3 posts. Alias of Malignor.

I have a homebrew world which I lazily named Dracca. Some elements of this world are inspired from the Michael Moorcock books, specifically the Melneboneans. As such, the dominant Elven race, High Elves (or Tower Elves) are a Chaotic Evil race.

The backstory has something to do with the gods abandoning the world, and so all the mortals (who depended on their priests) became desperate. The Elves (who were good at the time) were seduced by a cabal of Demons, and so their arch wizards conspired with the demons to monopolize all the arcane power of the cosmos. The conspiracy was fulfilled by the Soul Eating Matrix of Ibbn Gaza - a stomach-turning ritual that forever linked arcane magic to demons of the Abyss. In order to practice wizardry or witchcraft, one must give their soul to a demonic patron, and submit to the role of "thrall."

Soul Eating Matrix of Ibbn Gaza:
This ritual connects the fabric of this plane to that of the Abyss, and manifests as a permanent 300' wide geometric design scrawled with various arcane writings in Abyssal.
To complete the 6 hour ritual of chanting, 531 HD worth of humanoids must be sacrificed in the span of 1 hour, during a rare celestial event. Finally, one’s self (mind, body and soul) must be fed to the matrix.
This creates the following effects:
  • Any Demon who comes to this plane gains the Patronage special ability. Once Patronage is used, the effects remain beyond this plane. This ability allows demons to bind others to them (earning the bound being the label “thrall”), giving that demon the ability to scry on their thralls at will as an SLA, communicate telepathically with their thrall from any distance and across planes, as well as the option to teleport to within 30' of a particularly powerful thrall, if mentioned by name with 1 minute of grace time. Demons can bind any other creature to them, except a demon who they are bound to. Demons who become patrons of other demons are also patrons of all that demon's thralls; Patronage is transitive, but neither reciprocal (mutual-binding) nor recursive (self-binding). If a demon binds multiple non-Demons to itself, it gains levels in sorcerer (Abyssal Bloodline), with level equal to log2(B), with B being the number of people bound by Patronage:
    Sorcerer1 @ 2 bound non-Demons
    Sorcerer2 @ 4 bound non-Demons
    Sorcerer3 @ 8 bound non-Demons
    Sorcerer20 @ 1,048,576 bound non-Demons

    Despite being a sorcerer, demons can teach their spells known to Wizards or Witches. Any bloodline abilities which are redundant can be exchanged for those of one other bloodline, thematically chosen.
    Note that most of the bound beings are not free roaming. Many of them have been fed to their demon patrons; you see once you bind yourself to a demon, that binding transcends death, and your soul becomes consumed by the patron. So the 1 million+ include both the living and those who have died as a thrall. However, the more successful demons know that a living thrall is like a living advertisement to patronage, as well as a servant and spy. Much of the chaos among the Elven kingdoms are schemes to take patronage away from rival demons, before the patrons kill them to secure ownership.

  • Any unbound creature who is not a demon, and casts a prepared arcane spell, is suddenly affected by a Sympathy spell, attracting demons from the Abyss. To make matters worse, a Gate spell spontaneously activates within 100', with line of effect to the caster. This gate opens to the abyss, from which random demons inevitably emerge. These demons, once they appear, suffer a compulsion (9th level spell, Will save 23) to feed this person to the soul eating matrix. Those that resist the compulsion usually aren't benevolent either.
  • The location of the Soule Eating Matrix becomes a nexus of souls, negative energy, and raw chaos and evil. Any unfocused casting of Plane Shift from the Abyss to this plane (where no location is specified) leads directly into the S.E.M.
  • The bodies of those sacrificed for the S.E.M have become a massive stitch-work of undead flesh and trapped souls, known as the Mountain of Carrion.

Soul Binding:
All creatures with both the demon and extraplanar subtypes have this ability, so long as they remain on the same plane as the Soul Eating Matrix of Ibbn Gaza. Once bound, the patron and thrall are forever linked, even across realms where the S.E.M has no power.

Soul Binding (su): With a touch lasting 1 minute, the demonic creature can use soul binding to make a willing target a thrall. The target creature must have an INT of at least 3. The thrall refers to this demon as its patron. A patron can have any number of thralls, but a creature can only be the thrall of one patron at a time. Two patrons cannot mutually be each others’ thralls (it’s a strict hierarchy), nor can a patron make itself a thrall. Any patron who binds another Patron as a thrall counts its thrall’s thralls as its own as well (which can create a hierarchy of patronage). To describe the Soul Binding relationship in strictly logical terms, it is multivalued and transitive, but neither recursive nor symmetrical.
The patron gains the following benefits over the thrall:

  • Can scry on the thrall at will as a swift action, as per the Scrying spell but needing no components or focus. The thrall is familiar to the patron, who also is the owner of the thrall’s soul (total -15 Will save modifier vs. the scry)
  • The demon patron can communicate with the thrall telepathically across any distance, and even across the planes. Note that this also allows the patron demon to use Sense Motive at any time on the thrall via telepathy.
  • The demon enjoys a +8 bonus on all wisdom and charisma based checks (including skills) against their own thrall. The thrall enjoys a +2 bonus on the same checks against their patron.
  • When a thrall of 11 HD or more utters the patron’s name, the patron can make its aspect appear within 30’ of that thrall as if it were summoned by a Summon Monster spell. This appearance must occur within 1 minute of the utterance of the patron’s name, and otherwise functions as a Summon Monster spell (range, duration, etc). When (and if) the patron’s aspect appears can be determined by setting a charisma check DC for the thrall to roll against. This may or may not also include the thrall’s HD in the calculations.

Similarly, the thrall gains benefits, so long as they have a patron:

  • Able to learn and use arcane spells without being targeted by the Soul Eating Matrix.
    For every level not in Wizard or Witch (or a prestige class which adds +1 caster level to witch/wizard), the Thrall gains a daily use of one 0th level spell as a spell-like ability, chosen from the direct patron’s spells-known list. Upon reaching the 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th non-wizard or non-witch level, an additional, different spell can be chosen, and the available level increases by 1 (eg. a 0th or 1st level spell at level 4 rogue, or a 0th, 1st or 2nd level spell at level 8 rogue). These spell like abilities can be used once per day.
  • Represents some value (or at least utility) to a demonic patron: a thrall is a means to gather information from, and travel, vast distances and across planes.
When a thrall dies, its soul (if any) is claimed by the patron and remains counted among that patron’s thralls forever. Any spell which raises the dead requires the patron’s permission if used on a thrall.

Arcane Power from Patronage: As a patron collects mortal thralls with souls (be they living or dead), these provide arcane power. This power comes in the form of sorcerer levels, with some appropriate bloodline as fitting the demon’s theme (GM selects). Note that outsiders, undead, constructs and other beings for whom Resurrection is not applicable, do not count as thralls with souls. See the table below for the level, depending on the number of bound souls. Spells known from these sorcerer levels can be (and often are) taught to any wizard or witch Thralls.

