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Totally not a forum vet here, but I can usually punch a few keys - so lemme ask you all this: how do you change your font color n' all that?

Anyways, just because, you know, homage to the ol' 3d6:

Str: 7 (1,3,3)
Dex: 14 (6,4,4)
Con: 8 (2,4,2)
Int: 13 (5,3,5)
Wis: 16 (6,6,4)
Cha: 10 (1,6,3)

Anya Talbot
Human Druid (Pack Master). (put a +2 where ya like).
Anya, daughter of a failing, sullen farmer, was always on the reclusive side, but running off into the woods at age 14 sealed the deal. Clever and brave as she was, she still almost didn't survive; six months of eating anything and everything from grubs to rotting bark nearly did her in, and whittled her down to little more than skin and bones. But something changed in her. She became like an animal, hunting instead of hunted, her old ways and old words nearly forgotten, and for the next three years, she survived every threat, every winter, every other predator. And then, one day, the woods sent her a wolf to serve as a protector, as the first of her pack -- one that seemed very much like her - gaunt, withered, determined...

...Together, they make for a level 1 druid and her companion, or FOX's newest cop procedural. Feral buddy cops! Come on, you know it'll be better than Sleepy Hollow.

kestral287 wrote:

Yeah, Bard vs. Magus is two setups that are meant to be totally different and so they're... well, totally different. Which would I rather play? Magus, but I'm biased there. Which would I rather see in my party? Going to depend on the rest of the group. Which is more 'powerful'? Well, how are we defining it. If it's another "who's going to win in a fight", then the Bard doesn't have any of the tricks that the Magus hates (elemental resistance/immunities-- to either Electricity or Cold/Nonlethal, depending on the build), the base premise doesn't really cater to the vast majority of Bards (presumably we'd be talking 1v1, which a Magus does fine at-- wonderfully at, in fact, but is by definition not the Bard's preference), and the Magus doesn't greatly fear any of the Bard's tricks unless he's massively pumped the DC. So Magus-- but that doesn't necessarily tell us much.

Bard vs. Summoner is easier. Most of the time I'm going to want the Summoner in the party. The rest of the time, I want the Bard because we already have a Summoner and a Summoner with Bard support is just funny.

Fair points, both. In a large party - (particularly with summoned hordes, ahem ahem) - bard is probably the better choice, just because mathematically all those buffs and bonuses add up to a bunch of extra damage / boost up everyone equally in a combat.

But assuming he's singing and not an orator, then... C'mon. It's... wierd. (I can't get over it >.<, he's singing. In a fight. I know, i know, it's borderline neurotic, but....)

Though if one of my players made a "Gun. Sgt. Hartman" bard, they would totally win me over (Gotta be a skald, fo' serious)

"What. Do. Adventurers. Do?"
Party: "Kill! Kill! Kill!" (while they get inspired to +3 hit and damage)

TriOmegaZero wrote:

My bards perform oratory, with grant speeches or vile imprecations.

Silly instruments are not required.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman used Perform Oratory.

Yeah, I admit- bards don't *have* to play instruments/sing/dance, but I'm just saying, I think I've just been spoiled on the whole concept of taking bards seriously since I read Order of the Stick.

This is how I think of them....

rorek55 wrote:

who do you feel beats the bard on most powerful 6th level caster and why?


Summoner or Magus, yes, assuming optimization.

Magus built for raw damage can out-dps anyone at level 3-10, whether by intensified empowered spellstrikes or by bladed dash allowing him to move around the battlefield dumping doubled attacks on enemies (particularly if he cast chill touch or elemental touch beforehand).

Summoners simply through sheer blockage and swarms of grommit mob attacks. (Enemy either has to kill all his minions and his eidolon to get to him, or risk 5 attacks of opportunity minimum just to get to him), and that's not counting the summoner's other spells (spiked pits etc).
There's just no way to survive falling into a spiked pit, then having a bunch of imps dropped in with you. Climb or die, or climb and die.

Edit (assuming your enemy is of a similar level/CR to 6, and isn't flying)

If you can get over the fact that your character is dancing a pirouette/playing a banjo/singing through a kazoo during a deadly combat (or while the party's rogue -with some irritation- is trying desperately to focus while disarming a deadly poison trap, while the bard next to him is singing "Boooooonus to disarming! Tralla-la-la-la!!"), then yes, aesthetics aside bards are mechanically powerful if built correctly. Order of the Stick notwithstanding.

Sellsword2587 wrote:

The whole CMB vs. CMD way to resolve fully automatic fire really makes no sense, as armor still plays a factor into stopping a bullet. Also, what does your Strength modifier have to do with dodging bullets (CMD = 10 + STR mod + Dex mod)? Lastly, if you are going to be using Dexterity to modify the CMB check, then you might as well just be making a normal ranged weapon attack; there's really no need for all the extra rules and conversions.

Again, Pathfinder already has rules for automatic fire attacks that are resolved with a ranged attack roll, nothing to do with odd combat maneuver mechanics. Don't like Pathfinder's? Then there are simpler alternatives (one of which I offered); there's really no need to reinvent the wheel on this.

And armor is really just a moot point as well. If your world has both firearms and "archaic" weaponry in tandem, wouldn't it make sense that armor is designed to stop both equally? If not, then AC vs. Touch AC is still completely viable, and simple. Things like deflection, insight, and circumstance bonuses to AC also apply to touch AC, so there really isn't a need to design new spells either. The Resist Energy spell can already reduce damage from explosives if the damage is elemental. Adding DR to armor is also a possibility, where ballistic armor adds DR against firearm attacks, and not other weapons.

All-in-all, I'm just trying to save you time, effort, and headache here. I've been developing a modern, d20 system, setting/game for years, considering several of the d20 systems currently out there for said game. So all I'm trying to say, is that I've been there, thinking through the exact same things you are, so my advice/feedback doesn't come from speculation or arrogance or entitlement, or anything like that, only from experience/commonality in our situations.

Yeah, sorry I've been away from the boards (pillars of eternity released). Yeah, funny that you mentioned that- I thought back on it afterwards, and was like - wait a sec, so strong people dodge bullets better? Meh.

So anyway, while I appreciate the advice on the books you directed me to, I'm gonna go somewhat with what I have : Guns will generally work the same as they have (advanced firearms 2.0) with the caviat that for automatic fire/bursts, the more you hit by, the more bullets hit. It's messy, and yes, makes automatic fire deadly... which, really, they should be. As for "spraying an area" It'll be in a line for smaller weapons, and slightly larger for support weapons and MGs and the like, and it'll just function the same way.

While I agree that I sometimes wish armor reduced damage/defense was based on cover/movement/position, unfortunately the current optional rules are dicey - on the higher end, it's like every attack always hits. Defense is basically about half of what your armor class *would* be, later on. But attack is as high as it ever was. Automatic 5 hits with anything, sounds like old-school brawling pits.

Anyway, I'll check out that d20 Mass effect thingy too, on the off chance someone's balanced it all out already, but since I've already gotta get into the heavy planning for the game, my time to adapt the rules is limited (I've already gotta start slapping together encounters and notes and such, as my current campaign is 2/3 complete) so for now I'm gonna stick with a mix of what I have and some of what Sellsword mentioned (about adding in the d3 for how many bullets hit, for example, but using the whole "roll to hit, and for every 3/4/5 you hit by, another shell lands) which is still very nasty when rolling against touch. Just the right about of lethal. (at least, until some magi-corp comes out with semi-inexpensive ranged protection armors to mitigate it). Thanks for all the advice everyone. I think I'm just about set.

P.S. The more I read of the mass effect page, the more I really like what they're doing over there. If I had more time, I might reconsider to plug it in, but it'll be a lot more of a transition for the players. For now I gotta keep the rule alterations simple enough that they can all get it on one cheat-sheet, barring specific items and the like.

Guaranteed his dpr's going down, but I'm guessing its a party mechanic for the lower ABs in the party?

and also, I totally took the bait, if this was all a troll

Haven't been around these boards as long, but I find most of these "big five wrongs" are discounted in certain situations, or with certain gms.

I've seen posts that show how a rogue can get pretty brutal - someone recently mentioned (apologies if I can't remember who) a dazzling display/shatter defenses bow build was actually closer to that level 10, 300 dpr you mentioned (maybe ~150dpr or so without having to worry about action economy and moving, assuming you were being facetious about *actually* hitting 300dpr with anyone, reliably).

A lot of non-fighter/monk builds are necessarily "hyperspecialized" because of their lack of feats. If, at level 9, you've got a feat chain (for example, on the above rogue build) that leads to the single tactic of intimidating then sneak attacking your enemies, you've only got 6 or 7 feats with which to pull it off: aside from what skills you may sprinkle around, you know you're gonna have to max out intmidation for X build, then take weaponfocus bow, dazzling display, p.b shot, precise shot, rapid shot, manyshot, and shatter defenses, plus combat performer and a performance feat. There's no room *not* to be hyperspecialized if you want to be able to pull this build off. But you are right, it still suffers from a weakness somewhere (namely, in this case, enemies immune to fear/mental effects)

I don't know if there's any build (hyper or not) that's good in *every* situation. Most people go this road just to flex their math-brains and to see what is possible, and some hyperspecialists are a little more universally applicable than others, as they can pick up all the feats that make their core strategy applicable at lower levels -- which is why you see them crop up so much in games/on the boards (the reach AoO mounted warrior, the precise-strike magus, etc).

