My PCs are currently going through Valley of the Brain Collectors and I'm prepping for the next module. Ghartone has become a familiar foe for the PCs in my game, since they are close with Khonnir Bane and he's also tied into the paladin players' backstory.
I'm planning to have him play the central villain role that the module assigns to Ozmyn Zaidow as the leader who deposed Zernebeth and took over the Technic League (I've already had the PCs learn that he recently had one promotion between the 1st and 3rd modules).
Are there any pitfalls I should be wary about while I'm changing the story this way? Any advice on running this module in particular?
I highly recommend the Occultist class if your game allows 3rd party material. It's a class focused on binding incorporeal spirits in pacts to serve you. It's inspired by the Binder class from 3.5 if you're familiar with it.
I think it's definitely worth taking if you're an arcane caster or an evil divine caster. In fact, once you hit level 15+ it might be worth taking a second time!
1st lvl: The Kangaroo is terrific and makes this worth taking at L1
2nd: Nothing crazy but some OK options
3rd: Nothing crazy but some OK options
4th: Great options here for debuffing or damage
5th: Great level
6th: Animate Dream seems crazy
7th: Good options here
8th: Lots of useful options
9th: Alright but not as crazy as previous levels
You can take Fast Learner, Improvisation, and Improved Improvisation to get an additional +4 on all untrained skill checks.
I don't know how that necessarily helps you use the Knowledge checks but at least it builds on a theme of 'guy who doesn't actually know anything, but anything he makes up turns out to be right!'
Hi, I have a question about how the sensei's abilities work. The sensei's 6th level ability reads:
Mystic Wisdom (Su):
At 6th level, a sensei may use his advice ability when spending points from his ki pool to activate a class ability (using the normal actions required for each) in order to have that ability affect one ally within 30 feet rather than the sensei himself.
At 10th level, a sensei may affect all allies within 30 feet rather than himself (spending points from his ki pool only once, not once for each target). At 10th level, a sensei may instead spend 1 point from his ki pool (as a swift action) while using advice to provide a single ally within 30 feet with evasion, fast movement, high jump, purity of body, or slow fall.
At 14th level, a sensei may spend 2 points to grant one of the abilities listed above to all allies within 30 feet, or diamond body, diamond soul, or improved evasion to a single ally within 30 feet. These abilities function at the sensei’s level and last 1 round.
This ability replaces the bonus feats gained at 6th, 10th, and 14th level.
How does this ability work? If the sensei wants to grant an ally +4 AC, does the sensei spend a swift action (ki ability) and a move action (advice), using 1 use of advice and 1 ki, and then the ally is automatically affected? Or would the ally need to use a swift action to use the ability? (or does the monk not need to use the advice ability at all?)
Similarly, if the monk wanted to grant an ally Wholeness of Body at level 7, would he spend a swift and standard action to grant the ally 14 HP, or would the ally still need to take a standard action to use it?
Throwing Qinggong monk into the mix, if the sensei granted True Strike or Scorching Ray to an ally, does the ally then need to use a standard action to use it?
I ended up rolling this encounter 3 times in 4 rolls while the PCs were traveling through some lands they had already claimed, so I caved to the dice and had a silver dragon arrive, and stop the PCs to warn them about a number of evil NPCs that the PCs had already sent packing.
The PCs got along well enough with the dragon that they eventually convinced her to send one of her young offspring to the PCs' kingdom to learn from them. Since the PCs have a very young black dragon as a member of their kingdom (alignment-switched to be NG from a cursed helm), I figured that there might be some interesting RP potential.
- My players wound up simply teleporting to Fort Drelev to assassinate Drelev, and then explored the area afterwards. Actually, they went straight on to invading Pitax, so they haven't even explored most of the Slough. So I wound up throwing out most of the original plotlines and NPCs. Just as a warning!
- I made Drelev a cowardly, preening fop and a ladies' man, which helped to distinguish him from Armag the Barbarian King and later from Irovetti, who I ran as a...well, he ended up being a Generic Evil-Sounding Guy since mostly the players were interacting with his two top minions, the Ogre Mage and the Were-Rat (who was secretly Ilthuliak in disguise in my campaign - the PCs view Ilthuliak as a greater or equal threat as Nyrissa since I've been involving both in the story since Book 3).
Prep for Book 5:
- Somebody here ran a mech/steampunk version of Irovettis' empire: that thread had some good ideas. I suggest looking at it for some insight. Good luck!
My concern with Divine Scion is that its extra damage dice only applies vs. creatures of a specific alignment subtype, which will probably be [evil] or [chaos]. So in a significant number of combats, divine scion won't be useful at all. The healing on spells is also cute, but too low to matter until L10 in the PrC.