0-1 thralls: as Sorcerer Level 0
2-3 thralls: as Sorcerer Level 1st
4-7 thralls: as Sorcerer Level 2nd
8-15 thralls: as Sorcerer Level 3rd
16-31 thralls: as Sorcerer Level 4th
32-63 thralls: as Sorcerer Level 5th
64-127 thralls: as Sorcerer Level 6th
128-255 thralls: as Sorcerer Level 7th

1,048,576+ thralls: as Sorcerer Level 20th

Determining Thralls for Random Demons
Many demons have thralls. That said, any demon encountered should be given the chance to have sorcerer levels. To determine this, start with the demon’s Charisma bonus. This is how many thralls the demon has, and it may be negative. Then add 1d4-1. If you roll a 4, add another 1d6-1. If you roll a 6, then add another 1d8-1. If you roll an 8, then add 1d10-1. If you roll a 10, then add 1d12-1. Then if you roll a 12, add 1d20-1. If you roll a natural 20, add 1d100-1. If you roll a 100, add 1d1000-1, and so on, increasing by factors of 10. Use the above table to determine the sorcerer level.

That's part 1.
Part 2 will be tomorrow, below this. It will include the mountain of carrion, demon princes, and Elven "heroes" (the favorite thralls of the demon princes).


Craft Wondrous Item feat.
Intelligent items can be built to cast spells.
One such option would be Alter Self 3/day.

Obviously not PFS legal, but RAW legal?
Does this mean a Level 3+ caster can (with enough money & time) build their own entourage of intelligent magic items that take humanoid form thrice a day apiece?


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I love how Eldritch Heritage can be sooooo cheesy. Using feats to get SLAs and supernatural abilities is quirky, can add flavor, and can cause outbursts of incredulity at gaming tables.

I would like to share a couple of Eldritch Heritage Cheese recipes that I've discovered.
If you can think of any other recipes, please share!

To start, here's...

The Demonically Dazzling Displayer
## Ingredients ##
1 Human, with the Focused Study racial trait.
1 Fighter - any will do, but I prefer Vanilla because of the dramatic contrast with the finished product.
1 Starting ability score array with Charisma score of 13 or higher.

## Recipe ##
1: Focused Study - Skill Focus (Intimidate), Weapon Focus 1, Dazzling Display
2: {DDB}
3: {DDB}
4: {DDB}, +1 Charisma if CHA < 14
5: {DDB}
6: {DDB}
7: {DDB}
8: {DDB}, Focused Study - Skill Focus (Know Planes), +1 Charisma if CHA < 15
9: Eldritch Heritage - Abyssal Bloodline (claws)
10: {DDB}
11: Improved Eldritch Heritage - Abyssal Bloodline (Strength of the Abyss; +2 STR)
12: {DDB}
13: {DDB}
14: {DDB}
15: {DDB}, Strength of the Abyss adds +2 more to STR
16: {DDB}, Focused Study - Skill Focus (pick a useful skill with 10+ ranks)
17: {DDB}
18: {DDB}
19: {DDB}, Strength of the Abyss adds +2 more to STR

All the instances of {DDB} just mean that you build for Dazzling Display. Keep your Intimidate ranks maxed out. There are many feat options available, from performance combat to (my personal favorite) the Deadly Stroke. I also like to take Improved Unarmed Strike, and Weapon Focus - Unarmed Strike, so when the Monk and Brawler brags about how awesome they are naked, I can Intimidate them and then beat their CON away the next round. You could instead use your flaming demon claws if you like being flashy. You can also pick Demon Resistances (electrical resist 10, and +4 vs poison) which isn't bad for a feat. Especially if you have a friendly party member who likes using electrical damage spells and you want to be fighting away in the thick of that zappy mess.
What I like most about this is that the Charisma investment looks like a suboptimal obsession with Intimidate... until level 11. Then the muscles start a-bulging. And again at levels 15 and 19, the muscles get an additional +2. So investing Charisma to 15 ends up adding +2, 4, then 6 to Strength... it's the long game, but it's great fun. Especially if you also build for strength at the start, and drop your Human bonus into Strength as well.

Next is...
The Ghoulish Grave Ganker
## Ingredients ##
1 Human, with the Focused Study racial trait.
1 Class with Sneak Attack class feature. As you may suspect I would use a vanilla Rogue for the lulz
1 Starting ability score array with Charisma score of 13 or higher.

## Recipe ##
1: Focused Study - Skill Focus (Stealth)
3: Eldritch Heritage - Ghoul Bloodline

and that's all you need!

Monster Codex wrote:
Ghoulish Claws (Su) : Starting at 1st level, you can grow claws as a free action. These claws are treated as natural weapons, allowing you to make two claw attacks as a full attack using your full base attack bonus. Each of these attacks deals 1d4 points of damage + your Strength modifier (1d3 if you are Small). At 5th level, creatures damaged with your claw attack are paralyzed for 1 round, as the ghoul ability (Fortitude negates). At 7th level, the duration of the paralysis increases to 1d4+1 rounds, and the claws are considered magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming DR. You can use your claws for a number of rounds per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.

Just add 2 to all the levels there (as Eldritch Heritage makes you as a sorcerer of 2 levels lower)... So at level 7 you can paralyze for 1 round, and at level 9 your paralysis becomes 1d4+1 rounds.

Paralyzed + Sneak Attack = Deliciously effective Coup De Grace.
Plus Skill focus (stealth) isn't exactly a bad thing to have on a ganker anyway...

Anyone else got some juicy ones?


Is there any official ruling or barrier to upgrading the various weapon "modes" of a Rod of Lordly Might?
For example...

SRD wrote:
When button 1 is pushed, the rod becomes a +1 flaming longsword

Can that be enchanted further to be a +3 keen flaming burst longsword?

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I would like to put forward a bit of lore around the Dwarven Urgrosh, where it came from and hopefully give some extra flavor to Dwarf history. Feel free to comment or review, adopt, criticize, or add to it how you see fit.

Urgrosh Origins
Long ago in the year [pick a year for your setting], the Dwarven clan [pick a clan name from your setting] had a rather inventive fellow named Urgrosh who, while mining, decided to make a sort of multi-tool.
It was a classic miner's pick, but the other side of the haft was a small spade used for clearing away debris, and chipping at fractures. His clan loved it and it became the miner's tool of choice for years. Urgrosh became well known for his inventiveness, and was awarded for it. The multitool was given his name.

At the end of a long day, digging some gold, Urgrosh's team ended up being attacked by Goblins. The gobbies had waited until the Dwarves were fatigued from a long day in the mine, with plenty of raw ore to steal. They charged forward astride their ugly beasts, but Urgrosh braced his multitool like a spear, tearing apart the throat of the lead goblin's steed with the spade. After prying it from the beast, Urgrosh split the skull of the rider with the pick side. As the skirmish continued, the Dwarves were able to employ the multitool in the same (surprisingly effective) way, and were victorious. Some of the multitools broke, but they otherwise proved to be rather flexible and effective weapons as well.

