Doritan would have probably either kept it or passed it off to someone else in the group- Seth relies on the Agile enchantment at the moment to deal damage.
|Liam of Kozan|
Katria and Amelia are proficient. So is Maya but the weapon is the wrong size for her.
Amelia could make good use of it; could even get TWF someday to use pick and shortsword. The sword's immediate-action defensive abilities are useful.
I'm more than happy to if the GM wills it. It would definitely help as I won't need to massively upgrade an item. The defensive power would be a help now that I'll be in the primary frontline slot.
Losing the ability to two hand it though is painful sadly.
|Liam of Kozan|
+7 HP (1d8+2)
+6 skill points (2 base, 1 racial, 1 Int, 1 Cunning, 1 FCB): Sense Motive, Knowledge (Local), Perception (2 ranks), Heal, Diplomacy
+2 Background skill points: Perform (Oratory), Knowledge (Nobility)
+2 rounds/day of Sermonic Performance
Spells/day +1 2rd and +3 5th (1 base, 1 Wis bonus, 1 domain)
Sermonic Performance: Inspire Greatness (+2 HD, +2 competence bonus on attack rolls, +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves, 30' range)
Spontaneous Spell: Greater Command
Feat: Encouraging Spell
Will prep an Encouraging Good Hope in a 4th-level slot for a +3 bonus to everything.
For the 5th-level slots, the domain spell is Spell Resistance, and Breath of Life is always good to have, but any ideas on the last one?
Air Walk, Communal
Plane Shift (would need to get tuning forks)
Summon Monster V (for 1 Bralani Azata or Celestial Dire Lion, or 1d3 CG Hound Archons - Liam's buffs would boost summons quite a lot)
True Seeing (would need to get ointment)
Wall of Stone
Or leave the slot open to prepare longer casting time things like Break Enchantment, Commune, or Scrying.
That was fast.
New spells: Storm Step, Greater Magic Weapon
Class Feature: Critical Perfection (+INT to critical confirmation rolls)
Feat: Extra Arcana (hasted assault)
I'd leave the slot open, Liam. Stuff like Plane Shift, Air Walk, and Dispel Evil are rarely used in-combat, and the added flexibility way outweighs the potential of an additional combat spell (which could still be prepared if needed).
|Liam of Kozan|
Hmmm... I have found Plane Shift to be useful in combat. Many foes immune to mind-affecting have weak Will saves, counting on that defense to protect them (like that Black Pudding, or most non-golem constructs). But you can Plane Shift them away. Basically a save-or-die.
Dispel Evil has a lot of uses. There are some monster abilities that are specifically negated by it, the Banishment effect is good, and the ability to automatically dispel any one enchantment effect cast by an evil creature is very useful in combat. I've seen it used numerous times in high-level PFS games, most memorably against a Nemhain's Bound Spirits and against a Glabrezu's Power Word Stun. Definitely one I will prep regularly when I have more slots available.
I may still leave the slot open, but those are really good spells based on my experience.
+1 level occultist
+1 focus power (telekinetic mastery), +1 3rd-level spell/day, +1 mental focus
+1 feat: Rapid Reload (I'm not sure how much I'll use my crossbow, but I figure this makes it a bit more useful. I'm open to other ideas, though. I seem to be mostly using wands in combat, and there's not much there to bolster that.)
+1 9 skill ranks +2 background skills: +1 Appraise (b), +1 Diplomacy, +1 Disable Device, +2 Fly, +1 Know (arcana, dungeoneering, local, nature, planes), +1 Linguistics (b; picking up Vudrani)
+1 FCB (1/6 focus power)
GM, we never established what my headband's skill ranks are in. That could change some of these choices...
