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The fact is monster CMD is probably the best scaling defense, especially for most of the scarier stuff (it's obviously a different story against NPCs with normal player races and class levels), you'd be better of targeting pretty much any other defense most of the time. Oh and the disintegrate against an undead caster only works if they happen to be an undead wizard, because if it's an undead sorcerer or oracle it's now got his casting stat to fortitude saves and if it's a cleric they have good fort saves by default.

Ravingdork wrote:

My favorite character, Hama, is a pretty good example of how not to die.

Hama bought a trained mastodon for 2,000gp (per Ultimate Equipment). She then possessed it in the long term with magic jar and her Osirian spirit jars. She would then polymorph into human form, allowing her to keep most of the mastodon's physical stats, all of her mental stats, and her ability to cast spells and use class abilities. She used the minimus containment version of a binding spell to hide her true body inside her locket, relying on her familiar or party members to free her true body should her host bodies be destroyed and her be forced to return to her original body.

She would also use spells such as shadow projection when in dire straights. In the end, she had more forms than Freeza from Dragon Ball Z, which proved continually frustrating for her enemies (and my GMs). :D

Don't need to rely on party members to sort you out when you're forced back into your body, just set the release condition on the binding to be when your soul returns to your body.

Think how damage would be described, then instead of burns the skin is just dead.

You know you can just blast incorporeal enemies for full damage with force effects, like magic missile or at higher levels the wonderful battering blast.

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Well the int mod isn't added to lingering damage on bombs, so I'd say that's a good precedent that it does not.

They can be any class that's appropriate for what they do, it's entirely up to you and your GM, if you're running a magic academy then they might be low level wizards, sorcerers, magi etc., if you took them to man your fort they might be warriors, fighters etc.

Blade tutor spirit is nice if you're str based but I don't see how it makes dex to damage irrelevant, you can't really get away with a low dex on a str build since you don't get heavy armour until level 13 (not to mention if you go kensai you never get it) so dex is important for AC, not to mention the nice bonuses to your weakest save, reflex, and initiative, but a dex to damage build can get away with 10 str just fine.

The usual shocking grasp is effective as ever against most undead, against incorporeal undead magic missile is the best option because force damage

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Well, as is pretty much established by the Settlement Rules, and I codified in my Level Demographics thread a long while ago, high level people aren't actually super rare in Golarion.

I mean, they are, people that high level are something like 1 in 100,000, but 1 in 100,000 when there are billions (or even 'only' hundreds of millions) of people in the world still results in quite a few of them.

Assuming a world population of 1 billion, that makes roughly 10,000 people of that level on the entirety of Golarion. Say one tenth of those are in the Inner Sea region...that's still 1,000 people. Adding 51 is relevant, but not world-changing.

And that, of course, ignores the people they killed getting there. I know, having finished CotCT, the PCs may all have been that high level, but they killed at least two people of that level to get there, and were set up to kill two more before very long (I'd probably assume they succeeded). The same is basically true in most other APs I've looked at as well.

So I doubt APs are really gonna change the number of high level people notably. What they do seem likely to change is how many of those people are Good aligned (or at least heroic), but even there, it's sorta a drop in the bucket.

The exception to all of the above is Wrath of the Righteous. 20th level/Mythic Tier 10 characters are almost unknown and almost completely unopposable (Geb and Baba Yaga can probably handle them...not much of anyone else, though). If you run that AP, the PCs need to either go on a planar quest (or something similar), or you need to start radically reassessing the world as a whole. Of course, that AP's ending sorta necessitates reassessing the world as a whole for other reasons as well...

And, as others have noted, all that assumes that the APs all happen, and that the PCs win all of them. Which a lot of people don't assume at all.

All this means is that instead of explaining away 51 people we now need to explain away 10,051.

Until you can afford a +5 weapon then the blackblade is going to be a major boost, once you can then, while you miss out on spell storing for extra nova power, you get to spend the money on other things, making you stronger over all. Not to mention fun stuff like getting to occasionally deal force damage.