Anyway - I don't think the system "rewards hyper-specialization" so much as a GM rewards it: If the campaign you're in is mostly social/political, and one of the players is a rogue with copious social skills/feats, while the other is a mounted fury self-enlarging dinosaur rider, guess who's going to be more useful, feel more rewarded? I guarantee the Barb is not getting invited to any aristocrat's tea-parties to discuss foreign policy.

Butler: "Mm.. pardon me sirrah, would you kindly leave the dinosaur *away* from the stables? And I must ask you to take off those.. muddy...fur... boot things, before you come into the manor."
Thog the Deadly: "Thog not like talky man! Talky man not like Sorriz!"
Butler: "Mmm... ah... yes, very well, we'll have... ah... some repast brought out to you and... Mr. Sorriz."
Thog: "Sorriz not need cupcakes and tea. Sorriz eats Talkyman!" *glowers and pats his T-Rex's leg*
Butler: "Oh dear, how uncouth-" *gets eaten*

(side note, if the GM didn't tell the dinosaur-rider what kind of game it was going to be, he's a d***, but also, this could be kinda funny.)

Point being, different campaigns reward different play styles, and for the most part specialized characters *are* rewarded when they fill a role of one kind or another, and do that role well. Who wants to play a healer - for example - that stinks at healing? It just makes you feel useless and unappreciated in the end, so people tend to build them to excel at that one thing.

That's not to say people don't go overboard with .... oh nevermind, I'll shut up about stat dumped optimization. 'nuff said.

I figure modern armors are for the most part effective against melee as well, barring of course "realism" - namely that a vest covers only the chest. But then, so does a breastplate, so I'm probably not gonna fudge with making the armors have variable AC (there's more than enough adding/subtracting going on in these homerules without adding another, and truth be told, *most* modern armors are quite resilient to piercing, slashing and bludgeoning - they just don't get a lot of use outside of active combat zones, and wealthy armies).

That aside, I think I like where Kolokotroni's going with using CMB for bursts/auto fire. It's a little different firing single shots, from hosing down an area, or compensating for recoil - though cmb would still get affected by weapon focus and the like (though str might fit in when firing a machine gun over prolonged periods, I'd think dex would still be more important for aim, so maybe all firearms will use the "agile maneuvers" for burst/auto).

SO, I'm gonna ditch the whole reflex vs full auto rules, require Str prerequisites for different firearm types (not really very high, but higher for auto fire and the like: so for example, M16- STR 10/+2 (12 being for burst, 14 for full auto). I figure, STR shouldn't just automatically become an automatic stat dump (no pun intended) in a modern setting, just because less people use melee attacks and the like.

I'm also gonna check out that book for the modernish class types.

Thank you again Kolokotroni.

Also, just so you future posters fully understand why I started this long-winded thread, the idea was to create a sort of Jim Butcher-esque modern/magic setting: So while there will be all the crazy guns, there's also going to be wizards, clerics, and yes, even meleers (imagine a modern world that suddenly becomes infused with elves and dwarves and religions of old - like shadowrun, just less matrix-ey). So it'll have a mix of modern soldiers, detectives, ancient-and-soon-to-be-furious-eco-terrorist druids, and mages who get hired up as quickly as possible by Corporate R&D's, to research their new line of commercial scrolls. Military research produces new spells like "ballistic barrier" and "protection from explosives."

But that's where it's all gonna lead: On day one of the new setting, it's going to be two worlds colliding, and neither prepared for the other. I've gotta figure out the basics of A) how to simulate modern firearms/combat and how to slowly include/balance magic and the like, and B) what base classes should round out/ simulate modern versions of the existing classes. Fighters are like soldiers, right? But every basic military pounds certain things into their soldiers - like "grenade!" (evasion?)

So .... anyway, thanks for input all, keep it coming. I'll post some generalized ideas for base classes (first the modern, non-magic ones, then the ones that the world will evolve into, like eldritch snipers, war-wizards and arcane hackers and the like).

True, all.

I've already started hashing out some base classes/archetypes on a notepad - won't have the time to type it all out just yet, but to give you an idea, it's more combat focused. Some are direct translations, like fighters but with high reflex and fort saves, and slightly less feats. Another's like rogues, generally the same but with better range on sneak attacks (when using rangefinders, nightsights or scopes, for example).

Anyway, A point of concern I have, is do you think the reflex saves for full auto are too high? I mean, it's basically attack bonus + gun DC. That's an atuo-hit fore the most part, which isn't what I originally imagined. Attack scores vs. saves are going to get silly on the higher end.

I was thinking of altering that idea somehow, or just ditching the whole +DC thing, and handle full auto as making a single attack roll against an area, the way burst fire works: then applying it to all applicable targets' ACs. Hitting by increments of 5 means additional bullets etc.

yay? nay?

Anyway, can't wait for my eyes to roll out once I get into actually categorizing explosives. A Modern Warfare with Magic campaign is going to be a lot of work, but I've got a demand for it with my current crew.

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Okay, so this is an errant tangent that spawned out of an advice post, figured it was better posted here.

the thread:

Anyway, apologies in advance for the ginormous post: Wanted to comment on this for feedback etc.

So, My first qualm is in adding the fortsaves for getting shot. I mean, people get shot by arrows in pathfinder, and they don't just fall prone. For the sake of the narrative, we just carry on.

However, given our somewhat more intimate knowledge of firearms in the modern age (thank you, American television/cinema) we have rough idea of how gun battles should *look* and how they are paced, as compared to medieval fantasy combats (where people are casually back-flipping over walls and past enemies like legolas, or smashing through hordes like Juggernaut from Xmen - and we're all fine with it, because let's face it, it's easier to imagine that way)

Anyway, it's the mechanic of adding in more rolls I object to, so I'm already debating on whether to use the fortsave/stagger rules for getting shot, even though I think it's a lost opportunity to apply a tactical element to the game (so people don't just stand out in the open getting riddled like Al Pacino, while rattling off bullets and snarling obcenities)

On that same note, I like the tactical use of pinning rules, but - again - more rolls = more bog.


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gonna have to make a stabilize check on this thread:

Given the fact that I've been interested in this question since I realized that there were technological rules for the Golarian setting, and then you went and had to poke the bear by asking about kevlar and such, I started flexing my imagination a bit, trying to envision what a magical/modern setting might look like. For now, these are the basics of what I've jotted down as guidelines, when using modern combat rules in a pathfinder homebrew game.

This is a lot of text, so it may need a thread of its own, but I also think it was pertinent to the discussion so I included it here.

A) i wanted to clarify and finalize some ideas I've got for you
b) I wanted to further this concept to include the rules for modern firearms I may be using in a later game (been tossing around ideas with a pal o mine, and here's what we've got)

A) Modern Body Armor and Armor Penetration rules (homebrew - also, rules for getting shot by firearms)

Firstly, modern armors are divided into light, medium, and heavy types for the purposes of armor proficiencies and for comparative examples.
Each level of enhancement increases an armor's effective AC by 1 and its level of protection by 1, but not its DR.

Due to the remarkable velocities of modern firearms, taking a hit - even a hit that your armor protects you from - can be traumatic or painful. When calculating damage penetration, each individual bullet is counted separately. The remaining damage determines what secondary effects are applied based on how severe the attack:

When calculating Fort Saves for single shots, bursts and auto-fire, begin with the highest damage, and add +2 to the Fort DC for each additional bullet that did damage during a burst (lethal or nonlethal). There are three separate types of hits that occur when people wearing armor (or not, in which case treat as though DR = 0) are struck by bullets from modern firearms:

1) Negated - if a bullet doesn't penetrate the DR of the armor, no further effects occur.

2) Partial - If a Bullet does damage enough to bypass the DR but not double the DR, you take the remaining damage of the shot as nonlethal damage. In addition, the wearer must make a Fort Save of DC 10 (+1 for each pt of damage above the DR); If failed, the wearer is staggered for one round (not cumulative with other partial penetrations)

3) Penetrated* - If it bypasses the armor or does double the DR rating of the armor (due to critical hits, or high base damage) all damage is lethal as normal. Fort Save vs DC 10 (+1 per pt of damage above the DR): if the save is failed, the victim is staggered for one round, plus one round for every 5 pts by which the save was failed. If failed by 10 or more, the target is also knocked prone.

Additionally, unless otherwise noted by the GM, modern firearms do not use Touch AC in their short range (or any) increment against modern ablative armor (aka, kevlar or better). If GM is using called shot rules/piecemeal armor rules, apply armor location DR separately per usual, as well as whatever other effects may occur - in some such cases the GM may waive the normal "Fort Save vs modern firearms" rules.

Light Armor:

Basic Kevlar vest: AC 3 (chest), DR 5/+1, max dex +5, skill: -1, Weight: 5 lbs, ASF: -10%, Mv:30ft

Medium Armor:

Combat Vest: AC 5 (chest only), DR 8/+1, Max Dex: +3, skill: -3, Wt: 15 lbs, ASF:-20%, Mv.25ft

Full Combat armor: AC 6 (chest, legs, arms, helmet), DR 8/+1, Max Dex +2, skill: -4, Wt: 25 lbs, ASF:-30%, Mv:20ft

Heavy Armor: (military grade or demolition kit)
*minumum "enchant" of +1, reflected in the statistics. (the cost of the materials and technical knowledge to make said armor is prohibitive to creating "cheap" variants)

Demolition Kit: AC 9 (full body, with faceplate/bp plexiglass visors),
DR 10/+2, Max Dex: +1, skill: -7, wt: 50 lbs, ASF: -40%, MV:20 (x3 runspeed) **special: Demolition armor is made to withstand explosive blasts: Its DR also applies to Fire and Force damage (calculated separately before totaling the damage of explosives that do multiple types of damage). Additionally, a full visor - instead of the translucent variant - allows for a +2 bonus to save vs. Blinding effects such as flash-bangs.

