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86 posts. Organized Play character for Raphaele Flickerlamp.

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As per this feat:

Overwatch Vortex wrote:

You are ready to respond to many more of your foes’ actions.

Prerequisite(s): Overwatch Style, Overwatch Tactician, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Weapon Focus with the chosen weapon, base attack bonus +11.

Benefit(s): While using the Overwatch Style, as a full-round action you can ready up to four ranged attacks, each with its own triggering event. You take a –2 penalty on attack rolls made with these readied actions.

Question 1: Can I assign the same event to multiple attacks? Can they trigger at the same time?

Question 2: Do abilities like Startoss Comet count as an attack I can ready with Overwatch Style, or no? (In this case, assume I have the ability to maintain multiple styles.) Smite Evil? Combat Maneuvers if I have the feats to allow me to do that at range?

Obviously scrolls and potions exist, but what are some other good means? Assume Samsaran is NOT an option. I'm using a Destined Bloodrager in this context (because their 4th level ability gives them a Luck bonus to AC and saves, and I figure that's as good a reason to try to abuse Fate's Favored as any).

This is really tempting, but it costs a feat and is 1/day and requires specific deity worship. If I could boost the # of casts per day that would work just fine. Is there a way to do that?

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No, seriously, hear me out: I had this dumb idea while joking with a friend about how wizards want to "catch them all" (spells), and I suddenly wanted to know if there's a feat or SOMETHING that lets you cast your spells with a specific material component in lieu of other components... and options that remove the spellbook without adding tattoos or anything weird like that.

Basically, I want this wizard to throw pokeballs at people when he casts spells, and the spells to come from the pokeballs.

How do I do? How do I do the thing?

(Conjuration spells would obviously be very fitting, yes.)

How would you build a character that specializes in being thrown as a weapon by other characters?

I want to make sure this works:

I'm an Esquire Cavalier VMC Barbarian. I get Rage at level 3. I use retraining rules to turn my Teamwork feat gained at level 1 into Amplified Rage. I can now grant that feat to my allies, but it's useless because they don't rage.

I have a Skald Aide-de-camp. The Skald can play some cool songs. One of them makes people rage, as per an ability called Inspired Rage.

Round 1 of combat begins. My Skald delays until after my turn. I use my Cavalier ability to grant Amplified Rage to everyone, which I can do even to non-half-orcs and people without Rage. Then the Skald uses Raging Song.

Can everyone benefit from +6 STR/CON so long as they do what Amplified Rage demands (stay adjacent or flank the same enemy)? My understanding is that Inspired Rage is not Barbarian Rage, but counts as Barbarian Rage for certain purposes - such as this one?

A friend wants to know the answer to this (he did this in a game already but wants to make sure it's legal before he does this again), so here's the question:

Let's say you have Evolved Summon Monster. You cast Summon Monster III and conjure up a Lantern Archon. You give it Bleed. Do its laser beams now cause bleed?

The reason I'm asking is I can't find any lines that say it has to apply to a natural attack. Light Rays aren't natural attacks, but they ARE attacks, and the bleed ability would apply to that, right?

If I'm wrong, that's fine - I'd just love to seen an FAQ or the like so I can show my friend and we can agree not to do this in game again.


I'm designing a goblin character that starts with 21 DEX, the Color Thief trait, and is most definitely wearing light armor (masterwork studded leather). No armor check penalty. They have the base racial traits, stealth as a class skill, and a rank in stealth.

Steal total for goblin at level 1: 19.

I'm planning on taking 4 levels of rogue (bandit) and 6 levels of sohei. By this point I plan to have the Animal Ally feat (with Boon Companion of course). This offers me a very limited selection of mounts, but the wolf is among them, and that's a thematic goblin mount if there ever was one. But...

What the HELL do I do to make its stealth comparable to mine without casting Invisibility?

Assuming I put a point into Stealth at every level and don't take Skill Focus in it, I have +30 bonus to all my stealth rolls at level 12. That's a lot. Meanwhile, if my animal companion takes Stealthy and Skill Focus (Stealthy) with 9 ranks in stealth, it still only has 23 stealth. I suppose that's nice, but that's taking two feats to work, and that's only if I keep it Medium. It's obviously better to make it Large, but if I do that its stealth score drops to +18.

Any advice? I want to make this character a bandit/sohei/something that sneaks up on enemies and makes terrifying charge attacks using her dex score for damage. It's sub-optimal, sure, but it's fun enough that I want to see it happen, and the stealth score is really important to me.

EDIT: As an aside, I may reduce the levels in Sohei to 2 and combine that with 4 rogue levels and go Cavalier the rest of the way, opening up my mount options a little.

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In my homebrew setting I'm making a handful of human races and a couple small races that will replace all races normally available in Pathfinder. This is important.

In my setting there is no Human race. Instead, there are different cultures of humans, and the races I'm making represent this (Westerlings, Reavers, Aldonians, Caernlings, Muckers). Likewise, there is a race called the Lani which has a few subraces that are chosen (Garlani, Brelani). Finally, I'm making two half-breed races (Jotunkin and an unnamed Human/Lani mixed race) and might allow a specific kind of tiefling in this game.

Anyway, onto the meat of the matter: I've finished a couple of these races and would love to have them critiqued, as well as the RP scores checked. I compared these to existing abilities from the race creation rules as best I could, or to abilities that a given race possessed that replaced another race. Hopefully I did good.

The races I'd like reviewed so far are the Westerlings and the Reavers. I'm trying to give all the races I'm designing 9-11 RP.

For curious parties, here's a link to the map. If you want to see the Google Document I'm storing this information on, click here.

Westerlings (Human): +2 STR or +2 CHA

The first Westerlings first crossed from the west into what would eventually become Abagon approximately four hundred years ago. At that time they were a nomadic horse-riding people, but soon they settled in the plains and hills of that territory and made it their home. Since then, their honor-driven culture has evolved into bold knightly traditions, and they are the pinnacle of chivalric ideals in the Greater Aldonian region.

Westerlings are not especially tall, but they nevertheless tend to have strong, athletic builds and handsome faces. They are typically dark skinned, ranging from a nutty brown to a coal black, but there are exceptions to this rule: some who boast a proud Westerling upbringing may possess Reaver or Caernling blood. Westerlings usually have black hair and dark brown eyes, but there are some who have golden or amber-colored eyes. They are considered very attractive.

Westerlings call Abagon, north and south, home. They also have a small population in Carisse and small populations in Beldemar and Grunmark.

Defense Racial Traits:
Lucky - Westerlings are favored by Lady Luck. They gain a +1 racial bonus to all saving throws. (2 RP)
Feat and Skill Racial Traits:
Skilled - Westerlings are fast adapters that learn new skills quickly. Westerlings gain an additional skill rank at 1st level and one additional skill rank whenever they gain a level. (4 RP)
Saddleborn - Westerlings are said to have been born in the saddle. They gain a +1 bonus to Handle Animal and Ride checks. (1 RP)
Emissary - Westerlings are well versed in courtly behavior and in the customs of foreign lands. Once per day, Westerlings can roll twice when making a Bluff or Diplomacy check and take the better roll. (1 RP)
Movement Racial Traits:
Knightly Charge - Westerling knights are known to be able to urge their steeds to furious speeds. When mounted, Westerlings grant their mounts a +10 racial bonus to their speed when using the charge, run, or withdraw actions. (1 RP)
Offense Racial Traits:
Hatred - Westerlings have fought many battles against beastmen and harbor a special hatred for them. They receive a +1 racial bonus to attack rolls against gnolls and lizardfolk. (1 RP)
Alternate Racial Traits:
Shield Expertise - Some Westerlings are experts at using their shields to deflect both weapons and magical spells. They gain Shield Focus as a bonus feat. Additionally, when wielding a shield they gain a +2 racial bonus to AC versus Rays and can deflect a single ray attack once per day as if they were using the Deflect Arrows feat. This racial trait replaces Skilled. (4 RP)
Heroic - True Westerlings hold knightly values to be true and pursue the hero’s path, but some are born with a more heroic destiny than others. Westerlings with this trait gain 2 hero points instead of 1 each time they gain a level. If they take the Blood of Heroes feat, they gain 3 hero points each level instead of 2. This racial trait replaces Skilled. (4 RP)
Eye for Talent - Westerlings have great intuition for hidden potential. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Sense Motive checks. In addition, when they acquire an animal companion, bonded mount, cohort, or familiar, that creature gains a +2 bonus to one ability score of the character’s choice. This racial trait replaces Skilled. (4 RP)

Reavers (Human): +2 CON or +2 CHA
Reavers hail from the north-western continent and are the chief populace of Grunmark. They are a hardy people with a history of raiding foreign shores and sailing the seas. They once ruled a vast territory stretching up along the Northsea, but when Jotun invaded from the north they stole from the Reavers the region now known as Jotunheimr. Since then the Reavers have fought a long and bloody conflict with the Jotun to maintain a grip on their present lands.

Reavers tend to be tall and broad of shoulder. They typically pale skin, green or blue eyes, and hair colors ranging from brown to blonde to red. However, as a seafaring culture the Reavers have had contact with most of the other races in the region, and have especially had much contact with the Aldonians and Westerlings. Indeed, there are sizeable pockets of Westerlings living within their lands. As such dark skinned or black haired Reavers are not unheard of.

Reaver culture can be found in most shore settlements, but is most common in Grunmark, Northern Abagon, and New Aldonia.

Defense Racial Traits:
Fearless - Reavers are fearless warriors and gain a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear effects. (1 RP)
Feat and Skill Racial Traits:
Tough - Reavers experience hardship throughout their lives. They gain Toughness as a bonus feat. (2 RP)
Movement Racial Traits:
Natural Swimmer - Reavers have a +3 racial bonus to Swim. (1 RP)
Offense Racial Traits:
Ferocity - Reavers fight to the death. If the Reaver’s hit points fall below 0 but the Reaver is not yet dead, the Reaver can continue to fight. If they do, they are staggered, and lose 1 hit point each round. The Reaver still dies when their hit points reach a negative amount equal to twice their Constitution score. (4 RP)
Senses Racial Traits:
Stormsight - Reavers are masters of combat at sea partly because of their intensive training to see in storms. Reavers halve miss chances due to concealment provided by fog, rain, sleet, mist, wind, or other weather effects that is less than total concealment, and any penalties weather applies on Perception checks are halved. (2 RP)
Alternate Racial Traits:
Mist Child - Whenever a Reaver has concealment or total concealment, the miss chance of attacks against the Reaver increases by 5%. This racial trait replaces Fearless. (1 RP)
Rimeheart - Some Reavers hail from the northernmost reaches of Grunmark, or even live on the outskirts of Jotunheimr or in the mountains near New Aldonia. They have developed a natural resistance to the cold, gaining Cold Resistance 5. They also gain +4 racial bonus to Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue, exhaustion, and any other ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, and cold environments. This racial trait replaces Natural Swimmer and Stormsight. (3 RP)

I previously discussed wanting to make a low-magic setting with no alignment and with the bad guys having full spellcasters while the good guys have... very little spellcasting. For this setting, I think I want Paladin to be a prestige class.

Has anyone seen a good PRC version of the Paladin? Is there a PRC that fills its role that could be refluffed to match? I'd like it to grant paladin spellcasting at level 1, and if possible I'd like to mitigate the power of Lay on Hands without making the Paladin weak.

4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Here's a link to an old thread on the topic. I wanted to know if a developer ever spoke out on this.

Okay, so I understand that when you use Shield Slam you trigger a free bull rush attempt that uses your Attack Bonus as your Combat Maneuver roll, but you target CMD instead of AC. My instinct says "Well, that means you don't add Improved Bull Rush's +2 bonus to the roll." However, the wording is... weird.

Shield Slam wrote:

In the right position, your shield can be used to send opponents flying.

Prerequisites: Improved Shield Bash, Shield Proficiency, Two-Weapon Fighting, base attack bonus +6.

Benefit: Any opponents hit by your shield bash are also hit with a free bull rush attack, substituting your attack roll for the combat maneuver check (see Combat). This bull rush does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Opponents who cannot move back due to a wall or other surface are knocked prone after moving the maximum possible distance. You may choose to move with your target if you are able to take a 5-foot step or to spend an action to move this turn.

But looking at Improved Bull Rush...