The very next day, Urgrosh commissioned the manufacture of a weaponized multitool, and started devising weapon drills with it. The spade side become more like a broad-bladed spear, and the pick side became an axe. Some of his fellows followed suit, even the career soldiers of his clan. Since then the Dwarven Urgrosh's popularity grew and grew.

The Urgrosh also has a "purist" version, where the axe head is replaced by a pick (1d6/x4 pick, 1d6/x3 spear).

There is also a hammer variant, where the axe head is replaced by a warhammer (1d8/x3 hammer, 1d6/x3 spear).

There is also the original Urgrosh miner's tool, which weighs 16 pounds and costs 12 gold. It's both a pick and shovel in one.

Surface explorers also have an alpine variant of the multitool, with the combination of a woodcutter's axe and spade. This also costs 12 gold and weighs 16 pounds.

There is even a construction variant, which combines a sledge and trowel: 12 gold and 16 lbs.

The Urgrosh (weapon) is most popular with Dwarven Rangers, who function as scouts, "spies" and long range patrollers, both underground and on the surface. Ranger training often includes elite dual-weapon use, and this is where the Urgrosh stands out.

When used for assault, the Urgrosh's hafted weapon head (axe, pick or hammer) is often used for the opening strike, as part of a charge or advance. In this devastating blow, the user uses both hands and puts the full body behind the blow (as 2-handed weapon when unable to full-attack).

When used to receive an enemy, the Urgrosh is brandished as an axe/hammer/pick, but the moment the enemy charges the weapon is braced against the charge (ready action: when enemy moves within reach - brace the spade/lance side against charge).

Is there a way besides Polymorph Any Object or Shapechange?

I'm looking and I can't see it. Maybe I'm blind...

Also, as a curiosity, any way to become an Ooze?

I looked around and I can't find any wizard spell that can heal an undead creature... including his lich-ey self!

What's a necromancer to do?


You know, when a wizard faces all the hardships and dangers of adventuring life, wouldn't it be sensible if, by simply going what they go through, they got better at athletic activities? I mean a 12th level wizard has been through some serious stuff, so would it not make sense of their balance, movement and so on improved?

Similarly, if a big dumb warrior type has traveled many miles, been to a dozen cities, been exposed to a dozen cultures and faced hundreds of strange encounters, wouldn't they (simply through experience) pick up some of that culture and knowledge?

I think so too.

So here's an idea on how to make that happen.

culture & knowledge:
All characters get 1 additional rank per HD, selected from among cultural skills. This includes
  • Appraise, learned through observing and participating in barters in various marketplaces.
  • Craft, with the category is known by a current party member or friendly NPC willing to teach, or is among the equipment in the party.
  • Bluff, Diplomacy, or Sense Motive, learned through negotiating and socializing with people from various cultures and backgrounds.
  • Knowledge (any), with the category known by a current party member or friendly NPC willing to teach, or is among the things encountered during the last adventuring level.
  • Linguistics, with the language known by a current party member or friendly NPC willing to teach, or is among those used often in the last adventuring level.
  • Perform, with the performance skill known by a current party member or friendly NPC willing to teach.
  • Profession, with the profession known by a current party member or friendly NPC willing to teach.

    This rank cannot put any skill above 3 ranks.

  • facing danger and challenges:
    All characters get 1 rank per HD among adventure skills. This includes:

    Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, Fly, Heal, Perception, Ride, Spellcraft, Survival, Swim, Use Magic Device

    The rank should reflect upon the activities from the last level worth of adventuring, or roleplayed some training by a PC or friendly NPC. For example, a rank added to swim only if the character had to swim sometime during the last level's worth of adventures.

    This rank cannot put any skill above 3 ranks. If all of these skills have 3 ranks each, or no skill can be increased by the above criteria, the character replaces the rank for +1 hitpoint.

    So... thoughts? Criticisms? Praise?

    Courtesan used to mean the same thing as courtier.
    So is this profession in reference to what it used to mean, or what it means now (high-class-ho)?

    Goblin Squad Member

    MMOs have alot of standard services like healing and teleportation and long-duration buffs. PFO can certainly have these, and they can make sense in the details of the PF world.


    This is pretty straightforward, or could be. There may or may not be NPCs available to provide spellcasting services (priests at a temple, mages at an arcane school). I can picture a cosmopolitan temple or arcane school assigning individuals shifts as spellcaster-for-hire. Both the temple and arcane schools provide these services for various reasons. Firstly, it keeps a steady supply of revenue for the organization, which help with property taxes and other shared costs. Secondly, it shows that the organization is contributing and adding value to society and quality of life, which makes the people and government happy (thus reducing the chances of a torch+pitchfork mob). Thirdly, it teaches the members of their organization some people skills (never a bad thing) while also gathering useful information about goings on in the area.

    The temple can provide medical assistance via spontaneous casting of cure spells. I suspect low level acolytes would also be available for an emergency as well. Any other spell requests (and associated "donations") should be made a day in advance so the priest on tomorrow's shift can prepare the spells you request.

    The arcane school can function a little quicker, as the shift-wizard would start the day with all empty slots, and fills them with the requested spells in 15-60 minutes (See THIS LINK for how).

    Some example services include...

    Teleport party to commonly known location: 450 to 910 gold, or more if a larger party
    Buff - Mage Armor: 10gp per hour duration
    Conjured - Mount: 10gp per 2 hours
    Emergency healing to stabilize (Cure Light): 10gp donation; we'll bill you later
    Conjure clean water in a drought: 5gp donation per 2 gallons
    Sanitize food during plague: 5gp donation per cubic foot
    Conjure food during famine: 150gp donation per 15 people for 1 day's rations
    Find a lost item in a known nearby vicinity: 150gp donation
    Restore sight to one who is blind: 150gp donation
    Buff - Magic Circle vs. Evil: 30gp per 10 minutes, minimum 150gp

    The implications of this can give ideas for game events ... famines, plagues and droughts can afflict regions, caused by badguys, or simply as background to add depth and immersion, while also potentially adding complications to areas.

    For example, a famine would affect which merchants are at the marketplace, and affect local prices of foods or organic materials, and also cause the local temple to be fully "booked" with requests to conjure and sanitize food (partly subsidized by charities, insurance companies or the government), so healing services are simply unavailable.

    For organizations which have the resources, high demand requests can be automated and charged at competitive rates. This is done through crafting traps.

    Helpful Traps:

    An arcane society could make a room trap which spends 20 seconds reading the mind of a person and teleports them (and up to 3 additional passengers) there. They'd charge a fee to use thie room, which can put any "grunt-work" teleporters-for-hire out of business. Making the trap would be a big investment...