Heavy Combat Armor (aka batman armor, little giggle): AC 8 (full body, open faced), DR 12/+3, Max Dex: +3, Skill: -3, wt: 35 lbs. ASF: -30% MV: 20 ***special: While requiring heavy armor proficiency (modern), the light-weight and well-balanced cut of this armor allows for enhanced felixbility - as such, the armor functions as medium armor for all other purposes. Some models provide various enhancements, such as spiked gauntlets, elemental resistances, and concealed weapon slots.

B) Weapons: While certain generalized statistics apply here to modern firearms, different make/models and ammunition can enhance or penalize its penetrating power. The tricky part of these rules comes in how you choose to apply automatic weapon fire (for my opinions/homerules, see below, under the weapon examples).

Modern firearms are much more reliable than medieval ones: Misfire scores are followed by a number in parentheses, which is the number of misfires such a weapon requires before gaining the "broken" condition, and likewise the number of times a broken weapon can misfire before exploding/being destroyed. In most cases, this will not be followed by an explosive radius: this indicates that the misfire will only affect the user. GMs may opt to allow well-made firearms to increase this misfire number (+1 per "enhancement")

Semi-automatic and Automatic weapons reduce the iterative attack penalties of secondary attacks by 2, and tertiary attacks by 4 (and so forth) unless otherwise noted. Those with the Rapid Fire feat may instead take the normal iterative penalties, but fire two bullets for each iterative attack at a -2 penalty. (roll separately for each attack). Burst/auto fire weapons may be fired in this same manner, with the additional burst/auto fire penalty (atop the -2 for rapid firing).

Finally, note that in some cases there are significantly differing statistics and rules than that of the normal "advanced firearms" rules - the reasoning behind this is that most modern rifle rounds are much more devastating, often tumbling in flight adn/or ricocheting or shattering upon impact, thereby ensuring grievous injuries. Unless your PC is named Rambo or Chuck Norris, in which case your AC is infinity anyway.

Pistols/SMGs: (medium sized, generic)

.22 snub-nose revolver: dmg: d6, crit: x4, range:10, Misfire: 1(8), Capacity: 6 (revolver)

9mm semi-automatic: dmg: d6, Crit: x4, range:20, Misfire: 1(6),
Cap: 15, Special: S.A. (semi-auto)

9mm machine pistol/smg: Dmg d6, Crit x4, Range:20, misfire: 1(4),
Cap: 15/30. Burst(3)-1, Auto:(5)-2, FA (dc+3, 15b/5 or 30b/10)

.40 cal SMG (generic) - QP (Quality/Penetration +1), Dmg d8, crit 19/x3, range:30, misfire 1(5), Cap: 30/60(mini-drum), Burst (3)-1, Auto: (6)-2, FA (DC+6 30b/10 or 60b/20)

P90 (caseless 5.7x28mm) - QP: +3, Dmg d8, Crit 19/x3, range:50, misfire: 1(8), Cap 50, Burst (3)-0, Auto: (5) -1, FA (DC+10, 50b/16)
Special: Because of its lightweight bullpup design and relatively low recoil, this smg can be used in one hand. Burst/auto penalties increase by 1 and 2, respectively, when used this way. Full auto DC is decreased to +5)

Bolt action .30 cal hunting rifle: QP: +1, dmg d12, Crit 19/x3, Range:100, Misfire: 1(8), Cap: 6/1 (1 before resetting bolt, 6 in the clip), Special: When mounted with a scope, users may perform sneak attacks at up to whatever range the scope has been adjusted to, normal range penalties apply.

AK-47: QP: +1, dmg d12, Crit x4, Range:80, Misfire 1(5), Cap 30, Burst(3)-2, Auto(5)-4, FA (DC+5 30b/10)

H&K g11 (4.7x33mm caseless): QP +3, dmg d12, crit X3, Range:100/50, Misfire: 1(10), Burst(3)-0, Auto(5)-2, FA (DC+8, 45/15) Special: G11s don't fire in single-shot mode: In actuality, every pull of the trigger rattles off a full 3 round burst so quickly that the third bullet leaves the barrel before the recoil of the first is felt. Treat all "single shots" as bursts. The range increment decreases by half when the gun is fired on Auto or full auto mode, as it's design decreases bullet velocity by almost half when not firing in burst mode.

(special modern firearms rules, and other notes)
1) burst mode: generally, 2 or 3 bullets per burst, noted as such: Burst(3) -1. When firing on burst mode, a single roll to hit is made: Apply the burst penalty and roll attack as normal. For every 5 points by which this surpasses the target's AC, another bullet lands, up to the normal burst maximum.

2) Auto fire* (manual) The shooter fires in longer but controlled bursts: Instead of area effect, treat this as Burst fire: Take the Auto Fire penalty on accuracy, but for every 3 points by which you hit a target, another bullet strikes, up to the maximum number listed. (the increased overall fire is intended to simulate corrective fire)

3) Full Auto*: Generally denoted as such: FA (DC+5 - 30b/10**) where the first number indicates the Reflex DC bonus, the second indicates how many bullets are fired, usually a full clip, (unless otherwise noted), and the third indicates the maximum number of bullets that can hit targets in the area of effect. Range increment penalties are doubled for Fully Auto fire, applied to the DC of the reflex save.

When fired in full auto mode, A weapon is fired as a full round action (spray, counts as an AOE, with a Reflex DC equal to the [user's attack score total + weapon DC] rating of the weapon. Targets in the area of effect (designated as a 5 foot square, or up to a number of adjacent squares equal to 1/2 of the shooter's BAB (in a line, burst or combination thereof), decided by the shooter, and any squares in a line from the weapon to the target area are likewise affected (and beyond, for any bullets that miss, up to 1 range category further). For every 5 points the reflex save is failed, targets in the area of effect are hit by another bullet.

However, the Reflex DC of this area effect is decreased by 5 for every additional square the shooter designated as a targeted area (example: shooter designates 3 squares as the target of his spraying: the reflex DC is decreased by 15 - i.e, he's shooting it all over the place, Rambo style, and unlikely to hit unless very skilled).

*getting shot at by full auto fire is frightening for any intelligent combatant, and may cause pinning (see below)
**As explained above (and noted as 30b/10 in the weapon description) A full auto spray cannot land more than 1/3 of its bullets on targets in the area, regardless of how badly said targets fail their saves. After saves are made, each bullet that struck is "assigned" amongst the targets equally, starting with the target who failed their reflexes by the largest amount.

Characters with the Automatic Firearm Training feat may perform Full Auto fire as a standard action, instead of as a full-round action, and their auto-fire results are limited to 1/2 of the bullets fired, instead of 1/3.

The GM may rule that either a natural save roll of 1 or a reflex failed by 10 or greater indicates that a single bullet has critically hit: confirm as though firing the bullet on autofire (with all such penalties). Example: Bob gets shot at by an AK-47 (who targets only Bob's square), and makes a reflex save vs the attacker's Full Auto DC of 18. Bob rolls a reflex save of 1 (totaling 7, including his save bonus). He would take 3 hits (at d12 damage). In addition to getting hit, one of the hits may be a critical: Assailant rolls a critical confirmation roll as though firing a normal, single bullet, applying the base range penalty for full auto fire.

4) pinning fire: If a target/s is in cover (and intelligent) and was/is being fired at by Auto Fire or Full Auto Fire within the last or current round, the shooter may make a free intimidate check against any target attempting to fire from cover or move from cover. If failed, targets count as shaken until the fire stops or until they can safely move to another position.

If a target is in the open when fired at by auto fire, and within base movement distance of cover, the shooter may make an intimidate roll: If the target fails, they *must* move to cover in their next turn if they are able, and count as shaken in the same way noted previously (I.E., move to a new location safely, or there's a break in the auto-fire.)

If the target's in the open, and NOT within range of cover, the GM may force the target to fall to the ground if a successful intimidate check is made. They may continue to belly-crawl until they get to cover (or can return fire and pin the shooters down).

Targets that are well-armored or otherwise impervious to much of the damage (wearing medium or heavy ablative armor, for example) may not be intimidated by pinning fire. The GM may rule that if the armored target has been hit by one or more of said bullets and received no damage, they may elect to ignore the pinning fire rules (until they are actually damaged in any way by such fire, at which time they may get pinned as normal).

Piranha Strike only requires bab +1 and weapon finesse, if I'm not mistaken: Weapon finessable weapons like the rapier apply to this right? Ack --- Not a light weapon, so no, it doesn't count, which is just stupid. I'm sure a gm would allow for it, considering that an exception is made for the weapon finesse feat for rapiers being treated like a light weapon there.

Well, on a side note, Effortless lace isn't PFS legit either, so if you're playing by PFS standard you'd have to do without piranha strike.