Improved Bull Rush wrote:

You are skilled at pushing your foes around.

Prerequisite: Str 13, Power Attack, base attack bonus +1.

Benefit: You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a bull rush combat maneuver. In addition, you receive a +2 bonus on checks made to bull rush a foe. You also receive a +2 bonus to your Combat Maneuver Defense whenever an opponent tries to bull rush you.

Normal: You provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a bull rush combat maneuver.

So it sounds like an argument could be made as to whether or not the +2 would be added to the attack roll used to Bull Rush the enemy.

Now, this is one of those situations where I think "No, you do NOT add your +2 to your attack roll for the Bull Rush attempt; you are completely overriding your combat maneuver roll with your attack roll." But I wanted to see what others have to say.

Long story short: I'm building a Shield Slam focused character and would love to know what my options are.

Let's say I have a Fighter 2 / Brawler 2. Note the following tidbit on hybrid classes:

Parent Classes: Each one of the following classes lists two classes that it draws upon to form the basis of its theme. While a character can multiclass with these parent classes, this usually results in redundant abilities. Such abilities don’t stack unless specified. If a class feature allows the character to make a one-time choice (such as a bloodline), that choice must match similar choices made by the parent classes and vice-versa (such as selecting the same bloodline). The new classes presented here are all hybrids of two existing core or base classes.

Okay, so Fighters get the Bonus Feat class feature. Brawlers get the Bonus Combat Feat class feature. I noticed the different names and so started wondering: does this mean that the given character would have 2 Bonus Feats and 1 Bonus Combat Feat?

I'm willing to bet this setup doesn't work, but I'd like to double check:

Spiked Destroyer is a feat that lets you make an attack with your spiked armor as a swift action when you're performing a Bull Rush. The Scout Archetype has wording like so:

Scout’s Charge (Ex) wrote:

At 4th level, whenever a scout makes a charge, her attack deals sneak attack damage as if the target were flat-footed. Foes with uncanny dodge are immune to this ability.

This ability replaces uncanny dodge.

Now, I would assume this means that you SPECIFICALLY get sneak attacks on attack actions made as part of the charge, though this could work with pounce and what-have-you, etc. But my question is this: if I Bull Rush someone as part of a charge and get a free attack during my charge via Spiked Destroyer, does that attack with the spiked armor get sneak attack damage as it's done during a charge?

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Yes, I'm serious. I've wanted to finish designing this world for a long time, but I want to make sure this is "Balanced" in so far as it's a tough game but the players have plenty of opportunity to overcome adversity.

So, to give a little setting synopsis without making things long and rambling, here's the general gist of the setting:

___________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________

The setting in question focuses on a region about the size of the medieval HRE + Italy, probably resembling the Baltic Seas region. I haven't decided on what sort of culture I'll be using for inspiration when naming cities and stuff, but this is a setting with lots of infighting between small-time kings and feudal lords, with bandits and monsters preying on the outskirts of this region and slowly encroaching a little more with each passing week.

The inspiration for this setting is doubtlessly the video game Battle Brothers.

In this setting the gods are not a certainty. They are a matter of faith. Magic is almost always associated with old, pagan ways and with evil; and humanity is torn between worshiping the Old Ways and worshiping the One True God.

Spellcasters, therefore, are rare in civilization, but much more common among the forces of evil. Necromancers play God in cemeteries, druids make living sacrifices to old and forgotten spirits, Liches raise armies of the damned, orcish sorcerers wield dreadful powers in the name of their god of war, and evokers with slipping sanity find refuge among bandits who are willing to bear with their company in return for their fireballs.

Basically, powerful magic either drives you insane or corrupts you. Period.

___________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________

The players will be mercenaries in this setting. The individual characters should all have personal reasons for being mercenaries, but the group's overarching goal is to travel from town to town taking contracts to kill monsters (or people) and get paid. This is not a glamorous campaign setting I have in mind: this is a gritty one.

Now, with all the fluff out of the way, here's some mechanical considerations I've made. Please give me your opinions on them:

  • 1. Players don't get to be 9th or 6th level spellcasters. Players can be Rogues, Barbarians, Fighters, Bloodragers, Paladins, Rangers, Brawlers, Swashbucklers, Slayers... But all those 6th and 9th level spellcasters belong solely to the enemy. Monks will have to be foreigners from faraway lands.
  • 2. Save or Die will NOT be used against the players. Save or suck is fine - entangle will be used, as will fireball, as will burning hands and what not. But Phantasmal Killer, Disintegrate, Finger of Death... Nope. Not using them. Likewise, Sleep is more likely to be thrown at them than Color Spray; Color Spray means multiple rounds of "you can't do crap," whereas if you take damage while under Sleep you CAN wake up and keep fighting.
  • 3. Alignment is nixed. There is no alignment system. Protection From Evil-like effects work against all magic and outsiders and undead, and the Paladin's Smite operates on goblinoids, orcs, giants, undead, outsiders, and high level magic users. Also, the Paladin's Detect Evil is replaced with Detect Magic.
  • 4. Players will be limited to the following races: Human, Dwarf, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, and Halfling. Any alternate racial trait that grants SLAs is banned. I'm considering allowing Tieflings, but only under the condition that they have the Pass For Human alternate racial trait, and with no variant heritages.
  • 5. Also, there is no difference between Arcane and Divine spellcasting. Both are derived either from intense study or from some inherent talent for magic - usually both. Some believe that the Gods grant magic, but the Gods are not like Pathfinder deities. Some claim the Gods speak to them directly, but there's no more proof of this than there is that Moses got the Ten Commandments from God directly in the real world. In the end, this comes down to a matter of faith.
  • 6. Oh, right. No guns. Probably no Bolt Ace either.
  • 7. Magic items WOULD be available, but you can't just buy them at a shop. They're quest rewards, rarities, often taken from the corpses of powerful foes, and if you DO buy them it's at a steep cost. However, I think I'd let +1 weapons and armor be available fairly commonly as just the epitome of what a masterwork item can be before magic comes into play.

I'm considering reworking the Bard to better fit this setting so the players can use it. A full BAB, no-magic Bard that nevertheless has bardic music might be worth considering - but how would you balance that? Or a Bard with 4th level spellcasting but medium BAB? Again, how would you balance that with the other available character classes?

I'm also trying to decide if the Unchained Rogue might need some love or if its 8 skill points + DEX-to-damage would make it worth having around.

Would this fit best as an E6/P6 type of setting?

What are your general thoughts on balancing something like this?

So, while I was mulling over some silly ideas, I thought about Polymorph Any Object. What sorts of living creatures can you actually turn something into, and what does it retain?

I know some things should be obvious. I could turn a hat into a person, or a person into a book, or I could do most anything I wanted. But as for making things permanent, if I turn a wolf into a dog - that's permanent. If I turn a human into a giant - that's permanent (+5 same kingdom, +2 same or lower intelligence, +2 same class).

But can I polymorph people permanently into more exotic, magical forms?

Let's say, for instance, there's a player that thinks succubi are hot, so they want to kick it up a notch and use Polymorph Any Object to turn their human sorceress into a succubus. Well, a succubus is part of the same kingdom, right? And it's the same size, and it's got the same or lower intelligence. So, presumably, that means the character is now a succubus physically.

But what are the character's stats now? Do they gain the defensive qualities? Speeds? Special abilities? They can still cast spells, right? Do their physical stats change to match a standard succubus's stats? And the change can always be dispelled away, right?

What about polymorphing into awakened animals? Do you need Awaken to turn a bear into an Awakened bear, or could you get the same effect with Polymorph Any Object?

Would it simply be best to use Polymorph Any Object to turn yourself into something with a ton of natural attacks and good movement speeds and the like (assuming you don't keep Special Qualities and the like)?

Are there ways to boost the permanency of Polymorph Any Object besides following the guidelines? Are there ways to make it virtually unable to be dispelled or turned off with Antimagic?

Pretty curious about what all you can do with this spell and what its limitations are.

EDIT: What about templates? Could someone seeking eternal youth use this to turn themselves into, say, a Young version of something? Complete with the stat changes? I could see that being very beneficial to certain builds.

So, I have a character that I want to start off with their twin brother's soul put into something else and traveling with them. I've been considering a Tiefling with the Animate Dead ability, but that doesn't seem right. A Spirit Binder Wizard seems cool, potentially getting Improved Familiar later to murder an innocent intelligent being and shove her brother's soul into a more humanoid form (I actually toyed with her having a sister instead and putting her sister's soul into a Lyrakien Azata, or maybe doing that to her brother anyway but that might weird people out). An Unchained Summoner with an Ancestors Eidolon (her brother's soul) would work; and a necromancy-based archetype of SOME KIND would be tempting.


1. This character needs to have her brother's (or sister's) spirit traveling with her from the get go. It doesn't necessarily need a corporeal body, so the Haunted Oracle with the Haunted trait might be a good start, so long as I can have it with me from the start and eventually get it a corporeal body.
2. This character isn't Good. She's either Neutral or Evil depending on interpretation: she's generally well intentioned, but she's so desperate to keep her brother (or sister, if I change that) alive with her in some way that she'll go to terrible, dark paths to make this happen.
3. This character shouldn't be a martial combatant.
4. Also, this character's age will range somewhere between 12-22, possibly on the much younger side of that bracket, so a spontaneous caster may be a better fit. Maybe?

What routes can I take to really make this concept work? I'm not looking for the most powerful idea, only the most fitting ones.

Let's assume that Profession: Scholar is a valid profession, or else maybe Profession: Barrister will work. Let's say that we take this at level 1. How can we best weaponize a book?

No, I don't mean a spellbook. I don't mean magic. I mean literally grab a book and beat the living CRAP out of people with it.

Discuss. High INT builds preferred.

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In my current Emerald Spires campaign I'm playing a gnome bard, chaotic good. He's got the Archivist archetype, and I use Perform: Comedy and generally play him as a prankster, trickster ass.

I want to know if what I did in this session was something you'd call "evil," "not really on the moral spectrum," or "well the guy probably deserved it," just out of curiosity. My DM hasn't changed my alignment or anything - I just started thinking about this after the session and wanted to see what the forum thought.

I also kind of just want to tell this story because it was funny to me.

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There's this Hell Knight town called Fort Inevitable. In it there's an Asmodean cleric. This is where our story begins.

Early on my gnome was short on cash and so fake-signed a contract to Asmodeus to get a discount on some services, blah blah blah, generally hatching a plot to make a mockery of the Asmodean church at some point. He "befriended" the cleric, joined him in a couple private evil laugh sessions, and through some lucky Bluff roles he convinced him he was more than happy to join the congregation, and would even make a sacrifice to Asmodeus! Namely, he'd sacrifice his totally life-long best friend, a pet teddy bear, at the next service.

So, my gnome bought a teddy bear (which he claimed was totally a teddy bear he'd had since a child), shoved the only copy of Asmodeus's unholy book in town into it, then shoved in dung for good measure and used prestidigitation to make himself look and smell bad. He also used prestidigitation to make the teddy bear look more believably worn and old. After having made a few more preparations (like get a potion of expeditious retreat just in case), he decided to attend the service the next morning and do his best to get kicked out of the church.

During the service my gnome was introduced to everyone else (and they tried to sit far away from him because he smelled). The gnome explained (with a good Bluff check) that he wanted to express his newfound devotion to Asmodeus with a song. The priest agreed to let him sing, confused but curious.

The gnome started a bardic performance. He used Fascinate during it to make the priest not interrupt him as he sang a song of praise for Asmodeus (which was actually just a raunchy love song converted into a really questionable song of "praise" - I have points in Sing and Comedy). Then, the gnome "sacrificed" the teddy bear (totally a prized possession) in the bonfire. As the smell of burning poop spread around the area and the congregation began to scatter to get away from it, the priest realized he had been made a fool of AND that his most prized possession was torched.

This pretty much sent the priest into a berserk rage as he was being cajoled by those of his followers who were only intimidated into serving him, he was publicly humiliated, his unholy text was destroyed, and all of this because the damned gnome went out of his way to destroy the church he had worked so hard to get started. So, the Asmodean cleric attacked the gnome.

The gnome lived. Guards intervened and arrested the cleric, who struck at them lethally and so earned himself a hanging. The gnome was sent to jail, but he got away because reasons.