Shocking grasp is the go to spell for a magus, the standard dervish dancing scimitar build with optional bladebound, hexcrafter or kensai archetypes works fine, magical lineage shocking grasp +metamagic.

ryric wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

With PrC's the stat for that ability will make you weaker overall, unlike a caster. As an example that assassin uses intelligence, which means bypassing dexterity constitution strength, and wisdom.

I know clerics get to use charisma for channels, but even on a failed channel vs undead they get something out of it.

You can take ability focus also, but if the stat is not a top 3 stat for me then I am not burning a feat to help it out.

I guess I see that as effectively saying that you don't think the ability is important enough to use resources on...so why would you expect it to work like it would for someone who does use those resources.

It's a perfectly fine character choice to ignore death attack because you don't think it's worth beefing up. I'm just saying it can be beefed up to the point of consistent utility. If you make it so that it's really effective without any resources, then players who do boost it can make it unstoppable, which is bad IMO.

Because the prestige classes don't suddenly grant you a massive boost to an ability score, and if you want to be functional you need a bunch of other ability scores, casters don't need anything other than their casting stat so it's fine to max it at the cost of everything else, that assassin needs his dex, con and maybe str to make him a competent melee combatant.

Lorila Sorita wrote:

Well you can make up your own spells, with the spell research rules. Basically I would use those rules to find out what spell level it is. I would likely compare it to one of the pocket dimension abilities. Once you know what level spell it was just use the wonderous item chart. Which says for items that are always one or you can turn on and off: Spell level X caster level X 2,000 gold.

So, if you decide it is equal to Greater Create Mindscape then it would cost 132,000 gold.

Could probably get a discount because you want to make it a limited version of mindscape that always does the same thing. If you wanted to in a stationary area, just make the floor the magic item.

It's a wizard's duel, they may well not touch the floor.

I like magic being flat out better than anything mundane classes can do, if magic isn't better it's not magical.

I just had an idea, if the reason you can't make much armour is most of the scales are damaged in the fight, does that mean you could cast mending a few times to get more armour?

If you like your alchemical weapons play an alchemist, they get to add their int mod to the damage of any thrown splash weapon and can cheaply craft them.

HyperMissingno wrote:
Oi, that's not burning down, that's blowing up! Get your destruction phrases right!

It was burning down, turns out the alchemist left some of his supplies there, got the job done though.

HyperMissingno wrote:
The problem with the last one is that there's at least three classes that force you into the prodigy area, Oracle, Sorcerer, and Kinetisist. One has divine power shoved into them, another draws it from their blood, and I don't even know where the last one gets their powers.

I think kineticists are somehow magically linked to one of the elemental planes, they act as a channel to let the elemental power through or something.

137ben wrote:

And yet, no other game company is able to get away with saying "it doesn't matter if the game we released is horrible or even if it works, because players can just fix it."

Well I can certainly think of quite a few games, games I actually enjoy too, that pretty much require fan made patches to work properly.

MeanMutton wrote:
jeremiah dodson 812 wrote:
Master summoner super focused on summoning

That's literally the point of the archetype, if you aren't super focused on summoning you don't take it

No need for murder, just steal the ring, maybe piss in his waterskin while you're at it.

You could have summon monster X, you'd have to make up a list though which might be a bit more work than you want.
Fun ideas could be something like a large aoe disintegrate, big enough to level buildings, mass dominate person, a new create pit type spell that creates a massive 40x40 ft pit that's say 15ft deep per caster level that you can drop even colossal creatures into, filled with something damaging of course or maybe that contains an antimagic field or dimensional anchor to make it hard to get out of, maybe a divine spell that asks the gods to destroy the target's soul so they can never be brought back to life, a spell that creates a permanent dead magic zone, maybe a multi target raise dead with standard action cast time.

Become a Graveknight instead, you're slightly easier to kill (you're effectively wearing your phylactery), but you're stronger and don't need to be a caster.

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If detect magic is an issue you must really hate permanent arcane sight.

Smack it with a sphere of annihilation, only direct divine intervention can undo that.