Also, I'm going to pick up some chalk while we're in town to draw a magic circle, in part because: Players, I have this ability I could also put use to while we're overnighting:
Outside Contact (Su): At 8th level, the occultist learns the true name of one particular outsider. This outsider can have no more than 3 Hit Dice. Whenever the occultist creates a magic circle, he can expend 1 additional point of mental focus to focus the circle inward and lure that outsider to the circle (similar to using lesser planar binding). The outsider is bound for up to 10 minutes. During this time, the occultist can bargain with the outsider for one piece of information. This requires a payment of at least 20 gp (or items of at least that value that are of interest to the outsider). The bargaining requires the occultist to attempt a Diplomacy or Intimidate check opposed by the outsider's Sense Motive check. Succeeding at the check by 5 or more reduces this cost to 10 gp. Failure increases the price to 30 gp, whereas failure by 5 or more allows the outsider to escape without giving any information (or receiving payment). The information gained can be anything that might be learned through a divination spell. The information is always correct but is frequently cryptic. It typically takes the outsider 1d3 hours to gather the information, at which point it returns of its own accord to deliver the information as promised. The outsider always resents being used in this way, even if the occultist and the outsider share an alignment component. After the occultist bargains with the outsider, the magic circle loses all power and the outsider is sent back to its home plane.
I was helping someone move over the weekend I'll get a post and level up down when I have some time.
@GM Brainiac: Before I jump ahead with stuff what is your opinion on passing down Koriana's Blade?
@Seth: If we get permission for the above how would you have done it? I was thinking of just finding it in my pack with a letter (that you can choose to fill out to your liking).
Knowing Doritan, yeah, that's basically what would happen. Either sitting in your pack or on your bed or something. The note would probably just say "Use it well" or something like that.
+1 Level Ranger (Dandy)
+1 Feat, Bestow Luck
+9 Skills (6 Class, 1 FCB, 2 Background*)
Perception (+1), Sense Motive (+1), Stealth (+1), Bluff (+1), Diplomacy (+1), Survival (+2), K: History* (+1), K: Nobility* (+1)
1 Spell Known (1st), +1 Spell/Day
-> Remove Fear? Timely Inspiration doesn't play nice with Inspire Courage.
1 Spell Known (2nd)
-> Silence? Urban Step?
Not really sure about spells, my Charisma isn't high enough to really abuse the Bard list so I'm looking at supportive abilities.
1st (3/day) [DC 14] - Unbreakable Heart, Daivon's Parry, Feather Step, Lucky Number
2nd (2/day) [DC 15] - Mirror Image, Sense Vitals, Reinvigorating Wind
|Liam of Kozan|
@Amelia - at level 2, CMW is decent (sometimes in-combat healing does matter, and there are things like haunts).
Bladed Dash is pretty good, as are Acute Senses and Alter Self.
Silence has the drawback of a 1-round casting time. It's better as an oil. But that does remind me that maybe I should start prepping Disrupt Silence.
At level 1:
Undetectable Alignment could actually be a helpful Level-1 spell.
Moment of Greatness combos well with Liam's Good Hope spell; although he normally preps Moment of Greatness, it might be good to have two different casters have those spells so we can get both off in the first round of a combat.
And I always take Feather Fall with bards because it's V-only, an immediate action, and something that is basically useless to have on a scroll.
Alter Self could actually be interesting, does anyone have that kind of infiltration ability?
Does Moment break the spell though? I was thinking Remove Fear to help Katria out because she can't cast if she's under fear effects.
The only difference would be the ability to two hand it for Power Attack. Other than that it doesn't make too much of a difference.
Thanks for the answer!
Level 9 Summary
+1 Fort Save
+2 Rounds of Bardic Performance
+1 1st & 3rd Level Spells Per Day
+1 3rd Level Spells Known: Displacement
Feat: ? (I’m blanking a bit on this. Bards seem to get a lot of cool Masterpieces at 10, so not sure what to take at 9… maybe just Weapon Focus? Open to suggestions on this.)