Also consider performance feats, with a higher cha like that. Dazzling display, savage display, performing combatant. (these three, together) Throw in masterful display and any of the other performance feats too if you feel like it. While it's feat heavy, you can rack up some detriments on the enemy or various bonuses on yourself. First strike? Make a performance check, then get +d6 damage on all attacks until the end of your next turn (and keep that chain going if you get any crits during that time. Make sure you get that keen weapon :D

If you did pick up sneak attack damage anywhere, you could upgrade to shatter defenses, pick up hero's display, (or take it instead of savage display) and basically just keep hammering away at your enemy, intimidating him whenever you get a first strike, critical hit, or hit with two or more attacks in a round. Sneak attack away. Or get the masterful display and apply savage and hero's. Anyway, that's kind of extreme with the feat limitations of swashbucklers, but you get the point.

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You could flourish a little - say make the cheaper ones used by police forces do 3/ or 6/ resist, but if a bullet hits, the wearer is staggered.
9/ or 12/ for swat armor (the heavy stuff) or less but the wearer isn't staggered. The heavier combat armors (aka batman armor) could to the full DR amount without staggering effects perhaps; but some or any of them could get penetrated by certain rounds.

For example in stead of X/magic as dr, you could rule that assault rifles count as +1 to +3 for penetration purposes, and caseless ammunition weapon ranging from +3 to +5. Basic kevlar vest : dr 5/+1, swat armor dr 7/+2. Demo armor 10/+3. Etc. Bullets can come in hollowpoint (+d6 - d10 damage, -1 armor piercing) or maybe in AP - even normal .22 cals can get sprayed with teflon to give it the +1 armor piercing quality. So for example, a .22 teflon-sprayed bullet might go right through that +1 kevlar vest, but not that +2 swat armor.

You may even simulate different weapon qualities and armor qualities as enchantments: a mp5k might be a +1 smg, while a p90 would be the +3 or +4 gorilla of the SMG world. Better damage, range, penetration.

Likewise, you could give body armor varied enchantments as though they were light medium and heavy armors, instead of damage resistance: Light kevlar would be like ac 2, but a well made vest would be like +3 leather - the modern catch would be that ballistic weaponry can't "touch ac" said armor. Or mix the two: basic kevlar /5 resist, +1 "enchantment" (and therefore +1 ac. Better quality kevlar vest: /7dr, +3 enhancement (3 ac).

Really, sky's the limit here. I did notice in that Technological handbook, a lot of modern/advanced armors had really low max dex values and skill checks. may need to implement all that too.

Well, given, ray of E is somewhat specific, but I've seen it shut down critters and the like that have low forts but were otherwise resistant to elemental damage - it's definitely a rogue killer (particularly when used against the smaller races, or critters with low str: watch 'em drop because they simply can't carry anything over 10 lbs.), but it's more about the concept than to also claim it's a jack of all trades spell, the way folks preach on about shocking grasp - not that I haven't done the same, i mean, level 10 spellstrike empowered intensified shocking grasp is a ridonkeylous pure damager, no doubt - but the point is more that there are other ways to end a fight than to pump out that same spell over and over again - and if that is the one trick pony, you'd think an enemy pc would start packing some resistances before they take a shot on the PC.

As for the spellstrike gloves - yeah reread the final words :
"The glove can only affect spells that normally affect one or more creatures at a range greater than “touch” (such as slow), not rays or other created effects. The altered spell only affects the creature attacked (any other targets normally allowed by the spell are lost"

Which is my bad - but which still allows for some nastier spells like suffocation for example, once you can spellblend a couple wizzy spells.

Anyway, particularly for kensai, unless a GM allows for relatively low level -but- high stat enhancements (rocking +8 int items at level 8 or some such silliness), most magus builds lack a large number of spell slots - but nonetheless, you see level 5 magus PCs rocking 4 shocking grasps, all up through their level 2 spells, barring, say 1 bullstrength and 1 shield. Then that character blows half of it in their first fight on some 2 hd orcs - it's just overkill, that could've been put to better use by spending one chill touch spell and getting 3 strikes out of it, or by casting Line in the Sand and stacking AoO's and using trips or the like.

Don't get me wrong, I love that there's a class that isn't entirely reliant on STR that can compete in the melee damage arena, but miss seeing more creative builds like whip/grapple kensais, or twf staff maguses, or necromaguses (ghoul touch is just too funny, even if it does jack up your own party). Spelldancers, myrmidarch/arcane archers, all interesting possibilities. Favorite class in the game, hands down, I wanna see it get some love *outside* of shocking grasp.

Close combat arcana opens up some new options later on, particularly ray of exhaustion. Also, gloves of spellstrike = win. Three times a day, sure, but being able to cast aoes through spellstrike - again, options = good. Most importantly, you can get spellblending to start sprinkling in some choice wizard spells, or spells that can focus your favorite options/targets (like dimensional anchor - no more teleport escape, mr. wizard)
Touch of slime, Enervation, Siphon Magic, or if you like having a great toolkit spell not reliant on spellstrikes, Contingency scroll. Dozens of buffs and utilities that are mild on a wizard/sorcerer, but dangerous as hell on a front liner/mobile meleer (Shadowstep, hostile juxtaposition, or Vampiric Shadow Shield).

Magus has a lot of options, being a hybrid class; on the low end everyone raves about shocking grasp - but the build doesn't end once that maxes out, nor is that the one-size fits all solution (cast it twice {edit: or even 6 times or whatever, but now you've got limited other spells] then you're useless? Why? If your dm likes to set you up with multiple fights, you're either useless in half the fights or you're gassing out just before a bbeg, and praying your one big spell is a killer)

They get access to deeds, or fighter feats, or heavy armor casting, or wizard spells, or free-application, stacking metamagic feats, or.. well, go down the list. Add some or all of the above. Their arcana list is far more varied than, say investigator inspirations, swashbuckler/gunslinger deeds, hell, even rage powers.

If damage is all you're after in a magus, then you can still do so after level 10. That's why you've got all those level 3+ spell slots. Just try out some of the *other* touch and ray spells, I promise, the first time you slap exhaustion onto some bbeg, and he gets that -6 to str/dex and 1/2 speed (and no runs or charges) you'll find some higher level uses for them.

I believe swift actions must be taken during your own turn, as compared to free or immediate actions, which may be taken during enemy or allies turns.

Blakmane wrote:
I'm a bit confused. Are you saying the NPCs will be 4th-6th level and the PCs 15th level, or the reverse?

PCs are level 4-6 to start out with good guy allied NPCs (some as high as level 15) who will be making assists from time to time, I'm guessing.

Life Oracle works too, 'cuz channeling, and energy body, and later combat healer (quickened heal + regular heal = lotta damage to a single undead, vs touch ac).

Inquisitors, preferably with dual wielding (Take the dual bane feat - bane on two weapons makes up for the larger damage of 1 weapon, unlike most cases with TWF vs 2h fighting), in addition to the spells (not as varied as clerics, but still very good for buffs/undead killing. Divine Favor, level 1, good stuffs. Downside: bane will run out quick if dualwielding, but in short bursts, very brutal (particularly at level 12: greater bane = 4d6 damage bonus)

Cleric-wise, dangit, just about any build that retains channel (but none more so than Sun Domain). Smashing undead is your forte, and you can bolster your ability to do so vs single targets by taking channel smite (which also opens the door to the guided hand feat, so you can use WIS for your attack bonus with favored weapons). Good domain can also be handy against evil undead. (level 8, Holy weapon ability) Edit: see Inlaa's post above for spell choices, no joke, clerics have all the goodies for undead curbies.

Don't leave out rangers either: If a ranger takes undead as their favored enemy at level 1, they can stack up some great flat bonuses against said enemies by the middle levels - enough so that whatever combat style they choose (ranged, TWF, 2h, whatever) will remain viable. Not to mention, once you can cast level 3ranger spells, Instant Enemy spell in the event you run into something that's not one of their favored enemies. Corpse hunter archetype is particularly suited to undead hunting (particularly the ability to slap Ghost touch on a weapon at level 8). Also, a slightly expanded spell list to add to undead hunting.

Monk with the Spirit Master archetype. Particularly hardy against energy drains and the like, plus some minor positive energy AOEs when they kill undead (costs 2 ki a pop, but it's fantastic if you take out a more powerful undead critter amidst a big horde of lessers.) Also, purifying palm at 15 (insta-kill, like quivering palm except vs undead only).

Not necessary to plan for 8-enemy whirlwinds, seems to rarely occur (unless you have good reach -- see below). I think the main problem faced by brawlers/monks who don't have a means of pouncing is just getting into the fight and staying base-to-base so they can use that flurry.

You might consider taking wolf style, and lunge or combat patrol. With all your trippiness, you'll be able to both spread your flurries in that 15' radius, and at the same time take advantage of your AoO's. Wolf style jives with this really well. With a speed bonus (winding path renegade or mutagenic Mauler, or just with gear/buffs), you should be able to jet around the field with combat patrols, then knock your enemies down. DO NOT take a reach weapon, or you'll spoil the Stomp/greater Trip synergy.

Option B, take that whole overrun chain to close the distance/knock people prone, then vicious stomp on them when they fall flat. When they get up, trip 'em. Overrun whenever you change targets - charge through, rinse repeat. (downside is that it's much more feat heavy to get overrun, charge through and greater overrun. Upside, you've already slotted powerattack for level 11.)