    • CR 8: Detect Thoughts + Greater Teleport
    • Craft DC 35: CR 8 + reset + proximity trigger
    • Costs 48,500gp: Greater Teleport + Detect Thoughts
    • Crafted in 97 days

    See? Expensive!
    However, if you charged a "mere" 100gp per teleportation (up to 4 people per use), you would recover your costs in 485 uses, and everything else would be pure profit. 100gp is also more affordable than the 450gp minimum for lesser teleport, which drives out all smalltime competition and also broadens your market. You could technically drop the price to something very low, but then you'd also attract the riffraff and no self respecting arcane society wants to associate with dirt farmers.

    This example illustrates how temples could have healing rooms, or food-conjuring altars (both traps triggered by prayer and/or donation). Arcane societies could have short term horse rentals ("24 hour conjured rental for a mere 10gp!") if the market has enough demand to pay back the investment. The possibilities can easily get out of hand.

    All this shows that any sort of MMO-standard elements you see in a town could easily be present in PFO with a bit of resourceful referencing.

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    Lemme know what you think of this...

    Leadership is avoided by most game tables because it it cheesy.
    If one person has leadership in the party, they almost always have unfair advantage.

    That said, I suggest GMs strike Leadership from the feat roster, and instead harken back to the spirit of Gygaxian AD&D; make Leadership an optional campaign choice in once of two ways:

    1 - Oligarchy
    2 - Band of Lords

    At some point, the entire party is recognized as great, and people gather around them or adopt them as their master. Run it like one Leadership feat shared among the party. Think "Lion Witch and Wardrobe" where everyone in the party is part of an elite class of leaders. The cohort is the party's rep or magistrate who runs things while they're away on adventures, or represents the party's interests when they're holding court. The cohort doesn't come along on adventures, but their stats are critical in the case of a defend-the-fort situation. Plus they could be an item crafter or diplomat, which helps illustrate the party's gains in terms of wealth or influence over time.

    Band of Lords
    Each party member effectively has Leadership at a certain point (a certain level, or the consequence of a certain event). They could then pool all these followers and cohorts, or separate them out. One good way to allocate cohorts and followers is to have each PC lead a different part of society - one is the military general, one is in charge of a secret society of spies for the king, one is the political leader, and another runs a magic university, and another the city's temple. The classes of cohorts and followers are chosen around these roles.

    No matter the distribution choice, the Cohort and followers are 100% loyal and trustworthy, dedicating themselves to the party. Their full time job is to make the party's dreams come true by pooling wealth and abilities.

    A GM can have the cohort(s) and followers be the sum total of the PCs' people-resources, or can simply be the ones who form the core of the society which the party is responsible for. This means the kingdom or army or church can be of any size, but has a minimum population as determined by the table under the Leadership feat. If the army gets wiped out, followers slowly gather from near and far to repopulate the ranks (with the appropriate modifiers such as "allowed 50% of followers died", listed in the feat itself).

    Does the DC increase by +2 per additional stone, or does the target make multiple low saves?

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    My friend has a Spider (Vermin) Companion.

    To start, they are small, have a climb speed (+8 racial bonus), low STR (7) high DEX (17) and no ability to gain skill ranks. This adds up to a Climb bonus of +6?!?!

    Shouldn't creatures with a climb speed be able to use the BETTER of Dexterity or Strength in determining climb ability? A spider that can only consistently make climb checks DC 16 is kinds of ... theme breaking.

    6 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

    Hi there,

    I just finished remaking an old 3.5 Gish character in PF.

    Suddenly, I realized that Vital Strike works with an attack action.

    I assume that if you cast a touch spell and deliver it in the same round, it's not an attack action, but a spellcasting action. So in order to 'sploit this, you need to cast and hold the charge.

    That said, it works thus:
    1 - cast Vampiric Touch, such as while preparing for an ambush. Hold the charge.
    2 - on your turn, make an attack action to deliver the touch spell. Thanks to Vital Strike, you do double damage, and also receive double the temp HP.

    Now, my Gish build by level 20 casts as a 17th level caster and has +17 BAB, and has Improved Vital Strike. That said, I'd be able to deliver 24-144 damage (and get that in temp HP) with this trick!?!? This is one hell of an opening move.

    How far am I off my rocker on this?

    This is an entry I'm considering for my houserules compilation. I'd like some critique of it - does it make sense? Is it reasonable? Did I miss some huge holes?

    One crisis is that all items are literally measured against the gold standard. The problem is, supply and demand of one material, compared to the supply and demand of gold, would be in flux for any given region, of any given world, on any given plane of existence. When an epic wizard could conceivably conjure a mountain of gold from the Elemental Plane of Earth, or capture an Efreeti once a week and wish up a trio of 15000gp diamonds 50 times a year, it really tests one’s suspension of disbelief when such things make no impact on the region’s economy and relative worth. This problem infects questions such as “how much diamond dust is 5000gp?” which is of vital concern to spellcasters, especially when they want to have tea with their dead friends. Would the shift in the value of diamonds mean that now a cleric needs more diamond dust for the same spell as he did last week? If so, how does one keep up to speed on the commodities market without a laptop and the internet?

    The most common way to mitigate this issue is to ignore it altogether, pretend that everything balances out somehow, and move on. But ignoring the issue also ignores what a powerful spellcaster can do with a year off (“how much can I sell a wall of stone for in this swamp town?”), thus ignoring one problem only to be faced with another issue: spellcasters would not only have all the power, but all the money too. If a market could be saturated by inflated supply of iron, causing value to drop, then this issue can work itself out. But now we’re right back at the problem of comparing worth... especially since the low, low value of iron would affect the price of swords and armor thanks to the rules around the craft skills.

    To keep a GM from pulling out their hair or handing out ultimatums to players in the form of barred activities, there is a nice, easy solution that makes both problems go away: A table to convert listed cost of materials in the books, to mass, and set an arbitrary atomic value for wealth. Since the “gp” is the common listing, it’s a good value to use, and say that it now means “global product” or something similar (to make yourself sleep better at night, “sp” could be “subsidiary product”, “cp” could be “coarse product”, and “pp” could be “prime product”). It’s especially warm and cozy because one copper piece is “0.01gp”... which is effectively a penny, which traditionally was made of copper.

    So copper is 0.50gp per pound, Silver is 5.00gp per pound and Gold is 50.00gp per pound and platinum is 500.00gp per pound. We go into spells which require a costly component... Bless Water requires “25gp” of silver per casting, which we convert to 5 lbs. Done. No matter what happens to the economy of silver, it will always take 5 lbs of it to make a pint of holy water. Rejoice.

    Similar things should also be said for other materials, such as diamonds, iron (for craft skills) and the like. All you need is a table converting “gp” book listing to mass, and then you can quickly convert the amounts required for practical use. From there, the commodities market can fluctuate and dance like it does in the real world. Spellcasters and high level characters can hatch quick moneymaking schemes and be cut short by functioning economic realities, without ruining anything but that little corner of the economy that they curb-stomped. The listedValue-to-listedMass table sets all the material needs as masses, so you can play with trade issues to your hearts content, without causing serious harm to gameplay.