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So: my gnome publicly humiliated a priest of Asmodeus in an attempt to get booted out of the Asmodean church he pretended to join, partly as a prank and partly to undermine his authority (after all, as a chaotic good bard he HATES the idea of a church based around getting people's souls sent to Hell). He wound up destroying the cleric's most prized possession and getting the guy hung because the cleric started attacking the Hell Knights that tried to restrain him. How would you judge this series of actions on the alignment scale? Would it be a grievous enough deed to change his alignment if you think he did evil?

Again, there's nothing happening in-game that prompts me to ask this. There's no alignment shift being enforced, there's no warning about... well, anything. The GM even went so far as to say that the guy was known for, well, not exactly being of good character and unironically enjoying the prospect of being called "master" by the gnome. The gnome is suffering legal repercussions (and he broke out of jail and can't enter the town without being arrested again), but that's basically it so far.

I'm just curious as to what you guys think of this alignment-wise and such. What would you make of this, either as a player, bystander, or GM?

I'm debating on whether to play one of the three classes mentioned in the title. I'm submitting a character as part of an application to a PbP thread and this is what I know:

1. I'll be playing a Lizardfolk. I finally have a real chance of using a Lizardfolk character. Awesome.

2. One of the other players will for sure be a Sorcerer.

3. I want to have a decent number of skill points; I need Linguistics at level 1, and I want my character to be playing the role of a guide in natural terrain. Ergo, Ranger seems like the most natural choice.

Given that, my basic character ideas are as follows:

Lizardfolk Divine Tracker Ranger (Melee)

I'd choose to worship Gorum with this setup, or I'd opt to follow a philosophy of some kind (lizardfolk don't seem particularly religious according to what I've read, and they're not animists). Destruction would be a domain of choice for sure, allowing me to add 1/2 my level to my damage for 1 minute (as a swift action with Quicken Blessing).

I suppose I could go for a TWF build if I use the Destruction blessing, since all my attacks would benefit, but that might mean not using Power Attack. After all, Power Attack AND TWF = lots of attack penalties - unless there's a good way to counteract this?

This build appeals to me the most as it provides Swift Tracker and similar abilities, letting me play up the wilderness guide to the fullest.

Lizardfolk Divine Tracker Ranger (Thrown)

Alternatively, I could focus on using thrown weapons, aiming to grab a Blinkback Belt of Mighty Hurling ASAP (which is, what, 21500 gold?). Chakrams or javelins could be used to good effect, and I could enjoy the Wind and Destruction blessings by adhering to a philosophy.

For the style I'd choose the Archery combat style for improved precise shot at level 6 and some other nifty benefits. I'd be using Deadly Aim + the Startoss Style feat chain to boost my damage (since Weapon Spec is unavailable). For equipment, I could simply use my chakram in melee (though I'd risk hurting myself) or I could an amulet of mighty fists to take advantage of my three natural attacks.

Lizardfolk Siegebreaker Fighter / ???

I love how this build plays out, but I'm not sure it's the best fit.

Basically, I'd take 2 levels of Fighter followed by levels of <something else>, focusing on using the Bulette Style chain of feats to bull rush enemies like a madman. Perhaps Bloodrager or Barbarian would make a good follow-up after those two levels?

I feel as if combining this with Shield Slam and the feat that lets you wield a shield two-handed could be really fun as well. The idea would be to bull rush into enemy lines, then repeatedly shield bash with free bull rush attempts on my enemies. Tack on magical shield spikes and this starts to seem really fun.

The downside is the poor number of skill points at the first two levels, and the fact that it doesn't come across as a good "Guide" without a trait to give Survival as a class skill. Any advice here?

Lizardfolk Barbarian

Straightforward: get mad, beat stuff up. Wield a big weapon. Enjoy.

As odd as this sounds, I've never built a barbarian, so I don't know what the first steps would be besides the typical Power Attack and whack things over the head setup. Part of me thinks that Mooncursed Barbarian would be cool for free pounce in hybrid form at level 5 (with a greatsword that sounds AMAZING), but I don't think the flavor of a tiger-lizard is that great. Then again, a crocodile lizard could make a great natural attack build...

In general,

Do you folks have any thoughts as to what makes a great build for this concept or how you would go about optimizing the character? I want to be effective, but I also want to fulfill my role just fine. As said, the Ranger seems like the most attractive setup fluffwise right now, but I'm not sure how it'll pan out.

Dirty Fighter lets you make a Dirty Trick as a regular attack at level 9. Pit Fighter lets you add damage to your dirty trick maneuvers 1/round.

When you make a Whirlwind Attack and use Speedy Trick to turn the attack into a Dirty Trick attempt against everyone you're fighting, can you turn every Dirty Trick attempt into an attack as well via Weapon Trick (thus dealing damage as normal AND performing a dirty trick maneuver on everyone)?

As one may assume from other threads, I like dinosaurs.

I found this gem of a feat while trying to do research on how to strongarm GMs into letting me have myself a dinosaur as my celestial paladin mount. It looks like this means there are a few ways of getting this ability on a character:

1. Be a half-orc or orc.
2. Single level sorcerer dip (Eldritch Scrapper for maximum effect).
3. Eldritch Heritage feat (followed up by Improved Eldritch Heritage for inherent strength bonuses).
4. Human or Half-Elf or Scion of Humanity Aasimar with Racial Heritage.

Given that I want to be a lizardfolk, my options are narrowed to 2 and 3. The idea is to play a Shining Knight Paladin (or Oath of Vengeance Paladin, or Oath of the People's Council Paladin) and use a lancer to murder things while riding my trusty dinosaur friend. However, I'm having trouble deciding whether option 2 or 3 is better for this.

Which is the better option? And should I dip a little more beyond a single sorcerer level for any reason? (Say 2 levels of Fighter or Sohei for feats?)

Also, which of those paladin archetypes would be best for this concept? I realize that Oath of the People's Council would actually buff my pet, too...

Or is there another way of getting my paladin mount to be a dinosaur besides this feat? (Again, assume I have to strongarm the GM, as if we were playing under PFS rules.)

I was poking around at Bard archetypes when I noticed that both the Court Bard and Dragon Yapper get a song that reduces enemy attack and damage by 1. Since they're different songs, do they stack with one another?

As an aside, does the Dragon Yapper's yap harm EVERYONE - including allies - that hears it? If so, is there a way to keep it from affecting allies (besides earmuffs)?

Let me post the section and bold some relevant snips.

Ancestor Eidolons wrote:

Some summoners strongly revere and respect the accomplishments of their ancestors, and learn to commune with the departed spirits of those honored souls to seek wisdom in times of need. A rare few accidentally spark something far stronger, and the result is a powerful eidolon with familial bonds to its summoner. Any summoner seeking the assistance of such a force can potentially bond with an ancestor eidolon.

Whether created by bonding with the soul of a petitioner that was the summoner’s ancestor in life or calling upon the impressions of such a soul left behind on the Ethereal Plane or the Akashic Record, ancestor eidolons are outsiders cast in the mold of mortals, and exhibit extraordinary skill and talent. They usually appear as idealized versions of the bodies they possessed while still alive, but distinctive and proud. Ancestor eidolons lend whatever aid they can to their summoner, who typically has some form of familial connection with the eidolon, be it by blood, honor, or devotion.

Alignment: Any. Ancestor eidolons don’t have any alignment subtypes.

Base Form: Biped (limbs [arms], limbs [legs]).

Base Evolutions: At 1st level, an ancestor eidolon gains all of the racial traits associated with its summoner’s race; a summoner who isn’t a 0- Hit Die creature must choose one 0- Hit Die race of his choice. For any effect dependent on class level, an ancestor eidolon uses its total Hit Dice instead (such as with the human’s skilled racial trait). An ancestor eidolon counts as a creature of its chosen race’s type and subtype for all effects, except for the purpose of meeting feat prerequisite requirements. An ancestor eidolon gains only the standard racial traits of its race; it cannot select alternate racial traits.

At 4th level, the ancestor eidolon chooses one of the following simple class templates: fighter, rogue, or sorcerer. It gains the abilities noted under the template’s quick rules as if it were a creature with 1 Hit Die. The eidolon does not gain any abilities that a character with 1 level in the class associated with the chosen template wouldn’t have. For instance, a 1-HD creature with the rogue simple template would normally gain the evasion and uncanny dodge abilities, but an ancestor eidolon that chooses the rogue simple template does not gain these abilities since a 1st-level rogue would not have evasion or uncanny dodge.
At 8th level, the ancestor eidolon gains the skilled evolution with two skills that are on the list of class skills of the class associated with the eidolon’s chosen simple class template.
At 12th level, the ancestor eidolon gains the abilities noted under its chosen simple class templates as if it were a creature with 5 Hit Dice, rather than 1 Hit Die. The eidolon doesn’t gain any abilities that a character with 5 levels in the class associated with the chosen template wouldn’t have.
At 16th level, the ancestor eidolon gains a bonus feat, chosen from the following list: Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness, or any feat that lists the eidolon’s chosen race as a prerequisite. The eidolon must meet all of the chosen feat’s prerequisites.
At 20th level, the ancestor eidolon gains the abilities noted under its chosen simple class templates as if it were a creature with 10 Hit Dice, rather than 5 Hit Dice. The eidolon doesn’t gain any abilities that a character with 10 levels in the class associated with the chosen template wouldn’t have.

Okay, so: An Ancestor Eidolon is an outsider cast in the form of a mortal. It has the racial traits of the mortal race it came from, and it counts as a member of that race for all intents and purposes.

Is it:

1. An Outsider with a trait that makes it count as the base race?
2. A weird version of the Base Race?
3. ?????

I really have no clue what to do beyond this:

Lizardfolk get +2 STR, +2 CON, and +2 natural armor with a bite usable as a secondary attack. They are built to be melee characters. Ergo, this character will go into melee.

Eidolon choice is Ancestor, thus benefiting from the +2 STR/CON/Nat Armor. Ancestor Eidolon takes the Fighter Creature template and wields a Pickaxe (1d8 P with a x4 crit). There's a reason for this story-wise (their tribe was enslaved), but there's a build reason that should be evident momentarily. Eidolon takes typical Power Attack and smashy smashy stuff.

Summoner takes Combat Expertise, and Improved Critical, but most importantly Butterfly Sting. Also gets Power Attack and stuff so he can do decent melee damage, but the point remains: he's the crit fisher in the pair. Once he fishes the crit, the Eidolon rushes in and murders the enemy.

However, I notice some pretty big problems here.

1. The summoner doesn't start with Martial Weapon proficiency. Should he just grab it via a dip? (This weakens the Eidolon, and Boon Companion doesn't work on them.) Take it as a feat? Or maybe just use a 19-20 weapon instead?

2. What does the summoner even grab after he gets that ability?

3. Ugh, that spell list is really small and unsatisfying. Should we focus on buffs like Barkskin and then wade into the fight?

4. Really, how would you build the summoner himself? The Eidolon seems easy to build with this setup; just make it smashy. You could build the summoner smashy too, but he can't wear medium or heavy armor, and he needs at least 13 INT. (Thankfully, this is 25 point buy for the campaign I'm considering joining.) I honestly have no clue after "butterfly sting hehehehe."

So... Yeah - what do? What do?

I know this isn't PFS-illegal because they only want you to have one animal companion, but does this work outside of PFS?

Cleric > Choose Scalykind (Saurian) and Animal domains. You get to level 4 and have two animal companions.

You have two feats by level 4: Iron Will and Familiar Bond. You choose the Compsognathus familiar, gaining a pretty pet dinosaur that can turn into a Medium creature and fight.

Is this a legitimate way (especially with Boon Companion at level 5, or at level 4 retraining your level 3 feat if you're human) of doing things? Two animal companions and a fighting familiar? (Potentially dipping 1 level into Spirit Binder Wizard to trap the soul of a loved one in your familiar and give it full BAB and a bonus feat?)

EDIT: Or dip into Spirit Binder without actually spending those feats. D'oh. I forgot you could do that.

Point stands: is this legit?

Let's say we have a Tyrannosaurus animal companion. Somehow it has become proficient in Armor Spikes, which is a martial proficiency - perhaps through an Ioun stone? It's wearing armor that has armor spikes. Presumably, we can put armor spikes on Masterwork Studded Leather Armor, so it should work fine so long as we grab the Light Armor Proficiency feat.