So yeah - good build for sure, but I think it would work best in a campaign with lots of devils or another specific outsider as a foe.
As a DM, I'd certainly allow it, since it has some great potential for character growth.
Speaking solely from a rules perspective, polymorph effects in PF have a specific list of what they grant, and functional reproductive organs aren't on that list.
Though given the number of half-dragons running around, I am inclined to assume that it works, from the perspective of the alternative being far more frightening.
But I think the final call comes down to the lne: "While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed."
As a sidenote, you wouldn't want to activate wildshape after a while in female form, since activating a new polymorph effect cancels the old one, which I'd guess would cause some complications when bearing a child.
I like some of these ideas! I'll definitely use the idea to link the Misbegotten Troll to Hargulka.
Personally, I've set it up so that the players think that the area was the site of an ages-old conflict between 3 powerful beings:
I've foreshadowed Nyrissa by having her use Sendings to warn the PCs about Vordekai's minions when they were near, and also she has Charmed some cyclops and had them attack the PCs in books 3 and 4, claiming it was Vordekai's doing. Right now the PCs are very, very suspicious of her but aren't sure on her details.
I've also foreshadowed Ilthuliak very heavily, and he (changed to a male in my story) was the "power behind the throne" in Fort Drelev, masking himself as Ameon Trask, and carefully pulling the strings to push Drelev into war with the PCs, among other actions. I also had him take over a city north of the Slough in A5 that had been controlled by allies, where his children (4 adult black dragons) currently rule. I also made him into an enemy of the barbarian tribes, and so 1 of their motivations for seeking Arnag's blade is to be able to combat him.
I'm playing a thug/cockatrice cavalier in way of he wicked atm. It's fun, but make sure your party has some other frontliners to flank with you! Most fights I end up as the 'tank', which means I tend to go unconscious quite ofthen :p
Sapmaster, enforcer, and a heavy flail is Fun for brutally beating your terrified, sickened foes :p
Another useful thing is if you have a save-or-lose spellcaster like a witch on your team. You make them sickened and shaken for -4 to saves, and then the caster throws a spell to take them out of the fight.
The Ale/Wine and the Nobility/leadership ones are both good if you can make the opponent fail his saves against their effects.
A while back I made a guide to using Channel Energy in this fashion. Not sure what happened to the Paizo forum version though: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=243016
Ewwww this thread went in the wrong direction too soon!
Back on track, I'd say it depends on the book...
Book 2 - Probably 30% original/70% new materials. I added a ton of stuff related to the Riven Kingdoms, as well as Dungeonmeister's Kingmaker ideas.
Book 3 - Probably 90% original, 10% new. This was a straight-up dungeon crawl for the most part, which meant I didn't do as much as usual.
Book 4 - it's shaping up to be about 70/30 so far.
Darkwolf seems to have a strong summary there.
Might be worth it to get +8 to Perception along with that scent to reflect that Cerberus is a watch-dog as well.
I think it would be cool to flavor the summoner as a neutral servant of the underworld, calling forth summoned monsters from the spirits of long-dead creatures.
Actually, I have a follow-up question to the OP's topic if he doesn't mind.
How do folks think the Thundercaller's ability works along with Lingering Performance? Would a stunned foe remain stunned for 2 rounds? Of course using bardic music again would stop the effect.
The effects of your bardic performance carry on, even after you have stopped performing.
Prerequisite: Bardic performance class feature.
Benefit: The bonuses and penalties from your bardic performance continue for 2 rounds after you cease performing. Any other requirement, such as range or specific conditions, must still be met for the effect to continue. If you begin a new bardic performance during this time, the effects of the previous performance immediately cease.
Dealing with this build without nerfing the PC:
Personally, I think this is a very neat trick, but I'm surprised the party is overshadowed by him. After all, he's doing 12-24 damage/round in a small aoe at L9, and can do so 12 times/day (assuming 2 uses/round).
I don't know if any of this helps, but good luck!
I think it would make a useful L5 spell for druids. As a L6 spell, it's still OK for parties that have a druid and no other caster with travel magic (rare but possible situation), but it's a terrible spell for a summoner to pick. For the summoner it should probably be L5 or even L4.
I suppose the bird-focused druids (or summoning druids) might get a little more usage out of it with augment summoning, but ehhh...
Interesting that cleric and druid haven't been mentioned at all yet in this thread.