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Coffee Demon wrote:

Bigger-picture response to the OP:

I don't think assumptions about magic reliability are breaking the game.

I do think there is a problem with PF's over-reliance on rules though. I think there is a dominant assumption (reinforced constantly in these forms, and several times in this thread) that PF is meant to have a fairly consistent play style, and that Paizo is the authority on how the game should be run.

DM-player adjustments to the rules are often referred to as "house rules" (granted, that's what the rule-book calls them), and I sometimes get the sense that people think these "house rules" should be an exception rather than the rule. "Rule Zero" is given less priority in PF than in any other RPG I've DM'ed in my 32 year DM career.

The game itself propogates the over-reliance, because it does have a rule for almost everything. How can a DM hand-wave a cool dramatic action when the rules say you need Feats X,Y,XX and ZZ to do that?

Following from that, how am I, as DM, supported when I don't think a player should have a certain spell (for good reason)? The rules say everything else that happens in the game... surely it would also tell us if the entire spell list wasn't accessible?

This all takes agency away from the DM as someone who builds a world with the players. It takes trust away from the DM. And I think it risks a RP environment where the DM is a 'rules-judge' in opposition to the players.

I suspect Starfinder is going to be a lot more restrained with rules, so the game doesn't slip into the same fundamental problems.

**I don't think any of these things kill PF for me. I am DM-ing it without these problems, but it takes a lot of investment and discussions with players beforehand so we agree on the style of game we want. It helps that all of us played a lot of more free-flowing systems, as well. And I think it helps not to have players with excessive mastery of the rules, or over-investment in this particular system over the RP experience itself. {edit - slightly ninja'ed...

It's because players expect the game to follow the rules they know when playing pathfinder, house rules brought in at the start are fine, but when the GM starts changing things half way through and suddenly that plan you had for your character doesn't work it's really annoying, rules for everything is one of the things I like about pathfinder, if I want to be able to do something I know in advance what it takes.

Anything from the create pit line combines with battering blast, hydraulic push or any of the other bullrush spells, just keep knocking them into pits, oh and if you can fly you can just fly above the pit and knock them down when they try to climb out.

Wis is pretty great as a casting stat, you get a lovely will save, then again it's your best save already, Int lets you actually have a decent number of skills. I'd still rather not run sage or empyreal simply because the bloodlines are weak and picking a good bloodline is really important to making your sorcerer work, there's very little reason to go sage over being a wizard, empyreal is a weak bloodline, though if you really need to be wis based then it's your only arcane option. I'd still rather go orc, draconic, elemental, fey, slyvan, abysal etc. for the unique and powerful bloodline arcana and powers.

Top ten:
1. Wizard
2. Sorcerer
3. Arcanist
4. Magus
5. Oracle
6. Alchemist
7. Inquisitor
8. Druid
9. Paladin
10. Witch

Bottom ten:
Chained Rogue

You can't really take 20 on a stealth check, taking 20 would imply you let yourself get spotted 19 times before finally hiding.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Kurald Galain wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Armored Sprint saves you on some of your need to cast Bladed Dash. Not 100% sure I would go for this, given the scarcity of feats until later levels, but it is something to consider.
Please explain how, I don't understand this one.

For those instances in which you primarily need Bladed Dash for fast repositioning but don't need the attack along the way, if you have invested enough in Acrobatics (to avoid AoOs), you can instead just move fast (faster than you would normally be able to) to reposition yourself (and since this also lets you retain your Dexterity Bonus to your Armor Class, even if a few AoOs go off, they aren't guaranteed to hit you). Save spell slots for something other than Bladed Dash. This keeps on working once you become able to use Heavy Armor, and the Armored Sprint ability is better than getting Run as a separate feat.

Bladed dash isn't a replacement for a move action, it's only a 30ft range which you can probably match (or even exceed when you have haste or fly active), what it is is an extra attack and the ability to move and full attack, it's like pounce, only you get an extra free attack with a bonus equal to your int mod and don't provoke AoOs.

Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
WagnerSika wrote:
*Khan* wrote:
412294 wrote:
Well with spell perfection you could drop a maximised, intensified, empowered, dazing fireball as a 9th level spell dealing 90+7d6 damage and 3 rounds of daze on a failed reflex save, then you follow it up with either a quickened maximised intensified empowered fireball if they failed the save or a quickened dazing empowered intensified fireball if they made the save.

Well the first spell uses a 12th level spell slot and the second uses a 13th level spell slot.

9th level slot is enough: Intensify +1, empower +2, daze +3 = +6, spell perfection lets you add any one metamagic for free. If you have the two metamagic cost lowering traits you can use this from 7th level slot.
Right, but you used Maximize, too, for another +3 which gets you to 12th. Spell Perfection lets you use one for free, but it doesn't let you exceed 9th level before the free reduction.
Spell Perfection wrote:
Whenever you cast that spell you may apply any one metamagic feat you have to that spell without affecting its level or casting time, as long as the total modified level of the spell does not use a spell slot above 9th level.

Spell Perfection lets you cast a 5th level Quickened spell with a 5th level slot, but it never lets you cast a 6th level perfected spell with Quickened, because the total modified level of the spell would be 10th before your discount.

This line is here (1) to prevent this sort of higher than 9th level abuse and (2) to allow 4th and 6th level casters to benefit from Spell Perfection if they want to, allowing them a 9th level effective cap rather than their usual 4th or 6th.

Fireball 3rd level,

intensified +1
empowered +2
dazing +3
maximised +3
quickened +4
spell perfection lets us ignore one of these
so maximised intensified empowered dazing fireball is 3+1+2+3+3=12, we ignore one of those +3s to get a 9th level spell
we swap a +3 for a +4 then ignore it to quicken, and the total modified spell level is 9, not above.

Well with spell perfection you could drop a maximised, intensified, empowered, dazing fireball as a 9th level spell dealing 90+7d6 damage and 3 rounds of daze on a failed reflex save, then you follow it up with either a quickened maximised intensified empowered fireball if they failed the save or a quickened dazing empowered intensified fireball if they made the save.

ChaosTicket wrote:

Oh wow, the School Savant really doesnt give extra slots. So you just gain the School powers and some extra prepared spells.

Extra spells per day would be worth it, but extra spells to prepare(Quick Study can handle that)is more debatable. That knocks that archetype down alot.

Quick study costs points, you don't really have that many of them and other goodies like +2CL/DC and dimensional slide use it too. That and it costs an extra slot to prepare but not to cast an opposition school, so you don't suffer nearly as much when you decide to use one, and that lets you grab yourself divination(foressight) to go first in every fight.

Grenouillebleue wrote:
ChaosTicket wrote:

Ill make a side-by-side comparison between a tier 9 spell and Composite Blast.

Composite blast (energy) does 2d6+(0.5)constitution modifier multipled by up to 9. Lets say its Con 28-9 for the situation. 72 average damage

Tier 9 Meteor Swarm does 8d6 damage and has 4 attacks. Without damage modifiers its 28 average damage per hit and 112 average with one spell. also each attack has a 40foot blast radius.

Actually, no sane blaster would use meteor swarm to do damage.

To keep in theme with what OP asked, and using a blood arcanist, it would be more like:
- Cast an intensified empowered (free-maximized)Chain Lightning with 1pt boost for 12d6+187 damage on up to 25 targets.
- Use rod of quickening (greater) to cast the same spell for the same damage.
- Profit.

JiCi wrote:

I"m leaning toward the Kineticist, simply because of the at-will Kinetic Blast.

I'm so sorry, but you cannot, and I mean CANNOT even think about "viability" with daily uses for spells.

You cannot use Shocking Grasp, Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning at will, let alone 3 times per day or more. Sure, they might be more powerful than the Kinetic Blast, but they're not at readily available. Yes, you MIGHT not get into that many encounters per day, but you NEVER know what to expect in any game session.

A Kineticist can snap a finger and throw a lightning orb at any time and doesn't need to worry about wasting a spell slot.