Firstly, does my T-Rex get to full attack with its spiked armor, bringing to bear 22+2=24 STR with those armor spikes for damage?

Secondly, does my T-rex get to use its bite as a secondary attack? If so, does it get to do 2x STR as usual due to Powerful Bite?

Powerful Bite (Ex) wrote:
A tyrannosaurus applies twice its Strength modifier to bite damage.

I ask this partly because a spiky T-rex animal companion mount getting full iterative attacks is badass and partly because I'm tempted to find out if I can convince my GM to let me play an Awakened T-Rex, Allosaurus, or Velociraptor.. (Yeah, right.)

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Come on, let's build a slinger! A halfling slinger, specifically.

I'm looking for ideas on how to build a great one. I'm considering different routes, like just playing a paladin or bard instead of a fighter-type, but I'd really like to build a fighter anyway. I'll start with that, and eventually will examine a paladin build too (since that's probably pretty legit).

Open the spoiler to see my thought process. Do note: I know the bow will always be the superior choice, but this is a really fun thought experiment.


So, to make a proper slinger using the rules available to us, we need to consider what the best sling is. Normally, this would be the standard sling, because that's the only sling affected by the Warslinger racial.

Warslinger wrote:
Halflings are experts at the use of the sling. Halflings with this racial trait can reload a sling as a free action. Reloading a sling still requires two hands and provokes attacks of opportunity. This racial trait replaces sure-footed.

However, we have means of expanding the Warslinger trait's impact to other kinds of slings (thus meaning relatively painless access to full attacks). Giving it some thought, I'm willing to assume the best routes will be either...

A) The double sling, which requires two-weapon fighting to properly utilize, or,

B) The staff sling, which does not require that and has a d6 of damage for small creatures (versus d3).

Given that, let's examine some of the problems we are going to face.

1. Slings are STR-based for damage, and we have a penalty to Strength. Crap.
2. There IS a feat tax involved in applying Warslinger to other weapons. Thankfully, this will turn out to be a feat tax we want anyway.
3. In general, this will be a feat-intensive build, as with archery, and we're going to face similar problems to archers.
4. Our base weapon damage is crap. We can enjoy 1d3 from the double sling with a whopping x2 crit. Yay. Alternatively, we can use the 1d6 from the staff sling with a x3 crit. That's a little more satisfying.
5. By the way, take a look at how much sling stones weigh. Yes, ten sling stones = 5 pounds for a medium sized creature, or 2.5 pounds for us. That's compared to 20 arrows weighing 1.5 pounds for small creatures. Yikes. Carrying capacity will hurt.[/i]

Given all that, I've opted to go with the Sling Staff.

There are other problems; these are just a few that we face. However, I feel these are going to be extremely relevant to the topic. Let's continue. Remember, for this build we're gonna try a Fighter.

Let's assume that we're playing a 15 point buy game. We can get a starting stat array of 14/17/12/10/10/9 after racial calculations - and that's about as good as we'll get on STR and DEX without sacrificing too much elsewhere. We've already dropped CHA to 7, and given that fighters have terrible skill points and will saves, I don't think it's a good idea to drop Wisdom or Intelligence below 10.

Now, we need to consider archetypes. Normally, I'd scream "GO FOR WEAPON MASTER!" but the feat we want - Slipslinger Style - specifically requires either weapon focus (Sling) or Weapon Training (Thrown), not Weapon Training (any weapon in the Thrown group). So, Weapon Master is not usable.

The Build

As said, we'll be using the Halfling Staff Sling. This is probably the simpler weapon choice, and definitely less feat intensive. As previously mentioned, it deals 1d6 damage with a x3 crit for us - not bad.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, two of our levels will be Monk levels, specifically the Master of Many Styles Monk, so we can get our favorite styles as bonus feats: Slipslinger Style and Startoss Style. We'll take one at level 2 and another at level 7.

So, let's stat out the first 3 levels of this setup:

  • Fighter1: Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus (Sling)
  • MoMS1: Startoss Style
  • Fighter2: Precise Shot, Startoss Comet

Okay, at this point you may notice that we're not actually using a Sling Staff yet. That's fine. Our Weapon Focus is a Bonus Feat, so we'll retrain this later. But right now, we can use this regular ol' sling to hit 2 enemies in one turn - 1d3+6 on each. I'll take it.

Next few levels:

  • Fighter3: -
  • Fighter4: Weapon Specialization (Sling), Startoss Shower
  • Fighter5: - We grab Weapon Training (Thrown)
  • MoMS2: Slipslinger Style, Deadly Aim

At this point, we are level 7 with BAB 6. We immediately retrain our (Sling) feats to be Sling Staff, Halfling feats. Yes, this costs money and time (10 days and 500g total), but it's worth it.

Now we're starting to pack heat. We deal 1d6+12 damage per hit, potentially 1d6+16 with Deadly Aim, and can clear out small clusters of weaker enemies pretty easily via Startoss Shower (which basically functions as a bullet that bounces each time it hits someone with a range of 80 ft, albeit limited by our BAB). We attack twice a round when not using Startoss Comet. It's not the most impressive of all setups I've ever seen, but it's a start.

(Note: this is without factoring in magical items, so enchanted bullets, a magic sling-staff, bull's strength, and other effects would boost this damage further. We'll discuss that later.)

From this point on, we'll proceed with Fighter levels, but you could potentially dip away from here.

Okay: now we can activate both our weapon styles at once (rather than requiring two swift actions to do so) and we have a lot more attack bonus. Given that we have both Halfling Slinger and Improved Weapon Focus, I felt it okay to choose Rapid Shot to get a bit more extra damage available to us when there's only one enemy around.

We're level 13 now. Our damage is higher than before. With Rapid Shot and 12 BAB, we can attack 4 times a round. We have +2 Weapon Training now, and we double our weapon training for sling damage, so a normal shot deals 1d6+15 damage, and we can deal 1d6+23 with Deadly Aim. With our various AB-boosting feats, weapon training, and small size, our to-hit should be decent. Our DEX has doubtlessly hit 20 now, so that will help as well.

But before we call things a done deal, let's look at those gloves of dueling everyone loves so much. They add +2 to our weapon training bonus. Our weapon training bonus is doubled for damage because we have Trained Throw, if you recall. So, that's effectively a +4 boost to our damage, meaning we deal 1d6+19 before deadly aim and 1d6+27 afterwards. And again, we haven't factored in other magical items - just those gloves. Take that as you will, and consider the merits of some enhancement bonuses and weapon enchantments.

Progress gets pretty predictable afterwards. Slipslinger Grenadier and Slipslinger Bombardment are two feats I'd want to add for the sake of having an interesting build at later levels, though there are so many more important feats to get, and at this point grabbing Advanced Weapon Training: Focused Weapon as a feat might not be a bad idea, not to mention Greater Weapon Specialization. We're a feat ahead of other halflings because we're using those two monk levels, but at the same time we're never going to get the capstone Fighter ability and won't see Greater Weapon Spec until level 14. That said, I don't know of many games that actually reach level 20, and I certainly think this build would be playable at low levels and very fun from level 5 onward.

Note that I've been lazy with the math. I haven't figured out what the best set of items to have given our WBL would be at each points, nor have I bothered calculating attack bonuses. Our damage is very much based on raw bonuses from Weapon Training and feats, with Strength contributing +2 damage per shot baseline or +4 with bull's strength or a +4 strength item. With a BAB of 12, we can hit 4 enemies with Startoss Comet at once, so we have something to do when we have to use up a standard action. If we do decide to take Slipslinger Bombardment, we can include alchemical ammunition as part of our repertoire, using it either as part of our Startoss Comet attack or as ammo for our full attack chain. I haven't had a chance to look at all the goodies available to us given that, but I'm sure there's something fun to consider.

Something worth considering is getting Fighter 12 (for another bonus feat, which I'd spend on Greater Weapon Spec) before taking a level of Savage Technologist. This is doable because we keep our Monk abilities and just can't progress Monk further if we become non-lawful. Savage Technologist gives us a DEX and STR boosting rage with no AC penalty, meaning we can get +2 more attack and damage with our staff sling for a one level dip. Tack on Extra Rage and a way to deal with Fatigue and I think that's a nice bonus.

Note that my build could come online much earlier if I didn't want to use a staff sling. Say, for instance, I used a regular Sling instead. That would grant access to the Slipslinger Style much earlier, and allow the two monk levels to be taken together. And if you really wanted, you could take Point Blank Master to reload and fire your sling without attacks of opportunity, but I feel like that's just unnecessary. Still, it's an option.

Overall, I think this would be a viable and fun build.


So, that's my sling build idea. It's not incredible or anything, but I'm happy with how the sling can actually, finally, FINALLY become a valid weapon after all this time. The Staff Sling, the Double Sling, and even the standard Sling all seem like valid choices now.

What are some other builds you can think of that would utilize these weapons better? What sort of items would you suggest that would support these sorts of builds? I imagine an appropriately built Cleric or Oracle could use Divine Favor and similar buffs to crank out some solid damage, too... Or a Paladin.

And again: I know the bow will pretty much always be the superior choice. It took a lot of research to make this setup work. But I'm curious what others can come up with.

I'm chewing on ideas for an all-bard team, assuming 4-5 party members. It appeals to me a lot due to the archetypes available and the flexibility of the bard class.

What would be some of the best archetypes for an all-bard team?

My instinct leads me to consider a few archetypes right away:

1. The base Bard has Inspire Courage, which is awesome, and is in no way a bad class. This provides a competence bonus.
2. The Archivist gets to add +1 AC and +1 Attack as an Insight bonus instead of Inspire Courage. This would stack with Inspire Courage.
3. Court Bards debuff the enemy (with no save it appears) with Satire at level 1 and it improves from thereon out, penalizing their attack and damage rolls as well as their saves vs. fear and charm effects. Seems solid.
4. Magicians improve the spellcasting abilities of their fellows. Might be useful in a group full of bards?
5. Having an Archaelogist around gives you a trapmonkey that is also capable of holding his own in melee combat and serving as your frontline. Bonus points if he's an Orc with the Fate's Favored trait and the Sacred Tattoo racial trait.

What would make the most kickass Bard team that could take on any challenge a DM could throw at them? No multiclassing, no prestige classing, just straight-up bard goodness, please.

I'd like to know what feats and spells you'd suggest, too. I imagine with this many bards we'd basically have all the best spells from the Bard list covered with several Gallant Inspirations and Saving Finales thrown into the mix.

Because of this feat:

Steadfast Slayer (Combat) wrote:

You stand alone against creatures far larger than you.

Benefit: If you are the only character threatening an opponent and you successfully attack the opponent with a two-handed melee weapon, for each size category larger than you that opponent is, you gain a +2 bonus on your melee damage roll.

If I'm mounted, does my mount count as a "character" for the purposes of this feat? I can work around that if so, such as by wielding a reach weapon or using Lunge, but I'd like to know.

Also, if I DO take Lunge and my mount charges the enemy, do I get to make my attack the moment I threaten the enemy (I.E. 10 feet away) and still get the charge benefits even if my mount has to be adjacent?

Would you be able to two-hand your Aldori Dueling Sword (since it's a one-handed weapon being used with two hands) and benefit from weapon finesse while benefiting from Horselord's Sandstorm ability?

Also, this would allow a level 3 rogue / level 6 Horselord to apply 1.5x Finesse and Weapon Finesse to their Aldori Dueling Sword while charging for x3 damage with Spirited Charge, yes?

Aldori Dueling Sword wrote:


Cost 20 gp Weight 3 lbs.
Damage 1d6 (small), 1d8 (medium); Critical 19-20/x2; Range —; Type S; Special —
These slightly curved swords measure just over 3 feet in length. An Aldori dueling sword may be used as a Martial Weapon (in which case it functions as a longsword), but if you have the feat Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Aldori dueling sword), you can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on attack rolls with an Aldori dueling sword sized for you, even though it isn’t a light weapon. You can also wield an Aldori dueling sword in two hands in order to apply 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus to damage.
Horselord wrote:

Sand Storm (Ex)

At 6th level, a horselord gains the benefits of the Mobility feat so long as she is mounted. Additionally, the horselord deals double damage while using a one-handed slashing weapon from the back of a charging mount, as though using a lance. This replaces the bonus feat gained at 6th level.