That aside, I'm currently playing the tank in a game right now as a Rogue/Cavalier (eventual build will be Rogue 8/Cavalier 2). A single successful sneak attack will make most opponents shaken, sickened, and will have -2 to hit me (for -6 to hit and -4 to saves and skills), which meshes well with my two companions, a save-or-lose focused cleric and a bomb-using alchemist.
Surviving: I rely on a high Con and AC plus reducing opponents' to-hit to survive. It's fun but very reliant on an aggressive playstyle and sometimes falls on its face :P
Getting their attention: Something about 'rogue' triggers my DM's kill scent, plus he is extremely averse to any creature provoking Attacks of Opportunity. More generally, I build for strength+power attack and sneak attack to make opponents aware that my character is a threat.
I tried this tweak in my game, and it went over very well.
Since we were already far into the module and the trolls had disrupted PCs' trade with Varnhold and other River Kingdoms, they were hopping mad and planning to ambush the trolls with a decoy. I decided it would blow their minds to counter-ambush them with this plot.
So I had Chief Sootscale invite the PCs for a feast to thank them for their services to his kingdom. As the PCs entered, they noted that the kobolds seemed oddly uncomfortable - because, of course, as they turned the corner they ran right into a massive feast set before Hargulka and five trolls. "Welcome, Lords of the Greenbelt! I was beginning to wonder if you would ever arrive!"
And then I stopped the game right there. The PCs' reaction was priceless :P
One week later we continued. I ran the feast and the kobolds' rejection of Hargulka pretty much as written, except that Hargulka explained his devious plot: to slowly bleed the PCs' kingdom by a thousand cuts, so that the kingdom crumbles so slowly that Brevoy will be blind to the PCs' pleas for aid until it is too late to matter.
From there on the PCs recruited their fey allies to help them scout, so I revealed that Twig had been captured by the trolls and had the faerie dragon lead them to the trolls' stronghold. From there on I ran the module largely as it appears, except to add an NPC from an allied kingdom (Hymbria) who promised a reward to the PCs, which is when I will give them the quest reward from Brevoy.
I haven't had the opportunity to play SWSE yet so I can't comment to that, but I think you nailed most of PF's major issues.
With that said, re-working the game to even out casters and non-casters would be an immense task, and I'm not even sure the game would be all that much more fun.
I'd support a house rule granting non-caster classes another +2 skills/level to increase their utility, though.
Banning item crafting by PCs is a simple enough fix if you're concerned about that aspect of the game. It's occasionally been an issue in my games since one of my players does use crafting frequently, but that's mostly because the PC likes custom magic items, which are difficult to balance.
Perhaps the best solution might be to recognize that the game is most balanced & fun at a specific level range and only run games in that range. Paizo puts APs from 1-14 or 1-15 normalls, or you can do E6 or whatever. I run a L18 game, but I understand that I am in the minority here :P
I like master summoner for my own style of play, but that's rather different than the standard.
For a mounted build, some DMs allow you to make an attack with your mount as part of its charge rather than it simply moving to the opponent and standing there when you attack. If that's the case, then feats are a no-brainer: Mounted Combat, Craft Wondrous Item, Ride-By attack. Then Spirited Charge at 7 and Mounted Blade or Trick Riding at 9. If not, then I wouldn't really make a charge-focused build.
Stats for a charging build: Str 15, Con 14, Cha 13, Dex 12, Wis 11, Int 10. With a halfling that becomes: Str 13, Con 14, Cha 15, Dex 14, Wis 11, Int 10.
I don't have any special suggestions for items except to grab the basics and then splurge on wondrous items.
Anthropomacia...divination by entrails...
I'm not a big fan of multi-classing out of magus - you're missing out on 3 levels of spell progression and the staff master's ability to treat a staff as a magical weapon. At this level you could spend 19K on a staff of fire and treat it as +2/+2, compared with the 16,600g it would cost to get that normally, and with UMD you'd have several AOE spells to complement the magus' single target damage.
I have a player that has slumber. Hes in an encounter with his teammates against a group of goblins. The party level average is 3. He placed slumber on a creature. How would any goblin understand that his associate has been put to sleep, to be a be to take the standard action in order to wake his friend. I cannot continue this game until this is decided. PLEASE HELP! Thanks!
Perhaps he looks over as an automatic action and sees his friend on the ground, snoring, a little drool coming out of his mouth? And since Grubah the Goblin was not normally narcoleptic, perhaps it seems suspicious?
Hello everyone! This is a brief summary of concepts and tricks used to create a build that I call the Hangover Cleric. Credit goes to the Shadowcraft Mage handbook for the format.