Yes, you can. Let's break it up by level to see that. For this, I'll use the aforementioned Blood Arcanist (orc bloodline).

Level 1
Your Kineticist (20 con) throws lightning at will for 1d6+2
My Arcanist (20 int) can cast burning hands FOUR TIMES for 4d6+4, effectively ending encounters. Else i'll rely on a cantrip dealing 1d3 damage against touch or a crossbow doing 1d8 damage against AC, so I can end 4 encounters but if there's more, you have more staying power - although at this level, your piddly 1d6+2 damage will make all martials laugh.

Level 4...

Burning hands is 1d4/level not d6

James Risner wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Should cost bare minimum 32,000 gp.

If they're cool with that, then go for it.


Saves on bracer slot and +4 is normally 16,000 gp = 32,000 gp.

Permanent mage armour is in no way worth 16000 gp let alone 32000 gp, just because bracers of armour are expensive doesn't mean this should be. A far more reasonable comparison is saving a spell known and spell slot, so a runestone of power and page of spell knowledge, at 3000gp.

Texas Snyper wrote:
ChaosTicket wrote:

Level 1 you use Gather Power allow Extended Range.
Level 5 you use Gather Power to Empower your Simple Blasts, and Infusion Specialization allow Extended Range, all together.

Casters have far more versatility. You have a whole assortment of spells. Clerics and Druids know their entire spell list, and some Arcane Classes let them learn an unlimited number of spells. Nothing to stop a Wizard/Sorcerer from having tier 3 Hastes and tier 4 Intensified Fireballs, not to mention tiers 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, and 9.

Level 1 wizard shoots 1d3 cantrips

Level 5 wizard has to choose between 1 haste or 1 fireball (2 if in school)
Still less damage than an all day kineticist (who may have other useful stuff like tripping, bull rush, or entangling) Also blast at this level is 3d6[+3]+more before the 1.5 modifier.

I get this big feeling that a lot of forum goers sometimes get this disillusioned feeling that optimal is the gold standard for encounters and situations. I am by no means a veteran player but I have definetly played enough to see casters either not have the right spells prepared or have the wrong spells prepared. It isn't unheard of to have presumed the wrong situations for the day.

You appear to be forgetting about bonus spells for high int, oh and the wizard's fireball is more damage, and probably hits everything in the encounter, and if he's properly built has at least a +2 to caster level dealing 7d6 damage, so over twice as much as the kineticist. Now if we make this guy a sorcerer then we can play with blood havoc and one of the blasting arcana to make that 8d6+16 at level 6, or 9d6+18 with both spell specialisation and varisian tattoo, and this is 3 times a day before the extra spell or two from high cha.

So if our blasty sorcerer has even as little as 16 cha he's got 4 fireballs, and each of them doing about 50 damage on a failed save, he probably doesn't need more.

Oh boy someone's linked the C/M D thread.

You really only need fireball and metamagic for blasting, you can spend the rest of your slots on utility, maybe at early levels you might want some other damage, oh and a properly built blaster should kill most things within a 20ft radius in 1-3 spells.

As soon as you hit level 5 detect evil and smite him dead, if he does anything that gives him away as evil before that smite and kill. Get a wand of Keep Watch asap, it's on your spell list, then you can stay up on watch all night every night and still get the benefits of sleep, that way he can't strike first, if you're in any way suspicious of him or anyone else or just in dangerous territory it's a perfectly logical in character purchase.

TOZ wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:

People lack imagination.

You don't break the game with just DPR.

So enlighten me. Because DPR is all the fighter has.

Well the general consensus is the fighter can't break the game, the guy who got banned was probably just doing far more damage than any of the other martials in the group and got banned for that, not breaking the game.

Ravingdork wrote:
Sorry, but being treated as a 1st-level sorcerer only for the 1st-level bloodline power is not nearly the same thing, even if you can expend resources for temporary boosts.