So, I've pretty much decided that the only reason to take the Tactician archetype of Fighter over, say, the Drill Sergeant or just playing a Cavalier is the Cooperative Combatant ability. But before I say more, I want to quote this ability.

Cooperative Combatant wrote:

At 11th level, when a tactician uses the aid another special attack, he may affect one additional ally per point of Intelligence bonus. For each ally that a tactician aids, he can pick whether to grant that ally the +2 bonus on its next attack against the opponent or the +2 bonus to AC against the opponent’s next attack on that ally, and can grant different allies different bonuses.

This ability replaces armor training 3.

Now, I have a few concerns about this ability.

1. By RAW, I assume that on a regular Aid Another special attack, you can only affect allies that are engaged in melee with a particular opponent, yes?

Aid Another wrote:

In melee combat, you can help a friend attack or defend by distracting or interfering with an opponent. If you're in position to make a melee attack on an opponent that is engaging a friend in melee combat, you can attempt to aid your friend as a standard action. You make an attack roll against AC 10. If you succeed, your friend gains either a +2 bonus on his next attack roll against that opponent or a +2 bonus to AC against that opponent's next attack (your choice), as long as that attack comes before the beginning of your next turn. Multiple characters can aid the same friend, and similar bonuses stack.

You can also use this standard action to help a friend in other ways, such as when he is affected by a spell, or to assist another character's skill check.

So, with Cooperative Combatant, your allies have to be engaged in melee with an opponent that you can reach still, yes? Meaning that unless you have a party that loves getting into melee, Cooperative Combatant is pretty useless?

What about when you use the Bodyguard feat? Can you affect multiple allies with it, thus giving them more AC? (Of course, those allies would still have to be adjacent to you...) And I assume the issue is similar with the Vanguard Style feat?

Basically, are you only ever going to be able to affect people who are adjacent to you or an enemy with Cooperative Combatant, meaning your selection of valid targets is still very limited?

Here is the Savage Technologist.

I've wanted to make a sword and gun style build work since forever. I don't know if this is the right way to do it, but that's why I'm here to explore options. With 5 levels you get DEX-to-damage with guns, and with 3 in UC Rogue you get Dex-to-damage with melee (plus a bonus feat). Also, any Barbarian-specific effect that boosts STR increases DEX instead. That's nice.

At low levels you could use a weapon that doesn't take up space in your hand - Unarmed Strike, Armor Spikes, Thorn Bracers, a regular old not-spiked Gauntlet. This should leave you with a hand free to reload. You can be a Tiefling with a Prehensile Tail to help retrieve ammo for reloading. Also, we can get scent if we go Tiefling (variant special ability option #53), which is a good utility ability in general. Or we could have claws (1d4 damage). We could also be adopted by Orcs to have a bite attack (1d4 damage). This gives us some melee options, and investing in an Amulet of Mighty Fists might be a fair choice for our "offhand" weapon.

Another good race choice would be Human (when isn't it?). Goblin, too, stands out (DEX to damage). Halflings and elves both have their merits as well. A half-orc or half-elf would have the necessary stats: half-elves being able to nab EWP as a bonus feat opens up some exotic options for your offhand weapon is good, and half-orcs can get 90 ft. of Darkvision in lieu of Ferocity, or can keep Ferocity because it's a great low level ability. Sacred Tattoo isn't shabby, either.

Assume we start with 1 Barb level, then 3 Rogue levels, then 4 more Barb levels to make this a mostly melee-centric build at the start.

Is this going to be a viable build? It can shoot in melee without Attacks of Opportunity at level 8; it just needs a decent gun that it can reload without difficulty (and preferably without provoking). It needs a weapon that it can wield without taking up a hand at low levels, and then at high levels can use gloves of storing instead. It needs a way to boost both its melee and ranged damage suitably through feats. Basically, it needs a reason to exist without having other martials laugh at it (let alone casters).

Any suggestions?

For reference (and to show I did some cursory research), let me link to another, older thread asking the same question.

I was looking at the Gendarme cavalier and the realization that Spring Attack is on that list of bonus feats really made me pause. None of the feats listed help you get Spring Attack. So, does that mean that if you have all the feats in that list EXCEPT Spring Attack, your bonus feat for that level is wasted?

I see nothing that indicates these bonus feats DON'T require you to grab the prereqs (base cavalier requires prereqs), but it suggests that you can only select combat feats from outside the list after you've nabbed everything. But if you literally CAN'T nab the last feat - what happens? Dead level?

Relevant snip:

Weapon Sacrifice (Ex) When damage would cause the fighter or an adjacent ally to be knocked unconscious or killed, as a swift or immediate action the fighter can instead direct the damage to a weapon from the associated weapon group that he is wielding. The original target takes no damage, but the weapon receives only half its normal hardness. The fighter can use this option a number of times per day equal to the fighter's weapon training bonus with the associated weapon group. He cannot use this option with unarmed attacks.

Let's say I'm a Fighter who has Close Weapons as a specialty. I have a two-handed weapon, but I also have armor spikes, a boulder helmet, and a spiked gauntlet. Am I wielding all of these weapons?

Also: if I have my armor spikes take damage, does the armor itself take damage too, or just the spikes?

Making another replacement character in the event that my character dies in the present campaign. (Haven't died yet, but I want to be prepared.) This one is going to be a DEX-to-damage mounted combat type.

The character will be a halfling with 15 point buy, and thus be small sized. Their mount must never grow larger than Medium size, and it must start as at least Small so it can be ridden with Undersized Mount (which can be retrained later). I've been considering mounts with climb speeds for dungeon utility for this reason, but other mounts would work as well.

I'm looking at using a few different classes here: 1 level of Unchained Rogue (for DEX to damage), 1 level of a class to get EWP: Elven Curve Blade or Elven Branched Spear, and then the rest of the way I'd go with Cavalier. I'd be tempted to grab Mad Dog for 2 levels and ask the GM to let the animal companion levels stack onto one companion just so I can use Gang Up with a +4 bonus to flanking.

The idea here is to use Piranha Strike and Risky Striker to boost my damage with the Elven Curve Blade or Elven Branched Spear and deal dex-based charge attacks from my mount. Spirited Charge would be good. Anything that lets me get a full attack while charging (or just moving) would also be good. Anything that makes my mount and I do more damage and contribute to a standard dungeon crew is good.

For reference, assume a mixture of casters and martials as companions. Assuming nobody dies, there's a wizard, a magus, and a brawler, but this character is being made in the event that both I (the support bard) and someone else dies.

Any and all advice to be had on building this character would be appreciated. This is my first mounted combat character with a real chance of hitting the table.

I have a build idea that I want to work with. It has certain requirements for flavor purposes:

1. The race must be half-elf, not human (though human would doubtlessly be better) or Tengu (Tengu is banned in the game I'm playing)
2. The character will use Wakizachis (because they're going to be from the far east) and so needs Exotic Weapon Proficiency.
3. Racial Heritage (Tengu) is both flavorful AND required for this character to take the Swordmaster archetype, which is the crux of this build.

The idea is that this half-elf has Tengu blood in her, has feathers and stuff, and is going to be built as a rogue that can get sneak attacks off by charging. High CMB is required for this to work (due to the ability that basically gives her Pounce), so I dipped Lore Warden for bonus feats and extra CMB. I'm also getting the Dirty Strike rogue talent to take advantage of that.

The build at present looks something like this:


Unchained Rogue (Scout/Swordmaster) 10
Fighter (Lore Warden) 4

Wakizachi x2 (1d6 18-20 x2, P or S)

Reactionary (+2 Initiative)
Carefully Hidden (+1 Will Saves, +2 saves vs. Divination)

Racial traits:
As normal, except…
Ancestral Arms (Exotic WP instead of Skill Focus)
Blended View (Darkvision 60, replaces Multitalented)

Feats/Talents by level:
Lvl 1. R. EWP (Wakizachi), Weapon Finesse (free from Rogue), Racial Heritage (Tengu)
Lvl 2. R. Two-Weapon Fighting (feat from Rogue Talent)
Lvl 3. R. Piranha Strike
Lvl 4. R. Weapon Focus (Wakizachi) (feat from Rogue Talent)
Lvl 5. R. Agile Maneuvers
Lvl 6. R. Offensive Defense (Rogue Talent)
Lvl 7. R. Quick Draw
Lvl 8. R. Dirty Strike (Rogue Talent)
Lvl 9. R. Imp. TWF
Lvl 10. F. Dodge
Lvl 11. F. Combat Expertise (LW), Improved Dirty Trick
Lvl 12. F. Maneuver Mastery (LW ability)
Lvl 13. F. Weapon Spec (Wakizachi) (F), Critical Focus
Lvl 14. R. GTWF (feat from Rogue A. Talent)

I haven't planned past 14. I figure it's unlikely I'll go past that point.

I've been considering options besides GTWF for the level 14 talent, such as Crippling Strike or... something else. That extra attack is unlikely to hit, anyway.

The idea is that this character can charge enemies pretty well thanks to Scout+Swordmaster, as described here...

Scout’s Charge (Ex)

At 4th level, whenever a scout makes a charge, her attack deals sneak attack damage as if the target were flat-footed. Foes with uncanny dodge are immune to this ability.
This ability replaces uncanny dodge.

Trance (Ex)

At 3rd level, a swordmaster learns to focus her martial prowess using an intense meditative trance. Under the influence of a trance, the swordmaster can perform fantastic martial feats. Entering a trance is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. The swordmaster can maintain the trance for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + her Wisdom modifier. At each level beyond 3rd, she can remain in the trance for 1 additional round. She can end her trance as a free action. Following a trance, the swordmaster is fatigued for a number of rounds equal to 2 × the number of rounds she spent in the trance. A swordmaster cannot enter a new trance while fatigued but can otherwise enter a trance multiple times during a single encounter or combat. If a swordmaster falls unconscious, her trance immediately ends.

At 3rd level, the swordmaster chooses one trance from the list below. She chooses another trance at 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level. She can only use one type of trance at a time.

Tiger Trance (Ex): The swordmaster pounces upon her opponents, striking with the ferocity and brute force of a wild tiger. While in this trance, a swordmaster can make a combat maneuver check against an opponent within charge range. If she succeeds, she may charge that opponent and make a full attack against that opponent.

Piranha Strike is important for boosting damage, but I'm a bit worried over how it affects my attack bonus as well.

After charging, this character can move to flank the enemy (if it's still alive), charge at a different target, and generally lay down dirty tricks for free while dealing acceptable damage. I worry about her attack bonus, so I figure flanking and charging will be key to making a dent.

Issues with this, however, involve the full round action to start a trance, the number of trance rounds each day (Wisdom will need to be a positive stat), and this character needs to roll CMB to even try to pounce the enemy. Still, it has potential, and with a maxed out DEX, agile maneuvers, decent BAB, and +2 CMB from Lore Warden, this might be doable.

Offensive Defense is a rogue talent I decided to grab despite it being sub-optimal for fights against large groups. It makes a good talent for a boss fight, I reckon, and it's flavorful (a nimble, dodgy feathery half-elf that jumps around her enemies? Cool!). Is there something that would be too good to pass up, though?

What sort of advice would you have for building this character? What would you do instead? What sort of equipment would be best?

If it helps, I can take a Drawback and get an additional trait.

How enjoyable would it be to be able to apply feats to Weapon Groups rather than specific weapons?

As I see it, Fighter Weapon Groups should get used outside of Weapon Training. Seriously. They're a good concept, but they're used for practically zilch.

So: Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, Rapid Reload, Slashing Grace... All these feats and a lot of others that are specific to certain weapons would apply to the entirety of the weapon group they belong to rather than just one weapons. The advantages of this to a player should be fairly obvious:

1) It allows a two-weapon fighter to use two different types of weapons without spending a bunch of feats.
2) It gives more options to what loot is "usable" to martial characters.
3) It makes a lot more sense to be able to use axes in general than to ONLY be good at using, say, a battle axe.
4) No more Martial Versatility / Martial Mastery silliness is required.

Also, certain abilities would have their scope expanded in such a system as well. Example: Warslinger, the halfling racial trait, would apply to all slings, not just ordinary slings. All sling feats would apply to all types of slings.

Things like Slashing Grace (broken as it is - shouldn't care about damage type... or weapon size... *Grumble*) which only apply to slashing weapons would only apply to the weapons in a weapon group that meet the criteria.