The relevant variant channel portfolios are Rulership and Ale/Wine, and from those we will construct a cleric that can repeatedly daze and damage opponents, living or dead, in a 30ft area, as a move action, and still cast spells with a quickened and standard action. You know, like as a hobby.
The application of nausea and dazingNauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention. The only action such a character can take is a single move action per turn. A dazed creature can take no actions, but has no penalty to AC.
Some points to remember about these abilities:
Selection of portfolios
Leadership: The Harm effect dazes opponents, which is a much better status effect than the nauseate from Ale/Wine. The Nobility domain is excellent, with good spells, decent buffs, and the Leadership feat for free at 8th level. The Heal effect (used with Versatile Channeler) is good for bard allies and diplomatic parties.
Some plausible deities (must be neutral for the cleric to qualify Versatile Channeler) are Abadar, Count Ranalc, and Nalinivati. Nalinivati also gains the Charm domain, which works well with Versatile Channeler and the Heal aspect of the channel, while the other two have the excellent Travel domain.
Unfortunately there's only one Pathfinder deity that elevates Ale/Wine and that's the amazing Cayden Cailean. Since this build really wants to channel negative energy, your options are to either:
Feats and traits:
Improved Channel: A 2-point bump in DC is critical to ensuring that opponents fail their saves
Selective Channeling: X=CHA allies aren't targeted by your ability
Versatile Channeler: Provides the versatility to use the Heal aspect of Channel Energy; and allows Rulership-types to Daze undead as well.
Quick Channel: Eventually cleric spells are awesome enough that they are as good or better than an AOE daze+damage effect. Have your cake and eat it too, 3+Cha/2 times per day.
Command Undead: Build a horde of shadows & crush the world beneath an ephemeral boot.
Extra Channel: Extra uses of your main gimmick never hurt.
Bestow Hope Versatile Channeler qualifies you for this feat, which is nice to have I suppose.
Quicken Spell: Allows you to cast two spells in a single round at +4 metamagic.
Shatter Resolve Terrific effect, terrible deity. Nice if you can adapt the feat to a homebrew deity or use Separatist to pick up the appropriate domain/portfolio with a permissive DM, I suppose.
Prestige and base class tips
On the base class
Paladins, Anti-Paladins, and Inquisitors can all do this as well, but without the luxury of doing so from first level or useful standard actions to combine with quick channel.
Besides the obvious variant Channel Energy, clerics have quite a few options to vary things a bit.
Evangelist: Perform is nice with a Cha focused character, and the spontaneous spells synergize very well with the Rulership alternate channel's Heal ability. But you lose 3 levels of channel energy. Ouch.
On the Aggregate of What Has Come Before
Sauerton the Red
Neutral Human Cleric of Abadar 20
Stats: Cha > Wis > Con > Others.
Channel negative energy, Sacred Conduit trait, Nobility and Travel domains
This is just a vanilla example with generic, typically useful feats. Assuming at least 3 stat boosts go into Charisma and a tome +5, the end result is a DC 32 Will save for Channel energy (7d6 with a phylactery of damage) and 14 uses/day.
Gorgus the Angry Drunk
Neutral Human Cleric of Urgathoa 20
Variant: Separatist (and a house-rule/rules interpretation that gaining the domain also adds the portfolio for that PC)
Stats: Cha > Wis > Con > Others.
Channel negative energy, variant channel (ale/wine), Sacred Conduit trait and a trait to gain Intimidate as a class skill, Lust and War domains (lust through Separatist)
This is just a nifty example that showcases the effects of fear-stacking. Channel Energy makes opponents within 30 feet shaken, and then Dazzling Display or a Fear-type spell on the following round intimidates them and sends them to frightened.
Also, there are some other solid variant channel abilities that I didn't closely consider. I think Liberation's slow effect is good and it comes thematically attached to an excellent domain. The Madness channel's confusion effect is also very cool and Sivanah would be a cool goddess to build a character around.
Finally, for those interested in a guide that focuses on a healing-focused channeling cleric, there is
Thoughts, advice, and comments are welcome :)
Hey, I just want to say thank you for the guide, especially the sections on animal companions and handle animal, which are terrific.
If you plan to add more details in the future, I think equipment could use some more details and strategy, and the same goes for spells. And you might want to go through each level of summon nature's ally to point out the preferable summons, since summoning is such a useful tactic.
Here's a sample build that tries to incorporate the suggestions in this thread. No particular focus in this case.
Akal-Saris, Human Druid 20
I picked a hawk for the bonus to perception (in retrospect, an owl would have been better at that), and for the utility of having a flying familiar. I use him to occasionally deliver touch spells on allies, like Cat's Grace (my patron spell) and Cure spells. That helps me save my move actions for keeping Cackle running.