Option C, if you tend toward single targets, take improved disarm too - to max out your AoO chain on one target: Trip, then disarm. AoO on trip, AoO on prone, AoO on retrieving their weapon (at which point you trip again during the AoO, potentially getting further bonuses on this if you also have wolf style). Endless chain o' pain. At some point, to break this cycle, they'll either have to choose not to get their weapon, or to roll around on the ground to get to it, then standing up after, all of which is funny.

Option D all of the above. With all the feats available to you and your flexibility, you might be able to get away with taking the starter feats (improved disarm, trip, and overrun) then use flexibility to pick up all the greaters. (may need to slap in some of the extras with actual feat slots, like charge through or the _____ strikes.)

P.S. Mutagenic mauler, +dex mutagen. yay, AoO's and Agile weapons.

P.S. Again: Mutagenic mauler, no martial flexibility or dodge ac bonus, booooo

hey, its those "Race" races. Nice. Totally want in on this game, or at least to play my hypothetical Frog investigator.

Anyway, lookin good. Please let us know how the fight goes down (or lack thereof if they end up feeling all Disney about it)

In all honesty, druid buffs are stupendously powerful, and thrown onto a monk, you can really stack up your ac and damage bursts, particularly when you can soak up your MAD problem with owlswisdom/cat's grace/bullstrength. Barkskin for ac, then pick and choose some of those other ridiculous buffs they get. Difficult to bring it all out into the fore, but nonetheless, very strong. This still leaves 90% of your spells for blasting away.

Stormlord seems like a fair pick. Thousand faces is alright, but alter self is a pretty low level spell: you could always access it through gear or potions, unless you plan to change faces all the time.

The tempest may be more to your liking if you tend toward lighting spells - particularly those line-based bolts. At level 9, being able to fudge with the spell as an immediate action ( let it hit guy A then alter it 5 feet to the right to hit guys B and C) is kind of handy, but not earth shattering. You could also use it as a sort of minor version of spellshaping: you can exclude a square where an ally/innocent/petunia is standing, and smash the rest of the area with a lightning call.

Most importantly at the lower levels though , you can combine your level 1 obscuring mist spells with eyes of the storm. Dropping mists around you, while you stay in cover from all ranged targeting, is a big boon.

also tempest replaces all those things you mentioned, well, most at least.

P.s. good lookin up, on that feral combat training, never even noticed that. Brings back some builds I've missed since 3.5

downside is that your flurries won't work with wildshape. Upside is, you can actually yell out some phrases like "MY tiger style is superior to yours!" and do some mock-lip synching like badly dubbed kung-fu movies.

I think I was just reading an amusing thread that may pique your interest...

A big strong enemy (a rager type or a straight two handed fighter) with powerattack, cleave, and great cleave or cleaving finish will reduce grouped summons to pink mist, augments or not. If you wanna throw the occasional non-dismissal curveball, this is one way. Also fits the "big strong and stupid" role as compared to the surgical strike on the summoner. It's tough to swarm a big nasty like that - just be cautious of him accidentally squashing lower level pcs who get in his way.

Aoe spells are the bane of summoners who like dumping out large groups of summons. If he wants to drop a cluster of wolves on your enemy wizard, just be sure your wizard has the selective spell feat - if he can drop aoes on himself, those low hp clusters will get baked. Admixture evokers can mix up the damage types of their spells if he throws out summons with certain elemental resistances. Iceball, instead of fireball. This may breed resentment if all your wizards become admixture evokers, but once or twice in a campaign? why not.

If he likes bringing out singular, more powerful summons, a decent ranger/guide archer/slayer with manyshot/ pointblank master will mop them up quick if they're at a distance or up close -- and you'll be letting him know, forgivingly, that they could have shot him to death, if they were a little less panicked (i.e, shooting up his minions). Send the occasional manyshot his way to remind him of this fact, if he's skating through all your battles untouched.

- Or if he's the kind to summon right onto the rear ranks of an enemy (say, on a wizard or an archer-type), a dual wielding inquisitor (who can drop bane on his weapons toward whatever enemy pops up), maybe a warpriest (with channel smite or using fervor) of an opposed alignment to the party - these can all beat down a summon quickly -- the idea is so that you won't be killing the summoner so much as chewing up his spells. He casts, the enemy does a 1 round wrap-up on said minions - If he keeps dropping swarms of summons, they'll be able to keep up.

Clerics are kinda the bane of the summoner - the one sure-fire thing that will irritate a summoner is if someone uses it against him - and does it better. While he drops summons, an evil cleric could raise dead (or have started out with a fat group of his own), and use negative energy channeling to keep his minions alive, while still having nasty spells of his own to stack the fight (level 1: Bane, bless... Level 3 prayer. Etc). With better AC and decent bab, that cleric will be more pesky than your party's summoner bargained for. Nobody does the necro-horde better than the ebil cleric.

Anyway, there's a few different tricks to use if his summoning starts making your encounters breezy for his party. Summoners get out of control if you take out the dispelling and banishment from your quiver, but they also - at least at earlier levels - tend to be somewhat squishy (as are his minions). You may want to let him go to town on a few fights, obviously, so it's not the "let's kill a summoner" show, but you'll also want to read up on the summoning lists he uses, just so that he doesn't drop some ridiculous damage resistant pixiebeasts/imps on your carefully designed critters. It's a bit demoralizing to GMs when they've got "Kobold Boss" all ready to drop a monologue and shine on, only to have his tribe wiped out by one spell: a squad of d3+1 cackling imps.

Your last ditch resort should be to target him directly, in which case, you build a bad-dude magus. Said magus is the bane of the summoner-wizard types. Blade dash past his minions, landing the dash attack on the summoner, then tossing in the full attack strikes afterward. If you're leery about just 1-round-dropping him, use spellstrikes like chill touch or ghoul touch to make him sick/paralyzed (Magus could have taken this with spellblending), and use combat maneuvers like trip or overrun (pick one, and give the magus maneuver mastery and the appropriate improved ____ feat).

The reason I say last resort is because you're obviously not trying to just kill him; a magus is a caster-killer. high mobility, swift action arcane pool enchantment bonuses, and full attacks on anyone within 30' (with blade dash, specifically) will jack anyone with a low con and low hitdie. Ultimately, after giving the summoner some aggro, you can easily move the magus away to pester someone else with another blade dash. If this is the road you want to take to make him afraid, stay away from the usual "rapier/scimitar dancing dervish" type, and go with a staff magus type and the like (lower damage potential, and lower crit rates, so you won't "accidentally" kill him in a single burst of hits'ncrits. Nail him with a couple of ugly hits and a trip to lay him on his back, then retreat (dash) when his allies drop by to save him. It'll be enough to make him reconsider sending all his minions into the fray instead of holding some back to protect himself.

ack, was typing before your last post, sorry Inlaa;

I'd stay away from giving that barb reach tactics - as Magda says, he'd get two attacks if he were to be more of a buffer-zone between the party and the cleric: But he could also end up killing the party pretty easily if he hits like a truck. If the rear ranks/ranged folks get blinded (low reflex save peoples?) they'll be useless, while the front ranks/first to charge may get double-tapped if they've got a mediocre ac (particularly if blind). The reach gnoll could take standstill (as compared to say, power attack) as another option to prevent a pre-emptive PC kill on a charge - though the party would be stupid to just rush into him, never underestimate how dumb people can be (especially if it's been a long session, and the coke/coffee/redbull has run its course).

Anyway, with 6 pcs, I still feel like it's doable. It's gonna come down to that burst of radiance I think: If he wins the initiative, with a DC of 16, that will likely blind 1/2 to 2/3 of the party, and the fight will be radically different if they/you roll 4 rounds on the blind effect. Chances are, if they can last the initial disorientation of that blind, they'll be spread out and clear it all up without too much hardship.

Give him Selective Channeling so that he isn't just healing up the PC party (if and when he may decide to do that). Also, while the blinding effects are pretty cool, I wonder: are you allowing the use of Hero Pts and the like? I could see that barb putting someone down in one round with a lucky hit, particularly if they're blind and lose their dex to AC. Level 3 rogue: ~20 hp, 13 ac blind: Barb with flail/powerattack/rage (assuming str 18 at this point): +8 attack, d10+12 damage. 75% chance of hit, 25% chance of one-shot. Party will most likely have a front-liner take him on, but if someone (/two or three someones) gets "smart" and tries to rush headlong at the caster, that barb could head right past and mash-up the witch/bard. Of course, if nobody plays the pick-up game, maybe the party deserves a little death-scare.

Otherwise, I see no reason that the PC party should be overwhelmed by this encounter. Once they take that barb out of the equation, it'll wrap up pretty quick. If anything, seems a bit light: I suppose with enough kobolds, that bless spell can stack up the odds a little bit. But hey, if the point isn't to make it an endgame 50/50 win lose scenario, I'd say they should be able to do it, without it being a breeze.

Two questions: does anyone in the party have improved overrun/charge through, and does anyone in the party have a hard CC/spell that could take the cleric out of the fight right away (such as a magus with ye old precise strike/shocking grasp build Edit: or hold person)?