    If you've never seen the Mentalist, it's a show about a con artist, who pretended to be a psychic, and he works for the police. He uses his fake psychic con, as well as many other mental tricks and manipulations, to screw with everyone's head and thus solve the crime. I enjoy the show alot, as I'm a fan of heroes who win by trickery and cunning.

    Anyhow, I believe the trick that fake psychics use to con people is called the "Cold Read". This feat is my offering on how it could work in a D20 system.

    Please provide criticism and/or feedback.

    Cold Read

    4 ranks in both Bluff and Sense Motive

    By spending one minute in conversation, you can make a DC 20 sense motive check. If successful, you can guess one piece of personal information about the target. This information can be used in conversation to make a far-fetched Bluff check (-10) against the target. If this Bluff is successful it causes the target to, through body language and unwilling tells, become an open book to you, as you seem able to read the person’s mind, memories and past, extracting even their most treasured secrets over time. However, this is all a mental trick of leading the target into giving the information under false pretenses, even without their speaking.

    With a successful Cold Read, a character can learn anything that the target knows or remembers. However, the target may realize that a Cold Read is occurring (by successfully making a Sense Motive roll DC 20 for a “hunch”) and then apply his own bluff check to defeat the Cold Read, or simply end social interactions by leaving or by initiating violence, or resist it directly by making a Will save against the Cold Reader, DC is the same as the Sense Motive roll.

    A Cold Read only works on a creature who knows the language you are speaking.

    The Houserule wrote:
    Handle Animal: Can use this skill to advance a creature +1 HD, as a check of DC 20+the creature's current HD, taking 1 week. Neither the creature’s HD nor CR can exceed 5 less than the number of ranks you have in Handle Animal.

    ... the idea is that the resulting creature will NEVER go beyond the HD value of even the Ranger's Animal Companion. Of course, Animal Companions also get things like share spells and evasion, so there's no threat of this trumping any animal companion or mount provided by a class feature.

    Nevertheless, for characters such as, say, a Roughrider Fighter Archetype, this is a fantastic option.

    Whaddya think? Good houserule?

    Shadow Lodge

    I've been watching my slave, a Hobgoblin who fights unarmed. He can stun people with a strike. That would be a fun trick to have. Now I notice that the poor loser is stunned only briefly, not long enough to follow up with a barrage while taking advantage of his condition.

    (Stunning Fist only lasts 1 full round; just shy of your next turn)

    However, if the opponent does something stupid and walks into a hit, then the chance comes up to deliver a barrage on the still-stunned victim.

    (Use Stunning Fist on an AoO and it lasts past your next turn)

    So if I train my reflexes to really take advantage of openings (Combat Reflexes) and learn this unarmed combat style and stunning maneuver, I can turn small openings into ones the size of a barn and tear my enemies apart (Stunning Fist on an AoO means full round SA next turn).

    Well there's this group of defensive elite which train their reflexes to not only exploit nearby openings, but quickly shift about the battlefield to take advantage of openings from enemies two or more paces away (Combat Patrol). If I were to master this as well, I could effectively dominate an entire region, stunning anyone who gives an opening within a number of paces, and then annihilate them as they're still reeling.


    FEATS (6): Combat Reflexes, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Dodge, Mobility, Combat Patrol

    RESULT: 10-15' radius of threatening squares, used to deliver Stunning Fist via AoO. Follow up with full round SA.

    FINISHING TOUCHES: Take the Dastardly Finish feat to CDG stunned enemies (when not threatened). Or take Opportunist talent to deliver the stun, and you don't even need for your enemy to mess up.



    The title should say it all, but here's some clarification.

    Devise a pure Rogue build (feats and rogue talents), and tactics, to take out an equal level Barbarian... y'know, the brute with more HP, more offense, uncanny dodge and improved uncanny dodge?

    You can even assume the Rogue gets the surprise round if necessary.


    So my DM is big on an old PC of mine - an Elven Ranger/Sorcerer/Eldritch Knight, who ended the game with a Silver Dragon wife. He planned to revive his clan with her, and "reinvigorate" the sorcerous blood for future generations. Now, his kids would be half-dragon elves, which is obvious. Some would want to be Rangers, some Sorcerers, some a mix of stuff.

    The Half Dragon Sorcerers would have the Shadow bloodline, simply because the campaign involved alot of stuff which could easily taint both parents. So if you're asking the question of what bloodline for half-dragons, yet aren't redundant, there you go.

    Anyhow, in picking out what the grandkids, great grandkids and so on would be like, I figured that the draconic blood could manifest in those who were Rangers, too. I looked at the Shapechanger archetype, which has a dragon form, and thought it was a good fit, until I saw that the class also had to pick other forms, too. That's a bit off-putting. Then, removing the other forms (and giving 3 favored terrains starting at level 8) became a nerf... also not cool. So here's what I did.

    Dragonform Archetype:

    The Dragonform Archetype is a descendant from the union with a dragon, 2 or more generations back. The ranger, in communing with nature, also discovers the ability to turn inward, and bring out the old, draconic heritage.

    Dragonform (Su): At 4th level, the dragonshaper can take on the aspects of a dragon once per day as a swift action. He can remain in this form for a number of rounds equal to his ranger level + his Wisdom modifier. The ranger's skin becomes rough and scaly. While in this form, the ranger gains a +2 natural armor bonus to AC, energy resistance 10 (determined by the dragon ancestor), and gains the shapeshifter subtype.
    At 9th level and again every five levels thereafter, the ranger may use this ability one additional time per day. This is not a polymorph ability; the ranger can be affected by a polymorph ability and retain his bonus and traits gained by the class feature. This replaces Hunter's Bond class feature.

    Master Dragonform (Su): The ranger's dragonform becomes more potent. While using dragonform, the ranger gains a +4 natural armor bonus to AC, energy resistance increases to 20, and gains a fly speed of 40 feet with average maneuverability. Alternately, the ranger can polymorph into the form of a dragon as if casting Form Of The Dragon I (ancestral dragon type only). This replaces the Master Hunter class feature.

    Class Abilities Table:
    Level <--> Special
    1st <--> 1st favored enemy, track, wild empathy
    2nd <--> Combat style feat
    3rd <--> Endurance, 1st Favored Terrain
    4th <--> Dragonform
    5th <--> 2nd favored enemy
    6th <--> Combat style feat
    7th <--> Woodland stride
    8th <--> Swift tracker, 2nd favored terrain
    9th <--> Evasion
    10th <--> 3rd favored enemy, combat style feat
    11th <--> Quarry
    12th <--> Camouflage
    13th <--> 3rd favored terrain
    14th <--> Combat style feat
    15th <--> 4th favored enemy
    16th <--> Improved evasion
    17th <--> Hide in plain sight
    18th <--> 4th favored terrain, combat style feat
    19th <--> Improved quarry
    20th <--> 5th favored enemy, master dragonform

    How would measure this to the base ranger, or to other archetypes?

