind of situational, depending on the season, but as long as we can prepare for it we should have a significant advantage with it compared to our enemies. Another good choice.
- dream (**--): I played a character with this spell-like ability and in my opinion it's not very good. Very situational messaging. If we had no better choices, I wouldn't turn it down, but there are other spells we could take.
- forcecage (**--): Wow, this is a nice spell, though the duration means we would have to do it in combat. So, is it better than charm monster or baleful polymorph? Maybe, like against opponents with spell resistance, or who are resistant to mind-affecting spells. But it's only a temporary solution of course.
- mind blank (****): Oh, now we're talking! 8th level spell, lasts 24 hours, can cast on all of us in the morning and forget about it. +8 resistance bonus vs mind-affecting magic, and can't be scryed on with anything. Yes, yes, yes, should take as soon as we can!
- mirage arcana (**--): I can't think of many good uses for this spell, to be honest. Large-scale defenses, maybe? We probably have better spells for that.
- reincarnate (***-): Hopefully we won't need this. I'm thinking it could be neat to use on followers and other NPCs, though, and I guess in an emergency we might want it to raise one of us.
- speak with dead (***-): A good spell for intelligence-gathering. Not as good as commune, but still very good. We wouldn't have to worry about taking prisoners any more. Can be used outside of combat, too. Certainly worthy of consideration.
- veil (***-): Disguise any number of creatures for several hours, that's good stuff. Also can be done outside of combat. Top-tier spell power, if we think we're going to want to do infiltration.
- vision (***-): This is a powerful effect, but at early levels we'll likely have trouble beating the caster level DC even when we have the object or we are at the place in question. If we put it off and take it later, it will be much more effective.
I rank these in the following rough order: mind blank, commune, control weather, speak with dead, reincarnate, veil, vision, clairaudience/clairvoyance, dream, forcecage, charm monster, baleful polymorph, blight, mirage arcana, bestow curse, animate dead.
Moving on to teamwork feats. There's so many really good ones, but I'll start with just the ones we've talked about in this thread.
- Allied Spellcaster (**--): The value of this one depends on how likely we are to have the same spell prepared. Serena has no use for it, nor does Jarrah. But Olyenna and Evelynda could easily prepare the same spell, something on the witch list like bestow curse or ill omen. There are also quite a few witch spells on either the hunter or the spiritualist spell lists. Also, this could be very good if we find we are facing a lot of creatures with spell resistance.
- Metamagical Synergy (requires Allied Spellcaster) (*---): Situational, since it really depends on the spell everyone is casting. Not sure how often we'd want to have three of us take an action and lose a spell to apply free metamagic. Wouldn't we rather just cast the spell three times? I guess if it's something that can't be stacked like ill omen it might be nice to extend it-- or you can just wait until the other one ends or cast it on a different target. I'm not seeing the intended uses, I guess.
- Bonded Mind (***-): This is great utility for all of us, and it is especially nice because it opens up other teamwork feats that only one of us has to take to use on the others.
- Share Spells (requires Bonded Mind) (***-): There are a lot of good personal spells that we could share around, like [i]heightened awareness, lead blades, bladed dash, false life, mirror image, defending bone, or overland flight. Only Eliza and Evelynda can take it, but we totally should if the coven wants to do a lot of group buffing.
- Coordinated Blast (***-): This has a racial spell-like ability as a requirement, which none of us have, unfortunately. If the GM treats our coven powers as racial or waives the requirement, this would let us all avoid being affected by any area spells we cast. That's good enough for all of us to take! Both Eliza and Evelynda have access to a lot of area-effect spells (druid spells and magus spells) and it would be nice to automatically ignore them. But a rod of selective spell is not very expensive if we wanted to take other feats instead, and we will have to wait until at least 5th level (5 levels of Spellcraft required).
- Outflank (****): This is probably the gold standard teamwork feat. Eliza, Evelynda, and Jarrah can't take it until level 6, but Olyenna and Serena can take it starting at level 4. I think we are likely to flank a lot, which makes this an especially good choice for us, good to take as soon as possible. It might be that Eliza can forgo it, since she's primarily a ranged fighter, but since she shares all her teamwork feats with Jarrah and she gets them for free, I think it's worth taking just in case.
- Improved Outflank (requires Outflank) (***-): The requirements for this one go up to level 8 and level 6, but it's still really good for our group. A much bigger window for flanking bonuses.
- Paired Opportunists (***-): This might be especially good for us since several of us plan on taking Combat Reflexes and can thus take a lot of opportunity attacks. However, the characters have to be adjacent to each other which might be hard to reliably arrange.
- Precise Strike (***-): This feat is like giving everyone an additional sneak attack die. Serena and Evelynda often will be trying to set up situations where this applies, so it is an easy feat to incorporate into our strategy. But I feel like an extra 1d6 of damage is kinda meh compared to some of the other stuff we could take.