New Bardic Performance: Inspire Greatness - A bard of 9th level or higher can use his performance to inspire greatness in himself or a single willing ally within 30 feet, granting extra fighting capability. For every three levels the bard attains beyond 9th, he can target an additional ally while using this performance (up to a maximum of four targets at 18th level). To inspire greatness, all of the targets must be able to see and hear the bard. A creature inspired with greatness gains 2 bonus Hit Dice (d10s), the commensurate number of temporary hit points (apply the target's Constitution modifier, if any, to these bonus Hit Dice), a +2 competence bonus on attack rolls, and a +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves. The bonus Hit Dice count as regular Hit Dice for determining the effect of spells that are Hit Dice dependent. Inspire greatness is a mind-affecting ability and it relies on audible and visual components.
+1 Knowledge (dungeoneering)
+1 Knowledge (nature)
+2 Knowledge (planes)
+1 Knowledge (religion)
+1 Knowledge (nobility)
+1 Perform (act)
+1 Perform (oratory)
Amelia, if you’re concerned about infiltration ability, Maya has a Hat of Disguise and really high Disguise check via Perform (act), so I wouldn’t be too worried about that.
Maybe Steadfast Personality, Piranha/Arcane Strike, or something less fighty? There's always Antagonize or something else along those lines.
I think I'm going to grab Heightened Reflexes (+10 To a single Reflex save for everyone) for the party as well as Remove Fear.
Sorry doublepost but can I get the information on Koriana's Blade?
Also I realized I didn't have a rank of Spellcraft so I dropped 1 Survival rank from 9th level so I can at least attempt Spellcraft checks.
Here's what I have for the blade, Amelia:
Koriana's Blade is a +3 defending short sword. It has five gemstones in its pommel. Two are broken, but the white, red, black, and green gems are intact. Once per day, the wielder can trigger the white gemstone as an immediate action to absorb and negate all darts targeting her from a magic missile spell, the red gem to gain immunity to a fire effect, the green gem to become immune to a poison effect, or the black gem to become immune to a negative energy effect.
The pink gem protects against mind-affecting effects. (locked)
When the wielder transfers at least 1 point of the weapon's enhancement bonus to her AC using the defending special ability, she also chooses one creature other than herself within 10 feet to gain a +1 bonus to AC until the wielder's next turn. This bonus is always +1, regardless of how much of the weapon's bonus the wielder transfers to her AC.
The wielder also gains a +1 Insight bonus against fire, poison, and negative energy effects.
Gems locked: Pink
Is it just me, or do all of us other than Amelia have the exact same HP?
|Liam of Kozan|
With the GM's permission, I have switched Liam's level 9 feat from Encouraging Spell to Deific Obedience.
I don't think further increases to Liam's buffing abilities are needed at this time.
|Liam of Kozan|
A buffing build was meant to let the party be able to invest in social aspects while still being decent in a fight. At at low levels, neither Bernal nor Doritan were all that great in combat.
Things are quite different now.
That they are. It helps that with Seth, I was able to avoid trying to be good at too many areas. With Doritan, I seriously spread myself out too much, which just resulted in me being alright at combat, but utterly outclassed in most everything else by classes whose primary stats are used for social skills. Something of a format hazard with PBP, where building around a party is somewhat limited.
Now, with Seth, I was able to focus more on finding a niche (Intimidate, a couple of knowledges, and stealth), and let my stats be more focused. Plus, you know, getting a ton of extra bonuses to hit and damage is great when you're making 4 attacks/round is always great.
|Liam of Kozan|
@Seth, if you thought Doritan was merely "alright" in combat, then you and I have very different expectations. And that's okay, but please understand that I now plan to dial way back on the buffing.
I thought Liam's buffing abilities were appropriate when we were a bunch of wits, scholars, and polymath priests who needed to fight the occasional combat. It boosted our "poor/average" combat capability to "good". That let us play well-rounded characters and still win fights.
Once Doritan's build came together it boosted his "good" capability to "excellent." We ended most fights very quickly with good tactics and spell support (e.g. Vanish on Doritan), and an AP that generally allowed going nova.