The blood arcanist archetype trades your 1st, 3rd, 9th and 15th level exploits and your capstone for a full bloodline, as in all the powers and the arcana. You have to wait until 5th level to get your exploits, but once you do you're basically a better sorcerer. (with the exception of the new bloodline mutations, which look like they might be enough to make sorcerers the best option in the game for blasting, arcanist is still better at everything else.)

Imbicatus wrote:
A kineticist doesn't need to spend burn unless he is going nova. Between infusion specialization, gather power, and internal buffer, you only need to use enough burn to max elemental overflow, and then you blast all day.

A decently leveled wizard can blast every fight and can nova harder, lets assume the average 4 encounter day (this is what the game is balanced around after all) a wizard with 16-23 int can cast a fireball every fight at level 8, 6 if his int is higher, and while sure he probably wants to cast some other spells, he can also chuck out scorching ray or burning arc, maybe even a burning hands, not to mention the other ways he contributes with battlefield control and such. The sorcerer with at least 16 cha can pull it off from the second he gets his 3rd level spells. Now you might be thinking that the kineticist can chuck a blast every turn, but the wizard/sorcerer is hitting everything in a 20ft radius, in fact almost every blast in the game hits multiple targets, so our caster only needs one, and he soon gets more, and he gets metamagic, likely has options for using other elements when you fight that elemental/devil etc.. Oh and the caster is also one of those guys who can break the game with a few high level spells (and while metamagic means he might use high level slots blasting spells worth using are mostly low level so even the sorcerer can pick up whatever he wants).

Kineticists are nice if you want every action you take to be an elemental themed attack, but a blasting caster can certainly match or outdo them when it comes to killing everything in sight as fast as possible.

Permanent mage armour is not going to be more of an issue than the guy just casting it every day, if you really think the fact he can retrain the spell and has to spend one less spell per day matters then a level 1 page of spell knowledge is 1000gp and a runestone of power is 2000gp so he could already do that for 3000gp (in fact that would let him recast it if it was dispelled or choose not to cast it and cast some other spell an extra time), if he thinks having it permanent would be more fun then let him and charge him 3000gp, if for some reason you want to charge more an argument could be made for 4000gp (the extra 1000 is equivalent to 1/3 the price of a 3/day extend, which seems a reasonable comparison for having it up all day instead of 1hour/level).

Wizards and arcanists are both better than sorcerers and arcanists can even grab a bloodline if they want.

The arcanist's biggest weakness is that the exploiter wizard gets to poach half their class features.

Well Elves are automatically proficient in longbows, longswords, rapiers and shortswords, so maybe that's where the idea of always being proficient came from.

Orfamay Quest wrote:

If you gave summoners wider access to summoned monsters than the standard SM list, that might do it. If you allow, for example, summoners to summon any encounter of CR equal to their level -- for example, a 5th level summoner summoning 16 orcs or a 18th level summoner summoning a cairn linnorm, that would probably do it. If nothing else, there's probably something summonable that would give them access to wish, and that would definitely do it. This isn't technically changing spellcasting because the summoning is a spell-like ability, but it still feels like it's something you wouldn't like.

"Creatures summoned using this spell cannot use spells or spell-like abilities that duplicate spells with expensive material components (such as wish)." Taken from the summon monster description, so they'd never get that wish.

Crossblooded air elemental and orc sorcerer, this gets you the ability to turn every spell into electricity damage and a nice +1 damage/dice for all spells, take blood mutations at every opportunity gaining you another +1 damage/dice for any spell affected by spell focus or that is a bloodline spell, you will naturally be taking spell focus evocation, a free better version of intensify spell a few times a day and the ability to reduce spell and energy resistance of your enemies. This trades out your 1st, 3rd and 9th level bloodline powers, you'll probably want to go with the air elemental flight power at 15. Other things to grab are spell specialisation, varisian tattoo, empower/maximise/daze/quicken etc. metamagic, spell perfection, so the typical blaster stuff. I think this is the first time I've seen a good reason to take crossblooded as more than a 1 level sorcerer dip.

Unarmed and natural attacks already discharge touch attacks, so you don't need any special enchantments.

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