Would this make martial characters a bit more enjoyable to players in general?

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I'm tinkering with campaign ideas for the next game I run and one thing that came to mind is an all Rogue party. The problem is the system mastery varies pretty broadly between my players, so while I can just point them to the best player and say "take his advice," I want some ideas on very basic, easily-adjustable Rogue builds that are fun and varied.

The idea is they'll ONLY be allowed to take levels in Rogue. Period. Maybe a prestige class will be allowed. I want these characters to all be Rogues or Rogue archetypes; no Ninjas but Ninja Tricks are allowed.

So, what are...

A) good builds that aren't very complex that newer players could adjust
B) archetypes that when combined can cover every role a party needs
C) ways to do so using UMD and such since archetypes probably can't cover ever need because Rogue

...and how should I scale the challenge rating of the encounters they face? I plan for this to be a largely political game but with nasty combats.

I'm planning out new campaign ideas, and as I was designing a few merchants and their goods, I started thinking about sales techniques I've been learning about in my Psychology classes. You know: Foot-in-the-Door, Door-in-the-Face, Lowballing, That's-not-all, and so forth.

What do you think of roleplaying out shopping ventures and having the PCs, as they haggle with the NPCs, actually deal with this psychological stuff?

Example 1: Lowballing:

The PC is a wizard and he's strode into a wizard's tower. He's haggling with the apprentice over a dozen or so scrolls that he wants. They argue over the price for a while, but they finally agree on a fair enough price. Smiling, the apprentice dashes off to inform her master and get his permission to close the sale.

In reality, her intent is to raise the price. She tells her master she got the PC to agree to one price, and after a few moments they decide on how high to raise it. She comes back, looking downcast and apologetic.

"I'm sorry," she says, "but my master says that we cannot afford to sell the scrolls at this price. His membership in the Merchant's Guild does not come without its cost. We'll have to sell these to you for slightly more - five hundred gold coins, to be precise. Is that alright?"

In the real world, this technique is used by car dealers a fair bit. You find the car you want, you agree on a price... and there are complications that arise. Sorry, can we raise the price tag a little? This is a sales technique where the buyer often feels duped or insulted, but they frequently complete the transaction anyway.

Example 2: Compensation:

Another PC goes off to the blacksmith to get his armor fixed. The halfling there cheerfully attends to the hero's armor, and in fact does so for free! He does, however, start chattering away at the PC as he works, and he can't help but mention how business has been slow of late, and how, well, there are enchanted daggers that he's got sitting around that make perfect sidearms...

The PC is more of a two-handed weapons type, but he may very well make a purchase because the blacksmith is doing him a favor. And he's right, after all - perhaps he could use a dagger, and he could always give it to the rogue if nothing else.

Door-to-door salesmen are the masters of this technique. Some dude walks into your house and vacuums a small corner of your floor as he talks about how great it is, and now you HAVE to, absolutely HAVE to buy that crappy vacuum cleaner. This clearly doesn't work on everyone, obviously, but it does work enough that door to door salesmen still make this sort of sales pitch. It's also done by people running charities or the like; give someone a piece of candy or a rose and you can get them to make a donation, even if they didn't WANT candy or a rose to begin with.

Would you, as a player, find this enjoyable? Would you be angry when you realized that the NPCs have been using sales techniques to get you to buy things you normally would not want? Do you think players would fall for this a few times?

I'm DMing a megadungeon. One player is asking if he can craft poison. My mind tells me "Okay, but where are you getting the components for <X> poison?" Another part tells me "But poison is cool and it never gets used!"

He has gold, so he could theoretically pay the 1/3 cost. However, who the heck is he going to buy the materials for the poison from? The air? There are a couple kobold tribes in the area, but they're either not friendly or they don't have access to every poison imaginable.

My thought is to list poisons that he could craft given what he's encountered. He still needs to make the checks, but he doesn't need to pay the gold cost because it makes no sense to in a megadungeon.

Thoughts? How would you handle this?

Tell me if this is an appropriate boss encounter for a level 3 party of six characters to face in a fight:

If you are one of my players, do NOT read this:

There's a cleric, medium-sized, worshiping a deity that gives him the Glory domain. He's a lawful neutral 5th level Theologian with Spell Specialization and 18 Wisdom. His effective Caster Level when casting Searing Light, his go-to spell, is 9. Against non-undead characters this means he deals 4d8 damage with no saving throw (but he has to succeed on a ranged touch attack). His AB with that spell's touch attack is +6 (+3 BAB, +3 DEX - 14 base +2 from a belt). The fellow is pretty durable with 22 AC and 38 HP.

This fellow has a 3rd level barbarian with him focusing on beating stuff up in melee wielding a big ol' flail. He also has a handful of ordinary kobolds equipped with basic weapons and armor.

Spells memorized:

- 1st level - 2xShield of Faith, 1xBless, 1xProtection from Evil
- 2nd level - 1xBurst of Radiance*, 1xCure Moderate Wounds, 1xSound Burst**
- 3rd level - 2xSearing Light***

*DC 16 Reflex Save
**DC 16 Fortitude Save
***Searing Light has Disruptive applied to it. Concentration check DC = 18 + the level of the spell the player is casting. (10 base + 3rd level spell + 4 WIS modifier + 1 spell focus [Evocation].)

Buffs that may be up before the fight begins:

Shield of Faith. The character should have enough forewarning to get this minute per level spell up in time. He'd also toss it on his barbarian friend.

Bless. Same reasoning.

He would probably toss up Protection from Evil on his partner as well, but it won't have any effect since the party isn't evil. So, that's a wasted spell slot.

The tactics in this scene (assuming no surprise round):

Round 1

Cleric will open with Burst of Radiance. This won't do damage because the party is non-evil, but it may blind or dazzle them. This will presumably hit at least 3 members of the party.

The barbarian will rage and start beating things in the head because that's what he does. The kobolds will start swarming the party, but two will linger back and ready actions to move in front of anyone that charges or move towards the cleric.

Round 2

Cleric casts either Sound Burst or Searing Light depending on how many party members are active. Basically, he uses Sound Burst if few or none were blinded, and he uses Searing Light otherwise. His Searing Light has the Disruptive feat applied to it at all times thanks to being a Theologian, so he's going to shoot his laser beams at the party's caster(s) first and foremost. He only has two casts, so he'll probably target the same caster twice in hopes of taking that person out. (Sadly, there's only one caster in this particular party, but I may run this dungeon for future parties as well.)

The barbarian keeps on doing what he does best until he's taken out of commission. He'll chug a potion of Cure Moderate Wounds with a move action (thank you Accelerated Drinker) if things get dicey. He only has one of these.

Round 3+

Our cleric casts his remaining offensive spells, then proceeds to wade into the melee with his masterwork morningstar (+6 AB, 1d8+2 damage) - nothing great, but since he'll probably have 24 AC thanks to Shield of Faith he'll be able to take some punishment. The kobolds and barbarian will fight to the bitter end in this particular fight as well (they're all devoted to seeing this cleric through the fight).

My instincts tell me "This guy runs out of options too quickly." He has a whopping total of four spells to cast during the fight, including the surprise round, and his fighting ability in combat isn't that great. That said, his defenses will be solid: +5 Fort, +3 Reflex, +8 Will; 38 HP and 22-24 AC. (11 Touch.)


In order to give him wealth equal to a PC of his level (as appropriate for a boss) and give him a better option for combat after running out of spells, I'm tempted to give him a necklace of fireballs type I. If the party takes him out before then (or after he throws the first fireball), they'll also have a handy last ditch item for future use. This would put his budget just barely over 10,000g.

The character is wearing full plate +1 and a heavy shield +1. I'm considering changing out the full plate +1 for lighter armor so the character can take Selective Channeling rather than Heavy Armor Proficiency. This would allow the character to use healing during the fight, and I could spend the money I would otherwise use on a necklace of fireballs on more gear for the gnoll barbarian.

Any opinions?

Show me how you'd build it. I'm curious as to what the most effective means of doing this are. Obviously the Warslinger racial trait is a necessity and I'll be limited to using a 1d3 damage sling; my strength penalty is going to hurt; and I'm going to be suboptimal to the bow in every way.

So, with a Paladin (preferably using ONLY paladin levels, but this is not a necessity - dipping into Oracle for more CHA-to-whatever benefits isn't against the law) using the Divine Hunter archetype as a halfling that uses a sling, how can this be made as effective as possible?

So, I've got a dracolich that's been built up as a big bad. Everyone thinks he's the thing they're going to fight. However, he's NOT. Someone else is. Specifically, a giant that wants to kill the gods is the big bad, and he's just waiting for the right moment to steal a superpowered artifact (conveniently also the Dracolich's phylactery) in order to get the power necessary to be a threat. This is a homebrew setting where thanks to the stars aligning just right and so forth this is a time when it's actually plausible to kill at least one of the gods if you have the right stuff.

Given that, here's my dilemma:

The dungeon this takes place in is designed to be largely impregnable. It's a mountain dungeon whose top level - located near the peak - is where the final room is. You can't teleport in (nor teleport out). There's an antimagic field + a gravity field around the top of the mountain, so flying to the peak and digging your way down is an impossibility. Divining into the mountain is really, really hard, if not outright impossible; the dracolich was paranoid and set up all sorts of defenses to prevent spying before he "died" the first time.

Given all that, what's the best way for an outside party (the giant) who may or may not have made a deal with the dracolich in the past (before his first demise) to...

1) Detect when the phylactery / McGuffin has been touched or the dracolich destroyed, and...
2) Get into the super duper villain chamber to nab the artifact.

At his disposal, this giant has:

1) The wealth of an ancient, magically powerful but crumbling empire, akin to the Byzantine Empire just before the Ottomans finished them off.
2) Giants. Hill giants, frost giants, fire giants, ogres, etc.
3) An alliance (of sorts) with an evil deity from space that has minimal influence in this realm (and would have to contend with the other deities if this deity chose to act directly).
4) Probably demons and/or devils that can be summoned to render their assistance.
5) A few hundred years to scheme.

Brainstorm with me.

So, I've got a homebrew setting that I slapped together. You know the works: lots of lore, 50 or so deities (about half of which have completed descriptions), that sort of thing. The trouble is I'm not sure how well I've balanced the races and all that jazz.

I've been playtesting these various races in a megadungeon campaign, though I haven't gotten to try all of them out. So, without further ado, I will list:

1) Races that are new (without including fluff)
2) Old races with alternate racial traits or changed traits

In no particular order.

What I am looking for is a set of races that are reasonably well balanced. I suspect many of these races will be more powerful than standard races - but I need to know whether they are more powerful to Kasatha degrees or Tiefling degrees.

Also note that I am purposely erasing a lot of fluff. My fluff. Mine.

* * * * *


Standard. Also, most dwarves replace Hatred with Ancient Enmity.

Alternate Racial Traits:
Winter Soldier - While dwarves may be feared for their sturdy phalanx, some are feared for their ability to march for days on end in pursuit of their enemies. Such dwarves receive a +4 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue and exhaustion, as well as any other ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, and hot or cold environments. This ability replaces Stability.
Preemptive Volley - A dwarf with this trait may hurl a held weapon and draw a new weapon as free actions while performing a charge or bull rush. The weapon may be hurled at any point during the charge, and the new weapon may be drawn at any point. This attack is made in addition to the usual effects of charging and bull rushing. The thrown weapon gains the +2 bonus to attack from Charge. This ability replaces Weapon Familiarity and Hatred.


Standard, but with the following change:

Magical Flexibility - The adaptable nature of half-elves makes them develop a knack for manipulating magic on the fly. Once per day, half-elven spellcasters may spontaneously increase the spell level of a spell they cast by one and may apply a metamagic feat to make use of the increased spell level as a free action or, if they are prepared spellcasters, may exchange any current metamagic feat(s) applied to the spell for another they know. This replaces the Multitalented racial trait.


Rebuilt from Standard. Gnomes in this setting are meant to share both elvish and gnomish traits (they're essentially a half-breed race). They're meant to be good skill monkeys, especially when playing the role of The Face.