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Just figured I'd beat some people to the punch...

    This template can be applied to any creature, but is most commonly seen on humanoids. Creatures with this template are referred to by the prefix AM, and the all-caps, no punctuation label which defines race, class, function or snarky claim. For example, applying this template to an Elven Adept can yield a creature with names like AM ELF CASTY, or AM POTHICARY, or AM TREE HUGGER, or AM SUBOPTIMAL BUILD, or AM STILL BETTER THAN ROGUE.

    Ability Score Adjustments: +6 to STR, DEX and CON, -6 to INT, WIS and CHA
    AM SKILL MONKEY (Ex): All AM creatures gain skill ranks as if their INT score were 10 higher than it is.
    AM CASTY (Ex): If the base creature has spellcasting ability or spell-like abilities, including via a class, treat their primary casting stat as if it were 10 higher than it is.
    AM VIABLE (Ex): If the base creature has class or racial abilities which depend on INT, WIS or CHA, treat that ability score as if it were 10 higher than it is when calculating the ability's mechanics.
    AM ELOQUENT (Ex): All AM creatures can only speak, read or write AM, which is a simplified common. They can speak or read no other language, and are barred from investing ranks in Linguistics.
    RAGELANCEPOUNCE (Ex): AM creatures have the exceptional metagame ability which allows them to exploit loopholes and obscure game design oversights. This lets them make use of absurd synergies between class abilities, racial abilities, feats, spells, equipment and the like. The iconic example of this is the name of this ability, RAGELANCEPOUNCE, where a barbarian combines the Greater Beast Totem rage ability with the Spirited Charge feat, allowing overpowering damage with a full attack on a mounted charge using a lance while raging.


    I'm planning on running a PF game (my own setting, though) and a prospective player approached with the idea of playing an Artificer. At first glance I said it looked okay, then I started reading closer.

    I don't like it. But tell me if I'm wrong in my reasoning.

  • The skill mechanics around it are arbitrary... 5 skill ranks per level is weird... is this a skill monkey (6\8) or not (2\4)?! Yet also has Jack of all Trades, as if this is a skill based class.
  • The spell mechanics are lazily thought out. Am I reading this wrong or does an Artificer just know every level 1-4 spell on every spell list? If so, it becomes a "farm for H4X" class, catering to obscure combinations to grab power under the false pretense of sandbox creativity. Plus being able to cast multiple spells at once allows the effective use of Quicken Spell super early in the game.
  • The way items can be quickly made (36 hours for a 9-level spell item) and then shared among the party (DC 15 UMD = anyone can use it... but only reliably/easily a few times a day, like that's some kind of restriction). It's good for teamwork, but then you mix it with the spells thing above... The class effectively drops a steamer on the face of all the item creation feats that make daily use or single use items.

    Effectively, I look at this class and it seems to blow open the doors of exploitation. I, myself, could use this class to become "I win".
    For some examples, off the top of my head...

    True Trike + Spectral Hand + Vampiric Touch on one item = a range touch attack at +20, ignores any miss chance and steals HP.

    Make a scabbard that casts Divine Power, Haste and Holy Sword, giving a +5 holy weapon with Magic Circle vs. Evil, plus the big bonuses of Divine Power and Haste. Hand that scabbard to a fighter and it makes 3.5 Polymorph cheese look like a cantrip.

    The concept of an Artificer is great, but the class itself seems lazily made and caters too much to exploitation.

    Am I reading the class wrong? Missing a crucial limitation?

  • Shadow Lodge

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Last game, my group made a fistful of mistakes. It cost us our Cleric (who got kil't) and our Fighter (who /rageQuit). The fight was well above our CR, but had glaring weaknesses that the entire party could easily exploit to make it 1-sided in our favor. Instead, some of us got all excited, threw caution and strategy to the wind, and made some costly tactical errors.

    The fight wasn't plot important, but the Cleric was central to our mission, which is pretty much 75% of the DM's prep. That, plus the fact that the Cleric's death can be blamed on the bad judgement of others, led the DM to fluff-rescue the Cleric from oblivion. A consequence that even the Cleric's player doesn't like. We'll see how next game pans out.

    So, that said, I figured that there are a few hard lessons to be learned. Alot of them are obvious. But then, if you've ever read Sun Tzu's Art of War, you'll find that common sense, or obvious things, can be profound not in and of themselves, but in their relationship to other ideas within the context; simple is often best.

    So, let me begin with the "lessons learned" from last game. Please share and append your own one-liners, and some separated context is always nice too.


  • Don't hasten to be the star of the show. Observe before you charge in or you could be biting off more than you can chew.
  • Just because you're a combat character, it doesn't mean you need to be doing damage every round; there's more to winning than hitpoint accounting.
  • Be cautious when using invisibility. Invisible tanks, plus visible casters, can equal dead casters.
  • Prioritize your opponents. Don't waste time on the inconsequential ones.
  • Don't expect one rogue to flank 3 giants without backup.
  • When surrounded, blasting shows its weakness, and battlefield control is king.
  • If the entire party can levitate, and the enemy has weak ranged attacks, don't cry that your melee character has to levitate too.
  • AoE concealment is advantageous when surrounded and outnumbered, so long as you stick together. Not as much when separated.


    So to levitate, is it...
    1: Standard action, cast spell
    2: Movement action move up/down 20'

    or is it...
    1: Standard action, cast spell, move 20'

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Just figured I'd share, and revel in the criticism.


    Change to 4 Skill Ranks per level.
    Add class skills of Acrobatics and Know History

    Level 6: Seasoned Veteran (Ex):
    The fighter at this point masters the basics in all forms of combat. Starting at level 6, and every level thereafter, select a bonus combat feat which has no other feat as a prerequisite. The fighter is treated as meeting whatever ability score is required when selecting these feats.
    The Fighter also gains Skill Focus - Profession (Soldier) as a bonus feat.

    Level 7: Supersoldier (Ex):
    The fighter excels in his specialties of combat like no other. Starting at level 7, and every level thereafter, select a bonus combat feat which has one or more combat feats as a prerequisite. The fighter must qualify for these feats normally.
    The fighter also adds 1/2 his fighter level to Knowledge checks for the following:
  • Determining the abilities and weaknesses of creatures
  • Ride checks to to protect his mount (as per the Mounted Combat feat, if the Fighter has it).
  • Acrobatics checks to move through threatened squares.
    This does not override any limitations or prerequisites for skills or feats, such as using a skill untrained.

  • Level 11: Brilliant Strategist. (Ex):
    The Fighter can add 1/2 his Fighter class level to the following:
  • Skill/Ability checks to use siege weapons.
  • Skill/ability checks for assessing terrain for ambushes (cover, concealment), combat bonuses/penalties such as higher ground, movement penalties, and similar strategic & tactical purposes.
  • Appraise checks on weapons, armor, or other functional military equipment such as military saddles.
    This does not override any limitations or prerequisites for skills or feats, such as using a skill untrained.