If there is someone with Charge Through, they may be able to overrun the kobold/charge the cleric in round one, with a second overrun attempt or big damage attack on the cleric. (even a modest cmb will break the kobold wall, and a big str barb or buffed paladin might beat out that cleric's lower cmd). Things may get anti-climactic. If so, you may consider throwing in a little difficult terrain around him to make the fight go on another couple of rounds, you know, just to avoid that 1st round charge/knockdown that'd leave him vulnerable.

since you're sort of stuck with an elf/half elf to req for that prestige class, you're going to hurt for feats. I'd take at least two levels of fighter just to wrap up weapon focus/P.B. shot/ Precise shot by level 2. Then you can take wizard levels till 10, and still have access to level 4 spells when you start into your AA. That leaves 4 feats open and 1 bonus wizzy feat, to either get some metamagic or fill out the other useful ranged feats like deadly aim, rapid fire, and maybe the snap shots(manyshot, unfortunately, also takes 6 bab, so you're stuck until your first level of AA at 11. (or, you could start into the vital strike feats instead: more on that later)

I'd almost advise against going deep into wizard territory, in favor of 1 wiz, 6 slayer/ranger, so that you can slap on some sneak attack or favored enemy bonuses (or if you prefer some versatility to your targets, the Guide archetype for Ranger Focus) as the flat bonuses to attack/damage from studied target/favored enemy/ranger focus will really help once you start spamming arrows with manyshot/rapidshot. Additionally, you can have manyshot at level 7, and start into Arcane archer as early as level 8.

If you're starting out at advanced levels though, stick with plan A: 2 levels of fighter, 8 levels wizard, ten levels of AA. At level 20, you'll *just* be able to cast level 8 wizard spells.

The only real problem I see with AA's is that by level 15 or so, you may find yourself wishing you'd just focused on casting, as that's around when your magic starts getting out of control: Your AA is able to cast level 6 spells, while a pure caster could be casting level 8's. Casters are so much more powerful on the high end, but as your AA you'll end up spending all your actions on blasting hordes of enemies for 21d6 damage rather than pew-pewing your bow for similar or less damage against one target. Or just avoiding damage completely in favor of some "save or die" types of spells. The AA, however, can't quite pull it all off as well. Since most spells are standard action at least, and you can't really get away with quickened spells, you end up sacrificing your bow attacks to cast and vice-versa - barring your imbue arrow ability, of course. Don't miss! You may consider forgoing all of the usual archer-fare (rapid/manyshot, concentrated fire) in lieu of taking the whole Vital strike chain, if you plan on making a lot of use of the imbue arrow ability; tripling weapon damage on one shot that you use often will get you slightly more mileage than wasting 3 or four feats on multiple shots you never use.

More often than not, people go into AA planning on beefing up their ranged attacks with enchanted arrows, and using magic for some minor utilities, rather than the other way around. That's not to say you can't be a self-buffing nightmare archer: by level 15 you'll have access to level 6 spells like true seeing, greater heroism, or battlemind link. Another bonus is that you'll have the full 4 attacks (+16 BAB) at level 20 - though at level 16 you could also forgo casting for the rest of an engagement, casting transformation, to get your BAB up for that last iterative attack.

Last note: I'd advise you to take an admixture wizard (evocation specialist subschool) and to buy the selective spell metamagic feat as soon as possible: your allies will thank you for excluding them from your AOEs, and you'll also be able to change the elements of your spells to suit the situation (or if your allies have specific immunities, to blast open whole areas of the battlefield without harming your pals).

P.S. also, having taken 8 levels of wizard, you'd get access to the second admixture ability; the ability to exude an aura that alters elemental effects like evocation spells/breath weapons etc. Have cold resistance? turn that red dragon's breath to ice (within 30' of you, at least)

Anyway good luck.

Think you're missing the purpose of this archetype - If you're planning on grappling a lot, flurry doesn't mean jack. You can't perform flurry of grapples anyway, even with the whole grapple feat chain. Grapple is a standard action, and later you can attempt multiple grappling attempts in the same round (greater grapple/rapid grapple). The strangler archetype's strength is its ability to do sneak attack damage *while* putting someone into a hold. It's the only archetype that really allows you to do "free" damage while grappling - though to be fair to your argument, it wouldn't matter anyway - you could just complete the entire grappling chain (hold, pin, tie-up ----> coup de gras/leave 'em there, they're out of the fight) and couping someone's way more effective *if* your goal is just to take enemies out swiftly. If your goal is to make them suffer and die painfully/break them into a little meaty pretzel, the strangler is the build for you.

I personally feel like there are better options for grappler characters (whip masters, sap masters, etc), but if you're dealing with grapples against high cmd opponents, this archetype shines (brawler's cmb bonuses, and maneuver feats/flexibility). You don't need flurry attacks if you're trying to wrap someone up and choke the life out them: you just latch on and deal sneak attack damage twice or thrice a round with rapid/greater grappling (+whatever damage you would normally inflict.) Of course, it'll take quite a few levels to even get the higher end grapple feats, but it's not so much an optimization thing, as a flavor thing. If some dm started inviting all players to the pit fight of the century, it wouldn't be the build I'd pick, but who knows, somewhere out there, a player is saying "you know, I really want to play a serial killer guy, and this strangler archetype's right up my alley".

chaoseffect wrote:

-Big 6

-Boots of the Battle Herald: Pretty much infinite Greater Heroism for only 30,000 gold
-A weapon with Courageous if you have Boots of the Battle Herald
-Goz Mask: Negates so much concealment
-Shadow Piercing, Greater Eye: See in Darkness is such a good ability
-Ring of Sustenance
-Handy Haversack

EDIT: I didn't realize this was in the Beginner Box section... damn you, viewing all pathfinder boards simultaneously.

HANDY HAxVERSACK. The most useful item in the game for its price. A 2500g bag of holding. Also, for that matter, bag(s) of holding. Really expensive, true, but it pays for itself once you can start shoving in way more loot than you'd normally be able to carry. Must have for people with less than 10 str.

Also, yes, ring of sustenance. It's cheap, and useful for everyone. Sleep is your most vulnerable time: Having it negates all the penalties (or most) that you will undoubtedly accrue by being ambushed/random encountered. Also, when on an adventure, you don't have to waste all that weight and backpack space on rations.

Featherstep Boots. Huge benefit: Ignore difficult terrain. 2000g.

Immovable rod. Again, cheap-ish, and while it's not as purely useful in every situation, I can't even recall how many times these things have been put to creative use in games I've played.

Ring of returning: I've found this to be a reeeally useful item, particularly for ranged characters.

Glove of storing. Very useful for a lot of builds, and for concealing weapons. Free action draw for any weapon/item under 20 lbs.

Gloves of reconnaissance: Never have to open a door to see what's on the other side.

+stat items: self evident, but you'll never see a PC without a +2 to +6 in their primary stat.

Adamantium weaponry (for meleers) because nothing sucks more than losing your weapon the first time someone tries a sunder on you. Also, because you can do the same to them.

Mithril armors: because.

because where as evocation is energy (cold, fire and lightning) and such, conjuration is summoning, and acid is sort of loosely implied to be a substance that you summon forth, a nasty material that causes burns and owies. If you were summoning rocks, it'd make sense, right? What about a lot of tiny rocks, pebbles really? Powder, like Lye? Anyway you get me right? Yes, there's the whole elemental aspect: earth(acid) fire, water(ice, and even then some water/ice spells are conjuration too, when it's not about sheer cold), lightning(air) are the big 4 elements. Evocation is not the "elemental" school, just because it has so much fire and lightning and cold spells, its also force and other stuff. Anyway, of those spells are more your focus, take the Elemental wizard schools. Kind of limiting given how much the other schools allow for, but anyway

Reach evangelist, simply because while summoning builds can be powerful, they stop being fun when they bog down the game - to help alleviate this pain you end up spending a bunch of time creating stat blocks for your won critters so you don't waste time figuring it out in the middle of a combat, or you pass the buck to your gm who will not thank you, nor will the players if you do it in the middle of a session. And truth be told there are ways to be rid of summons on the high end -- eh, different thread.

Anyway, I'd consider reach evangelist, just because you're a great support, and with so many buffs and heals being touch range, well, you get it. Heavy armor if you can afford it anyway, unless you have other plans for those feats that are demanding.

I'd also consider playing a tanky stone oracle were I you. Not as much spell versatility, but you get more of them. If you can control the center ground, and you're a spearhead (i.e. everyone stays behind you, or doesn't advance past your mark) you can really screw the battlefield up for non-flying enemies. Reach spells, heavy armor, defensive combat training. mix n match, but makes for a really good battlefield controller particularly a dwarf with stonesinger/magic resistance, and the stone stability revelation.

well, even if you took the same infernal healing item, and just made it into a rod or a boot or a ring, and gave it 5 uses a day, caster level 1, that's 10 hp a pop, and not so much more unbalancing than doing the same thing with a rod of cure light wounds, which is probably the most common "custom" item in the game.

But yes, technically correct. You're supposed to find an equivalent... Wow, so ring of regeneration got nerfed all the way to fast healing 1. Compared to 4/round in 3.5, I can't think of why anyone would take it OTHER than its ability to reattach limbs. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just buy a scroll of heal or something or greater resto? Most people go several games before stumbling into the rare condition of lost limbs.

Hm... I couldn't find a single regen spell on the spell lists. Did they just boot that whole concept? Aside from infernal healing, it's a monster only ability. That kind of healing used to be the staple of druid heals.

Malforian wrote:

the Boon companion feat at level three makes up for the four levels of mounted fury not accounted for by its mount ability. Beast Rider even gives two more "free levels" of non companion progression classes if desired. I can't remember the name of it, but there is a rage and teamwork themed prestige class that could fit in well as a two level dip, but since that wouldn't be until after level 15 I didn't really bother with it. I tried to make the build I posted as functional as possible from level one onwards since most play starts low level and doesn't get past the mid levels.