+2 CON, +2 INT, -2 STR
20 speed
Defensive Training - Gnomes have a +1 dodge bonus to their armor class.
Gnomish Resistance - Having descended from both elves and dwarves, gnomes have the better qualities of each. They have immunity to sleep effects and spells and a +2 racial bonus to all saving throws against poison, spells and spell-like abilities.
Keen Senses - Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
Low-Light Vision - Gnomes can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Craftsman - Gnomes are naturally gifted craftsmen thanks to their dwarven nature. Upon character creation a gnome chooses one Craft skill. The gnome has a +2 bonus to skill
checks with that Craft skill.
Cosmopolitan - Gnomes can speak and read two additional languages of their choice. In addition, they choose two Intelligence-, Wisdom-, or Charisma-based skills. Those skills always count as class skills for the gnome.
Wordsmith - Gnomes are good at knowing the right words to say in a given situation. Upon character creation gnomes choose one of the following skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate. The gnome has a +2 bonus to that skill.


Rebuilt from Standard. Usually Lawful Evil. Their focus is on combat and they are meant to be on the high end of the power curve. They can be Lawful Barbarians / Bloodragers, but they take a penalty in any situation that involves "running away" by any means...

+2 to any two stats of their choice.
Favored Terrain - An orc must choose one type of terrain from the Ranger’s favored terrain list upon character creation. The orc gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks while in this terrain. An orc traveling through their favored terrain normally leaves no trail and cannot be tracked (though they may leave a trail if they so choose).
Ferocity - Orcs possess the ferocity ability which allows them to remain conscious and continue fighting even if their hit point totals fall below 0. Orcs are still staggered at 0 hit points or lower and lose 1 hit point each round as normal.
Darkvision - Orcs can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.
Death Before Dishonor - Honor is a fierce commodity among orcs, and the loss of it by fleeing from the battlefield is seen as grievously unacceptable. Orcs cannot use the withdrawal action under any circumstances. They can flee the battlefield by other means (such as using a move action to move away from an opponent), but the act of retreat is so foreign to them that they take a -2 penalty to acrobatics checks to avoid attacks of opportunity and a -2 penalty to AC against attacks of opportunity made while attempting to flee the battle. If an orc uses magic to flee the battlefield (such as with the Dimension Door spell), the orc's AC is instead decreased by -2 until the start of his next turn and any concentration checks he makes until the next round take a -2 penalty.
Matter of Honor - Whenever you strike the last creature that damaged you in the past 24 hours, you gain a +1 racial bonus on damage rolls against that creature.
Tempered Rage - Orcs may be a member of any class which provides or requires a rage class feature while still having a lawful alignment. They may progress in that class as much as they like without penalty and have access to all class features that would normally be barred to characters of a lawful alignment.
Weapon Familiarity - Orcs are proficient with naginatas. Orcs always consider tetsubos and nodachis to be martial weapons.


Rebuilt from Standard. Usually Chaotic Evil.

+2 CON, +2 CHA
Beguiling Liar - Hobgoblins race gain a +4 racial bonus on Bluff checks to convince an opponent that what they are saying is true when they tell a lie.
Big Smile, Sharp Dagger - Hobgoblins have a +2 racial bonus to Sleight of Hand checks made to conceal weapons on their person. In addition they deal an additional +1 damage with any attacks made during the surprise round.
Gregarious - When a hobgoblin successfully uses Diplomacy to win over an individual, that creature takes a -2 penalty on attempts to resist any of the hobgoblin’s Charisma-based skills for the next 24 hours.
Ally Shield - Hobgoblins gain Ally Shield as a bonus feat and may grant the feat to a single ally once per day as an immediate action. That ally retains the feat for a number of rounds equal to the hobgoblin’s character level.
Numerical Superiority - When a hobgoblin’s party has a perceived numerical advantage over their enemies, the hobgoblin gains a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws versus fear. The party does not need to actually have a numerical advantage for hobgoblins to benefit from this ability; they only need to believe their group outnumbers their opponents. This ability does not function when the party is fighting creatures two or more size categories larger than the hobgoblin.

Alternate Racial Traits:
Horrifying (ex) - All hobgoblins have a nasty appearance, but some are born with downright horrific expressions. Anyone who sees the hobgoblin’s face must succeed a Fortitude save (DC 10 + CHA mod) or be Sickened for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 the Hobgoblin’s character level. Characters who suffer the ill effects of this ability or succeed on their save cannot be sickened by the same ability for 24 hours. Also, characters who have frequent exposure to the hobgoblin’s face may develop immunity to the ability at the hobgoblin’s (or GM’s) discretion. This ability does not work on creatures without an intelligence score. This ability replaces Numerical Superiority and Gregarious.

Racial Feats:
Deathly Horrifying
Prerequisites: Hobgoblin, Horrifying racial trait, character level 6th
Benefit: A Hobgoblin with this feat may add 1/2 their character level to the DC of their Horrifying ability. Additionally, any creature that fails the DC by 5 or more is nauseated for 1 round.


Evil, usually. Big, dumb, strong, but clumsily built. Their biggest benefit is Powerful Build, as per the 3.5 ability, coupled with a +4 to Strength; I can see this as potentially game-breaking. However, I tried to stack enough penalties on them that they're not necessarily the world's best go-to Fighter.

Namely, they suffer: a total of -2 to AC (thanks to -2 DEX and -1 Dodge), -1 Reflex, and illiteracy to start. They do gain a few benefits besides Powerful Build, but I hope this makes them, at least, comparable (rather than overwhelming) when paired with other combat-oriented races.

+4 STR, -2 DEX, -2 INT, -2 WIS
Powerful Build - The physical stature of a half-ogre lets him function in many ways as if he were one size category larger. Whenever a half-ogre is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), the half-ogre is treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to them. A half-ogre is also considered to be one size larger when determining whether a creature's special attacks based on size (such as improved grab or swallow whole) can affect him. A half-ogre can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty, and a half-ogre’s unarmed attacks deal damage as if they were one size category larger. However, his space and reach remain those of a creature of his actual size. The benefits of this racial trait stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subject's size category.
Clumsy - Half-ogres are large, oafish creatures and have unnatural, twisted feet. They have a -1 dodge penalty to AC and a -1 penalty to reflex saves.
Illiterate - Half-ogres are illiterate upon character creation. Players may spend skill points on the linguistics skill to become literate in languages they already know. They require twice as many skill points to learn new languages (one to speak it and one to read it). Half-ogres may not be wizards. Half-ogre fighters may not have the Lore Warden archetype.
Brutish Demeanor - Half-ogres have a +2 bonus to intimidate and intimidate is always a class skill for them. However, they also take a -2 penalty to all diplomacy checks.
Elemental Resistance - At the beginning of play a Half-Ogre chooses an elemental damage type (Fire, Cold, Acid, Shocking). The half-ogre has resistance 5 to all damage of that type.
Giant Heritage - Half-ogre sorcerers count as if their spellcasting ability was 2 points higher if they choose any Elemental bloodline.
Big Appetite - Half-ogres must eat one and a half times as much as a regular medium-sized humanoid.


Rebuilt. Focused on both being capable in melee and having good charisma-focused abilities.

+2 STR, +2 CHA, -2 CON
Satyr Immunities - Satyrs are immune to magic Charm spells and effects and have a +2 racial saving throw bonus against Enchantment spells and effects. However, satyrs also take a -2 penalty on saving throws against spells that compel them to sing, laugh, or dance (such as Hideous Laughter) due to their natural inclination toward merry-making; their saving throw bonus against enchantment effects does not apply to these spells. This penalty (and the loss of the saving throw bonus) only applies to spells that are specifically designed to cause a satyr to suffer those effects; it does not apply to a Dominate Person spell cast with the intention of making a satyr dance, for instance.
Gregarious - When a satyr successfully uses Diplomacy to win over an individual, that creature takes a -2 penalty on attempts to resist any of the faun’s Charisma-based skills for the next 24 hours.
Woodland Stride - Satyrs may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at their normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect them.
Hooved - Satyrs cannot wear normal footwear. They can wear certain items that go in the foot slot, such as anklets, horseshoes, and leg bracers, but they cannot wear any shoes or boots.
Revelry - Satyrs are naturally inclined toward song, dance, and other forms of entertainment. They have a +2 racial bonus to Perform checks.
Sylvan Charm - Once per day a satyr with a charisma score of 11 or higher may use Charm Person as a spell-like ability (su). The spell save DC is charisma-based and the caster level is equal to their character level. Also, satyrs get a +1 racial bonus added to the save DC of any language-dependent spell they cast on characters or creatures that is (or may be) attracted to them.

Custom Race 1:

Name is redacted for reasons. They will be referred to as Race, as will all subsequent custom races.

+2 DEX, +2 WIS, -2 CON
Primal Sprint - RACE are capable of running at impressive speeds. A RACE can drop to all fours, increasing their movement speed by 10 feet. RACE cannot hold weapons in their hands while performing a Primal Sprint. When moving on all fours, RACE can charge across difficult terrain without penalty.
Arcane Brand - All RACE are covered with glowing tattoos that serve no purpose but to make them more distinct and easier to notice. RACE take a -4 penalty to Stealth checks that involve being seen. Invisible or out of sight RACE do not take this penalty. These tattoos also emit light in their square equal to that of a candle (with a color that matches the tattoos’).
Bite - RACE have a 1d3 bite attack. This attack can be performed as a primary attack or as a secondary attack if the RACE is using manufactured weapons.
Arcane Assault - Once per day a RACE may activate this ability as a swift action to make their attacks deal 1d4 force damage. This bonus damage may be dealt by unarmed strikes with the RACE’s elbows or hands (or attacks with weapons held in those hands) and with the RACE’s bite attack. This ability lasts for 1 round per character level. A RACE may end the effects of Arcane Assault as a free action.
Nimble Faller - RACE land on their feet even when they take lethal damage from a fall. Furthermore, they gain a +1 bonus to their CMD against trip attempts.
Bodyguard - RACE begin play with the Bodyguard feat. RACE may use this bonus feat even if they do not already have the prerequisite feat (Combat Reflexes).
Desert Runner - RACE receive a +4 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue and exhaustion, as well as any other ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, and hot or cold environments.
Low-Light Vision - RACE can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.

Custom Race 2:

I feel like this race is pretty well balanced. It's meant to be a pirate race along the lines of the Barbary Corsairs, and therefore is designed with that in mind.

+2 to any one attribute - Like humans and half-breeds, RACE are incredibly adaptable and can fill most any role in a party.
Natural Armor - RACE have a +1 natural armor bonus.
Swim - RACE have a swim speed of 30 feet and thus gain a +8 racial bonus on Swim checks.
Hold Breath - A RACE can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 4 times its Constitution score before it risks drowning.
Elongated Skull - While RACE can wear most helmets just fine, the shape of their heads is unlike that of a human’s and closed helms must be specially made for them to wear them. RACE can wear open faced headslot items, such as hats, coifs, hoods, and helmets that do not cover the face; however, a RACE cannot wear full helms, bascinets or masks designed for use by humans and similar humanoids.
Claws - RACE receive two claw attacks that deal 1d4 damage each. These are primary natural attacks.
Corsair - RACE have a +2 racial bonus to both Profession (Sailor) checks and Appraise checks. Additionally, when climbing ropes or rope-like materials (such as vines) a RACE moves twice as fast.
Natural Knowledge - RACE have a +1 racial bonus to Knowledge (Nature) and Knowledge (Nature) is always a class skill for them.
Weapon Familiarity - RACE consider the falcata to be a martial weapon.

Custom Race 3:

+2 STR, +2 CON, -2 INT - RACE are strong and seemingly deathless fighters but are lacking in cunning.
Natural Armor - RACE have a thick hide which provides them a +1 natural armor bonus.
Bite - RACE have a 1d4 bite attack. This attack can be performed as a primary attack or as a secondary attack if the RACE is using manufactured weapons.
Irongut - RACE consume things other races wouldn’t dare to touch and suffer few, if any, adverse effects for doing so. RACE may eat raw or rotting meat, even that of humanoids, without any penalties. They also have a +2 bonus to all saving throws against poison and disease.
Cackle (sp) - RACE gain the Witch hex of the same name and it functions the same way with the following exception: the ability may only be used a number of times per day equal to one-half the RACE’s character level (minimum of 1, rounded up), may be performed as a swift action, and also casts Evil Eye (another Witch hex) as a spell-like ability that targets a single creature within the same radius as the cackle. The save DC for this Evil Eye is 11 + the RACE’s Charisma modifier and the effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to 1 + the RACE’s Charisma modifier (minimum of 1) on a failed save. The Evil Eye ability does not improve in effectiveness as the RACE levels.
Gift of Chaos - Once per day a RACE may add a roll of 1d6 to a single saving throw. The use of this ability must be declared before either the saving throw or the d6 is rolled.
Chaos Affinity - RACE sorcerers with the Protean bloodline treat their Charisma score as 2 points higher for all sorcerer spells and class abilities. RACE spellcasters with the Chaos domain use their domain powers and spells at +1 caster level.
Scavenger - RACE are natural scavengers and have developed senses specially honed to finding objects of value and edibility. RACE receive a +2 bonus to Perception checks made to spot hidden treasure or to find edible (and not-so-edible) food.