  • Level 15: War Machine (Ex):
    When fighting alongside comrades, the Fighter’s spirit spurs him into becoming an unstoppable machine. Once per hour, the fighter can steel his mind with a battle cry as a swift action. For each ally within 30’ of the fighter who joins in the cry at the time of the battle cry (a free action for them), the fighter gains a +1 morale bonus on saving throws and CMD, and 1 temporary hitpoint. These bonuses last for 1 round per fighter level.

    Level 17: Legendary Warrior (Ex):
    The fighter has achieved the pinnacle of martial ability, such that he stands as an equal among superhumans of legend. The fighter gains an +2 inherent bonus to all ability scores. Further, select one ability score, which gets +4 more (for a total of +6). In addition, the fighter gets an additional set of features, depending on the ability chosen for the +6.

    STR: Treated as 1 size category larger for all CMB, CMD, strength-based checks and lifting & carrying. Gains a 1d6/1d6 slam attack (modify as appropriate for sizes other than medium). Also gains Awesome Blow as a bonus feat.

    DEX: Add +20’ to movement (which adds +8 to some Acrobatics checks), Evasion, and a +4 dodge bonus to AC, CMD and Reflex saves. Can function as if Hasted for 1 round per hour.

    CON: Gain damage reduction 2/-, energy resistance 5 (all) and a +4 natural armor bonus to AC. Also heals at double the normal rate. Add +1 bonus hitpoint per hitdie. Immune to disease, fatigue and exhaustion, and resistant to weather as if affected by Resist Elements.

    INT: Get a +2 insight bonus to hit, CMB, CMD, initiative and AC. Brilliant strategist bonus goes from 1/2 fighter level to full fighter level. Skill ranks from the INT boost are retroactive, resulting in 48 additional skill ranks. All INT-based skills are now class skills.

    WIS: Gets a +4 competence bonus on Will saves versus enchantments, and a +4 insight bonus to initiative and Perception checks. Also gains 10’ radius blindsense, and Uncanny Dodge.

    CHA: Get the Leadership feat, or a +4 bonus to leadership score (if already has the feat). Also, his War Machine ability radius increases to 60’, and applies not only to himself, but to all the comrades who are within the 60’ and participate in the battle cry. Gets a +4 competence bonus to Intimidate and Diplomacy checks. He can also use Charm Monster once per hour, as an extraordinary ability, by making a DC 20 Charisma Check.

    NOTE: Malignor's Mods are a series of proposed homebrews to enhance existing classes, races, spells, feats, etc. They are merely experimental, theoretical homebrews, meant to mitigate balance issues (likely creating more, but whatevs) and inject satisfaction in existing game mechanics.

    Finally starting our campaign, much anticipated for months. Got to chatting with my DM and had a bit of a revelation. I'm curious what you all think, whether I'm being biased or delusional here.

    Campaign Backstory: We are all Noble Drow. What keeps us from backstabbing each other is that we're mentally linked, and there's an instinctive and mutual admiration that keeps us working together, despite our evil alignments. We were all born within the same hour, and all our mothers died while birthing us, so we're like something from Village of the Damned or something. We also all have lavender eyes, which is also rare. We are each members of a high ranking noble house, very close to the matron. For example, my character is the Matron's younger brother.

    Campaign Description: Despite being from different houses, we all end up working together. There are 2 themes to the game:

  • Intrigue: Everything in the game will revolve around screwing the other noble houses, manipulation, trickery and discreet and untraceable assassination, and hopefully igniting wars for the gain of our own houses.
  • Dungeon Crawling: Throughout the campaign, we'll have to (for some reason or another) leave home on excursions into the underdark, or maybe raid the surface once or twice.

    Party: We're all 4th level characters.

  • Our leader will be a Priestess (Darkness and Spider domains; DM made up spider domain). She is the little sister of the current matron, but the public's fear of her, being one of "us", keep her out of the succession.
  • Her twin brother is a TWF Fighter who's gimmick is having a bandoleer of Kukris, each +1 of various Bane. His other gimmick is that his sheltered life caused him to be naive and trusting, and also trustworthy. After surviving multiple betrayals, he wised up, but still remains an unusually dependable guy. This has made him into a very sought after mercenary.
  • A male Sorcerer (bloodline yet undetermined) who is secretly insane, and thinks that a cube he found as a child is a fallen god. The "god talks to him in his mind" and "chose him" as an ally. This god is smitten with Lolth, and obsessed with broadening her power, and thus acts as a screwed up delusion of a spirit guide, helping the Sorcerer realize Lolth's will. It's really all just a psychosis, but we agree that since Lolth profits from it and is probably entertained by it ("Will he be found out and culled? Tee heee!"), she wouldn't rat him out to her priestesses. He was trained in the arcane academy as an oddity, despite not being able to use wizardry. Mainly so he could be monitored and documented like some guinea pig.
  • A male Ranger, who I don't know much about. But it's nice to have a Ranger. Something tells me he'll pick Underground as his first favored terrain. I'm pressuring him to pick either Archery or 2HF as his combat style.
  • A female Alchemist. She trained in the arcane academy, but obsessed over the alchemy and spell component preparation lessons of apprenticeship. Bullied as a weirdo or "slow" person until she proved the power of her self-made alchemical discoveries... by cruelly disfiguring a male of a rival house. To satisfy house honor, she was expelled (while privately praised). She's kind of eccentric.
  • I'm making a male Rogue/Spy hybrid, dispensing with the level 1 trapfinding, and instead taking the Spy's Skilled Liar feature (+1/2 Level on Bluffs when lying). I traded places with a look-alike member of a lower house, and used my superior abilities to amass reputation power among the riffraff. Thus I "dodged the draft" of academy training and instead learned my skills the hard way in the streets, culminating with the murder of my tutor who discovered my identity, and the loser whose identity I stole (and occasionally still borrow).

    My Revelation: Drow all have SR. They all have Elven resistance to enchantment. All the elite are spellcasters.

    This says (to me) that the standard opinion, of spellcasters being awesome and Rogues being crap, is heavily mitigated by the context of this campaign. I chose a Rogue for the fun of it, and it may turn out to be a mechanically advantageous choice (given that the game is high intrigue and high magic). Disguise > Magic disguises, and Stealth > Invisibility, and bluff/sleight of hand > Magical alternatives... when SR and spellcasting are common among our greatest enemies & rivals.

    Your opinion:???

  • 2 people marked this as a favorite.

    I was reading THIS thread and started thinking laterally and ended up turning one conversation into another idea entirely.
    I mixed my expectations of how one of my players would rant, combined it with this, and it went like:

    Player: "Any DM who steals or destroys a wizard's spellbook is being a total Richard."
    DM: "Think of the guy who chooses Spell Mastery, or spends real resources on protecting against spellbook loss or damage. If one wizard does these, shouldn't you (as DM) validate them?
    What about a party where one does protect, and one doesn't? Wouldn't a DM be unjust to the Wizard who protects his spellbook, by never having such attempts?