My problem with Mammoth Rider is that a permanently huge companion can be a real problem of logistics if you're not playing in a campaign with constant open spaces. Not having half of your teamwork centric character be able to enter most dungeons/buildings is going to be so frustrating.

As for the build I'm thinking that full blooded Orc might be even more optimal. With bull aspect and rage a level three Mounted Fury/ Hunter could easily have a 26 strength: 16(base)+4(Orc)+4(Rage)+2(Bull Aspect)=26

That's a +12 to damage on those reach attacks at level 3!

Nice... okay good to know, I think I'm gonna mess with some builds now. Yeah- it won't matter for this BBEG i'm making at least, as the whole campaign is above ground, in a 80% rural setting. Takin a bunch of your barb build, and slapping a mammoth rider into it. Literally, Big Bad Evil Guy. (the mammoth's not the only thing that's big in this build)

p.s. funny that you mention orc too...

Starbuck II:

touche - I may be slightly more eloquent on a keyboard than your average bear, but when I'm standing at a gaming table all apoplectic about my monk getting scorched, I wish I coulda argued that point in words that weren't composed of four letters >.< I just had to cede to the gm ruling and step out for some air.


Not so much proving the opposite - in fact that's what I advised the OP to do: fudge with the rules, so that weird arguments don't crop up later.

And to throw in a cent from Starbuck, if the homerules aren't pointed out in advance of a game session, it's only gonna cause issues later.

So, for example, Starbuck's penetration/misfire ruling, totally makes sense for the OP's campaign: in a world where guns are becoming the norm, didn't anyone figure out a way in all those years to keep the guns from jamming or exploding 1 in 20 shots? More importantly, in a world where gaping wounds are sealed up instantly, perhaps someone could've come up with a cheap, efficient way (alchemically or otherwise) to prevent it? I like the penetration rules on the whole, as they don't just outright ignore armor, though I'd change it slightly, so that if the ammo/firearm isn't equal or superior in enchantment to the armor it's penetrating, it doesn't get the bonus at all. That way, for game balance/class options, the heavy armor classes aren't invalidated, and it doesn't break the setting: armor would be less viable on the low end, because not everyone can afford +1 platemail... but adventurers could. Prominent bodyguards could. It would allow for variant tactics, and still give that wild west flair of "ducking/dodging behind cover" gunfights.

Nawp. Other than the usual Agile weapon pundit, looks solid enough.
Maybe throw in a maneuver or two just for variety - you've got a goos cmb, why not throw in a trip or a disarm? Skill focus acrobatics might be really great too, if you make use of any of the variant rules for acrobatics to get around difficult terrain. (check out the 101 skill uses book. Third party, but not unreasonable homebrew stuff. acrobatic charges, DCs for "crossing difficult terrain", which is never really specified in the skill description, etc).

But that's all fluff, and it looks like you've got all the bells and whistles for an IB Swashbuckler

Larkos wrote:


About the rogue evasion question: though I'm sure there is some situation where it doesn't work (Order of the Stick loves doing this as a sight gag), players and GMs should focus on coming up with creative ways of allowing the evasion. It's one of the best things Monks and Rogues get and cutting it off sucks.

You monk could have jumped up through the outhouse, breaking through the roof. His/her acrobatics and unarmed strike should have been more than enough to handle it.

My rogue managed to evade a fireball while grappled by black tentacles despite my GM's protestations. I and my party figured that my rogue managed to maneuver himself so that he was covered in the black tentacles which are indestructible to form an improvised armor around him. I would have gladly taken a negative to my escape artist roll afterwards as a penalty but the GM was too defeated to think of it.

The rest of your points were spot-on though.

nice with the tentacles, lol, if I was gming, i'da totally bought that argument. *the monk manages to twist himself in such a way that the tentacles act like a cocoon, and take most of the blast, and the enemy wizard has to make a will check not to be affected with confusion for one round* And also order of the stick, I need to catch up on that, haven't read it in years.

It's an old argument with a different face: the law vs. the spirit of the law. I find myself more concerned with the spirit of the law, and while gaming isn't a perfect simulation of reality in the form of skill points and dice rolls, that's what it's original purpose was. The most basic precept of roleplaying games is that you're trying to create a story - if that story stretches the boundaries of believability, that's fine. If it breaks it, it leads to arguments. If you're playing a game to have fun, arguments suck. And that's the point of it all - And that's why paizo itself states the ultimate rule : The GM is the ultimate authority of what is and is not allowed.

In this case, the monk was doin the doodie, so to speak, so the gm decided that he was "otherwise completely at an opponent's mercy."
Because how would he even have known that a fireball was descending?
Did his spider sense tingle? How's it different than a sneak attack? I can say the dm's wrong all I like, but I have to accept the ruling. Even if he decides that I don't even get a perception check to hear the fireball decending, or whatever circumstances might have been changed. Why? Because a 20 minute argument over what the rules are sucks for everyone at the table. And those happen often enough, and usually over things far less important than the death of a character (ahem, my monk).

So basically what I'm saying - and this should all probably just get moved to another thread, we're way off topic - is that declaring rules as immutable, evasion or otherwise, strips the system of its greatest asset, and that's creative license. You yourself did it, by making a homerule about firearm misfires. I'm not sayin you're wrong, just that sometimes you need to bend the law, to protect the spirit of the law.

Anyhow, apologies to the OP, in the words of Stephen King , "I have diarrhea of the typewriter." I can't seem to keep my posts below two paragraphs, nor stay on topic without profuse examples and tangents.
Good luck with the gunworld, sounds like a blast. No pun intended.

Genuine wrote:
Rub-Eta wrote:
Player choice of classes will change, if they know what they're doing, and favour DEX builds.

Yup. There's a reason none of the Musketeers wore plate armor, Don Quixote was crazy, and people quit using cavalry.

D20 doesn't stop being playable - it's still a game with magic and unrealistic heroism (Note: any time a player says that something in the game is 'unrealistic,' you should throw your dice at them. Even if the situation is evasion in an outhouse. If a wizard can use a bit of bat poop to create a 40' wide explosion, then the monk can duck it.).

But the builds that are powerful will change. The monsters that are powerful will change. Dragons, ogres, and giants may be heading for extinction, but I'll bet those kobolds get a whole lot fiercer. Or imagine if the Licktoads found crates of firearms and ammo instead of bottle rockets.

Or if someone rallied the hill giants, and equipped them with huge Culverins and convinced them it was their time to shine... Or if those crazy goblins got to tinkering on a gatling gun... I really love the possibilities of stepping out of the mold, creating new homebrew settings. Golarion - where there's growing anti-magic fields/ or where there's been a rip in space/time, and critters with strange red-beam weapons are invading out of strange, purply-misted portals. No end to the possibilities.

some types of undead, anyone with fortified enchants, spells to do the same, golems of varied sorts. there are a few.

edit: honestly, been playin varied rpgs since 1st ed, and so have several of the folks I play with. There are just so many rules and revisions, there are some things I just take for granted. Could be they phased out the immunities of a lot of the usual suspects, and that's the second time I've seen mentioned the whole oozes and elementals thing. Anyone else? Can ah get a sekkin opinion?

thejeff wrote:

Do bear in mind that many of those questions apply equally well to magic "How does the rogue evade the fireball in an enclosed room?". He does. Because that's what he does.

How do modern action heroes survive the explosions and hails of bullets?

And the dragons learn Protection from Arrows too. And Invisibility.

Yeah, I get it, because the rules say "evasion works" you just roll a dice and the magic happens. My point is that even protection from arrows has a limit when you get hit by a dozen cannonballs, or a massed volley by a city's musketeers. If your ship gets broadsided, your GM might decide, sure, why not roll evasion once, and let you off the hook. "You leap off the deck, realizing the boat's not going to survive that volley." Now you can swim to shore.

Or your gm could just say, "there's no evading a huge volley of wood/ steel and flames covering an 80' radius, from top and bottom like that." I've had it happen to me, in the exact same situation you described: I had a monk who went into an outhouse. Outhouse got hit by a fireball, GM ruled that I couldn't use evasion, because there was nowhere to evade to. I didn't argue, because - let's face it, where could I hide, below the outhouse, with all the methane gas and crap?

The point isn't just that 18th century warfare starts to bend the bounds of dice rolls and such, but that it's up to the GM to not provoke situations where it's constantly called into question. Additionally, that in a living breathing world, there are repercussions to technological advancement, and it may require some thought to reflect that. I am *not* saying "therefore all dragons would just die" or that rogues should never get to evade "'cuz f* rogues!"

Anyway, not trying to come across as flippant or snarky, just trying to express the importance of avoiding arguments among the players, which will happen more often as you play modernistic games. I've argued on both sides, won and lost those arguments, had to reroll a monk too (it wasn't the blast, it was the assassin that followed it).

Just, trust me... more guns = more lethality because more gunpowder, and other modern weaponry/tactics. But hey, it's fantasy game, and when reality intrudes, it's up to the GM to make the final call - but your players may take exception when their plot to detonate a huge bomb fails to kill BBEG X because he just made an evasion roll.

heh, go check out the dresden files rpg, maybe find a way to jive it with pathfinder.