Custom Race 4:

Very much combat oriented. Should be clear how.

+2 STR, +2 WIS, -2 CHA
Horned[b] - RACE have a 1d6 gore attack. This may be used as a secondary attack in a full attack. It deals two times strength damage when used during a charge attempt.
- RACE gain a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
Unstoppable Charge - RACE gain a +2 racial bonus when performing bull rush attempts. They also gain a +2 attack bonus when charging, increasing their total charge attack modifier to +4. These bonuses do not apply when mounted. These bonuses do not stack with each other.
Well-Traveled - RACE have a racial +2 bonus to Knowledge (Local) and Knowledge (Local) is always a class skill for them.
RACE Body - RACE cannot wear normal helmets or boots. They can wear other items that go in those slots, such as anklets, horseshoes, circlets, hoods or wreaths, but they cannot wear any footwear and may only wear helmets that are specially designed for them.
Big Appetite - RACE must eat one and a half times as much as a regular medium-sized humanoid.
Know Thy Weapon (Ex) - RACE may discern the magical properties of weapons as if they were using Spellcraft with the Detect Magic cantrip. However, RACE make a Craft (Weapon) check in lieu of a Spellcraft check when discerning the magical qualities of a weapon in this manner. The DC to discern magical qualities is the same.
Darkvision 60 ft.
Weapon Familiarity - RACE are always proficient with shortspears, short swords, gladiuses, and greataxes.

Custom Race 5:

This race, I hope, is comparable to most standard races. I started with the Grippli for inspiration.

+2 DEX, +2 INT, -2 STR
Small, Amphibious
Slow and Steady - RACE have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
Prehensile Tongue - RACE possess long, sticky tongues that can grasp small objects quickly and easily. While they cannot wield weapons with their tongues, they can use them to retrieve small, stowed objects carried on their persons as a swift action. They can also use their tongues to grasp small, unattended objects (or objects on a willing subject) within ten feet and to perform the Steal combat maneuver.
Jumper - RACE with this trait are always considered to have a running start when making Acrobatics checks to jump.
Herbal Knowledge RACE have a racial +2 bonus to Craft (Alchemy) and a +1 bonus to Knowledge (Nature) and Heal checks. Craft (Alchemy) is always considered to be a class skill.
Swamp Song - RACE may speak with amphibians as if using the spell Speak With Animals, but only to communicate the most basic of ideas.
Low-Light Vision - RACE can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Weapon Familiarity - RACE consider the flask thrower to be a martial weapon, and are proficient in battle poi.

What are they? Let's say I'm using Throw Anything and am chucking Dwarven Waraxes. How can I increase my range without taking cumulative -2 penalties due to exceeding range?

Let's say I'm making a silly fellow that carries a BUNCH of these axes. I know of muleback cords, gloves of weapon storing, and bags of holding; but muleback cords will only cover so much, gloves of weapon storing only store a single weapon at a time, and I'm unsure if having every weapon inside the bag of holding (see: the exact same kind of axe) and not caring which one you want would reduce the time necessary to yank one out of the bag; elsewise that's a move or full-round action to draw an item from it given how full it is. So, are there any other good ways to increase carrying capacity?

So, using a Human Swashbuckler (Mysterious Avenger) archetype, you can gain Whip proficiency at level 1 for free. Whips are considered to be Slashing weapons, and so qualify for Slashing Grace.

Blah blah blah, you know the drill: shares a weapon group with Morningstar > grab Weapon Focus and Slashing Grace with Whip > now give Slashing Grace to the Morningstar via Martial Versatility. Now you get Weapon Finesse and DEX-to-damage with the Morningstar. Huzzah.

The question is: disregarding flavor, is there any way to make this worth it? The morningstar is a favorite weapon of mine because it's both bludgeoning and piercing at once; it's got a cool aesthetic; but in the end it's a 1d8 x2 crit weapon, and that's not exactly top of the line.

I suppose I'd be more effective against constructs and certain undead (such as skeletons) due to having a weapon that's bludgeoning? IIRC, undead and constructs in Pathfinder are no longer immune to precision damage automatically, so this should work. But that only helps against very specific opponents.

Is there anything I could do to make this worth it or will it simply be a sub-par setup?

Humans have Racial Heritage, a strong feat which lets them essentially count as another race for anything that requires that race - such as new feats.

Let's say I want to do the reverse. For instance: I want to make a halfling that can take human feats.

Is there any way I can do this?

I've been tinkering with the concept of turning the game Lords of Magic into an actual Pathfinder game. This would be a difficult conversion because of the magic system and how it's tied into the alignments of the world.

See, Lords of Magic has Faith system that would be easy to convert into alignment. Namely, there are eight faiths: the Elemental faiths (Fire/Earth/Air/Water) and the Arcane faiths (Life, Order, Chaos, Death). Each of these is allies with certain faiths and enemies with others (their opposites). This makes designing the alignment system really easy: you have eight alignments (one for each faith) and unaligned characters (which are generally going to be non-magical NPC monsters).

However, spellcasting is directly tied to those elements. Earth mages use Earth magic, and ONLY Earth magic. Chaos mages use ONLY chaos magic. The list goes on and on. Also, Earth mages may have Protection From Air as a spell, but they probably don't have Protection From Death because Death is their ally.

Given all that, how would you go about designing spellcasters for this setting? They'd all be low BAB spontaneous casters with full spellcasting progression, and they'd have to use spells that only come from their element. Scrolls become a unique commodity because they allow mages to cast spells they normally could not (an Earth Mage CAN use an Air Scroll), so that should be taken into account. They'd probably also learn spells like a Wizard does: by buying the spell and scribing it into their spellbook.

Any thoughts on how to make this work? I dread the prospect of sifting through every spell in the Core and APG and Ultimate Magic to find spells that fit each type (and then retool some of them to fit specific Elements / Arcanum) , but if that's my only real option that's what I'll do.


This occurs in a homebrew campaign setting in a megadungeon. More specifically, the combat encounter described here occurs in an ancient dwarven city, a fortress left in ruins after two conquests. I'm designing this megadungeon to be played with 5-6 player characters.

The point of this megadungeon is to be difficult but beatable. It's not a cakewalk and it's not Tomb of Horrors. I, as a DM, adhere to the same rules as the players and do not simply have traps that say "No save, you are dead," for instance. Consider that when answering questions concerning this encounter.

Encounter Details:
The Scene

Long hallway in the upstairs of a dwarven inn. The party has presumably used up a few resources (but not too many) in the main room of the inn located on the floor below. Contested perception checks are made by the party against ghouls waiting for a signal behind closed doors leading to private rooms in this inn.

Their chief opponent is a ghoulish bard that has been taunting them with sing-song for some time. He is particularly difficult to spot (+21 Stealth thanks to small size and shadowed armor) and waits quietly for the party to reach just the right spot for the ambush. Upon his signal, the ghouls get a "surprise round" which involves them kicking doors open and moving forward; the bard uses his song. If the party notices the ghouls behind the doors, they can instead turn the surprise on the ghouls and get a first round advantage.

This is intended to be a boss fight.

The combat is arranged as follows:

1 Ghoulish Jester, specifically a Dread Ghoul Gnome with homebrew racial abilities (see below) thanks to being in a homebrew setting. He is at the end of the hall, away from the melee.
5 Medium Sized Ghouls that will be the melee combatants fighting the party, two in front and two behind. This assumes the party stands where I expect them to, which they may not.
3 Small Sized Ghouls (using the variant from the same page) which are wielding masterwork light crossbows and adding support fire from near the jester. They will engage in melee should the ghouls before them start to falter.

The Ghoulish Jester uses Satire to immediately put a large debuff on the party, then begins casting Scare and Cause Fear at the party to scatter them and cause AoOs. He uses his Ghostly Violin (homebrew item; see character sheet) in the first round to cast Chord of Shards at the party, too. His priority is on playing music, debuffing the party, too. The Jester only casts Scare once - he saves his other 2nd level spell for the day to cast Gallant Inspiration on any ally that gets an apparent near miss on their melee attack. The Ghoulish Jester only uses his crossbow and natural weapons when he is out of spells to toss.

The other ghouls focus on flanking the party wherever possible. Killing downed players becomes an immediate priority for them, too. If someone falls, they will do everything in their power to murder that person, eating them alive; they are incredibly hungry.

Gnomish Racials In This Setting

The gnome here uses the follow racial:

* * * * *

+2 CON, +2 INT, -2 STR
20 speed
Defensive Training - Gnomes have a +1 dodge bonus to their armor class.
Gnomish Resistance - Having descended from both elves and dwarves, gnomes have the better qualities of each. They have immunity to sleep effects and spells and a +2 racial bonus to all saving throws against poison, spells and spell-like abilities.
Keen Senses - Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
Low-Light Vision - Gnomes can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Craftsman - Gnomes are naturally gifted craftsmen thanks to their dwarven nature. Upon character creation a gnome chooses one Craft skill. The gnome has a +2 bonus to skill
checks with that Craft skill.
Cosmopolitan - Gnomes can speak and read two additional languages of their choice. In addition, they choose two Intelligence-, Wisdom-, or Charisma-based skills. Those skills always count as class skills for the gnome.
Wordsmith - Gnomes are good at knowing the right words to say in a given situation. Upon character creation gnomes choose one of the following skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate. The gnome has a +2 bonus to that skill.

* * * * *

The Questions

What CR is this fight (factoring in the environmental factors and opponents' equipment)? Would it be a good battle for a group of six level 3-5 characters?

Do you believe this fight has an adequate feel for a boss fight? (This is not the end-game boss or anything, just a lowish level boss.)

Would you reduce the number of creatures in this encounter to make this fight easier for the players?

Would you add more creatures to make the fight harder or empower the present creatures?

If you would add more creatures, what would you add?

If you would empower the present creatures, would you do so by turning them into Ghasts or by giving them character levels or better equipment (such as 1 level of rogue for the medium ghouls or giving the small ghouls +1 bolts)?

Does a ten foot wide hallway sound appropriate for this encounter?

If your DM threw this sort of fight at you while you were around level 3-5 as a party, would you feel challenged? Upset? Intrigued? Would you find the encounter too easy?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts on this fight.

It should be obvious what sort of character concept I'm chewing on here given the questions below. A few of these questions I'm not asking because I expect the answer to be 'yes' but because I want to confirm that it's a 'no.' Either way, here goes...

* * * * *

1) If you have the Animal Ally feat and you gain an animal companion later, do you lose the benefits of the Animal Ally feat or do you have two animal companions?

2) Can you purposely NOT obtain an animal companion via a class feature you possess so that you may benefit from the Animal Ally feat, or does having that class feature keep you from being able to take the Animal Ally feat?

3) Can you Fight Defensively while making an Aid Another action in combat?

4) Can you Fight Defensively while performing Combat Maneuvers in combat?

5) Can you stack Aid Another bonuses in combat? I have two examples: let's say I perform Aid Another twice in the same turn to affect the same person, and both times I try to improve their attack roll. If I hit AC 10 both times, do they gain the benefit of my Aid Another action twice to their next attack? What if two characters Aid Another in combat on the same individual before that individual's next attack?

6) Do you count as your own ally for purposes of Cooperative Combat?

At 11th level, when a tactician uses the aid another special attack, he may affect one additional ally per point of Intelligence bonus. For each ally that a tactician aids, he can pick whether to grant that ally the +2 bonus on its next attack against the opponent or the +2 bonus to AC against the opponent’s next attack on that ally, and can grant different allies different bonuses.

7) Can an animal companion in a PFS game take the Additional Traits feat?

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