    So I came to a conclusion - Tough Love is the answer.

    I say that a DM's job includes many things, and one of those things is to exploit character weaknesses in the campaign. Not by meta, and not with the intention of screwing over PCs, but as a way to acknowledge the features of the character - weaknesses and strengths, and to reward those who guard against their weaknesses.

    Thoughts? Disagreements? Issues with the details of such thinking?

    Dear anime fans.

    Even though I'm pointing at Anime here, this also applies to many movies, books and so on, of multiple genres.

    It's often pure fail. Here's why.

    Anime, movies, books and so on are not made in consideration of game rules or game balance. They're not supposed to, either. Alot of people don't get this and try to port it over anyway, and one of many things happens ...

  • Game balance is maintained, despite the source content, creating a disappointing shadow of the intended content; an embarrassing knock-off which only the worst fanboys would appreciate or consider playing.
  • Aspects of the original content are mapped to existing game mechanics or powers/abilities/spells, creating a disappointing shadow of the intended content; an embarrassing knock-off which only the worst fanboys would appreciate or consider playing.
  • The source material is adhered to and modeled in game mechanics, making the most broken and unbalance pile of junk in the known cosmos. Again, only the most devout fanboys would appreciate or consider playing it, because anyone else would just use the blatant invitations to exploit the brokenness.

    Now, this isn't 100%. Some shows, anime, books, etc. fit quite well and can be ported over in a clean and balanced and accurate manner... but this is extremely rare. If they are, chances are good that these are actually anime based on a game.

    That said, I implore those who consider doing so... don't embarrass yourself. Or if you're going to port it, do option #1 (balance) and then just rename it so as to avoid the inevitable facepalm-fest.

    Your chum,

  • 4 people marked this as a favorite.

    This thread is here to confront all the people making characters and content under the misconception of what the CHA stat is.


    Please read charisma.

    Think about going to a party. You could meet 10, 20 attractive people there, but some stand out. Some grab your attention and are easier to remember than others. Those are the ones which are both good-looking and have high charisma. The other ones are good-looking, but have low charisma.

    Lots of intelligent undead have high Charisma. Y'know why? Because their presence fills the room, grabs and holds your attention, and they are memorable. It's not because they're good-looking, in fact Wights (with a CHA of 15) are flat out revolting. But wights are menacing and would have an almost tangible presence. Compare a wight (high CHA) to a zombie (low CHA). Zombies have zero personality, and can easily disappear among the furniture and wreckage. When you obliterate a zombie, you won't remember the details of their appearance... not as much as a wight, whose high CHA stat almost gave them an aura of soul-suffocating cold.

    Nymphs have huge Charisma. Why? Not because they're pretty. It's because they have that aura, that certain something which can't be caught by any camera. You could be totally blind and thick-headed, and still feel their presence nearby, making the river seem to laugh, and the air sway through the trees like a tantric dance.

    This does well for Outsiders, Clerics, Paladins and Sorcerers, who use CHA for mechanical advantage. That intangible presence is directly related to the power of their spirit and force of will. It's like CHA is the mental/spiritual equivalent to strength... like CHA:STR, INT:DEX, WIS:CON.

    So for all you who say "this made up race is pretty. +4 CHA"... stop it. Just say they're pretty.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    The Game: Faerun setting, Underdark. The party is a group of Noble Drow who were born with a common empathy (partly to reduce infighting). The GM says there will be alot of intrigue and backstabbing among Drow nobility, and plenty of dungeon crawling as well.

    This, to me, screamed "rogue".
    We're also allowed 2 Traits.

    So I figured I'd take a crack at making my first Pathfinder character, a Drow Noble Rogue:

    25-Point buy
    Str 14 (costs 5; 5 total)
    Dex 14 (c5;10t) -> racial = 18
    Con 14 (c5;15t) -> racial = 12
    Int 14 (c5;20t) -> racial = 16
    Wis 13 (c3;23t) -> racial = 15
    Cha 12 (c2;25t) -> racial = 14

    Canter (+5 Bluff or Sense Motive regarding hidden messages)
    Nonchalant Thuggery (+4 Bluff to seem non-threatening)


    • 01: F=Improved Initiative. Taking the Spy option of "Skilled Liar" instead of the usual trap finding.
    • 02: RT=Canny Observer
    • 03: F=Skill Focus - Bluff. When I disarm someone with lies (before murdering them), I want to be sure it works. The other big thing about Bluff is the ability to distract-to-hide.
    • 04: RT=Bleeding Strike. The hit & run option is more viable when the victim continued to suffer while you run & hide. The idea is to deliver a bleeding SA, and then just avoid getting hit while they bleed out. Stat=Con (13)
    • 05: F=Combat Reflexes.
    • 06: RT=Minor Magic - Ghost Sound. Combined with stealth, this can throw ppl off my trail. Ghost sound actually has plenty of uses.
    • 07: F=Improved Unarmed Strike. "I throw down my weapons and surrender! ... not" *thwack*
    • 08: RT=Offensive Defense. In the case where I can (or am forced to) remain in combat, this gives me a defensive edge. I'm thinking of using this for every SA after delivering a bleeder. Stat=Con (14)
    • 09: F=Stunning Fist. Using this with an AoO means that I can SA on my next turn. That's kind of the plan.
    • 10: RT=Skill Mastery. Obvious choices are Bluff, Stealth and Perception, but the full list is [Bluff, Acrobatics, Stealth, Disable Device, Perception, Sleight of Hand]
    • 11: F=Dodge. It's a requirement... sigh. At least it kind of synergizes with Offensive Defense... sorta.
    • 12: RT=Opportunist. Now, when I flank, I can also stun, and/or deliver bleeding or boost my AC against the foe, out of turn. Stat=Wis (16)
    • 13: F=Mobility. A semi-pointless choice, but again it's a requirement.
    • 14: RT=Trap Spotter. I know, I know ... it's a bit late for this. But my theme comes first!
    • 15: F=Sidestep. Being able to 5' step out of turn is, in my mind, an underestimated tactical ability. Out of threat from others, threaten an additional foe, step into or out of concealment/cover, achieving flank out of turn, etc.
    • 16: RT=Finesse Rogue. Recovers 2 of the 4 BAB that I'm behind in. Stat=Cha(15)
    • 17: F=Combat Patrol. Mixed with high stealth, SA and Combat Reflexes, this seems crazy powerful to me. Delivering a melee AoO+SA from a hidden place 15-20' away is like a violent dream come true.
    • 18: RT=Major Magic - Silent Image. Silent Image can create concealment, draw a picture to show recon results... it's a very flexible ability.
    • 19: F=Dastardly Finish. Combined with Stunning Fist and Combat Patrol, this makes me a pretty good predator against low-Fort victims; AoO stun, then CDG next round.
    • 20: RT=Slippery Mind ... okay, this is just because I'm half out of ideas.
    Okay, pick away.