Now I worry that it will be too much, boosting "outstanding" to "ridiculous". (Yes, I know there are some builds that could do even more damage than Seth, like an inquisitor archer or a dwarf geokineticist, but relative to the foes we are facing, it seems like Seth will be extremely strong even without buffs.) We haven't really seen Amelia go full archer yet but I expect that when she does it will be devastating. So I think that buffing is no longer appropriate.
I actively enjoy a lower level of offensive optimization so that combats are more dramatic and back-and-forth. Some see combat as something to get over with as quickly as possible to get back to the RP; I see many RP moments in combat (particularly when the heroes are in danger and have to make tough decisions). Doritan impaling a paralyzed and helpless foe through the chest was absolutely a very memorable RP moment that said "Wow, this Doritan guy is a ruthless SOB."
I'm now really questioning my decision to take Evangelist, but I won't ask to retrain it out just yet. We'll see how things go for a while. Maybe I am wrong and Seth really will need that boost to be effective in the fights coming up. If I were to retrain it, Cardinal would give skill ranks, Ecclesitheurge would boost spellcasting versatility, or Divine Paragon would give some neat special abilities.
I've written and rewritten this post many times now. I don't want to tell anybody they are "playing the wrong way." I know that tastes differ. For me, a very high level of offensive optimization is just not enjoyable, so I am trying to find my role in this new situation.
No, I get it. While Doritan could absolutely deal a fair amount of damage, and was getting more and more effective at it, that was really the only thing that he was able to provide. With Seth, I sought to make someone who was less of a glass cannon (which is how he ended up so untouchable- I didn't think about how much they would combine, just that when I was between two options, one offensive and one defensive, I would typically go for the defensive), because Doritan didn't make much of a barrier to protect everyone else (heck, he barely had more HP than the group average).
Also, do remember that while Magi have incredible burst power, they have much less staying capability. What happened first round was only possible by expending one of very few spell slots, having already been buffed by Haste, having spent a round to pre-cast Shield, and was able to full-attack. Seth can, once per day, have a pseudo-pounce ability (via Bladed Dash), but once that spell slot is spent, it's not coming back. Most rounds will likely be spent like this one; move and make a single attack.
As it stands, I honestly barely gave Seth any offensive options. Seth has exactly one weapon-oriented feat, Weapon Finesse, which is of course mandatory for a dex-based fighter. Of his Magus Arcana, he has Hasted Assault (which, honestly, stands a very good chance of never even being needed- it's there for backup) and Empowered Magic. Heck, I didn't even grab Intensified Spell, which is a major part of most Magi's builds. Basically all the combat power he has is just an inherent part of being a Magus. He has almost as many feats/arcana going towards his familiar as he does towards fighting.
So... yeah. Basically, don't expect most combat rounds to go like Seth's first chance to show off. That was a combination of buffs, the ability to pre-cast spells and having a free full attack.
|Liam of Kozan|
If it helps to know Liam, I plan on just taking Lucky until I have 7/7 Luck uses a day. I really don't plan on straying off that path as we don't need to optimize heavily. It's part of why I'm grabbing all these weird status removal Bard spells.
I basically only took Sense Vitals to be competitive with Doritan but now that we no longer need a Flanker to help him, I might just swap it out for something neat like Urban Step the next opportunity I get.
I've never gotten combat value out of Favored Nation but don't really care if I do, the abilities from Dandy are extremely flavourful and ooze the character I see in my head.
I'm having a blast playing Amelia though and this group is proving to be one of my favourites to post in! Loving the flow and the interactions between the characters.
|Liam of Kozan|
I think this is a great group and am happy to be a part of it.
It is also possible that the combat difficulty really ramps up in later parts of the AP and a higher level of optimization will be needed. You have different writers for different books of APs and that can really impact the difficulty.
I'm planning on Rapid Shotting one of the archers but I'll wait on Liam to see if there is any inspiration before I roll.