- Unusual Heritage (Changeling) (***-): Concentration and dispel checks are good, all of the spellcasters would benefit from this. But it's kind of boring. Not everyone has to have it, which is really nice, but it's better if three of us do.
I guess I should try to rank these too. Rough attempt: Outflank, Improved Outflank, Coordinated Blast, Bonded Mind, Shared Spells, Paired Opportunists, Unusual Heritage (Changeling), Precise Strike, Allied Spellcaster, Metamagical Synergy.
I feel like I should also bring up Improved Share Spells for Eliza and Jarrah. If Eliza is often going to be buffing herself and her companion, this really cuts down on casting time and spell slots used, dividing the duration between both of them.
Eliza gets a bunch of teamwork feats as class abilities and shares them all with Jarrah, so she might want to take the spell-like abilities with her coven levels and save the teamwork feats for her hunter feature. I'm thinking the rest of us should try to pick up teamwork feats as we go, probably following Eliza's lead on which ones to take, and grab a spell-like ability when we can fit it.
I have no idea how many coven levels we will end up with, or how often we will receive them. GM Nikolaus? Do you feel like giving hints? Anyone have any thoughts on this analysis?
As far as I read in GM Nikolaus' rules, only one of us needs to have each SLA in order for the coven to use it. It's just that person needs to be involved in the casting.
With that in mind, I'm probably going to pick up:
Outflank, reincarnate, speak with dead, Bonded Mind
with my first few coven levels. I can count on you guys to pick up at least mind blank and commune. I'd also like to have veil available pretty soon.
Something that I need to mention is the role-play potential behind some of those spells that you marked low-stars. None of us are Good, so I wouldn't necessarily rule out the possibility of having a sorta Evil kingdom (although we should maybe talk about that a bit). However, the real benefit behind the coven SLAs is that they are FREE, and we can use them INFINITELY. That means we can curse people as punishment for crimes, or charm everyone we meet at a party... a lot of the spells can be used a lot in non-combat encounters. In fact, most coven spells we should consider for non-combat.
|GM Nikolaus 'the Grimm'|
Hmm... might have to adjust the spell requirement to requiring three coven members to have the spell in order to cast it...
In terms of levels it depends how much levelling you want to do. Either 10, with the original rules or perhaps 15-20 if I'm going to force multiple of you to take the same spell.
Any version using coven SLA's is going to be mighty powerful, at least in the early levels... I will think on this further! Do let me know what you guys like though.
Hadn't occurred to me to use things like baleful polymorph or forcecage at court! :) That's a fun idea, takes the edge off of us needing three of us to cast them if we're not in combat.
GM, it might make sense to tie the SLAs to our "coven levels," so that we can't take them until we are an appropriate spell level. If there's 9 coven levels that roughly correspond to half our character levels, that might be a little less overpowered? You could also add a few appropriate spells to the list; I've made some suggestions based on our parent hags' special abilities.
Character level 1/Coven level 1: enlarge person*, ill omen*, pass without trace*
Character level 3/Coven level 2: alter self*, fog cloud*, invisibility*, pyrotechnics*, tree shape*, whispering wind*
Character level 5/Coven level 3: animate dead, bestow curse, clairaudience/clairvoyance, speak with dead, tongues*, water breathing*
Character level 7/Coven level 4: blight, charm monster, reincarnate, threefold aspect*
Character level 9/Coven level 5: baleful polymorph, cloudkill*, commune, dream, mirage arcana
Character level 11/Coven level 6: mass bull's strength*, veil
Character level 13/Coven level 7: control weather, forcecage, giant form i*, vision
Character level 15/Coven level 8: mind blank
Character level 17/Coven level 9: threefold form*
Hmm, I don't have Blood of the Coven, but looking at the bits from it on each of the hags on archivesofnethys, it looks like the standard coven SLAs are also limited in that coven members can only use them three times per day. That might also help to make them less powerful?
The vast majority of my actual spells will be either self buffing or protective. I'm far more likely to take the feats than most of the spells, and my character isn't likely to go too far past neutral so veering hard evil will be an issue.
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Oh! Olyenna! Nice thinking, with the torch. Wicked!
Sorry its been a month (and I didnt really start before! Im normally much more reliable - promise!)
Having spent time in hospital and not eating at all for nearly a month I have been on the mend and back to work again tomorrow full time as well! Fingers crossed Im getting there.
I was going to post this weekend, but spent it asleep Im afraid! I have 72 posts to catch up on, so am going to start reading and will join in a couple of days when Ive taken it all in and there is a right time!
Heres to continued good health!
Welcome back, Inara! Glad to hear you're feeling better.