I keep him the heck away from opponents whenever possible though :P
Wow, 300+ responses! I'm glad to see Treantmonk's hard work has so many responses =)
I look forward to seeing the APG update for this as well. The APG had some interesting monk options - the Zen Archer in particular looked fascinating to me. The monk's weakness is that he's best when standing still and making a full attack - something that most archers have no issues doing many rounds in a row.
Thanks for coming onto these boards and answering questions about the APG parts, Jason. I love the standard action summon that shamans get at 5th, by the way - they made me decide to make a druid summoner for my new PF game yesterday. Overall I think the druid section was one of the best parts of the book, though the only core class secions I've checked closely so far have been the druid, fighter, and rogue.
And I've already complimented trankmonk on his excellent guides in the Brilliant Gameologist cross-post of this :)
Regarding the shamans, can I check two quick things?
1. Can the shaman types still use wild empathy on other animals, just without the +4 bonus to their special type?
By the way, as far as feedback goes on the variants, so far the "lion shaman" variant appears to be the strongest choice from 5th to 20th. Standard action summons are quite good and the cats usually dominate the Summon Nature's Ally lists from SNA III to V (and II to VII with the optional templates applied), while a tiger animal companion is as good as they get. It's a bit weaker from 1-4 since you're stuck with a cat AC instead of one of the stronger ones, but the shifting mitigates that a bit.
A Man In Black wrote:
What player has ever said, "Hey, I'd like to play a paladin, but it's too powerful and its flavor is too interesting. I wish it was more generic and weaker so that I could properly enjoy it!"
Yeah, that sums up my feelings on the cavalier exactly. Some cute tricks but ultimately pointless in both fluff and crunch.
I actually like the race/class modifiers because I enjoy fiddly bonus stats, especially the gnome pyromaniac one has already helped my character get some utility - and by utility I mean burn things :P
Anyhow, keep doing this! You amuse me and I agree with most of what you say :P
Ahh! My avatar will never be the same!!
On a sidenote, I'm not sure what to do when my PCs encounter Laori in CotCT. She was already introduced as a recurring character in a different adventure when I thought I wouldn't have the opportunity to run CotCT and needed to come up with an NPC on the spot that was serving an evil elf crimelord =P
I asked each of my players to choose a Pathfinder society group, like Cheliax or Andoran, and had each of their societies give them different mini-quests within the city. As the PCs are doing their quests right now, I'm using them to set up future NPCs and introduce the PCs to the important parts of the city.
My PCs did the same thing. Two PCs went back to the tavern, the rogue checked out the tunnels. As soon as I showed my PCs the picture of the wrath monster that he encountered, everybody went "Hoo boy, there goes the rogue." Thankfully, he got some lucky crits in with his rapier and made it out alright :)
I've got 3 PCs in the campaign at the moment. It's their first PF game, currently 3/4 through Burnt Offerings.
Lady Slalesh, an elven witch (using the APG preview). About 200 with a grown son, raised by Varisian gypsies. She's the one that Aldern Foxglove is interested in - they'll be doing the boar hunt soon. Utterly uninhibited, the PC also carries a deck of cards to do Tarot readings for the PCs.
Julius E. Walthers, a Taldoran fighter/rogue. He's disguised himself as an Andoran swashbuckler, but is in fact a spy. Very blustery, "noble scoundrel" persona. He's taken over the Sheriff's office while the sheriff is out of town. He also plans to purchase the glassworks from Ameiko. About to go on a date with the mayor (who he thinks is just a minor noble).
Orith Ards, a dwarven cleric of Desna from Magnimar. He's got a thing for elven arse, but has been roped into being the boyfriend for Ven Vinder's younger daughter to keep her from getting into trouble. Very proud and stand-offish.
I agree that the alchemist currently feels unfocused. If its a party buffer, then it shouldn't require a discovery to let other PCs use extracts. If its supposed to be a backup melee with mutagens, then there needs to be some improvement to mutagens between 3rd and 11th level. If its going to be a damage-dealer with bombs, then there should really be more ways to shape the bombs' blast to keep allies from dying to them. And regardless of what role the alchemist takes, it needs more discoveries - 1 every 3 levels or even every other level after 4th.
As it is, I see the 4th level slot always getting filled by the infusion discovery to share extracts with other PCs, then an 8th level slot for the sticky poison discovery (since without it poisons are too expensive to use frequently), then the 12th slot goes into smoke bomb, then 16th for whichever bomb-related discovery you want that already needed smoke bomb (probably stink bomb), and then 20th doesn't matter because nobody really plays at that level.