Still, that feel of magic (or counter-magic) becomes difficult, when rituals of that sort take time to build. How long does it take to make a salt circle, and how much time to empower it with your will? Do you need feats to do it? Can anyone do it or do you need a latent magical talent? How many feats, and how much salt?

Anyway, there's not much that can be done as is, other than to buy magic items that counter/mitigate their damage (through saves, avoidance etc), at least, not without a revision on the dm's part. Still, I really loved Jim Butcher's series, and using it as a guideline, I'm sure a dm could whip up some homebrew to make it work.

SAP MASTER! favorite rogue build. double sneak attack dice?
WOT? Just don't get sundered, it's a bag of marbles. It's gettin shredded.

Xexyz wrote:
Aemesh wrote:

Depends on the build - lets say you were an inquisitor, for example - and you have the ability to slap Bane on a weapon. You wouldn't want to enchant it with bane, because your class bonus and the enchant don't stack. If you're playing a myrmidarch magus, you could slap on varied other enchants, but then your arcane pool would max out the base enchant to 5, so you'd benefit from buying a +1 bow with various abilities, then slapping your arcane pool atop it (assuming i'm correct about that... anyway) You get the point.

Generally though, this is the route most zen archers go toward:

+5 adaptive impervious seeking, holy, merciful, guided bow:

I like the merciful part, as then you have the option as a DM to *not* kill one of your players with an accidental crit. Also, Guided is third party, and was originally intended to be used for melee only. Gm's call ultimately, and that's you. Anyway, holy so that it blows through dr, and seeking because cover is annoying for an archer, and with a decent perception skill, you'll be able to hear a moving invis person, then target the square and blast the baddie. Impervious 'cause, hey bows are super easy to sunder :) Adaptive so that you don't have to have a specific str made for the pull of the bow - if someone buffs you, you can increase your dmg accordingly instead of being stuck with your 14str composite bow bonus. And that's why it always goes first on the list of enchants. Nothing more irritating to an archer with a composite bow than getting slapped with a level 1 ray of enfeeblement, and suddenly being unable to use their primary weapon.

Hmm, never thought about merciful before; I'll have to give that one some thought. I'm almost certain to put seeking on it since that's just a useful enchant all-around. Guided is melee-only so that's a no-go. Adaptive and Impervious of course. I'm waffling on Holy but we'll see.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Unholy works too :D or banes, though with the obvious drawbacks that come with focusing on one type of humanoid.

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Well for one, obviously armor becomes less a factor in defense than speed and dexterity, as does magic like mirror images. Heavy armor builds with 12 dex get auto-shot, and suddenly mobs of musket-wielders can be a real threat to that formerly invincible sword/board juggernaut with his 25 ac at level 2. Touch ac: 11 because of his 12 dex.

Gms may have to account for this by allowing better enchantments (+2, +3? 1 or more higher than the enchantment of the bullets?) on armor to ignore the touch ac rules for close range firearms, otherwise that heavy armor will get phased out, which might not be a bad thing.

It may require you to fudge with the rules, as most armor bonuses on critters and the like were intended for a world in which firearms are a rarity. But what would realistically (and I use that world lightly, as it pertains to pathfinder) occur is that the monsters of the world would either adapt or die off. Consider how those ogres and hillgiants would get hunted down by double-hackbut wielding, level 1 squads of guardsmen, blasting away in volleys of twenty bullets from hundreds of yards away.

Would the ogres evolve into grenade tossers? Or would they cower in their caves, unable to invent some means of deliverance from the humans and their strange gadgetry?

Would dragons consider retreat in the face of massive, enchanted cannon volleys? Perhaps consider expending some of their vast wealth to procure armies of their own? After all, humans might pose a threat after all, in such great numbers, when the most feared weapon of all - dragonfire - is rendered obsolete by artillery that might blast holes in its wings at 500 yards. But he still has magic; perhaps he'll have to try a new tactic for culling the villagers...

In terms of humanoid versus humanoid combat, it's not the end of the world: Mages can still use protection from arrows at level 2. It just changes the nature of combat when meleers become the oddity. Warfare in general became a matter of numbers rather than skill, historically: How does a level 10 meleer dodge 60 bullets fired in ranks simultaneously? The gm may decide that no matter what the attack roll, he's just getting hit for d6 bullets, rather than rolling out all 50 shots: d6 x d12 damage, period. Now if you survive that, you have to get to them before they reload... and hope their morale breaks.

Anyway, I've played a few games even in modern settings, and all I can say is, the more modern, the easier it is for your players to die. How do you save against explosive charges under your horse cart's seat? You don't even know it's there until you sit down. How do you swim to shore when your freighter is broadsided by a big old double decker sporting 16 heavy cannon and 40 light, on each side? Reflex saves are fine, but what do you do to dodge a wall of steel and a rain of flying wood?

gm: "Okay, everyone roll d20 reflex saves"
player: "You mean, use a d20 on our saves? Isn't that normal?"
Gm: "No, roll a d20, then roll that many reflex saves"

How does a rogue somehow manage to survive that with evasion checks? Does he fly through the air in a matrix-esque pirouette, and land on the bow (which is the only piece left after the volley)?

Ultimately just remember that because huge numbers are possible in that world, do your best not to include them. The surest way to end the PC party is to point 50 guns at them just because that's the most realistic way to envision 18th century warfare. Spread the guns out, make it a common thing, but not exclusive. People still use melee, as magic has equally advanced. Common potions now include the custom level one spell some wizard thought up "minor bulletproofer" which gives 1/magic resist vs projectiles per caster level (max 5/magic), for 1 minute/caster level. If magic hasn't advanced, and armor hasn't advanced too, then those things will go by the wayside, and variety is the spice of life.

Depends on the build - lets say you were an inquisitor, for example - and you have the ability to slap Bane on a weapon. You wouldn't want to enchant it with bane, because your class bonus and the enchant don't stack. If you're playing a myrmidarch magus, you could slap on varied other enchants, but then your arcane pool would max out the base enchant to 5, so you'd benefit from buying a +1 bow with various abilities, then slapping your arcane pool atop it (assuming i'm correct about that... anyway) You get the point.

Generally though, this is the route most zen archers go toward:

+5 adaptive impervious seeking, holy, merciful, guided bow:

I like the merciful part, as then you have the option as a DM to *not* kill one of your players with an accidental crit. Also, Guided is third party, and was originally intended to be used for melee only. Gm's call ultimately, and that's you. Anyway, holy so that it blows through dr, and seeking because cover is annoying for an archer, and with a decent perception skill, you'll be able to hear a moving invis person, then target the square and blast the baddie. Impervious 'cause, hey bows are super easy to sunder :) Adaptive so that you don't have to have a specific str made for the pull of the bow - if someone buffs you, you can increase your dmg accordingly instead of being stuck with your 14str composite bow bonus. And that's why it always goes first on the list of enchants. Nothing more irritating to an archer with a composite bow than getting slapped with a level 1 ray of enfeeblement, and suddenly being unable to use their primary weapon.

Kaouse wrote:
Kletus Bob wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:
The wizard doesn't have to get close, they can ready. And if the cavalier is charging that means they have a clear line to the wizard, so they're in plain sight. Most people who refer to the permanently invisible mage are probably referring to the mostly permanent version. Scent only works within 30 feet and takes a move action just to get the direction (so puts you within Short range).

Wait, if the martial class don`t get magic item in this scenario, the wizard also have to be restricted to his spell list and class abilities, no magic items there either thus no perma invisibility. This is class vs class. Celestial armor has fly and getting see invisible item is easy as mentioned. So assume no magic items in both cases.

Rhino charge is also a ready action and have a greater range than maze. If the wizard tries to close in, he get charged. You have a stand off right there and the wizard buffs are on a clock.

Umm, I think the idea was not to allow custom items. Either way, restricting things to just the wizard's spell list is stil a match n favor of the wizard. Even if your cavalier was to face a wizard with absolutely NO BUFFS on for any reason, you still wouldn't win.

Fight starts, Wizard wins initiative (familiar means that all else equal, even without initiative boosting spells the wizard will win). Once the Wizard has won initiative he casts Greater Teleport a couple 1000 feet away (not that you'd be able to tell which direction he went in), casts all of his buffs (which can include things like Astral Projection and Clone to make your attacks meaningless), and then scrys your location before committing to an assault.

The wizard can engage and disengage at will. The wizard can eventually find you no matter where you are. The wizard can make all of your attacks absolutely meaningless while doing so. Exactly what can you do to stop this from occurring?

Bring cookies, and play a rogue.

(bluff check: pass)
"Hello! I was just wondering, are you the Wizard Karakabus?"
Mage: "What? How did you get in here? *readies spells from his fearsome level 13 repertoire*"
Rogue: (bluff, pass) Oh, your guards sent me in. A friend of mine said you were looking for this artifact.. um, but If I was mistaken..."
Mage: "yes yes! Of course, let me see it!! *forgets the spell, eagerly rubbing hands together*"
Rogue, (bluff) "well, let's see, it's in this bag here..." *leaves bag of stale cookies on the table and steps aside*
Mage: "Wha- cookies... what's the meaning of-"
Rogue: *quick-draws merciful +3 sap as she sidesteps behind him*
Mage: *gets sneak attacked by level 13 rogue, using Sap mastery, 14d6 damage, boosting all 1's and 2's rolled to 3. takes 70 nonlethal damage and passes out.*

Of course this is wishful thinking, but, just saying, it'd be funny.

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